As the mercury rises, the promise of sun, sea and mouth-watering grilled fish lures lisboêtas south to the Setúbal Peninsula for weekends of ozone-enriched fun. Beach bums make for the Costa da Caparica’s 8km sweep of golden sand to laze on a lounger, surf the chilly Atlantic and unwind over sundowners in beachside cafes. Further south sits Cabo Espichel, a vertiginous cape thrashed by the Atlantic, where you can trace the footprints of dinosaurs.
The main hub of the region is the vibrant port of Setúbal, a fine place to munch choco frito (fried cuttlefish) and spot bottlenose dolphins on a breezy cruise of the marshy Sado estuary. To the west lies Parque Natural da Arrábida, lined with scalloped bays flanked by sheer cliffs that are home to birds of prey. It leads to the cobbled backstreets of the fishing town of Sesimbra, overshadowed by a Moorish castle.