Based on the Arrábida mountain range and adjacent maritime area, the Arrábida Natural Park occupies an area of approximately 17 thousand hectares, of which more than 5 thousand are of marine surface, covering territory belonging to the municipalities of Palmela, Sesimbra and Setúbal.
Due to its privileged location by the sea and the biodiversity it hosts, Arrábida has peculiar characteristics in terms of climate and vegetation, with a distinctly Mediterranean nature.
The name of the mountain, endowed with moderate temperatures and where unique species are found, comes from Arabic and means “place of prayer”.
The Arrábida Natural Park ensures the protection of the approximately 11 thousand hectares of area, most of them facing the sea and from which stunning scenery can be seen. A good example is the Professor José Fernando Gonçalves Ecopark.
Cutting through the mountains along an undulating road, which invites you to slow down, you will find the most idyllic places, from beaches to charming valleys.
In addition to the unique natural heritage, Arrábida is rich in built heritage.
The Convento da Arrábida, the Fortress of São Filipe and the Forte de Santa Maria – which houses the Oceanographic Museum and a marine biology center, owned by the Arrábida Natural Park – are examples of a centuries-old harmonious cohabitation between human work and nature. .
Located on the southern slope of the mountain, the Convento da Arrábida, founded in 1542 by Franciscan friars, has an architecture that, due to its characteristics and modest volume, looks more like a work of nature than of Man.
The Arrábida Natural Park is a world open to discovery, with a natural wealth that is rivaled only by the unique beauty of this protected area, created 46 years ago. To contemplate and enjoy, in the most diverse ways, whether for leisure or sports.
There are more than 17 thousand hectares, between land and sea, to provide sports activities in harmony with nature, made of fun, adventure and challenges, for body and mind, which gain greater attractiveness in experiences in the tourist entertainment sector.
The exploration of Arrábida can be done in multiple modalities along the coast in a coasteering of Vertente Natural, a pioneer company in this activity in Portugal that also provides diving experiences, from baptisms to more intense sessions.
Canoeing, park rides and stand up paddle, this one through Arrábida Stand Up Paddle, are other maritime options to discover nooks and crannies of the natural park, which is also known through the skies, in paragliding activities by the Arrábida Mountaineering Club, which also offers hiking, climbing, orienteering and trail running activities.
In the Arrábida Natural Park, created on the 28th of July 1976, the second oldest among the thirteen Portuguese protected areas, speleology and environmental protection activities are also promoted.
The Pedestrian Trails of Arrábida – Arrábida Walking Trails project consists of an offer of trails in the heart of the Arrábida Natural Park, with a total length of about 44 kilometers, which follow the best paths that this protected area offers within the municipality of Setúbal.
The network consists of four circular and linear short-route (PR) paths, which mostly cover rural paths, connecting natural or historical points of interest, such as villages, traditional paths, beaches and the most the heights of the various elevations that form the Arrábida mountain range, such as Alto do Formosinho and Alto da Vigia.
The best time of year to take the tours is from September to June, to avoid high temperatures and the extra influx of visitors to the beaches. However, we recommend that you consult the specific characteristics of each route indicated in the guide. Just click on the button that we leave next.
With a great geographical location, side by side with the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by vineyards and historic sites and associated with a booming cycling culture, it offers a unique opportunity to get to know Portugal and its people and traditions.
With a maximum altitude of 500m, Serra da Arrábida is a Biogenetic reserve, extending its influence to the protection zone of Cabo Espichel. With great quality and diversity in terms of landscape, beaches and small bays alternated with rocky areas, cliffs and cliffs and with a Mediterranean climate, it provides a mild and sunny climate most of the year.
Promoting sports in general and cycling in particular, the Arrábida Cycling Routes Guide is the ideal tool for visitors who want to get to know the region by bike.
13 routes with different degrees of difficulty and divided by the municipalities of Palmela, Sesimbra and Setúbal take cyclists, whether they have a more or less sporty orientation, through the most striking points of the region.
Although with their own particularities, the beaches of Setúbal share a characteristic that makes them unique: they are all located in the Arrábida Natural Park.
Portinho da Arrábida (Creiro), elected one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Portugal, it has a cove that serves as a mirror to the green of the mountains that leans over the sand.
Suitable for diving, be enchanted by the unique flora and fauna existing in the clear waters of this beach.
Praia de Galapinhos, elected in 2017 by the Europe's Best Destination website, as the best in Europe, it is very quiet and sheltered, has a calm sea and clear waters.
The calm sea and the beauty of the surrounding landscape make Figueirinha beach (awarded the Blue Flag) one of the best known in the region, making it very popular during the bathing season.
In addition to these beaches, there are also others very popular among visitors, such as Albarquel (closest to the city), Galapos or Coelhos.