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The beaches of Setubal and best beach of the region

Setubal maybe a busy commercial fishing centre and industrial port but it is situated in a region of beautiful beaches. To the west of Setubal is the Serra da Arrabida coastline, a series of beaches nestled between the steep limestone hills and the calm turquoise sea waters. To the south of Setubal is the Troia Peninsula a sandbar headland that is a favourite with the super-rich and boasts paradise beaches.

Further along the Serra da Arrabida coastline is the traditional resort town of Sesimbra and the pristine beaches of south Costa da Caparica. Setubal is certainly not a conventional beach holiday destination, but the beaches of the region are some of the finest in Portugal. This article will provide a guide to the beaches of Setubal.

Troia Peninsula

Quick overview of Setubal’s beaches

• Closest beach to central Setubal - Praia da Saúde (1km)

• Best beach within walking distance – Praia da Albarquel (2km)

• Best beach via public transport – Praia de Troia (by ferry)

• Best beach of Serra da Arrabida – Praia do Creiro

• For families - Figueirinha beach

• Where to go surfing - Southern Costa da Caparica (37km)

• For a day trip - Praia da Comporta

General tourist advice for Setubal’s beaches

The weather is suitable for spending time on the beaches of Setubal between May and September, and the peak season is July and August. The sea waters of the Setubal region are always cold, as they are fed by the Atlantic Ocean, and only reach a chilly 19C in the height of the summer. The waters of the Sado Estuary should not be bathed in, as it is a major port and there might be associated pollution, by the mouth of the estuary (Praia da Figueirinha) the water is crystal clear and fine for swimming in.

 

The southern side of the Setubal Peninsula is sheltered from the powerful waves and currents of the Atlantic Ocean and is safe for children and families. In the summer the most popular beaches are supervised by lifeguards. Finding a car parking space within the Serra da Arrabida coastline can be challenging during the summer, generally we recommend heading to Troia.

Troia Peninsula – Best Beach as a Day Trip

The long sand bar peninsula of Troia lies to the south of Setubal and is connected by a regular ferry service that crosses the Sado Estuary. The northern end of Troia has been developed into an exclusive complex with marina, casino and hotels while the south leads to quieter and less developed beaches that are fringed by pine forests.

The three northern beaches close to the ferry landing are; Praia de Tria Mar, Praia Bico dos Lulas and Praia do Troia Gale while the larger Praia Atlantica covers much of the central part of the peninsula. The beaches of Troia are a great place to head to as there is always space to be had, even at the weekends and provide good facilities - for more information about the Troia Peninsula please click here.

Praia da Figueirinha - Family Friendly and Most Popular

Praia da Figueirinha (7.5km west of Setubal) is the largest beach to the west of Setubal and has clean waters, a wide soft white sand bar and is a favourite with Setubal's residents.

Praia da Figueirinha

The stunning Praia da Figueirinha

The beach is child and family friendly that has a large submerged sand bar that revels it's self at low tide. The beach has good amenities combined with easy public transport connections making it very popular at the weekends.

Praia dos Coelhos - Most Beautiful

The small Praia dos Coelhos beach (9.5km west of Setubal) is the most visually stunning beach in the Setubal region, set on the edge of the dramatic Arrabida national park. The beach has crystal clear waters, golden sands that are backed by pine-covered hills of the Serra de Arrabida.

 

The only downside is the size of the beach which can quickly fill up at the weekend. Other close options if it is too busy are Praia da Figueirinha (1.5km east) or Praia do Creiro (1.4km west) – both make for good alternatives.

Praia de Albarquel – Closest to Setubal

Praia de Albarquel is the closest beach to Setubal (1.5km from central Setubal) and offers a wide strip of golden sand with beach bar and restaurant.

Praia dos Coelhos

The soft sands of the Albarquel beach

Unfortunately due to the proximity of the Sado Estuary the water quality is not as good as the other beaches but if topping up your tan is your idea then this beach is easily accessible and can be walked to in less 30 minutes. Praia de Albarquel has a unique rock feature to western edge of the beach.

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