It is the second largest estuary in Portugal after the Tagus, being simultaneously one of the most important Portuguese wetlands in terms of the waterfowl communities that use it.
Although technically we are in the presence of a true estuarine zone, landscape features of other typologies can be found, very expressive in the Tróia Peninsula (which resembles the barrier cords of the rias) and in the vast dune depression of Comporta/Carvalhal, currently occupied by rice cultivation. , which evokes a coastal lagoon landscape.
The marine resources (fishing and salt) were, together with the natural conditions of the port, the main factors of human settlement on the banks of the Sado estuary. Of the built heritage, we must highlight the Moinho de Marés da Mourisca, located by the river.
The salt pans, probably, the maximum exponent of the concept of cultural landscape, while “salt gardens”, meanders and labyrinths of slopes and small walls introduce a geometric factor to the landscapes, where the sky is reflected in multiple mirrors. Currently, almost disappeared, due to abandonment and conversion to other uses, it is noted that the few salt pans in operation have altered their layout and processes, moving away from the traditional methods that, in the past, ensured the production of quality salt. higher.
The Fauna and Flora that inhabit this region are of an unparalleled diversity and richness, capable of producing unique images and moments. Birdwatching is one of the activities that is developed here and whose national and international demand.
Here is produced one of the most acclaimed delicacies of the gastronomy of Setúbal – The Oyster.
The inlet of the river Sado was the first in Portugal to join the Club of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World.
Setúbal belongs since November 14, 2002 to that restricted Club based in Vannes, France, and consisting of more than four dozen coves distributed all over the planet.
The list includes a set of iconic bays such as San Francisco, USA, Mont Saint-Michel, France, Qingdao, China, Backwaters of Kerala, India, or Ha-Long, in Vietnam.
The club seeks to promote the exchange of experiences among its members in terms of policies for the protection, conservation and sustainable development of bays.
The bay is located within the limits of the REN – National Ecological Reserve, belonging to the Sado estuary. The coastline of the bay, enriched by the majesty of the mountains, is home to treasures of Nature such as Portinho da Arrábida, one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Portugal, Pedra da Anicha, considered a Zoological Reserve.
The Bay of Setúbal is also the natural habitat of the bottlenose dolphin, one of the few sedentary communities of dolphins in Europe.
The Club of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World was established on March 10, 1997, in Berlin, under the name “Club des Plus Belles Baies du Monde”, an association governed by French law.
As part of the Congress of the Club of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World that took place in October 2018, in Penghu, Taiwan, Baía de Setúbal presented its version of the anthem that the organization created for the event.
This is the final result, presented during the congress, which had the special participation of singer Susana Martins and Coro Afina Setúbal, conducted by conductor Nuno Batalha.