Setubal is interesting for its architectural monuments, wine and excellent beaches nearby, the city has a lot of greenery, and in the vicinity there are several nature reserves.
Setúbal is a city and seaport, the center of the municipality of the same name, which is part of the Lisbon region. Setubal is located 30 km from the capital of Portugal, on the banks of the peninsula of the same name at the mouth of the Sadu River. 90 people live in the city, and 120 thousand people in the entire municipality.
Setubal is surrounded by mountains and several nature reserves. The medieval appearance of the city is combined with modern buildings and many green areas, decorated with flower beds and fountains. The climate of Setubal is quite comfortable, with mild winters and moderately hot summers. Rainfall occurs in early spring and autumn. The best months to visit Setubal are from May to September.
When choosing a Setubal hotel, the search was carried out among the ten best rated hotels selected at the booking. I was looking for a hotel in the middle price segment, excluding hostels and expensive hotels. I found the most acceptable Rio Art Hotel (Avenida Luísa Todi, 117) and Hotel Solaris (Praça Marquês de Pombal, 12). The first of them was attracted by the meeting of guests with a glass of wine, but its location near the stations tipped the scales in favor of another hotel - Solaris. Single room in it cost 65 EUR per day.
A pleasant gastronomic feature of Setubal is dishes from freshly caught fish. The signature dish Caldeiradou (Cuttlefish in Setubalski) is prepared in all restaurants. It is believed that better than others - in an inexpensive institution O Rei do Choco Frito at Avenida Luísa Todi 98. Another popular restaurant is Retiro de Algodeia (Estrada da Algodeia 30).
Setubal, like Porto, is also famous for wine. This is a sweet fortified drink Moscatel. There are several family wineries in the city. They organize excursions and wine tasting. Sign up for it should be two days before the event.
In the village of Azeitão, 10 km from Setubal, there are cellars of the Jose Maria de Fonseca winery, founded in 1834. In the winery's shop you can buy the famous wines - Moscatel de Setubal, Optimum, Periquita, Perquita Classico, Primum. Azeitão cakes, jams, honey, cheeses and spices, popular with locals, are also sold here. Book this tour should be even earlier - for a week.
Due to its proximity to the ocean, in Setubal on the river every day in the evenings you can see dolphins swimming here for fish. The spectacle can be observed not only from the promenade, but also from the ferry going to the Troy Peninsula. During my trip there, I saw them very close.
Setubal's popular attraction is a 2.5-hour walk on a schooner built in the middle of the last century. Leaving the calm waters of the bay, the ship floats along the ocean waves for some time. There were no dolphins this time. They apparently felt that it was enough for me to see them close once.
The local Bull Fight Show is not a Spanish bullfight, where several unfortunate animals are chased and killed by several homo sapiens. In Portugal, man and bull compete face to face in equal conditions. Portuguese forcados, unlike the matadors, enter the arena unarmed, and the bull remains alive.
Cathedrals and temples
Setubal Parish Church in Praca do Bocage Square is named after the early Christian Saint Julian (Anazarvsky). The first religious building on this site appeared in the XIII century. From the rebuilt at the beginning of the XVI century. buildings preserved portals in the style of manueline. Then restoration followed after two earthquakes - XVI century. and the catastrophic Lisbon of 1755. Thus, the Mannerism and Baroque styles appeared in the Igreja de Sao Juliao church.
Church of Santa Maria da Graca was built in the XVI century. It is located in a maze of narrow streets and is not very noticeable. The address is Terreiro Santa Maria, 415. There are bell towers on the sides of the building, and columns adorn the entrance. The interior of the Igreja de Santa Maria da Graca is more impressive. A beautiful altar with wood carvings, a painted ceiling, and walls covered with tiled azulejo panels stand out.
Monastery of Jesus Bom Jesus was built at the end of the XV century. in the architectural style of manuelino. The walls of the monastery are decorated with narrow rope-shaped columns of limestone with a pink tint. The main part of the monastery is the Igreja de Jesus church. Inside, it consists of a single nave with two side aisles. Apse is decorated with azulejos with scenes of the earthly life of the Virgin Mary. The cross was here in the 19th century. was moved to the center of Jesus Square.
The monastery’s indoor gallery houses the Setubal Art Gallery. It displays 14 panels that previously adorned the altar of the church of Jesus, as well as paintings by medieval Portuguese primitive artists.
