- Our tours are always private! Just you and our driver!
- Exclusive Tour on a 100% Electric Luxury Tesla (Model S / Model 3 or Model X available)
- 8 hours to have enough time to see everything in a relaxed way in the region of Setubal!
- Free WiFi and Bottled Water the entire journey.
- Pick you up at your hotel, airport, cruise terminal or other meeting point in Lisbon!
Setúbal, Arrábida & Sesimbra
This tour includes:
Explore Setúbal region in an amazing TESLA with a local driver in an 8-hour journey! Let yourself be amazed by Galapinhos, the most beautiful beach in the world. Visit the enchanting village of Sesimbra and try the delicious cuttlefish at Setubal!
Live Electric Tours presents you with the most private tour departing from the city of Lisbon. Just book your tour, choose where you want us to pick you up, and relax on a memorable journey on board of an amazing Tesla.
We have different options for you to choose. Go to the religious and mystic town of Fatima, visit the vineyards and cellars in Evora, taste the delicious cuttlefish of Setubal, get lost in the beautiful beaches of Arrabida, discover magical forests and castles in Sintra or watch the biggest waves in the World in Nazeré.
Today, this tour will take you to Setubal, Arrabida and Sesimbra.
Land of fishermen, Sesimbra displays a simple architecture made for the people of the sea. The largest of its riches lies on the jagged hillside that has created secret and secluded beaches, many of which are only accessible by sea.
Memory with millions of years to tell, the Serra da Arrábida and the adjacent territory are reservoirs of knowledge, heritage and stories to tell.
The city of Setúbal is inserted in the denominated Costa Azul (Blue Coast), is an important port and commerce zone. One of its main activities is undoubtedly fishing and more and more has been sought after by tourists, who find in the city and in its surroundings excellent itineraries to discover.
In this 8-hour tour from Lisbon to Setubal region, your independence and autonomy are guaranteed. Do you wish to change your route and take an alternative road? Don’t worry, your tour is customizable! Just let our driver know, and he will take you any place you want in that area!
All of this on board of a fantastic TESLA. With this totally sustainable and eco-friendly vehicle we have managed to save tons of CO2 emissions to the atmosphere, making the city and our world cleaner places. That is why we were considered the best “Sustainable Tourism” StartUp in the world in 2020, for the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
Explore the Setúbal region in the most luxurious and private way!
- Private Driver and a Luxury Tesla Vehicle (Model 3 / Model S or Model X)
- Pick-up and Drop-off at your hotel or apartment, airport or cruise terminal or other meeting point in Lisbon.
- Free Wi-Fi
- Bottled Water
- We present you with a suggested itinerary, however you can adjust this tour according to your interests and expectations.
- Civil Liability, Personal Accidents and Car Insurance
- Personal Expenses
- Entrance Tickets to Monuments / Museums
Setubal is a busy working port and major commercial fishing centre, which unashamedly does not try to mask its heritage and history. Setubal is a destination that will polarise tourists, some will adore the raw character and intriguing sights, while others will despise the gritty industrial nature of the city. Setubal deserves to be visited as a day from Lisbon, and you never know you may want to stay much, much longer.
Setubal is a city that has always had a close connection to the seas, and this is celebrated along the newly rejuvenated waterfront, which encompasses the colourful fishing harbour, the popular urban park and the Troia Peninsula ferry terminal. Within the charming historic centre is a maze of narrow alleys, hidden plazas, and family-owned shops, along with Portugal’s largest fish market.
Setubal is primarily an industrial city, but is situated in a region of immense beauty; to the east is the stunning Serra da Arrabida, to the north is historic Palmela, while to the south are the paradise beaches of the Troia Peninsula. Setubal may not be a conventional holiday destination, but there is a surprising amount to see and do within the city and the surrounding region. This article will provide an introduction to this fascinating destination.
