Serra da Arrábida
The Serra da Arrábida, a little corner of paradise with beautiful landscapes, a rich variety of animal life and a beach with turquoise waters.
The Serra da Arrábida: A small paradise in the south
South of the River Tejo, on the banks of the Sado estuary and not far from the town of Setúbal, lies a place unique for its environment, its bright colours and the atmosphere of nature that emanates from it: the Serra da Arrábida ("Arrábida Mountain" in French) . About 40 kilometres from Lisbon and just over 10 kilometres from Setúbal, this mountain range, which is part of the Arrábida Natural Park, shapes the landscape of the southern region of the Setúbal Peninsula. With its highest point, which reaches 501 metres in altitude.
Things to do in Arrábida Mountain
The Serra da Arrábida has something for everyone, offering activities such as mountain biking, mountaineering, climbing and trail running, this little paradise near Troia and Sesimbra is a must for nature lovers and breathtaking landscapes. For this reason, Frei Agostinho da Cruz and Sebastião da Gama made this mountain their home, mentioning its characteristics several times in their poems.
Climbing is one of the most popular activities in the Serra da Arrábida, especially in Fenda da Arrábida, or Fenda do Creio, where there are more than 130 equipped routes in seven sectors, including one for beginners.
The Arrábida Trail and Beach
A visit to the Serra da Arrábida is not limited to this one. The trails are one of the most popular attractions of this mountain range, but it is what lies at its foot that attracts many visitors. Portinho da Arrábida is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful and special beaches in the country, with its turquoise waters, unique flora and fauna and a landscape worthy of the best photographers and the best sunsets.
Visiting the monuments
Those who think that a visit to the Serra da Arrábida is only for nature lovers are mistaken. Lovers of monuments, churches, monasteries and convents will also be delighted. On the edge of the mountain, surrounded by trees on its southern slope, is the convent of Nossa Senhora da Arrábida, built in the 16th century and formerly used as a Franciscan convent. Its isolated location is intended for the practice of solitary meditation as practised in the past, which was mainly carried out in the round towers placed above the cliff.
Although it was built in the 16th century, the reality is that there has been a place of religious practice since at least 1250, when Hildebrando, a merchant from the British Isles, built a small chapel to Our Lady in gratitude for the miracle that saved him from a shipwreck.
Getting to the Serra da Arrábida
You can only get to the Arrábida mountain by excursion or with your own car. As it is far from the main urban centres, connections are limited, so the best option is to travel by car. The proximity to the cities of Azeitão, Setúbal and Sesimbra, makes the trip easier, as there are plenty of places to eat and rest. This is something you will need after your visit to the Serra da Arrábida.