Not far from Setubal, on Cape Espichel, on a rocky cliff, is the Church of Our Lady - Nossa Senhora do Cabo. According to legend, the Virgin Mary, who emerged from the water, ascended the slope precisely to this place.
Architecture and city monuments
Setubal is proud of his famous natives - poet Manuel Bocage and opera singer Louise Todi. On the main city square, bearing the name of the satirical poet of the 18th century, there is a 12-meter monument with its 2-meter statue. The poet lived on Rua Sao Domingos, adjacent to the square. St. Praca do Bocage is also home to the Church of St. Juliana.
In honor of the singer, whose heyday was in the late 18th century, a beautiful avenue was named. It attracts the attention of a fountain with symbolic sculptures of the Earth, the Sea and Poetry, and the original white stone composition of the bust of Louise Todi, surrounded on two sides by curved benches with notes depicted on them.
The defensive fortress of Estrada de Sao Felipe is named after the king of Portugal of the 16th century, by whose order it was built. From above, the contours of the structure look like a five-pointed star. In the XVIII century. the walls of the chapel inside the fort were decorated with the famous Portuguese azulejo tiles. Now on the territory of the fortress operates a 4-star hotel of the Pousada hotel chain. She is known for the fact that all her hotels are in ancient castles and houses. An impressive view of the city opens from the top of the fortress.
Fort Santiago do Utan is located on the north bank of the Sadu River. The original watchtower of the fourteenth century. subsequently supplemented by a fortress wall and a lighthouse. Forte de Santiago do Outao was a prison for some time, and then, at the end of the 19th century. - summer royal residence. The climatic conditions of the fort, surrounded by the Sierra da Arrabida mountain range, turned out to be very favorable for the treatment of bone diseases. Therefore, at the beginning of the 20th century, after perestroika, a sanatorium was opened here. A few years later he was transformed into an orthopedic hospital, operating to this day.
Despite its location on the ocean, the city itself is not considered a beach resort. But a few kilometers from it, on the Troy Peninsula, there are beautiful beaches of the Arrabida National Park, protected from the winds by the surrounding mountains. It should, however, be taken into account that the temperature of the Atlantic water is much colder than the Mediterranean. The five best beaches of Arrabida include:
- Portinho da Arrábida,
- Praia da Figueirinha,
- Praia de Galápos,
- Praia dos Galapinhos (recognized in 2017 as the best in Europe),
- Praia dos Coelhos.
From Setubal to the beaches of Arrabida can be reached by public bus for 0.5 EUR. From 9:00 to 20:00, buses leave every 30 minutes. Another option is bus 751, which reaches Outão (near Praia da Figueirinha).
The bay of the Troia Peninsula, in which Setubal is located, is called the most beautiful on the planet. The picture seen is really very impressive.
Troy is a well-equipped beach resort with first-class hotels, tennis courts, golf courses, fish restaurants. The 28-kilometer line of beaches is surrounded by a pine forest. From Setubal's seafront, Troy Marina can be reached by small ferry in just 15 minutes. Directly to the beaches you need to go through a wooden bridge.
Nature reserves and parks
Arrabida National Park was founded in 1976. It occupies 108 km² of hilly massif on the northern bank of the Sadu River, between Setubal and the village of Sesimbra. Vegetation - pines, cypresses, evergreen shrubs, and the microclimate of the park resemble the Mediterranean. Some relic plants in closed areas can only be inspected by the staff of the park.
In addition to walking and swimming on the beaches mentioned above, in the park you can go diving, descending into caves, climbing mountains. The highest point of the park - Serra Arrabida, exceeds sea level by 500 m. In the Nossa Senhora do Arrabida fort, next to Portinho beach, there is an oceanography museum.
The Estuary do Sadu Nature Reserve covers an area of more than 23 hectares. The name Sado Estuary Natural Reserve (Sadu Estuary Nature Reserve) indicates its location.
The nature reserve of the lakes Santo Andre and Sancha is ornithological. Natural Reserve of Lakes Santo Andre and Sancha is designed to protect nesting places for waterfowl and is a migration point on the way for birds to fly from Europe to Africa.
The natural monument of Pedreira do Avelín at Cape Ischel near Sesimbra was declared a conservation area at the end of the 20th century. On the Natural Monument of Pedreira do Avelino, traces of the herbivorous dinosaurs of the Jurassic period were found.
