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Setúbal Peninsula

As the mercury rises, the promise of sun, sand and mouth-watering grilled fish lures lisboêtas south to the Setúbal Peninsula for weekends of seaside fun. Beach bums make for the Costa da Caparica’s 8km sweep of golden sand to 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 cruise of the marshy Sado Estuary (across which lies gorgeous and upscale Comporta). 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.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Setúbal Peninsula.