Arrábida Nature Park (16.521 ha) is on a small limestone massif which falls towards the sea in large cliffs - the Píncaro, on the top of Risco mountain is 400 m high - suggesting a wall before the Atlantic, dotted with small coves and hiding small sandy patches.
The vegetation is characterized by the presence of Mediterranean flora associations of which we highlight the maquis - understory of the ancient forest - and the garrigue - a low open scrubland - representing a relevant botanical set. On the south facing sheltered slopes it acquires an arboreal aspect creating the woods - Vidal, Solitário and Mata Coberta (access only by previous request).
Numerous and varied aquatic fauna and flora hide in the adjacent Marine Reserve.
The human presence is confirmed through pre-historical remains, the seductive Arrábida convent, farms and popular and erudite architecture buildings. Azeitão Cheese, Setúbal moscatel and Arrábida honey are just a few of the flavours this protected area has to offer. Beautiful views of the sea and a small cove (Portinho) taken right out of a postcard, complete a set of great landscape value.
Instituto da Conservação da Natureza e das Florestas, I.P. (ICNF, I.P.)
Lisbon and Tagus Valley
Identification and Access
Access coming from:
- Setúbal, you can enter this protected area, through N10-4, heading to the Albarquel beach;
- Palmela, head through N379 in the Sesimbra direction, pass through Vila Nogueira de Azeitão (N10) and Aldeia de Irmãos, and head through N379-1 on the "Arrábida" indication;
- Sesimbra towards Espichel cape by the N379, you can enter the western edge of the protected area.
Arrábida is mountain, but it is also sea, and that may be better understood by taking a trip to the Oceanographic Museum, next to Portinho, where you can find all the available information about the area. In the mountain, make sure to visit Antennas, Convents and Santa or Arremula viewpoints, where you can enjoy a panoramic view of Arrábida and the coast.
Always pay attention to the weather forecast and avoid performing activities in days of rain, thunderstorm or fog. Avoid going out by yourself, but, if you do, inform an acquaintance or a local entity of your departure and return. Use simple and comfortable clothes. If you wish to take long walks make outerwear, food, water, sunscreen and/or a raincoat available. You may also want to take a cellphone and flashlight (do not start a fire and don't dispose of cigarette butts incorrectly). If you want to enjoy the beaches do not forget your bathing suit. Take special precautions when walking in moist and rocky areas, to avoid falling and do not act in a way that might endanger yourself or others. Take note that, this being a limestone area, there are cavities in some places, which sometimes are very deep and not too visible, therefore you should not stray off the existing trails and paths.
In case of an accident contact the emergency service 112.
Supports in place
The Park has directional and informative signs throughout all of its area.
Activities and field trips only by previous booking.
Statutes of Conservation
PTCON0010 Arrábida / Espichel
PTZPE0050 Cabo Espichel (Espichel Cape)
Natural Monuments of:
- Pedra da Mua;
Gruta do Zambujal Classified Site.
Visit the picturesque village of Palmela, which highlights its castle and the view of the Setúbal peninsula.
What you can do
1. Visit the Oceanographic Museum in the fort of Santa Maria and discover the secrets of this blue sea.
2. Visit serra da Arrábida and enjoy the flowers in one of the walking routes.
1. Cool off in Portinho waters.
2. Do not miss a visit to Arrábida Convent and be an hermit for an afternoon.
1. See the dinossaurs footprints in Pedra da Mua, Lagosteiros e Pedreira do Avelino.
2. Visit Creiro and Chibanes archaeological sites.
1. Climb up to the belvederes - the Convents, the antennas and Santa or Arremula - and rotate 360 ° between land and sea.
2. When the sea is rough, go to Espichel cape and feel the ocean's greatness.
Best Season: All year long