The delightful Praça de Bocage is the main plaza of Setubal. The Praça de Bocage’s open space balances the warren of narrow shopping streets that surround the plaza, and it is a popular location with Setubal’s residents. Found on the Praça de Bocage is the purple painted Município de Setúbal and the 16th century Igreja de Sao Juliao.
The plaza is named after the Portuguese Neoclassic poet Manuel Bocage (1765- 1805) who was born in Setubal and went on to write suggestive and controversial poetry. A statue of him stands at the centre of the square.
Livramento Market in Setúbal was inaugurated in 1876 and replaced by another building in 1930 with the layout known today. The rebuilding process back to 2013 brings new ideas and new exposure to the facilities and market life.
Livramento market is located on Avenida Luisa Todi in Setúbal, close to the historical center of this beautiful city . Setúbal has an amazing gastronomy based on fish but also some of the delicious sweets. Our favorite perhaps is Tortas ( rolls ) de Azeitão.
The market has an amazing reputation won by the fish and shellfish diversity, however vegetables and fruits have also an outstanding quality and diversity.
During a visit to Livramento Market is possible to find happiness on the vendors, proud of their products. Each one defends their fish or shellfish quality since the level is very highest. Of course, you will find also butchers selling meat and local coffee shops. Very unique on the top north of the Market is the vendor specialized on spices. You will discover an amazing diversity which is not common to find in the Portuguese markets.
ARCHAEOLOGY AND ETNOGRAPHY MUSEUM
This modest museum is big on archaeology, and is also noted for its spirited collection of ethnography. The permanent exhibition reaches far back into prehistory, with simple stone tools from the Paleolithic period among the earliest items on show. More discernible are the Bronze Age pots and Roman coins. A number of amphorae are on display, while the mosaic panels, also the result of Roman handiwork, remain one of the museum's highlights. Visitors should also note the unusual 19th-century devotional paintings on wood depicting holy visions and miracles. Local and regional arts, crafts, and industries make up the majority of the quirky display of ethnography - the traditional costumes are delightful and the assortment of ships and watercraft are the envy of any scale model boat enthusiast.
FORT OF SAINT PHILIP
The Fortaleza de São Filipe (Fort of St Philip) dominates the skyline above Setubal. It can be reached from the town below by an exhilarating 30-minute hike or by road.
Today the fort is home to an upmarket 16-room Pousada hotel, but because this means the building is open to the public, casual visitors are free to explore the ramparts, grounds and battlements to take in the panoramic views of Setubal, the shimmering Atlantic and the Troia Peninsula. Why not book an evening meal in the hotel's restaurant, which serves traditional local fare including fresh seafood and Setubal orange tart? The sunsets from the outside terrace here can be quite spectacular.
The Capela de São Filipe (Chapel of St Philip), housed within the complex is decorated with traditional Portuguese blue and white-glazed tiles, and is well worth a visit. Some parts of the building, including the labyrinth of underground tunnels beneath the fortress are not generally accessible.
The oldest parts of the outside walls date from the 14th century, but the star-shaped fortress itself was constructed in 1590 on the orders of Philip II of Spain (Philip I of Portugal) to guard against a possible attack from the English and from North African pirates.The fortress has also been used as a prison.
SADO ESTUARY NATURAL RESERVE
The River Sado is born in the Serra da Vigia, near Beja, and winds its way across the plains of the Alentejo, travelling 180 km north until they flow into the sea near Setúbal. The river’s estuary commences close to Alcácer do Sal, a highly fertile humid zone, where the landscape is marked by rice fields, cultivated in platforms, and nests of white storks, perched on top of church towers or electricity pylons. This elegant bird always chooses the highest places in order to build its nests and is one or 200 bird species that inhabit the Sado Estuary, which has been declared a Nature Reserve and a zone of special protection in order to protect the species.
The most friendly local inhabitants and symbol of the Nature Reserve are the dolphins. It's rare to find them in Europe, freely swimming in their natural habitat, but there is an important colony of dolphins in the River Sado, who are known locally as “roazes-corvineiros” (gnawers of corvine fishing nets), because they gnaw at fishing nets and primarily eat corvina sea fish. Don't miss the opportunity to go on a boat trip and observe several examples of these playful mammals.
