Arrábida Beaches

Tourist Guide

Praia de Galapinhos Beach in the Arrábida Natural Park

Galapinhos Beach in the Arrábida Natural Park

This coastline to the south of Lisbon, by the city of Setúbal, has breathtaking beaches which are some of the most beautiful in Portugal. They’re part of the natural paradise that is Arrábida, a protected park, and were once a well-kept secret. Their calm, crystal-clear waters, with the beauty of the park as a backdrop, are now a favorite destination of the people of the Lisbon region, so traffic and parking spaces have been restricted to limit the crowds (see transportation information below).

Convento da Arrábida

The white convent built in the 16th century on the hills of the park

From 1542 to 1834, the park was home to Franciscan monks, who lived in seclusion in a white convent built amidst the steep hills. By the shore, there’s a magnificently green scenery, and a little port known as Portinho da Arrábida, which has a couple of laid-back restaurants serving fresh fish and seafood. Continue walking east from there to Praia do Creiro, a sandy beach with turquoise waters. From there you can walk up the road to three other beautiful beaches (Praia dos Coelhos, Praia dos Galapinhos and Praia dos Galapos).

Portinho da Arrábida

The tiny port (Portinho da Arrábida) in the park

If you enjoy nature and hiking, venture into the park before or after a few hours at the beach. It’s a curious landscape of diverse Mediterranean flora on the Atlantic, which originated under water around 180 million years ago, giving it a vegetation distribution that is unique in the world. It’s also known as one of the best places for geologists to learn about three key phases of the evolution of planet Earth and its tectonic plates. For this reason, some believe it’s a candidate for the World Heritage Site list. It extends for 35km (22 miles), reaches a height of 501 meters (1644 feet), and is something of a natural amphitheater above the sea -- there are stunning views from the snaking road that runs through it.
Between the parking lot and the sand of Praia do Creiro are Roman ruins dating back to the 1st century AD. They were unearthed in 1987 and show tanks of a fish salting complex.
Whether you’re staying in Lisbon, Sesimbra or Setúbal, a trip to Arrábida is one you’ll want to take in the summer.


Beaches in the Arrábida Natural Park


  • Praia do Creiro
  • Praia do Creiro, Arrábida

    Located next to a picturesque port and overlooked by Roman ruins, this is the most famous beach in Arrábida and the choice of Lisbonites, who are able to park their car in the large parking lot.

    Beach for: Swimming, Couples, Families, Instagram
    Lifeguards: Yes
    Bathrooms: Yes
    Showers: No
    Rentals: Yes
    Bar or Restaurant: Yes
    Accessible: No
    Parking: Yes

    See the complete Praia do Creiro Guide.


  • Praia dos Coelhos
  • Praia dos Coelhos, Arrábida

    This wild beach is an idyllic bay that was once a secret because it’s not easy to find. You must follow an unmarked path through the vegetation for about 10 minutes to reach the sand. There are no facilities of any kind, so you need to bring water and snacks.

    Beach for: Swimming, Couples, Instagram
    Lifeguards: No
    Bathrooms: No
    Showers: No
    Rentals: No
    Bar or Restaurant: No
    Accessible: No
    Parking: No

    See the complete Praia dos Coelhos Guide.


  • Praia dos Galapos
  • Praia dos Galapos, Arrábida

    A staircase leads down to this beautiful beach with calm and clear waters. The easier access makes it the most popular in the Arrábida Natural Park, after Praia do Creiro. In the summer, it’s mostly taken over by wicker parasols and loungers.

    Beach for: Swimming, Couples, Instagram
    Lifeguards: Yes
    Bathrooms: Yes
    Showers: No
    Rentals: Yes
    Bar or Restaurant: Yes
    Accessible: No
    Parking: No

    See the complete Praia dos Galapos Guide.


  • Praia dos Galapinhos
  • Praia dos Galapinhos, Arrábida

    It was once considered Europe’s most beautiful beach, thanks to its crystal-clear water and verdant landscape. It can be reached by following a trail through vegetation from the road or by going over the rocks from Praia dos Galapos. It's longer and quieter than the neighboring beach.

    Beach for: Swimming, Couples, Instagram
    Lifeguards: Yes
    Bathrooms: No
    Showers: No
    Rentals: Yes
    Bar or Restaurant: Yes
    Accessible: No
    Parking: No

    See the complete Praia dos Galapinhos Guide.


  • Praia da Figueirinha
  • Praia da Figueirinha, Arrábida

    Arrábida's biggest beach is often packed with locals because it’s the easiest to reach by public transportation from Setúbal. Not many tourists come here, but it has calm, shallow waters, perfect for swimming and to take the kids.

    Beach for: Swimming, Families
    Lifeguards: Yes
    Bathrooms: Yes
    Showers: Yes
    Rentals: Yes
    Bar or Restaurant: Yes
    Accessible: Yes
    Parking: Yes

    See the complete Praia da Figueirinha Guide.


  • Praia de Albarquel
  • Praia de Albarquel, Arrábida

    It’s the most urban of the beaches of Arrábida, as it's the closest to the city of Setúbal. It's on the edge of the natural park, with a good view of the vegetation and of the Troia peninsula. It’s mostly frequented by the people of Setúbal.

