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Sado Estuary Nature Reserve

Sado Estuary Nature Reserve

Covering more than 23,000 hectares (57,000 acres), the Sado Estuary Nature Reserve in Setubal was established to protect the estuary.

The inner part of the estuary is bordered by rice-fields and reedbeds, whereas the north-western limits are densely populated and the south-western parts are sheltered from the open sea by a sandbar.

The Sado estuary has been declared a reserva natural (23,971 ha), Ramsar Site and a Special Protection Area for Birds (SPA), largely on account of the 300-plus species of vertebrate recorded here.

It is a special place for birdwatching, including white storks, herons and flamingos.

The fish species include white bream, grey mullet, skate, sole and the Lusitanian toadfish.

Bottle-nosed dolphins in their natural habitat can be seen and there is an important colony of them in the River Sado.

They’re often observed while crossing the river by boat, between Setubal and Troia. Cockles, whelks, clams, prawns and crabs are among the crustaceans that can be found, as well as molluscs like cuttlefish, octopus and squid.

You can put on a pair of sturdy walking boots, pack your lunch, and discover some of the hidden corners of this estuary that swoop right down to the Atlantic.

Enjoy the striking landscapes as you walk the paths or take a trip on a traditional salt galleon out on to the Sado estuary or along the Arrabida coastline.

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 information about the Sado Estuary Nature Reserve.

Watch this video about the Sado Estuary:

About the region

About the region

The region of Setubal in Portugal lies just beneath Lisbon and on the River Sado, north of the Alentejo and Algarve.

The city of Setubal is one of the oldest cities of Portugal – a flourishing Roman community used to exist in the Tróia area.

As the capital has grown over the years Setubal has become wealthier and more urbanised, becoming a luxury tourist destination with its  resorts and offer in terms of activities.

The region of Setubal in Portugal doesn’t have the large crowds of the Algarve, and offers beautiful blue and green scenery in terms of beaches and nature, perfect weather and the tastiest seafood in the country, making the perfect destination for some quiet family holidays, romantic breaks or adventure travel.

The Setubal district has several locations north, east, west and south of the Setubal Bay, each with different characteristics.

You can discover here each one of them:

Discover the region.

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Your arrival on the Dream Coast reveals a region of colour, flavours, light, landscapes, and emotion, difficult to describe or explain.

Diversity, difference, and surprise are just three of the forms for us to highlight all the possibilities of an area which fuses golf, innumerable opportunities for conferences and meetings, hundreds of gastronomic suggestions, dozens of wines from cellars with a long history, for protected areas, a vast heritage all near to the capital of the country and an international airport with ease of accessibility.

Travel here and let yourself emerge in the ocean of tranquility that the region of Setubal offers you.

We guarantee that you’ll never think of travel holidays the same way. Once you go, you’ll know.

Watch this video about the Setubal region:

Bay of Setubal – One of The Most Beautiful in the World

Bay of Setubal – One of The Most Beautiful in the World

The bay of Setubal was voted a member of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club.

This cut out estuary is leaned with the buttresses  Arrábida Hills and separates the Atlantic Ocean by the peninsula of Troia. 23000 ha are classified as natural reserve.

As the most important natural habitat for the conservation of the bottle-nosed dolphin, fulfilling one of the nature requirements demanded by UNESCO,

The Bay of Setubal will benefit from added values, notably from the international projection of the city.

Its main aims are to link the city to the river and the environment.

In particular the Sado Estuary Nature Reserve and the Arrabida Natural Park, which has unique characteristics and contains species that can only be found in areas near the Mediterranean.

There are also excellent beaches, especially Figueirinha, Galapos and Portinho da Arrabida (a magnificent sheltered bay),

And on the other side of the River Sado, within easy reach by ferry, there is the Troia peninsula with about 18 km of beaches and a golf course.

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

We invite you to visit Setubal and to visit  Portugal.

Setubal baia noiteCity of Setubal – Gallery of PhotosSado´s river near the garden on Setubal Portugallotasetubal



With more than 60 years of existence and originally in Sesimbra, restaurant Ribamar is now also in Troia.

This restaurant is one of the best in the region in terms of fish and seafood available combined with stunning views of the River Sado.

Open all year round, both restaurants offer a wide variety of food that go from simple Portuguese  to more sophisticated gourmet dishes.

A place where you can totally relax while enjoying good food and a wide selection of wines, all with a foot near the beach sand!

Some specialities include:

  • Several typical seafood dishes
  • Caldeirada
  • Fried cuttlefish with garlic and olive oil
  • Fish soup
  • Barbecue


  1. Avenida dos Náufragos 29, Sesimbra
  2. On the Marina in Troia

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

We invite you to visit Setubal and to visit  Portugal.

Just take your flight to Faro airport or Lisbon Airport, reserve accommodations,hotel , choose a restaurant and activities and welcome to Portugal Dream Coast.

For Bookings please contact us