A bit of history
Setubal was erected at the site of the settlement of the ancient Romans, which was called Setobrig. In the 4th century, this city experienced a rather powerful tsunami, a full life after which it resumed only in the 11th century, and after another three hundred years, in the era of the development of navigation, life in Setubal began to beat with a cry. However, in the 17th century it was practically razed to the ground during an earthquake, but quickly recovered.
Setubal will delight lovers of marine delicacies, in many restaurants they cook exclusively freshly caught fish, and in the most popular restaurant in the city - O Rei do Choco Frito they serve a rather unusual dish that everyone who comes here should try is a Setubal cuttlefish.
Despite the fact that Setubal is located on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, it does not have the status of a resort city. Nevertheless, in its vicinity there is stunning beauty, a well-equipped beach surrounded by cliffs and impregnable for winds. Here you can not only swim in the ocean and take sun baths, but also engage in various water sports.
The surroundings of Setubal
And not only in the city, but also in its environs, you can see a lot of interesting things. Perhaps the most spectacular sight that is observed here is the nightly migration of dolphins. The fact is that every day these smartest creatures swim at the mouth of the Sadu River to eat fish. Being in this picturesque place, and even in the company of these smartest creatures, you really get distracted from the daily bustle and get an incredible charge of positive emotions.
The city is the center of Setubal municipality, where 122.5 thousand people live. Setubal is located on the peninsula of the same name, at the mouth of the Sadu River and covers an area of 170.5 square kilometers.
The ancient Romans were the first to settle on the territory of the modern city of Portugal, the ruined military camp and the salt factory remind of their stay in Setubal. During the heyday of the Roman Empire, salt was used as a currency, and factories for the extraction and processing of white currency were actively built in Setubal. Various types of fish were caught and salted here, and they were engaged in the production of clay products.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, Setubal fell into decay and after some time passed into the possession of the Portuguese monarch Afonso Enriques. In the 14th century, the city began to be strengthened in order to protect against pirates; three centuries later, St. Philip's fortress was built. By this time, shipping was actively developing in Setubal. In 1755, an earthquake completely destroyed the settlement, but it was quickly restored.
What to see in Setubal?
The city is located in an area with an amazing climate - Setubal borders the National Park and adjoins the Sad River. Tourists are attracted by ancient, narrow streets, small houses, antique shops and picturesque, green gardens. Setubal harmoniously coexists in architectural and historical sights - monuments of different cultures and eras.
Interesting fact! Flocks of dolphins swim in the Garden, you can enjoy a stunning sight in the evenings.
It was built in the 13th century, and in the 16th century the building was reconstructed and decorated with unique tiles. There is a temple on Santa Maria street next to the Baroque Museum. Outside, the building looks elegant and massive enough. The edges of the cathedral are fortified with bell towers, and the entrance is decorated with a colonnade. The interiors are decorated with exclusive ceramic tiles made in the 18th century and carved in gold.
- Address: Largo Santa Maria,
- work schedule: from September 16 to May 31, the temple is open daily from 9-00 to 20-00, from June 1 to September 15 you can visit the cathedral from 9-00 to 22-00.
Another significant attraction of Setubal. The building, made in the Gothic style, attracts visitors to the city with surprisingly exquisite columns of pink stone.
The temple is located in the northern part of Setubal and was built over 500 years ago. Funds for the construction donated by the monarch Juan II. After 4 years, the king died without waiting for the completion of construction work, but the construction of the church continued to be controlled by King Manuel I. 5 years after the start of construction, nuns lived in the temple. In the main chapel of the monastery there is the tomb of the founder of the shrine - Justa Rodriguez Pereira.
Near the temple is Jesus Square - this territory in the 16th century was given to the monastery by the illegitimate son of King Georges de Lancaster. A cross is installed in the center of the square.
Inside the walls of the temple are decorated with tiles, which depict the life of the Virgin Mary. At the monastery there is a gallery where a collection of local artists of the 15-16th centuries is presented.
One of the most picturesque sights of Setubal (Portugal), which locals and tourists call the pearl of the city. A huge park area (11 thousand hectares) is located at a distance of 40 km from the capital of Portugal between Setubal and Sesimbra.
Interesting fact! Arriba translated is a holy place for prayer.
The park is notable primarily for its amazing Mediterranean vegetation, which adorns the hills, the close proximity of the ocean and the bright sun. From the highest point, a gorgeous panoramic view opens up - a flat surface and the Atlantic Ocean. In the southern part of the hill in the 16th century a monastery was built, today there is a branch of the Museum of Oceanography.
