Sado Estuary Natural Reserve: Our most recommended tours and activities

Full-Day Dolphin Watching Tour from Lisbon

Full-Day Dolphin Watching Tour from Lisbon

This full-day tour begins as you head south from Lisbon to Setúbal, a picturesque region best known for its fishing port. In Setúbal, board a fully restored salt galleon, or a modern catamaran (depending on weather and sea conditions), for a relaxing and enjoyable cruise in the Sado Estuary, where you’ll learn about the resident bottlenose dolphins and hopefully be able to observe wild dolphins in their natural environment. The duration of the cruise takes about 2 to 3 hours. See the natural reserve of Arrábida, take in the stunning views, and learn about the area’s history and gastronomy. See the Arrábida Convent and discover some important historical sites before returning to the old city center of Setúbal. Before returning to Lisbon, stop at a few sights in the Arrabida Mountain range, from where you can marvel at the natural reserve and get a land view of all the region.

From Sesimbra: Arrábida Dolphin Watching Boat Tour

From Sesimbra: Arrábida Dolphin Watching Boat Tour

If you always dreamed of observing dolphins in their natural habitat, this is your tour. Boarding in Sesimbra, you'll have the chance to experience the magic of the sea as you watch bottlenose and common dolphins, along with dwarf whales socialize, swim, and eat. You might even be lucky enough to spot more than one species of dolphin, such as common dolphins and roazes corvineiros. In addition to dolphin watching, the tour also includes an educational component about the sea's biodiversity and the region's geology and historical significance. You'll be able to learn more about the natural wonders of this area and how we can work together to protect them. As we travel along the Arrábida coast, you'll be awestruck by the beauty of the caves and sacred beaches protected by cliffs with crystal-clear water. If the dolphin observation occurs early in the tour, you'll get to witness these natural wonders, and if the weather and sea conditions are favorable, we'll even stop for diving and swimming in the transparent Atlantic waters. Ps: Diving is optional, and the diving suit incurs an additional cost. If needed, please request it in advance.

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What people are saying about Sado Estuary Natural Reserve

Overall rating

(173 reviews)

When we arrived at the port in the morning it was so foggy that it wasn't clear at first whether we would be able to do the tour. Thank God the fog cleared in the next hour and we were able to go out on the water in a great catamaran and see dolphins. We were also allowed to go for a swim from the boat in the 20 degree cold water. In between, the guide improvised by taking us to the Setubal market hall, one of the 20 best fish markets in the world. It's an activity in nature and you always have to expect that nature won't cooperate the way you want.

It was great!! Thanks also to our guide who was very good at every stage of the activity and very knowledgeable, we never got bored even during the car journey. My son was delighted to see the dolphins and to have this adventure on the catamaran. highly recommended activity!

We enjoyed the ride. Weather was perfect, dolphin sighting was good. What the children liked best, however, was the speedy ride across the ocean in the yellow boat. Like riding a roller coaster :)

Superb activity! Very clear and interesting explanations given by our passionate and fascinating guide, Joao. The wait to see the dolphins is worth it, it was a magical moment!

Saw many dolphins and we were allowed to sit on deck in turn. Had a great morning!