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Things to do in
Setubal

Estuaries teaming with dolphins, flamingos, storks, and more make this port town a true natural paradise.

Our most recommended things to do in Setubal

Lisbon: Coasteering Adventure Sesimbra/Arrábida Natural Park

1. Lisbon: Coasteering Adventure Sesimbra/Arrábida Natural Park

Explore the coast of Portugal’s picturesque Sesimbra on a unique coasteering activity, and experience the latest adventure sport craze to hit Portugal and Arrábida. Coasteering is a mix of rock climbing, rappelling, swimming and walking, and Sesimbra is one of the best spots for the sport. Thanks to its combination of a natural protected area with the blue green translucent waters of the sea, coasteering in Sesimbra is a special adventure guaranteed to be a thrill whatever time of year. Meet your guide at the Porto de Abrigo to collect your coasteering equipment. As you’d expect, this activity requires several security measures, and you will be assisted and monitored by experienced professionals all the time. You’ll be provided with a helmet, buoyancy aid wet suit, and trainers. Some routes require rappelling and the use of a harness. Ropes and rescue kits are available in case of an emergency, but typically the activity is a cool and calm experience. Marvel at the breathtaking landscapes as you swim, walk, climb, and jump. Clamber over magnificent rocky escarpments that plunge over bays and coves.

From Lisbon: Comporta and Setúbal Trip with Horseback Riding

2. From Lisbon: Comporta and Setúbal Trip with Horseback Riding

Take a trip from Lisbon to Setúbal for a day of fun in the sun and the sea. Dive into the town's history and seafaring heritage on a walking tour. Take a ferry ride to the Troia Peninsula dotted with pine forested sand dunes. Then, in Comporta, mount your horse and gallop off to the beach. Explore Setúbal, the most important center of Portugal's fishing industry. Visit the bustling fish market of  Mercado do Livramento, the historic center, the Monastery of Jesus, and the São Filipe Fortress where you can soak in one of the most breathtaking panoramic views of the city. Next, head towards Comporta on a 25-minute ferry ride, admiring the beauty of the Troia's coast, one of the world’s longest uninterrupted stretches of sand, and keep your eye peeled for dolphins. Upon arrival in Comporta, a protected natural reserve suspended between sea and rice fields, get ready for horseback riding with instructions from your guide. Ride your horse across rice paddies, pine forests, and sand dunes until you reach the Atlantic coast. At the end of the tour, return to the center of Lisbon in a comfortable minibus. Before bidding farewell to your guide, get recommendations on things to do during the rest of your stay in Lisbon.

Arrábida and Sesimbra Day Tour & Wine Tasting

3. Arrábida and Sesimbra Day Tour & Wine Tasting

Experience the flavors and natural beauty of Portugal on this lovely full-day tour. Heading towards Portugal's Extremadura region, you will travel out of Lisbon over the longest bridge in Europe, the Vasco da Gama Bridge. In Palmela, you will find a Moorish castle offering fantastic photo opportunities. Visit a family estate where you can try homemade wine. Then continue through the mountains of the Arrábida National Park - up to 500 meters or 1,640 feet above sea level- and marvel at the spectacular views of one of Portugal's most beautiful landscapes. The park is also home to many plant and animal species found exclusively in this region. Much of the park is subject to strong protective measures and certain locations can only be accessed with special permission. Time for a short break. Take a relaxed stroll on the beach of Portinho Arrábida and enjoy the cool sea breeze and crisp air. Then, head to the charming fishing village of Sesimbra to have lunch at one of the village's friendly local restaurants with delicious dishes featuring the day's fresh catch. In the summer, cool off with a swim in the Atlantic, or simply go for another walk along the village's inviting beaches. Don't miss your chance to visit the village's beautifully restored church dating back to 1725, or take a walk to explore the Sesimbra Castle. Of course, the perfect follow-up to a delicious meal is great wine. Take part in a guided tour of the José Maria da Fonseca winery, one of the oldest in Portugal. It is still family-owned. Discover the region's outstanding wines at a wine tasting that includes 2 local varieties. As a perfect finale, take in the view over Lisbon from the platform of the Christ the King statue before crossing the 25 de Abril Bridge and heading back to Lisbon.

Sesimbra: Arrábida Natural Park Guided Kayaking Tour

4. Sesimbra: Arrábida Natural Park Guided Kayaking Tour

Get in harmony with nature on a canoe trip through the Luís Saldanha Marine Park in the Arrábida Natural Park and see one of the most beautiful cliffs in Europe from a different perspective. Paddle along the coastline of Sesimbra and around the magnificent landscape, dominated by impressive escarpments and inlets, some of them only reachable by sea. Encounter the marine life and discover the sea caves, pristine beaches and coves of the rugged landscape. Benefit from the services of a guide with expert knowledge of the region and learn all its secrets. Enjoy a break to relax on a deserted beach and taste a regional pastry before returning to Sesimbra.  Note – If you book the activity with transfer, the arrival to Sesimbra will be before 09h30, the activity will start at 10h00 and the departure for the return to the meeting point will be at 14h30 in Sesimbra – we suggest a walk around the fishing port while you wait.

