Things to do in
Setúbal District

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Our most recommended things to do in Setúbal District

Melides: Horse Riding on the Beach with Wine Tasting

1. Melides: Horse Riding on the Beach with Wine Tasting

Enjoy a horseback ride that will connect you with nature. Breathe in the fresh sea air under an immense sky. Explore the woods of Grândola near the coast and discover the local wildlife. Pass through dunes and pine forest of the protected area of Melides. Ride along a beach that stretches out for over 60 kilometers with the ocean at your side. After the beach, you will ride close to the Melides freshwater lagoon, where you will be able to spot a variety of bird species. If selected, at the end of your activity, enjoy a wine tasting session of three different types of wine produced in the region or a barbecue lunch. You can also opt to book a private instructor and enjoy a memorable day with a group of your friends or family.

Setubal & Tróia: Sado Estuary Dolphin Watching Boat Trip

2. Setubal & Tróia: Sado Estuary Dolphin Watching Boat Trip

Depart from Setubal or Tróia onboard a 22-meter long catamaran and go in search of the community of dolphins that inhabit the Sado estuary. Be accompanied by a knowledgeable crew who will use their expertise to locate these playful dolphins in their natural habitat. Learn more about this unique dolphin community, the only one of its kind in Portugal, with your expert guides. Sail through the estuary and admire the beautiful landscapes of the coastline of the Arrábida Natural Park. Keep an eye out for the playful dolphins which have inhabited this part of the coast for generations. Watch the dolphins frolic and play as they swim through the calm waters. Hear more about their feeding habits, breeding and their relationship to humans on an informative and relaxing boat trip.

Setúbal, Portugal: Catamaran Dolphin Watching Tour

3. Setúbal, Portugal: Catamaran Dolphin Watching Tour

Hop aboard for a 3-hour journey and spot dolphins in their natural habitat. Enjoy a welcome drink of moscatel de Setúbal, as start your tour and then journey out to see the dolphins. After spotting the dolphins, you will receive an explanation in Portuguese and English.  Then, make a short stop to swim or snorkel and hear some explanations about the main interest points. Passing by Arrábida Mountain will also offer completely different sights of the region. The catamarans have two underwater rooms that can be used to see the bottom of the sea or you may even see a dolphin from them.

From Lisbon: Kayak Trip to Arrabida Park

4. From Lisbon: Kayak Trip to Arrabida Park

Discover the wonders of the Sesimbra in the heart of Arrábida Natural Park on this guided trip. Explore the water by kayak and stop at the Ribeiro do Cavalo Beach for a picnic and some relaxation in the sun. Choose between pickup from Lisbon or meeting directly in the ancient village of Sesimbra (about a 45-minute drive from Lisbon). Once in Sesimbra, hop in a kayak to go into the ocean. Sesimbra is located in the heart of Arrábida Natural Park and has the most beautiful landscape in the region, filled with limestone cliffs, grouts, passages in between rock formations, and a beach to enjoy a break and soak in the sun. The first leg on the Kayak from the starting point is about 1.5-hours of paddling until you reach Ribeiro do Cavalo Beach. Enjoy a picnic break where you can admire the landscape in a relaxed way. Options are available if you have food allergies or other restrictions (a message will be sent with extra info about the food and with extra info before the start of the trip). The second leg on the kayaks will bring you back to the starting point. The journey in general is a bit faster as you'll have some wind helping you on the return route. If you chose pickup, get driven back to Lisbon for drop-off.

Sesimbra: Arrábida Natural Park Beaches and Caves

5. Sesimbra: Arrábida Natural Park Beaches and Caves

Tour the Arrábida Natural Park, starting at Sesimbra and heading towards Cabo Espichel. Wild beaches, stunning bays, caves, and cliffs are some of the highlights of this magnificent tour. Set out on an adventure to discover all the splendour of this unique ecosystem. The tour will start at the sheltered port of Sesimbra. Firstly, visit the famous Ribeiro do Cavalo Beach. Enjoy the surrounding landscape as you dive and swim in the crystal clear waters. The tour will then proceed to the west where you will visit the mythical beaches of Mijona and Inferno.  Continue along the Arrábida Natural Park and see the famous whaling bay, taking the opportunity to learn a little about the history of the fishermen who used to hunt whales in this same area. Dive and swim in the crystal clear waters of this same beach and enjoy some snorkeling. Typical liquor from the Setubal region will also be served. After this stop, sail towards Cabo Espichel where you will visit more caves and landscapes of incredible wonder. After all this adventure, return to the harbor of Sesimbra where this experience ends.

From Sesimbra: Arrábida Natural Park Kayak and Caves Tour

6. From Sesimbra: Arrábida Natural Park Kayak and Caves Tour

Depart from Sesimbra and discover the beauty of Arrábida Natural Park. Enter the protected area to explore the different types of habitats, from the mountains to the sea. Venture along the coast by kayak to locate sacred caves that are only accessible by boat. Encounter secret beaches as you make your way towards the remarkable karst formation of the Gruta do Frade. Soak up the coastal scenery and get up close to the impressive rock formations with the help of your guide. Then, make your way back towards Sesimbra and stop at the tranquil beach of Ribeiro do Cavalo. Enjoy a snack and go for a swim in the transparent waters, surrounded by dramatic rock formations. Taste some typical sweets from the region to end your amazing experience.

