Park Natural da Arrabida stretches along the southeastern coast of the Setubal
Peninsula from Setubal to Sesimbra, covering the 35km-long Serra da Arrabida
mountain ridge. It has incomparable natural beauty, where the blue of the sea
alternates with the white tones of the chalk cliffs and the depths of the green
vegetation that covers the mountain range.
One of the main attractions
of the Park is the wealth of its indigenous vegetation. One of the rare examples
of Mediterranean maquis in Portugal can be found here, and its preservation was
one of the reasons which led the Arrabida zone to be considered as a genuine
international scientific relic.
The action of the sea against the
mountains has originated a line of beaches characterised by fine sand and
transparent waters, that we might otherwise believe could only be found in the
Mediterranean, such as Figueirinha, Galapos and the Portinho da Arrabida.
Local honey is delicious, especially that produced in the gardens of the
whitewashed, red-roofed Convento da Arrabida, a 16th-century former monastery
overlooking the sea just north of Portinho. Another famous product is Azeitao
ewe’s cheese, with a characteristic flavour that owes much to lush Arrabida
pastures and a variety of thistle used in the curdling process.