Lisbon: Dolphin Watching in Arrábida Natural Park

5. Lisbon: Dolphin Watching in Arrábida Natural Park

The sighting of dolphins in their natural habitat is an unforgettable experience, suitable for all ages. We are often greeted with their thrilling stunts, games and jumps. Navigating the calm crystal-clear waters of the professor Luiz Saldanha Arrábida Natural Park, in strict compliance with the Code of Conduct for Dolphin Watching in order not to disturb them, you will be able to see Bottlenose and Common Dolphins up close, among others, as well as many different birds and the occasional whale, sun-fish and other species. Be overwhelmed by the incredible landscapes of the professor Luiz Saldanha Arrábida Marine Park, its caves, wild beaches and magnificent cliffs, coves where you may eventually swim or simply remain aboard for a tasting of local traditional delicacies. Note - the activity takes between 02h and 03h, depending on the conditions and the time needed to attempt a sighting. If you book the activity with transfer, the arrival to Sesimbra will be before 09h30, the activity will start at 10h30 and the departure for the return to the meeting point will be at 14h30 in Sesimbra - we suggest a walk around the fishing port while you wait.

From Lisbon: Arrábida Day Tour & Wine Tasting

6. From Lisbon: Arrábida Day Tour & Wine Tasting

Meeting point is in Lisbon by the zoo, an easy and acessible point to everyone. Ride in a confortable van or jeep to our hometown, Setubal. Enjoy the views at the famous clone of the golden gate bridge and the replica of one of the seven wonders of the world. The first stop will be at the Market of Livramento, one of the best in the world according to the American magazine The Times. After enjoying a typical fishermen's breakfast and seeing the local offer of fresh food and products, head to the Arrábida Nature Park. Get a panoramic view over the park at the highest viewpoint. Take a swim at one of the most idyllic beaches and discover a hidden cave not known by many. Lunch takes place in a true portuguese restaurant by the sea with freshest ingredients you could ask for and finish the day by visiting one of the local wineries for a tour and wine tasting of 3 different wines. Return happy, full, tired and with new friends!

Sesimbra and Arrábida National Park Tour with Wine Tasting

7. Sesimbra and Arrábida National Park Tour with Wine Tasting

From Lisbon, we will cross the Tagus River and pass by the Portuguese Golden Gate Bridge, formally called the Salazar Bridge during the fascist dictatorship. At the end of the bridge, we will have the opportunity to see how big the statue of Christ the King is (it was erected in 1959 to thank God for sparing Portugal from the horrors of World War II). We will drive along the Albufeira Lagoon, a protected area where pine trees, cork trees, beautiful beaches, small lagoons (the deepest in Portugal), and birdwatching are all combined. Then, we will arrive at the impressive Espichel Cape (Cabo Espichel). It is the westernmost point of Arrabida Mountain where we can find frighteningly tall cliffs. There are a few constructions here, mainly built in the 1700s and related to an old story that dates back to the 1200s: a church flanked by two arms of pilgrims’ lodges, a lighthouse, a chapel, and an aqueduct. Then it is time to explore the fishing town of Sesimbra. Originally from the 12th century, it is now famous for fresh fish and wonderful beaches. Here we will visit a medieval and well protected Moorish Castle that stands in a dominant position overlooking a cliff, and it offers the best view of the village and the Atlantic Ocean. It’s lunchtime, and it’s recommended that you enjoy the best fresh seafood that Sesimbra has to offer. After lunch, we will cross the astonishing Arrabida Mountain, known as the blue coast. This is a protected area (Arrabida Natural Park) with many Mediterranean plants, from olives, pistachios, and strawberries, to lavender, thyme, and chamomile. Always close to the sea, we will pass by some amazing beaches with azure waters and remarkable views. At the end of the day, we will visit a small family-owned local cellar in the middle of the peaceful Arrabida Mountain, and learn more about this precious nectar and this stunning area. Enjoy the vineyards, and the beautiful landscapes, relax, and of course, taste some local wine. Finally, it is time to go back to Lisbon.

