29 Nov Are You Traveling to Portugal? Be Sure to Add Setúbal to Your Portugal Itinerary
Named the World’s Leading Destination at the 2018 World Travel Awards, it seems like everyone is going to Portugal. From Lisbon, Porto, and Douro in the north, to the Algarve in the south, and out to the Madeira and Azores Islands, Portugal is a very popular tourist destination. But beyond the major tourist spots, there are other regions to discover and one of them is the lesser-known Setúbal. Not a typical tourist destination, Setúbal is a working port, a major commercial fishing center, and the 6th largest region for wine production in the country. It is often a day trip from Lisbon but I spent a week in Setúbal discovering all it had to offer.
Setúbal has history to explore with places such as the Livramento Market, the pedestrian street Avenida Louísa Todi, the main plaza Praça de Bocage, the Doca dos Pescadores fishing harbor, and more.
Setúbal is considered a cradle of nature and while it is not a beach resort town there are stretches of coastline, the Arrábida Natural Park, and the biologically diverse Sado Estuary, the second largest in Portugal.
The Setúbal region offers wine, and lots of it. Previously a bulk wine-producing region, Setúbal produces quality red, white, rosé, and sparkling wines, as well as the fortified Moscatel de Setúbal. There are numerous wineries to visit.
When it comes to food, Setúbal was once the heart of Portugal’s fishing industry and is still referred to as “the land of fish.” The cuisine of Setúbal is based on fish and shellfish and the most famous dish is fried cuttlefish, or “choco frito.”
Setúbal is also home to a pod of 28 bottlenose dolphins. It is an unforgettable experience to watch them in their natural habitat as they swim, hunt, and play.
Accommodations, food, and wine are all available at a good price because Setúbal is not a well-known tourist destination. Setúbal is the place to escape crowds of tourists and to experience Portuguese daily life.
To read about everything Setúbal has to offer, read the story I wrote in WineTraveler.com.