Day Trip from Lisbon — Setúbal

We’ve all heard or read about Sintra when checking about a day trip from Lisbon. But how about something more memorable and unique?

Setúbal is by far one better option!

Setúbal is less than an hour drive away from Lisbon, so for also enjoying the surrounding rural area, I recommend renting a car. Arriving at 11 a.m. leaves you enough time for a full unforgettable day.

1. Eating Local Fish

Known as a fishermen city, Setúbal is the perfect place to taste the savory Portuguese fish. There are plenty of restaurants along the dock you can choose from.

However, the one I recommend as it enchanted my palate is O Miguel. Deliciously cooked fish, freshly fished by local fishermen, sided with potatoes, vegetable, and açorda…mmmh, heaven!

2. Sailing with the Dolphins

With a community of around 30 bottlenose dolphins, located only in Portugal, Scotland, and Ireland, Sado River estuary offers a rare and remarkable experience. The community holds now three baby dolphins, one of which was born in July 2018. They have a distinctive greenish color, which makes them easier to be spotted.

Being protected species, it is only allowed to watch their elegant water game, no feeding nor touching.

We booked a sail with Vertigem Azul, and couldn’t be more contented. With their English speaking staff, it was effortless to complete the reservation for four people, reach the boat (2–3 minutes walking distance from their office) and learn the story of the dolphins. They patiently answered to all our questions, shared their knowledge on the surroundings and even recommended us some spots to visit afterward.

Lucky enough to have chosen a less packed boat, our cruise was calm and serene, allowing us to enjoy each moment of wind in our hair and ray of sun on our skin.

3. Visiting a Winery

Setúbal is famous for wine production, thus visiting a winery is a must for one day trip from Lisbon. Located near the city of Setúbal itself, all wineries are easy to reach by car.

All following wineries, ranked on what they are mostly known for, are recommended by locals. They organize visits and tasting but require a booking. It’s best to call 2–3 days in advance to make sure you find some free spots. If you more than two, maybe even earlier.

  • THE OLDEST: José Maria da Fonseca. With almost 200 years of history, this family winery has won its place in the ranking of the most favorite wines of Portugal. The last visit starts at 16:30 and don’t forget, booking must be made in advance.
  • THE FAMOUS: Quinta de Bacalhôa. With an impressive estate, this winery surprises with its excellent wines and services. Even if higher priced for Portugal, we found here the broadest range of wines to fit the different tastes of four people. One of their most known wine is Bacalhôa Moscatel Roxo de Setúbal.
  • THE LOCAL: Quinta de Alcube. Recommended among the locals and having a beautiful guest house with a swimming pool, Quinta de Alcube offers different visiting programmes as well as accommodation possibilities for a prolonged relaxed stay.

I hope you’ll enjoy and appreciate this part of Portugal as much as I did! And don’t forget to hit me up if you’re preparing a visit!


Following my ikigai

Originally published at on October 24, 2018.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store