Arrábida Natural Park: Coasteering Trip with Speedboat Ride

8. Arrábida Natural Park: Coasteering Trip with Speedboat Ride

Experience mysterious caves and secret beaches like Portinho da Arrábida and Ribeiro do Cavalo while climbing, rappeling, and swimming on a thrilling speedboat trip through the intertidal coastal zone of the Arrábida Natural Park, a perfect place for coasteering. After meeting your instructor/guide, start your day with a safety briefing and an introduction to your coasteering gear. Then, hop on a speedboat to the activity's starting point. Learn more about the regional fauna, flora, and geology, while traveling through rocky and aquatic areas. Use multiple techniques, including rock climbing (low technical and difficulty levels), swimming, and jumping in the water. Enjoy more than a dozen jumps between 2 and 8 meters high. Splash in the crystal blue waters of one of the world’s most beautiful bays in between the picturesque village of Sesimbra and Setúbal. Equipped with buoyancy aids and individual protection gear, without the aid of any artificial means (e.g. steel cables), enjoy a more dynamic and immersive progression into nature. At the end of the coasteering experience, return to the starting point by speedboat.

Lisbon: Arrábida Natural Park and Sesimbra Day Trip

9. Lisbon: Arrábida Natural Park and Sesimbra Day Trip

Discover Arrabida Natural Park and Sesimbra on a Day Trip from Lisbon. Learn about the history of the region from your expert guide, admire the beauty of the coastline, and visit a Moorish castle, lunch on fresh fish and swim at a hidden beach. Meet your guide at your local Lisbon hotel for your day trip to Arrábida National Park and Sesimbra. Hop aboard your air-conditioned minivan and cross the 25th of April Bridge (Ponte 25 de Abril). Drive for about 40 minutes and arrive at the stunningly green Arrábida Natural Park. Enter the park while learning from your guide the history of this protected region, and reach the cliffs of Meco Beach, where you can admire the beauty of the Western Coastline. Cruise onward to the beautiful cliffs of Cabo Espichel. Here, hop out to see Santuário de Nossa Senhora do Cabo Espichel, a 600-year-old religious site where pilgrims gathered to honor Our Lady of the Cape. Then, snap some clifftop panoramic shots of the stunning views over the Atlantic Ocean. Next, drive to the charming seaside town of Sesimbra, where local fishermen haul in fresh catches from the ocean. Stroll to the Moorish castle and discover its medieval roots. Afterward, stop for lunch (own expense) fresh fish in Sesimbra. Rejoin your guide and continue driving by unmapped roads to explore the Southern Coastline of the Park, where you'll discover St. Margareth's Cave (moderate walking required) and the charming Portinho da Arrábida harbor. Continue by a curvy seaside road, admiring the gorgeous beaches of Arrábida, to Setúbal, where you'll visit the Casa da Baía Center, a historical XVIII century building hosting local products and an interpretative center about the resident dolphin community. Alternatively, spend some free time soaking up the sun and swimming at Galapos, Galapinhos, or Praia dos Coelhos, Arrábida’s hidden golden beaches. After an adventurous day, ride back to your Lisbon hotel where this tour ends.

Lisbon: Arrábida All-Inclusive Kayak Adventure Tour

10. Lisbon: Arrábida All-Inclusive Kayak Adventure Tour

Discover Arrabida Natural Park in this unforgettable adventure experience. Enjoy amazing natural locations, the relics of the Blue Coast, and the panoramic view from the Arrábida Mountain on a guided kayak tour. The day begins with your pickup at the meeting location. Following a quick equipment stop, it’s off to Portinho Bay, an old pirate cove that will fill you with a sense of mystery and adventure.  Once the kayak is loaded up with all the food and gear necessary to make sure you’re always safe, warm, and refreshed – the adventure truly begins. Kayak along a limestone coastline and past cliffside beaches, where you’ll have the opportunity to cliff jump, snorkel in the clear waters or explore caves like adventurers of old. For lunch, take a break at the beach and enjoy a picnic. Then explore the mountain and search out the very best views for taking pics. As evening sets, homemade wine and grape juice and traditionally-grilled chorizo will serve as the perfect ending to your adventure-filled day. 

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Frequently asked questions about Setubal

What are the best day trips and excursions from Setubal?

The best day trips and excursions from Setubal are:

Arrabida Natural Park

Other Sightseeing Options in Setubal

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What people are saying about Setubal

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 817 reviews

We had the best time on our tour of Lisbon, Sintra & Cascais with Nayem! (Driver & Guide). Very kind, professional and joyful to be around. Nayem, called before he came for pickup and arrived in front of the Hotel. His knowledge of the history of Portugal was very valuable. He was also flexible with our planned tour sites. The great thing was that we could choose how long we wish to stay at each place which is not possible in other tours. Truly a once in a lifetime experience. If you’re on the fence, book it (Rent a Car with Driver & Go Tour). You won’t regret it! Highly recommended and appreciated.

Lovely and knowledgeable host, Nidia! Yeh countryside was beautiful and the wineries very enjoyable

This tour was amazing! Highly recommend! It is longer than the description says however.

It was amazing, one of the best experiences of my life. I recommend!

Brilliant day trip, great guide, stunning scenery.