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Pedra da Anixa (Anixa rock)

Pedra da Anixa (Anixa rock)

Some 250 metres off the beautiful Portinho da Arrabida beach is a 40 metre long rocky island known as Pedra da Anixa, which is part of the Arrabida natural reserve in Setubal.

Important for its sub-aquatic vegetation and even more so for its extremely varied marine life; to date more than 70 species have been recorded as well as scores of marine invertebrates.

Such great biological diversity is attributable to the rich composition of its rocky depths, surrounded by a relatively barren sandy sea-bed.

The complex structure of its underwater cracks, cavities and platforms, provide shelter and serve as an ideal breeding ground.

Pedra da Anixa is a very popular place amongst diving enthusiasts.

We invite you spend some of your vacations and holidays time visiting Arrábida Hills.

We invite you to visit Setubal and to visit  Portugal.

Contact us if you wish to know more about Pedra da Anixa.

Arrábida Hills

Arrábida Hills

The originality of the scenery and harmony of Man in his environment reveal a perfect integration of the two in a natural and sociocultural context which surrounds the Arrabida Hills in Setubal.

These chalky hills have the only surviving example of primitive Mediterranean vegetation.

Tucked away in the heart of Arrabida’s Natural Park, the formation goes back 180 million years.

The soil and mild climatic features, considered the best in Portugal, have produced a lush vegetation rich in species.

The park covers the Arrabida Hills, which Mediterranean-like vegetation and micro-climate resemble Adriatic locations.

Although the 50km long ridge of the Arrabida attains a maximum of only 501m (Alto do Formosinho), the views from the top are truly spectacular, giving the impression of much greater altitude. The strategic position of the Arrabida Marine Park makes it an ideal laboratory to travel for studies on marine biodiversity and climate change.

What to do in the Arrabida Hills?

  • Beaches: Relax on the sand at Portinho da Arrabida, a delightful small beach nestled in a bay with calm, crystal blue-green water that is excellent for swimming and diving. Make a visit also to Figueirinha, it looks out over the Bay of Setubal and has the beautiful backdrop of the Arrabida hills. The popularity of this beach is aided by both the ease of access and the calm waters and is suitable for windsurfing at low tide, when a cove is created by a sandbank.
  • Walking Tours: Travel here and dive yourself into the wild landscapes of the Arrabida Hills on a guided hiking trail which offers you a chance to capture the true essence of the region.
  • Sports: Mountain Biking, hiking, sea kayaking are some of the many sports you can practise here, since the mountain and the bay below offers perfect conditions for these sports.
  • Jeep tours: This is the most popular safari trip practiced in the surroundings of Lisbon,with stopovers in places for fantastic views of the mountain and the ocean. Tip: Combine the tour with a wine and cheese tasting.
  • Photographing: With a beautiful and breathtaking scenery, the Arrabida Hills is the place to travel and to be for landscape photographers,
  • Arrabida Monastery: Built on 1542 by Frei Martinho de Santa Maria, this monastery is hidden between the lush vegetation. Used by religious orders in the past, it has the “old monastery” with some rooms built inside the rocks and the “new monastery” where later was built the kitchen, library, watch tower and other rooms. The Arrabida monastery is currently owned by the Orient Foundation, with many cultural events taking place.
  • Arrabida Natural Honey: The well-known Arrabida Natural Honey is produced here, get the chance to taste it! Know more about the Arrabida Honey.
  • Just relaxing: This location is perfect if you’re looking for the tranquility and peace that only the contact with nature offers. A perfect place to meditate, relax or just listen to the nature sounds.

And why not combine several activities together to make the perfect holidays?

The Natural Park of Arrabida is an area of excellent views, culture, history and hundred-year-old traditions as well as having an economic importance regarding tourism.

Add it to your travel guide! The nature park (land and sea) is being proposed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site and was a “Gift to the Earth” by the Portuguese government through WWF in the International Year of the Oceans (1998).

We invite you spend some of your vacations and holidays time visiting Arrábida Hills.

We invite you to visit Setubal and to visit  Portugal

Watch this video and see the Arrabida beauty:

Visit our Arrabida Hills Gallery of Photos:

Contact us if you wish to know more about Setubal.

Alcacer do Sal

Alcacer do Sal

Alcacer do Sal is a dramatic medieval hill-top city in the South of the Setubal region, with a population around 6000 inhabitants.

Wrought-iron balconies look out over the river and underneath them dwell a variety of cafés and restaurants.

Here is located the beautiful natural Sado river reserve named Reserva Natural do Estuário do Sado and it’s also here where the river Sado quietly meets the ocean.

It’s a city full of history with its medieval and charming streets and a castle at the top.

The town’s name comes from the Moorish al qasr meaning ‘the castle’, and the Sal refers to the age-old production of salt in this area.