The protected area has great natural riches that man can use to his benefit, including cork oak groves from which cork is extracted, pine groves, whose pinenuts are transformed by skilled hands into highly appreciated regional desserts, and the now defunct salt pans, which were of great economic importance over many centuries.
The fish salting tanks that can be seen in Tróia, in the Roman ruins, vestiges of an ancient production practice. With white sand dunes and tranquil waters, Tróia is an excellent beach resort that may be used as a starting point in order to discover this beautiful region.
ARRABIDA NATURAL PARK
The Serra da Arrábida Natural Park (Parque Natural da Arrábida) covers an area of over 100 square kilometres and is only about a 30 minute drive south from the capital city of Lisbon. It was given protected status as a national park in 1976 to preserve its natural beauty. Whilst the park and its beaches are popular with day trippers from the city, few tourists are aware of its existence. The landscape was once used as a backdrop to the James Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service during the scene when Bond’s newlywed wife is killed in a drive-by shooting. The route Estrada de Escarpa is known to be one of the most scenic in the country.
The park offers beautiful natural scenery and is known for its steep hills and green shrubs. Visitors can enjoy wonderful views of the sea from the many hiking trails which criss-cross the park. The sheltered bay below is famous for being home to a large pod of dolphins which lucky visitors might catch a glimpse of leaping in and out the surf. The trails are rarely busy and offer an excellent tranquil and natural getaway from the noise of the nearby city of Lisbon. Look out for wild boars which are common in the shrubs and sometimes even come down to the coastline.
CONVENT OF SAINT MARY OF ARRABIDA
Enjoying the most idyllic setting of any sightseeing attraction in the area, this 16th-century monastery is half-hidden among the trees of the Serra da Arrábida. Founded in 1542, the whitewashed cluster of buildings replete with terracotta roofs in fact surround two monasteries. The ruins of the old convent sit on the uppermost part of the hillside and are in sad decline; the later building - in much better shape - occupies land further down the slope. The newer Franciscan retreat overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and the spectacular views are reason enough to venture out to this secluded destination. A tour of the premises, however, will reveal the four chapels and a series of tower-like shrines, probably used for meditation, that lie within the grounds. A number of cells, hewn out of the limestone rocks, can also be visited. The monastery's interior is, for the most part, unremarkable save for the gilded woodwork and azulejo (tile) panels that embellish the walls.
Set in the Parque Natural Arrábida near Setúbal, the idyllic Praia de Galapinhos is one of the regions most stunning beaches. The crescent of golden-white sand, backed by the densely forested hills of the Serra da Arrabida, is lapped by crystal-clear azure waters. It is little wonder this beach was awarded 'most beautiful beach in Europe' by the European Best Destinations organization.
Whilst the beach is a little slice of paradise getting down to it is a different matter. Access is via either a steep, uneven path known locally as the 'goat path' or by a scrabble over the rocks at low tide. Some might see all this as a positive as it serves to keep the number of beachgoers down. However, it does mean those with limited mobility will not be able to reach the beach on foot.
Unsurprisingly facilities are quite limited, although there is a small stand selling snacks.
RIBEIRA DO CAVALO BEACH
If you are dreaming about a white endless sandy beach and crystal clear waters in a peaceful surrounding – this might be it! This piece of Paradise is called Ribeira do Cavalo: it’s located in the Natural Park of “Arrábida”and it’s just one hour away from Lisbon.
It used to be a secret spot for the locals, where only the most adventurous explorers would go as the tracks were hidden among the vegetation. When some locals posted amazing pictures and videos of this place, 3 years ago, it became more famous since it looked like the Caribbean. Nowadays its known as one of the best wild natural beaches close to city.
