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

From Lisbon: Comporta and Setúbal Trip with Horseback Riding

1. 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.

Sesimbra and Arrábida National Park Tour with Wine Tasting

2. Sesimbra and Arrábida National Park Tour with Wine Tasting

Spend a full day exploring the Setubal region of Portugal on a tour that takes you through the countryside to see castles and taste wine. Begin your trip by crossing the Tagus River on your way to the impressive Cabo Espiche on the westernmost point of the Sesimbra coastline. Then, it is time to go to the fishing town of Sesimbra and visit a Moorish castle. This seaport town also boasts plenty of beaches and restaurants serving fresh seafood. Nearby is Arrábida Natural Park, located on the shore of the Sado River estuary. Visit the famous beaches of Portinho da Arrábida and Figueirinha, before heading to Setubal for a fish lunch! After lunch you will make your way to the astonishing Arrabida Mountain. This is a protected (Arrabida Natural Park) area. Here you will visit a a small local family owned cellar in the middle of the peaceful Arrabida Mountain to learn more about how this precious nectar is made. You will see the vineyards, see how the process is completed and of course, taste the results. All this is done in the company of a local, in an informal and funny way.

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.

Lisbon: Dolphin Watching in Arrábida Natural Park

4. Lisbon: Dolphin Watching in Arrábida Natural Park

This boat tour goes along the coastline in search of dolphins that is possible to find again on the Marine Reserve of Arrábida. The tour will take you to the most known sighting, with a 95% success rate in dolphin sightings. The boats used are powerful semi-inflatable boats with seats and all the comfort and safety for a 3-hour journey. It's always a good experience, that combines the dolphins with a wonderful boat tour on a cost line of calm and pristine waters, that is protected from the north winds by the Arrábida mountain.

From Lisbon: Cristo Rei, Arrabida and Setubal Day Trip

5. From Lisbon: Cristo Rei, Arrabida and Setubal Day Trip

This is a tour of the five senses: see magnificent landscapes, feel the breeze, and fall in love with the blue sea. Taste the amazing treats of a region that stands for excellence in the production of wine, cheese, and regional sweets. The vibrant yellow, the color of the appetite, and the warming sun are predominant in this tour. On this customizable full-day tour, cross the Tagus River from Lisbon to its south bank over the 25 Abril bridge, the 27th largest suspension bridge in the world. See Cristo Rei, a giant statue that was inspired by the Christ the Redeemer statue of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was inaugurated in 1959 to express gratitude because the Portuguese were spared the effects of World War II. Its location boasts a fabulous view of Lisbon. Explore Vila Nogueira de Azeitão, a typical villa known for its wine and cheese production as well as regional sweets. After this, it's time to explore Arrabida National Park. Driving on the highest mountain road in the park, there will be several stops at the most interesting viewpoints. Break for lunch in Setubal, the most important center of Portugal's fishing industry. Have a lunch of delicious seafood or grilled fish and take a tour through the town. Visit Palmela Castle with its views over the peninsula and Atlantic. Return to Lisbon by the Vasco da Gama bridge, the longest in Europe with a total length of 12.3 km.

Lisbon: Arrábida Natural Park and Sesimbra Day Trip

6. 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.

Portinho da Arrábida: Coasteering Trip

7. Portinho da Arrábida: Coasteering Trip

Coasteering is a multi-activity that uses various sports modalities such as trekking, climbing, swimming, abseiling, caving and many jumps into the water. The coasteering circuit is located in one of the most extraordinary places, on the border between the Arrábida Mountain Nature Park and the Luiz Saldanha Marine Park, with its crystalline green waters. Venture into one of the most beautiful places in Portugal and enjoy a fun day full of activities.

Full-Day Dolphin Watching Tour from Lisbon

8. Full-Day Dolphin Watching Tour from Lisbon

This full-day tour begins as you head south from Lisbon to Setúbal, a picturesque region best known for its fishing port. In Setúbal, board a fully restored salt galleon, or a modern catamaran (depending on weather and sea conditions), for a relaxing and enjoyable cruise in the Sado Estuary, where you’ll learn about the resident bottlenose dolphins and hopefully be able to observe wild dolphins in their natural environment. The duration of the cruise takes about 2 to 3 hours. See the natural reserve of Arrábida, take in the stunning views, and learn about the area’s history and gastronomy. See the Arrábida Convent and discover some important historical sites before returning to the old city center of Setúbal. Before returning to Lisbon, stop at a few sights in the Arrabida Mountain range, from where you can marvel at the natural reserve and get a land view of all the region.

Arrábida: Kayaking and Snorkeling Experience

9. Arrábida: Kayaking and Snorkeling Experience

Take in a unique experience designed for those who want adventure and nature activities. The region of the Arrábida Natural Park and the Marine Park Luiz Saldanha offers the ideal conditions for Kayaking: good weather, clear and transparent waters, and a vast sea coast to explore.  Enjoy 2 hours of kayaking along the coast where you can admire one of the most scenic views of Portugal. Enjoy the quiet and narrow beaches between rocks and secret caves along the Serra da Arrábida.  Stop at Pedra da Anicha, a small island of clear and transparent waters. Take your time to snorkel and explore the great biological diversity, cracks, and underwater cavities that provide an excellent diving experience.

Setubal: Sport Fishing All Included

10. Setubal: Sport Fishing All Included

With calm waters all year in the Lisbon and Sesimbra region, you'll find Europe's best spots for sea angling. Protected by the north wind in this region, you will find calm waters full with many fish species that make this sport fishing tour remarkable. Whether you are a novice angler who wants a fun day out catching small fish with your family and friends or a pro who is looking for a trophy fish, this tour will be one to remember. On this all-inclusive trip, you'll have the use of all the tackle and bait you’ll need to target this diverse fishery and find from the professional crew and fishing coaches all the help you need to have a truly great day out at sea.  At the end, the fish captured will be yours to grill in the comfort of your house or to take amazing pictures if you are a catch and release angler.

Other Sightseeing Options in Setubal

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What people are saying about Setubal

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 758 reviews

We had an amazing morning on our trip. Everyone was really friendly and the staff on the catamaran were very knowledgeable. The views of the coastline are stunning and even though it took us a while to find the group of dolphins they were not in any rush and reassured us that we would find them and it was definitely worth the wait when we did! I would highly recommend this excursion for anyone in the area!

What a great tour. Even though the weather was grey we still managed to have a great day of wine tasting and touring the Setubel region. Our tour guide was amazing and full of stories of Portugal’s tumultuous history. It was great to have a small group of 6 people which meant we could take our time at the wine tastings and ask lots of questions. I would recommend this tour to everyone. Thank you.

Amazing Experience!!! The guides were very helpful. We had members who couldn’t swim and the guides were there to support and give confidence. We also had a member who had a minor injury and the care/response was second to none. Would definitely recommend and do it again!!

Jorge, our guide, was very nice. He was new doing this tour so could have explained a little more as we were driving to locations. Wineries were very different and the wine was very good. Van was new and nice to ride in.

Absolutely incredible!!! A definite MUST when in Lisbon. We had so much fun and perfect weather the whole time. A perfect way to see some of the beautiful nature in Portugal.