Besides walking down the medieval cobbled streets and feelings its ancient history, other things to do in Alcacer do sal include:

  • Walking tour inside the city: seeing many examples of the remarkable Renaissance architecture in Portugal, like the Church of Santiago or the 16th century Convent of Santo Antonio,
  • Water Sports: Sailing, Windsurfing and Fishing at the Gaio dam,
  • Balloon sightseeing tours,
  • Boat trips: along the estuary,
  • Visit to the castle: where mighty ramparts and towers remind us of times when the city played an important part in territorial battles,
  • Bird watching in the estuary: where you can see many species of birds all year round,
  • Walking tour: Going on a walking tour around the region (called Passeio dos Negros),
  • Beaches: Enjoying the sun and sea at the stunning white sandy beaches at Comporta,
  • Horseback riding,
  • Visiting several small villages around the city: where you can see many pieces of archeology like the Roman remains,
  • And of course, enjoying the many typical Portuguese cuisine and wines of this region in one of its many restaurants. Alcacer do Sal has also a tradition of desserts which recipes have been secretly hidden for decades and are just delicious. Amongst others are: pinhoada, bolo de mel e pastéis de feijão e amêndoa.

Contact us if you wish to know more about Alcacer do Sal.

Click to see photos of Alcacer do Sal:

Sines

Sines

Sines is a city and county of the Setubal region located 150 km south of Lisbon at the very centre of South-western Portuguese coast.

Bordering the sea and the countryside, Porto Covo is a picturesque village with some of the most beautiful and preserved Portuguese beaches, protected by the natural park of Sudoeste Alentejano & Costa Vicentina.

The town’s history dates back to Roman times when it was called Sinus.

Over the years established good tradition relations with some of the Mediterranean nations and thrived.

Sines is the birthplace of explorer Vasco da Gama (1469-1524), discoverer of the sea route to India in 1497/98.

The house where he was born has been reconstructed as a museum. What do in Sines?

  • Historic centre: Sines’ historic centre goes along the cliff, from the Castle to the Fortress of Revelim, and remains charming, in spite of all the changes in the land. Besides the magnificent views to the Atlantic, in all its length, we must highlight, among the points of interest, the shopping streets, around the ancient medieval axis (Rua Cândido dos Reis and Rua Teófilo Braga), the Largo dos Penedos (with the ancient watch-tower, where fishermen watched the sea) and Rua Vasco da Gama, where the manor house that caused his expulsion from Sines was supposed to be.
  • Fishing Harbour: The history of Sines was, until 35 years ago, the history of a fishing village. Nowadays, in spite of not having the importance of times past, fishing continues to employ hundreds of men and to give the bay of Sines a charm and colouring unique in Alentejo. Before or after your meal, in summer or in winter, a visit to the fishing harbour and to the marginal avenue of Beach Vasco da Gama may be an incursion to the emotional centre of the city.
  • Visit to Porto Covo: Porto Covo is one of the most beautiful villages of the country, and, for certain, one of the most beautiful coasts, also a jewel of popular architecture. Visit the Ilha do Pessegueiro, the channel of Pessegueiro Island was used as a harbour of refuge by the Carthaginians and the Romans in the difficult climb of the coast of Alentejo.
  • Beaches: In Sines you have many different types of beaches to choose from:
  1. Family beaches: The Beaches of Morgavel, Vale Figueiros, Grande of Porto Covo, Ilha do Pessegueiro and S. Torpes, which, in the last few years, were rewarded with the Blue Flag of Europe, are excellent due to their natural characteristics, and due to the possibility of receiving the whole population, from the children to the elders.
  2. Naturist beaches : Praia do Salto (Beach of Salto). Located between Cerro da Águia and Cerca Nova, with a private and peaceful environment, it is part, since 2002, of the restricted group of naturist beaches officially recognised in Portugal.
  3. Historic beaches: Praia Vasco da Gama (Vasco da Gama Beach): Integrated in the urban tissue of the city of Sines and testimony of the main events of its history – from the pirates attacks to the embarkation of D. Miguel to Brazil -, it is part of the face of Sines and of the heart of its people. Adjoining the Fishing Harbour, it remains charming and deserves to be visited, both in the summer and in the winter. Its marginal avenue is much used for walks and jogging.
  • World Music Festival: The Festival Músicas do Mundo (FMM), organised by the City Council of Sines, since 1999, is the most important event of the cultural year in Sines and the biggest of the kind in the country. Held, every year, in the last week of July, in the historic scenery of the Castle, FMM gathers the most important names of the world circuit in world music, jazz and blues.
  • Art Centre: An architecturally innovative space (the Aires Mateus architects’ project was awarded the AICA/MC 2005 prize), are held exhibits, concerts, theatre plays, book presentations, and so on. Guided visits available.
  • Archaeological museum and Sala’s Treasure: It can be visited within the walls of Misericórdia Chapel, a building immediately next to the Mother Church and the Castle. It’s an historical church, rebuilt in 1585 by D. Felipe  and reconverted to cultural functions in the 1990’s. The museum includes pieces from the Palaeolithic to the Baroque period.

Contact us if you wish to know more about Sines.

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