Serra da Arrabida – a thrilling adventure 30 KM from Lisbon!

Arrabida travel Portugal

Where is the Serra da Arrabida?

The Serra da Arrabida is 30 Km south of Lisbon city. It is a natural park of great beauty. Mountainous landscapes alternate with long sandy beaches.
It has breathtaking views over the sea, vineyards, wildlife, beaches, and tourism.
It is indeed the perfect location for adventure and leisure.

Arribida road
An idyllic spot on the Arrabida Coastline

Towns in the Serra da Arrabida

In addition to the wonderful landscape, there are three main towns of interest. These are Palmela. Setubal and Sesimbra.


Palmela is best known for its wines and castle. The castle dates back to the Moorish before the reconquest of 1147 when Portugal became a country. The views from the castle stretch from Lisbon and the Tagus river to the North to Setubal and the Sado estuary to the south.

Palmela is part of the Setubal wine region and holds the headquarters for the Setubal wine route. The headquarters located in a recovered wine cellar is an interesting place by themselves to visit and receive information about the wine route.

View of the Palmela landscape


Setúbal town is the capital of the Setúbal district. It is a thriving town once a fishing village. Setúbal is mostly known for its harbour and boating options. The waters are home to the last remaining bottle nose dolphins in Portugal and you will find much of the town an ode to this wonderful creature. Therefore, when visiting Setubal a dolphin watch is a very advisable activity. Setúbal has many lovely seafood restaurants and a bustling city atmosphere, It is also the port to Troia, a beach paradise on the opposite side of the river.

Setubal, The port to Troia, Dolphins and fish


On the outermost western point of the Arrabida, you will find Sesimbra, a lively beach town crowned by another interesting castle. Sesimbra is mostly famous for its long, sandy beach and restaurant boulevard. It has some lovely hotels facing the sea front and is the starting point for many of the water and land activities available in the Arrabida. Some of the sports to consider in this area are kayaking, boating, beach games and Olympics, jeep safaris, diving, SUP, and surf as well as many others.

Sesimbra, castle, and beaches. The utmost west point of the Serra

Beaches, mountains, and unique vegetation in one of the main wine regions of Portugal

Castelo and Pousada Pamela
View from the Palmela castle

Castle and Pousada hotel of Palmela

The highest point of the Serra da Arrabida is at 501 Meter. It is home to many bird and wildlife species. It has some of the best views on the continent, its beaches are soft sanded and the water warmer and stiller than its neighboring West Atlantic coast.

Human habitation has been found right back to the Phoenicians and Romans.

Along the coastline between, Setubal and Sesimbra, there are many idyllic beaches. Some of the beaches have easy access whereas others are more hidden and private.

Arrabida Beaches
The beaches

Portinha do Arrabida

For lazy swimming, eating, and relaxing afternoon Portinha da Arrabida is a must-visit. The small fishing village on the shore of Arrabida is one of the most aesthetically pleasing villages in the area. It has a few really great seafood restaurants all with terraces sharing the town’s amazing views. Reservation for any of the restaurants is advised as it is favorite spot for locals and visitors alike.

Portinha da Arrabida
Portinha da Arrabida, a small village right on the beach!

Wines of the Arrabida slopes are some of the finest in Portugal

The Setubal wine district is a  famous wine-producing district of Portugal.

On the higher slopes of the Serra da Arrabida, you will find the vines used for the production of Setubal wine.

Vineyard Arrabida
The vineyards are high placed on the mountains

The Arrabida provides adventure!

For individual and group travel, the Arrabida has a lot to offer.

The Arrabida
The Arrabida., a place where busy beaches alternate almost deserted spots!

Things to do in the Arrabida, Active, wines, Relaxation


First of all, Coasteering is a great activity in this area. Made for adventure seekers it is the only place in Portugal to do coasteering using slides. As a result, this exciting and fun sport consists of climbing, sliding, and water submersions. It is a perfect sport for beginning and advanced climbers.

Coastering Arrabida a 30 kms de Lisboa

Read more about coasteering in the Arrabida >>

Speleology or Caving

Speleology and caving The Arrabida has many caves to explore. The most noteworthy ones are open for exploration. This high fear factor sport can be done with a group of professional cavers in the Arrabida.

Caving Lisbon

Read more about Caving in the Arrabida >>

Dolphin watching and boat tours

As mentioned Dolphin watching is one of the reasons many travel long distances to the Arrabida is to see its friendly bottle nose dolphins. There are various ways to view them and many trips organized on rubber boats, catamarans, and sailing vessels for different group types and preferences

Dolphin watching Sado estuary

Read more about Dolphin watching tours aboard a Catamaran >>

Dolphin watching Troia

read more about Dolphin watching on a traditional fishing boat >>

Jeep safaris and challenges

The local landscape is wild and untamed, as a result, access by jeep is the perfect way to discover. Jeep challenges and safaris are a favorite activity for team building and groups. This exciting way of traveling including a professional driver will show you parts of the Arrabida you would otherwise never see!

Arrabida Jeep Tours

Read more about the Jeep challenges >>

Wine tours

Famous for 2 wines the Setubal fortified Moscatel wine and the Palmela white and red, this tour provides a unique opportunity to Go Discover the wine estate that creates these wines for small to large groups this is a day full of impressions, beautiful landscapes, historical estates, regional dishes, and of-course exceptional wines!

Read more about these tours here >>

Setubal wine discovery

Pirate challenge

By Boat Pirate challenges and speed boat tours in the Arrabida promise all-round excitement!

Pirate challenge Lisbon

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Buggy tours

Passeos de buggy kart, Serra da Arrabida

An excellent way to discover the sandy paths of the mountainous park and its beaches difficult or impossible to access with other vehicles.

The facilities are within the Arrábida Natural Park. There is private parking, toilet and Women’s and men’s changing rooms, shaded areas, and ambient music.

Read more and book them here >>


Kayaking in the Arrabida is exciting. The coastline has many caves and rocky bays thus is perfect for kayak discoveries

Kayaking Arrabida, Lisbon

Read more about kayaking in the Arrabida >>

Beach parties and events

Want to organize an event or almost private beach party? We have the perfect beach!
Beach events Sesimbra

Read more about the beach events >>

Other activities include guided hikes, scuba diving, wine tasting, and tours. Please enquire about possibilities.

Finally, the Arrabida is an amazing place to visit and explore. Easy to get to from Lisbon and a great place to stay.

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