Golden sandy beaches meet gleaming white cliffs and forested hills in Portugal’s Arrabida Natural Park. The protected coastal reserve stretches along the south-eastern coast of the Setúbal Peninsula from Sesimbra to the city of Setúbal, covering some 101 hectares.
A highlight of the park is the Serra da Arrábida mountain ridge, which is covered in Mediterranean vegetation including pine, olive and pistachio trees, as well as rare butterflies, beetles and birds. To learn more about the park’s indigenous species, visit the Oceanographic Museum or book a nature walk or scuba dive with a knowledgeable guide.
The beaches of Arrabida Natural Park are among the finest in Europe. Find solitude at the sheltered cove of Praia Galapos, wade in the azure water of Portinho da Arrabida or catch a wave at the windsurfing hotspot of Figueirinha. Food lovers can sample delicious honey produced in the garden of Convento da Arrabida, a 16th-century whitewashed monastery.
Arrabida Natural Park is about an hour’s drive from the capital via the A12 or A2 and there’s plenty of parking available on site. Buses arrive at Vila Nogueira Azeitao, about five kilometres outside the park.