The beach is divided into two sides: one with white rocks and clear water and other one with soft sand. It’s a perfect place to fully relax and disconnect, as there is no reception, therefore you can truly enjoy the moment and forget about the busy city life. What could be better than a dip in the refreshing blue sea while enjoying the sun?
Another important thing for you to know is that there are no facilities at all on the beach, so bring your own snacks and drinks!
PORTINHO DA ARRABIDA BEACH
A short drive east of Setubal down tiny winding roads will bring you to one of the most stunning beaches in Portugal - Portinho da Arrabida. This former tiny fishing village is now attracting increasing numbers of foreign visitors each year, but its isolation from public transport have so far protected this sheltered cove from serious overcrowding. Crystal clear waters, reaching 17 degrees in high summer, make this an excellent spot for fishing and scuba-diving (equipment is available for rent from the Centro de Mergulho diving school), especially as the beach lies within a protected area and fishing is no longer permitted.
Sesimbra is a tiny fishing village in a sheltered bay overlooked by a Moorish castle that also encloses a 12th-century church and affords wonderful views from its ramparts.
In the old town is a 17th-century fort overlooking the sea, a good starting point for a scenic walk before hitting the beach that, although crowded in the summer, has unpolluted waters ideal for swimming.
In late afternoon the fishing boats return, and there's a fish auction on the dockside. That same fresh fish can be sampled at one of the several restaurants along the shore.
A short drive or a 30-minute bus journey from Sesimbra leads to windswept Cabo Espichel, quite a mystical and eerie cape. The views of the coast and ocean are stunning, with cliffs dropping almost vertically several hundred feet into the Atlantic.
In such a dramatic and pristine setting, it is not surprising that large dinosaur footprints were found nearby on Lagosteiros Beach.
The cape was once an important pilgrimage site, and there is an abandoned 17th-century convent that has plans to be turned into a pousada. Behind it is a domed chapel with tile panels depicting fishing scenes.
The Moorish castle of Sesimbra stands high above the pretty fishing village and has guarded the town since its early founding. The castle was one of the first victories for the Christian conquest of Portugal over the Moors in the 12th century and its strategic positioning was important for the defence of early Portugal. For visitors the who make the 230m climb up to the castle will be rewarded of stunning panoramic views over Sesimbra and the surrounding coastline. Inside the castle there are extensive battlements, a pretty church but most visitors simply come for the views.
Cabo Espichel is a cape situated on the western coast of the civil parish of Castelo, municipality of Sesimbra, in the Portuguese district of Setúbal.
Following the Calcholitic, human tribes began to look for elevated locations in order provide a natural defense; there are vestiges encountered in the area of Outeiro Redondo and Zambujal, that indicate this preoccupation and conflicts. During the Iron Age, there are documented references to the lands of Risco, farther to the west of Cabo Espichel, that was a largest undefended settlement at the time. Avieno in Orla Marítima named Cabo Espichel, Cabo Cêmpsico, and was probably because the name was associated with the peoples that lived in the vicinity. Later, the geographer Strabo called this area Promontorium Barbaricum.
At a time when Roman settlement persisted in the Iberian peninsula, the Roman presence on the cape was limited. This can be explained by the symbology that the Romans conferred on the capes, which they considered sacred, where the gods met at night. Notwithstanding, there are vestiges of the Roman Imperial cult in the Lapa do Bugio, situated in Zambujal, close to Sesimbra.
Until today there have not been encountered any evidence of Muslim settlement, but the local toponymy has a few markers, such as the name Azóia, that derived from Al Zawiya (meaning hermitage). Some Moorish coins were also discovered in Lapa do Fumo (but minted in Silves) and some ceramics attributed to hermits from the Lapa do Forte do Cavalo and Lapa do Coelho. During the Middle Ages, various legends attracted people to the site; it was a crucible of Portuguese nationalism, when on 29 July 1180, in the square of Cabo Espichel, D. Fuas Roupinho was able to obtain the nation's first naval victory against the Moors.
