Setúbal is the perfect place to go. Across the Tagus river, 40 minutes away from Lisbon, the district is one of the best locations to escape from the city rush and relax in some of Portugal’s most beautiful beaches and natural landscapes. Within the city of Sétubal, there’s also a wide variety of typical food and wine. The city is surrounded by a natural bay, so fresh fish and seafood are the best options when visiting.
The best place to go, to shop for fish and fresh ingredients, is the Livramento Market, considered one of the best food markets in the whole world by USA Today in 2015. Diversity of ingredients.
Its inauguration was in 1930, and it is beautifully decorated in an Art Deco style. It also has an enormous tile panel on its South Wall, with the typical blue and white Portuguese style tiles. Pedro Pinto (author) with a picture the daily life of the Setúbal fishermen and work women.
Near the market, strolling through the Luísa Todi Avenue, there are plenty of restaurants, offering the freshest seafood dishes. But the most famous of them all is, without doubt, the Fried Cuttlefish – the staple dish of the city. Tender pieces of cuttlefish are battered and deep-fried. Locals recommend eating them with a drizzle of fresh lemon juice, and they are very proud of it.
Setúbal Food and Wine
Outside of the city of Setúbal, but still within its district, there are plenty of wineries to visit. The most famous you can taste is the the Moscatel wine. It is sweet, based on Muscat family grapes. It should taste it chilled, as a digestive or aperitif wine, since its a liquor wine.
These grapes grow on the hillsides of the Natural Park of Arrábida – a protected area, founded in 1976, full of nature, wildlife and preservation of rudimentary fossils.
The Arrábida Park is situated between the city of Sétubal and the town of Sesimbra, the hill of Palmela and the sea.
Sesimbra is a fishermen town and plays a very important role in the district of Setubal. Palmela, on the other hand, is known for its wines and cheeses – the city hosts several festivals dedicated to these products, the most famous being the Festa das Vindimas (Wine Harvest Festival) and the Festival do Queijo, Pão e Vinho (Festival of Cheese, Bread, and Wine).
One of the most famous cheeses of the region is the Queijo de Azeitão (Azeitão Cheese) which won several prizes along decades. One of the best 50 gastronomic products in the world by the Great Taste Awards. And it also has a PDO (Protected designation of origin) status in the European Union.
Azeitão is also known for a famous dessert – The “Tortas de Azeitão” (Azeitão Egg Rolls). They are extremely rich and should be paired with a glass of Moscatel Wine, for extra sweetness. You should taste them while you visit the village.
Fort of São Filipe (Saint Philip)
Sétubal is also rich in history and culture. It is full of churches and forts, one of the most notable being the Fort of São Filipe (Saint Philip).
The fort was built on the orders of Philip II of Spain (Philip I of Portugal), in the 16th Century.
It stands in a dominant position on the right bank of the mouth of the Sado River. On the Fort you will find a hotel. Has an amazing view over Setúbal and Tróia. You will have the perception of white sandy beaches and the Setúbal Bay.
Things to do
The Sado River is part of the Sado Estuary Natural Reserve. Known for its fauna, especially, the dolphins in wild state, rare to find them swimming in Europe. The Reserve is the habitat of an important colony of the species. You will find boat trips to observe them – it’s a must-see!
On the Setúbal bay, there are ferry boats that take passengers and cars to the Tróía peninsula. There you can find a huge coastline, filled with clear water beaches, it’s the perfect getaway to unwind.
The locals are friendly and will be glad to offer you the most typical food and wine from the region. During the summertime, take the opportunity to relax at the beach. In conclusion, the time spent at Setúbal will be worthwhile for the trip!