Attractions

Nature Reserve in Setúbal

Reserva Natural do Estuário do Sado

This natural reserve protects the Sado Estuary, a biologically rich area of wetlands extending east and south of Setúbal. With more than 250 avian species, this is a prime spot for birdwatching. The little-visited M…
Viewpoint in Setúbal Peninsula

Cristo Rei

Visible from almost anywhere in Lisbon, the 110m Cristo Rei is a statue of Christ with outstretched arms. The slightly more baroque version of Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer was erected in 1959 to thank God fo…
Cultural Centre in Setúbal

Casa da Cultura

This newish art space has a packed cultural calendar. Wander through changing exhibitions on the main floor, or stop in for an evening concert of jazz trios, classical quartets and world music. The cinema upstairs h…
Church in Setúbal

Igreja de Jesus

Setúbal’s architectural wonder is this sand-coloured stunner, the first known example of Manueline architecture, adorned with gargoyles and twirling turrets. Around the altar, 18th-century blue-and-white geometric a…
Castle in Sesimbra

Castelo

For sweeping views over dale and coast, roam the snaking ramparts of the Moorish castle, rising 200m above Sesimbra. It was taken by Dom Afonso Henriques in the 12th century, retaken by the Moors, then snatched back…
Castle in Setúbal

Castelo de São Filipe

Worth the 500m schlep uphill to the west, the castle was built by Filipe I in 1590 to fend off an English attack on the invincible Armada. Converted into a pousada (upmarket inn) in the 1960s, its hulking ramparts a…
Nature Reserve in Setúbal

Moinho de Maré da Mouriscas

This former tide mill built in 1601, which also houses a gallery and cafe, is a worthwhile nature-tourism interpretive centre amid prime birdwatching territory at Reserva Natural do Estuário do Sado. To get here wit…
Monastery in Parque Natural da Arrábida

Convento da Arrábida

Local honey is delicious, especially that produced in the gardens of the whitewashed, red-roofed Convento da Arrábida, a 16th-century former monastery overlooking the sea just north of Portinho (call ahead to schedu…
Castle in Sesimbra

Fortaleza de Santiago

In the town centre, the grandest castle on the sand is 17th-century Fortaleza de Santiago, once part of Portugal’s coastal defences and the summertime retreat of Portuguese kings. It was reopened to much fanfare in …
Plaza in Setúbal

Praça do Bocage

All streets in the pedestrianised old town seem to lead to this mosaic-cobbled square, presided over by the arcaded pink-and-white town hall. It’s a sunny spot for a wander amid the palms and fountains, or for coffe…