    Beach for: Swimming, Families
    Lifeguards: Yes
    Bathrooms: Yes
    Showers: Yes
    Rentals: Yes
    Bar or Restaurant: Yes
    Accessible: No
    Parking: Yes

    See the complete Praia de Albarquel Guide.


Sesimbra Beaches

The calm waters of the beaches of Sesimbra are a short drive from Arrábida. For the complete guides to those beaches, look here: Sesimbra Beaches


How to Get to the Beaches in Arrábida


The beaches on the Arrábida coast can't be reached by direct public transportation from Lisbon. You need to take the train or bus to Setúbal and then one or two buses, depending on the beach that you want to visit -- buses from Setúbal only go to Praia da Figueirinha, so for the other beaches mentioned above you need to take another bus from there. More details below:

TRAIN TO SETÚBAL: The train departs from Lisbon’s Roma-Areeiro station (which is connected to the green line of the Metro) and stops at three other stations in Lisbon before continuing to the suburbs and ending in Setúbal. The other stations in Lisbon are Entrecampos (connected to the Metro station of the same name, on the yellow line), Sete Rios (connected to the “Jardim Zoológico” station on the blue line of the Metro) and Campolide (not connected to the Metro). The stations of Sete Rios and Entrecampos are the easiest to connect to from the center of Lisbon. The train is that of the Fertagus company, departing every hour. It reaches Setúbal in 58 minutes.

BUS TO SETÚBAL: If you choose to go by bus, there are two services, both operated by the TST company -- number 561 departing every 60 or 90 minutes from Sete Rios, and number 562 departing more frequently (every 30 or 60 minutes, depending on the time of day) from Oriente Station. The 561 crosses 25 de Abril Bridge and takes about 1 hour, while the 562 crosses the Vasco da Gama Bridge and takes about 45 minutes.

BUS FROM SETÚBAL TO PRAIA DA FIGUEIRINHA: The seasonal bus service that goes from Setúbal to Praia da Figueirinha operates between mid-June and mid-September. It’s number 723 of the TST company and departs from Setúbal’s bus station every 15 minutes (when you take the bus from Lisbon, this bus station is the final stop). It makes a few stops in the city, so it reaches Praia da Figueirinha in 25 minutes.
If you’re arriving in Setúbal by train, you need to walk for about 10 minutes to the bus station. It’s located on Avenida 5 de Outubro, 44. To get there, turn left out of the train station, go down Estrada dos Ciprestes (which becomes Avenida Manuel Maria Portela after a roundabout), and continue until the end of the avenue, which is on Praça do Quebedo, where you turn right to Avenida 5 de Outubro.

BUS FROM PRAIA DA FIGUEIRINHA TO THE OTHER BEACHES: In Praia da Figueirinha, you may take bus 722 to continue up the coast. This is another seasonal service of the TST company (operating between mid-June and mid-September), that departs from a factory’s parking lot (“Secil”) every 15 minutes (from 8:30am to 7:15pm), stops in Praia da Figueirinha, then at Praia dos Galapos and Praia dos Galapinhos (you should get off here for Praia dos Coelhos), before terminating in Praia do Creiro.

DRIVING FROM LISBON TO ARRÁBIDA: Many find it more convenient to rent a car. The Arrábida coast is less than one hour from the center of Lisbon, heading in the direction of Setúbal, after crossing 25 de Abril Bridge. Cars aren’t allowed by the beaches between the months of June and September (usually June 15 to September 15), to avoid traffic congestion and to limit the number of people in this protected area. So you have to park in one of two parking lots -- one is found just before you reach the beach of Figueirinha, by the Secil factory, and the other is above Praia do Creiro. The TST bus 722 (mentioned above) links the parking lot by the Secil factory to the beaches.


Where to Stay in Arrábida


Hotel Casa Palmela, Arrábida

Hotel Casa Palmela

Arrábida is a protected area, so no hotels can be built by the beaches, but there’s this one up on the hills. You need a car to reach it, but if you want to spend more than one day at the beaches of the region, and prefer to stay surrounded by nature (instead of in the neighboring city of Setúbal), this is your only option. And it’s quite a good one, offering an exceptional service. There’s an outdoor swimming pool, a restaurant, and different types of rooms and suites, some of them with balconies.

More Details and Prices

Rio Art Hotel, Setúbal

Rio Art Hotel

Located on Setúbal’s main, central boulevard, this good-value hotel is a great place to stay if you’re relying on public transportation. The bright, colorful rooms are spacious and have balconies.

More Details and Prices

RM The Experience, Setúbal

RM The Experience

Centrally located in Setúbal, where you can hop on a bus to Arrábida or take a ferry to Troia, this guesthouse occupies a beautifully-renovated building. It offers comfortable rooms in a contemporary and rather romantic style.

More Details and Prices

YMCA Camp Alambre Bungalows

YMCA Camp Alambre Bungalows

If you want to wake up surrounded by nothing but nature, stay at these bungalows within the park, about a 10-minute drive from the beaches. They have private bathrooms and equipped kitchens, and the smaller ones accommodate two people, while the bigger ones are for as many as four adults.

More Details and Prices

Arrábida Beaches Map


Below is a map showing the beaches of Arrábida. You can walk from Praia do Creiro (where there's a parking lot) to the first three beaches to the east (Coelhos, Galapinhos and Galapos).

Arrábida Beaches Map