There are various legends associated with the cult of Nossa Senhora da Cabo, many contradictory, that situate the devotion during this time. It is possible that the cult resulted from Christianization of other cults that appeared in the pre-history and continued to Moorish occupation. The cult, though, is certainly medieval dating from the 13th century, with the first references appearing in the 14th century (specifically in 1366) from a royal letter sent by King D. Pedro I.
Another medieval legend about the cape indicates that in 1215 a ship traveling to Lisbon was caught in a storm, tasking the crew. Haildebrat (the ships chaplain) decided to pray to an image, that he had in his cabin, but realized that it had disappeared. Desperate for divine intervention, they suddenly saw at the top of the cape a light, even during the height of the storm. Later, when they arrived on land, they encountered the disappeared image on the ship
The Tróia Peninsula is a 13-mile long, narrow sand spit a short ferry ride across the Sado Estuary from Setubal. It offers tranquil pine forests and some of the best beaches in the area. Whether you come here to soak up the sun on the pristine, white sand beaches overlooking the Atlantic, to play a round of golf at the challenging Troia Golf Course, or to enjoy a flutter in the Casino close to the glamorous marina, you’ll find something fun to do here.
Sheltered by mountains, the Troia Peninsula enjoys a mild microclimate. The Reserva Natural do Estuario do Sado covers part of the peninsula and is a good place to go birdwatching. The waters around the peninsula are home to a school of bottlenose dolphins. Dolphin-watching trips leave from the marina, or you may even spot them gamboling in the surf on the ferry trip across the estuary.
At the tip of the peninsula, just across from Setubal, is a modern resort, built around the marina. Here one finds the Casino, a number of high-rise apartment blocks and a number of cafes and (mostly) seafood restaurants. A short walk from the marina is the white sand beach of Praia Troia Mar. This beach is popular with day trippers and can get pretty crowded in July and August. From here a lovely wooden walkway leads to the Praia Bico das Lulas. If you have a car and want to escape the crowds that flock here in high season, the Praia Atlantica, south of the marina offers miles of scenic beach.
At the very base of the peninsula, the tiny village of Comporta is considered by some to be one of Portugal’s most chic resorts. The stunning Praia da Comporta beach with its smart, pastel-striped beach huts, sand dunes and powerful surf is surrounded by green rice paddies and attracts A-listers from around the world as well as surfers, families, and of course locals.
Most visitors to the peninsula arrive by ferry from Setubal. Foot passengers can take the distinctive green ferry catamaran from Pier 3 in Setubal. Those bringing cars or bikes can take the car ferry from Doca do Comercio in Setubal to the Cais Sul terminal a few kilometres south of Troia Marina.
There are more than just great beaches to explore on the peninsula. There are some interesting archaeological sites too. Originally settled by Phoenicians, Troia was used by the Romans as an important centre for fish preservation. At Cetobriga tourists can wander amongst the ruins of Roman bath-houses, fish-salting tanks and burial tombs. Beyond Cetobriga, the traditional fishing village of Carrasqueira is worth a stop-off to admire the thatched reed fishermen’s huts.
The Moors defended it with frightening ferocity before Christian forces eventually conquered it, and the castle at Palmela is still in remarkably good shape since hostilities ended in the 12th century. Strategically positioned over this quaint hilltown, the fortress underwent a facelift in 1423 when King João I expanded and strengthened the walls and then transformed much of the building into a monastery. Today, this is a stunningly attractive pousada, a hotel of cultural significance. The castle's formidable ramparts can still be explored, and visitors can climb the 14th-century keep to capture envy-inducing views of the surrounding Serra da Arrábida: on a clear day even distant Lisbon is brought into focus. For the best images of the castle, wait until dusk when floodlight bathes the walls in a copper wash. Palmela itself is fairly unremarkable, although any walk should include a visit to the church of São Pedro where some fine 18th-century azulejo (tile) panels adorn the interior.
Photos of this tour
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