Still unspoiled from mass tourism, the Parque Natural da Arrábida is the perfect destination for a day trip from Lisbon to dive into nature and relax.
Founded in 1976, this park nestled among the Arradiba mountains and the ocean is a real beauty made of different shades of blue and green; the green of its lush mediterranean vegetation and the many shades of the blue of its waters.
The park features several trekking paths if you want to walk or ride a bike and discover the beautiful beaches of Serra da Arrábida or maybe go on a boat cruise along the Sado estuary, a protected area where you may have the chance to enjoy some dolphin watching.
At night treat yourself to some yummy grilled fish. Shopping lovers will have the opportunity to purchase some local products such as honey, wines, and cheeses (try the pecorino cheese from Azeitão).
The main attraction of the Arrábida Natural Park is its vegetation. This park, which extends on an area of about 10.800 hectares, is a rare example of Mediterranean vegetation in Portugal, featuring olive trees, small bushes, lavender plans, thyme, and chamomile. In order to preserve the lush vegetation of the park, it is possibile to visit some areas only with an authorised guide.
The park stretches from Sétubal a Sesimbra, along the south-west coast of the Sétubal peninsula, including the Serra da Arrábida mountain range (which is about 35 km long). The landscape is mostly characterized by hills. The highest peak is Serra do Risco, a cliff located 380 meters above sea level which represents the highest peak of the Portuguese continental coast. From here you can enjoy a stunning view over the ocean.
The Convent of Our Lady of Arrábida, overlooks the sea and it is concealed by the lush vegetation of the Serra. This monastery dates back to the 16th century and is characterised by five round cells overlooking the cliff, which were probably used for meditation purposes.
Not far from Praia do Portinho there is the Forte de Nossa Senhora da Arrábida, built in the 17th century to protect Portinho and the Convent of Arrábida. The fort is home to the oceanographic museum where you can learn more about the flora and fauna of the area.
The park offers one of the most spectacular coastal landscapes near Lisbon. Beaches are white, with crystal clear waters protected from the current and the wind thanks to the several cliffs. These are the best beaches of the Arrabida park:
The Arrábida Natural Park is located about 50 km from Lisbon, at the extreme north of the Rio Sado estuary, in the Setúbal peninsula.
It is hard to reach the park by public transports; some buses reach the beach area only during summer months. We recommend to join an organised tour or to rent a car.