The main place all tourists strive to get to is Portinho da Arrabida Bay. People come here to relax on the beach, go diving.
Helpful advice! On the beach you can rent a boat and take a trip along the coast.
There are cafes and restaurants along the coastline where you can eat, and picnic areas are also provided.
Be sure to take the time to visit this market. You can find him near Luis Todi Square. This is an amazingly atmospheric place where you can buy fresh vegetables, fruits, pastries and, of course, fish and seafood.
The territory of the market is divided into thematic shopping arcades, each of which is indicated by a corresponding sculpture. You did not even suspect most of the fish species represented in this trading place.
Traditional Portuguese tiles deserve special attention - they are more than two hundred years old.
- It’s better to come to the market in the morning when there are most products on the shelves
- there is a clean toilet on site
- Mercado do Livramento is closed on Monday,
- There is a coffee shop and cafe in the market.
Interesting fact! According to the USA Today newspaper, Portuguese Mercado do Livramento entered the list of the best markets in the world. It is always clean, it smells of fresh food, and prices are much lower than in supermarkets.
A wide, well-groomed avenue, surrounded by greenery. Its pedestrian part is bordered on two sides by roads.For walks, evening is best, but if you tolerate the heat well, you can take a walk during the day, sit in the shade of trees, eat in a restaurant or cafe, look at shops, and admire the sculptures. The avenue resembles a park area more than an ordinary city street. There is paid parking near the avenue.
The attraction is located on a hill at the top of Setubal. Construction work began at the end of the 16th century, when the country was ruled by the monarch Philip I. The fortress has an unusual architecture - the shape of a five-pointed star. It was believed that this form would most effectively protect the settlement from attacks by enemies and pirates.
Inside the walls of the castle are decorated with tiles of the 18th century, painted by a famous Portuguese master. After the disaster of 1755, the fortress was restored and included in the list of national monuments of the country. Today on its territory is a hotel.
How to get to Setubal from Lisbon
The main airport of the country is in Lisbon, so most tourists leave for Setubal from the capital. There are several ways to get to Setubal.
The journey takes about 45 minutes. Tickets cost from 3 to 17 euros. Flights run at intervals of approximately 1 hour, the first flight at 7-30, the last at 19-30. Setubal is followed by Rede Expressos buses.
The journey takes about 55 minutes. Tickets cost from 3 to 5 euros. Frequency of departure - every hour. Setubal is followed by a comfortable two-story Fertagus train.
A ferry is an excellent option if you plan a sightseeing tour in Setabul, but live in the capital. There are three berths in Lisbon where ferries leave, but towards Setubal, transport runs only from the marina of Terreiro do Paço (Terreiro do Pasu) or Praça do Comércio (Praça do Comércio).
The journey takes about an hour, the ticket costs from 3 to 6 euros. Ferries sail from the pier every 20 minutes, go to Barreiro, here you need to catch the train that goes to Setubal. Trains leave every quarter hour, the journey takes about 30 minutes.
The most comfortable, but not the cheapest way to get from the capital to Setubal is to book a transfer. In this case, you will be met right in the airport building or will arrive at the hotel. The cost of the trip will cost 30-40 euros.
The trip by car will take about 35 minutes, you will have to drive a little more than 49.5 km. The cost of the trip is from 6 to 10 euros.
Weather and climate
A warm Atlantic current forms the weather of Setubal. It has a warm, comfortable climate.
In winter, the average temperature during the day is + 10 ° C, and in summer it varies from +25 to +33 ° C. The most rainy weather is observed in spring and autumn. The least rains are from May to September. During this period, the weather is most favorable for visiting Setubal - the heat is almost not felt, as a refreshing breeze from the ocean blows.
As for the water temperature, it is quite low, only +17 ° C, the Atlantic Ocean off the western coast of Portugal is significantly colder than in the Mediterranean Sea.
Setubal (Portugal) will not leave anyone indifferent. It is enough to walk along its streets to imbue a centuries-old history. Old buildings and modern buildings peacefully adjoin here, perfectly smooth sidewalks and old paving stones, stylish hotels and old factories. Be sure to visit the restaurants and cafes of Setubal, try the national dishes and fine wines of Portugal.
Looks like the city of Setubal and its attractions, see the video - high-quality aerial shots!
Author: Julia Matyukhina
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