Lisbon: Kayaking and Snorkeling Adventure

7. Lisbon: Kayaking and Snorkeling Adventure

Maximize your time in Lisbon by experiencing a memorable adventure in the Arrabida Natural Park, and have fun with friends and family kayaking, snorkeling, and exploring caves. Glide along the crystal clear waters of Arrabida in your kayak and enjoy several breaks to explore caves and take an optional opportunity to jump from a cliff. Snorkel next to the iconic Anicha Rock, one of the most recognizable features in the park, and look out for bountiful sea life around you. Relax as you enjoy several breaks to enjoy coffee and snacks, and soak in the fantastic views as you cross the Portuguese answer to the Golden Gate Bridge to and from the park.

Sesimbra: Dolphin Watching in Arrábida Natural Park

8. Sesimbra: Dolphin Watching in Arrábida Natural Park

Depart from the Marina and search for dolphins in their natural habitat. See bottlenoses dolphins as well as common dolphins in the clear blue waters of the park, without disturbing their natural behaviour.  Observe various forms of wildlife and birds in the park. Swim and sunbathe on some of Portugal's most beautiful beaches, only accessible by sea. Visit caves and rock formations along the entire coastline of the park and hear of the mysterious history during the XVIII century from your local guide.

From Sesimbra: Arrábida Dolphin Watching Boat Tour

9. From Sesimbra: Arrábida Dolphin Watching Boat Tour

Look for bottlenose dolphins in the Sado Estuary on a scenic cruise from Sesimbra. Board the boat at Sesimbra Recreational Port, and then cruise along the Sado River towards Arrábida National Park. Look for the resident bottlenose dolphins in their natural habitat, along with common dolphins and dwarf whales. Interact with the delightful creatures as they feed, socialize and frolic in the water. Benefit from the services of an expert guide who will enlighten you about the marine environment and biodiversity of the shore. Learn about the geology and get information about local points of archaeological importance. If the weather conditions allow, and there is interest among the participants, stop in a strategic and sheltered place to swim in the calm and crystal-clear waters.

Lisbon: Arrábida Natural Park and Sesimbra Day Trip

10. Lisbon: Arrábida Natural Park and Sesimbra Day Trip

Discover the stunning beauty of the Arrábida Natural Park on the Sado River estuary on a full-day sightseeing tour from Lisbon. Following a pick-up from your hotel or apartment, transfer by air-conditioned minivan across the 25th of April Bridge (Ponte 25 de Abril), which spans the Tagus River and sets you on course for the coastal town of Cascais. Relax on the 30-minute journey to Arrábida Natural Park, and then marvel at the abundance of trees and beautiful flora. The 108-acre park is one of 30 nationally protected regions and is home to the famous Convento de Nossa Senhora da Arrábida, a former monastery built in the 16th century. Continue through the park, catching glimpses of the golden sand beaches surrounding the Albufeira Lagoon (Lagoa de Albufeira). Go to Cabo Espichel and hop out to explore the Santuário de Nossa Senhora do Cabo Espichel, a pilgrim site since the early 18th century. Stroll to the nearby cliffs for breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. Continue to the Setubal Peninsula to explore the quiet fishing town of Sesimbra. Head to the Moorish Castle high above the town, before a break for lunch (own expense), either in Sesimbra or in the nearby bay of Portinho da Arrábida. Your guide will be happy to provide recommendations. If you selected the optional 3-hour dolphin cruise, rendezvous with your guide and transfer to a luxury catamaran. Cruise the serene waters listening to live onboard narration and keep your eyes peeled for playful dolphins. Alternatively, bask in the sun at one of Arrábida’s hidden beaches, or taste traditional food and wine at a local cellar. Transfer back to Lisbon for the end of the tour services, enjoying the splendid views along the way.

Frequently asked questions about Setúbal District

Other Sightseeing Options in Setúbal District

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What people are saying about Setúbal District

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 1,513 reviews

I did the kayaking experience with 6 other friends. The guide Rui was very helpful. One of our friends knew she would get tired while kayaking and Rui paired up with her. He didn't mind doing all the work. We went through rock formations and a cave, and stopped by a beach to eat. Rui also does other custom hike + kayaking tours which we would have loved to do. He was fluent in English and happy to answer all our questions on Arrabida and Portugal as a whole.

Luciano was an amazing guide to us. He made the experience really fun and exiting. We kayaded our way to a small island where we stopped later to snorkel. He was very helpful and made our snorkelling experience worthwhile. Amaaaazing, amazing experience. He was also being a good teacher and helped me find happiness in the ocean. Highly recommended experience

Fantastic day out with Miguel. He has a perfect knack for being a great guide, informative and helpful, but doing it in a relaxed natural way so that you feel like an old friend is taking you out. Highly recommend.

Wonderful boat tour, views and atmosphere. Both tour guides were amazing, friendly and shared interesting stories. Seeing the dolphins was the highlight of the tour and the boat tour in general was extraordinary.

Very good activity - spent almost an hour next to the dolphins. Great tour guides Definitely recommend.