Travel & Holidays

Disabled holidays: why the city of Setúbal is a hidden jewel

Have you ever considered visiting Portugal for a holiday? If you have, what about exploring Setúbal? Never heard of it? It’s a little known gem close to Lisbon. Portugal 4all Senses, which provides accessible holidays that are tailored to your needs, explains why you should.

Disability Horizons’ readers can take advantage of Portugal 4all Senses’s EXCLUSIVE holiday package to visit the city.

Portugal is a beautiful country full of wonderful places to visit, many of which are still unknown to most tourists.

Imagine a city that has…

  • award-winning beaches and one of the most beautiful bays in the world;
  • a mountain range in a  National Park with cliffs over the  sea;
  • a resident dolphin community;
  • the third best fish market in the world providing delicious fish and seafood,
  • and a peninsula with a very calm blue sea just 10 minutes away in a ferry boat.

It’s history dates back from the times of the Roman Empire and it has a cathedral where a treaty was signed that divided the world into two parts. Curious?

That city exists and is only 45 minutes away from Lisbon.

Its name is Setúbal and it has all this and even more. Because of its proximity to Portugal’s capital city, it’s still off the beaten track for most tourists, so remains peaceful and untouched. We hope that it will continue that way forever.

Exploring Setúbal if you have a disability

From Lisbon, you can reach Setubal by train, bus, or car. Once you arrive there are so many things to see, do and taste!

The Setúbal municipality has made incredible efforts to make it accessible to all. You will find adapted accommodation and transport, and many of the city’s landmarks are inclusive. In fact, the international adapted tennis tournaments take place in this beautiful town!

For those with visual impairments, you can get self-tours with audio guides from the tourism association, and there are plenty of wonders to delight the senses.

Use our EXCLUSIVE holiday package for Disability Horizons readers NOW to visit Setúbal with Portugal4All Senses.

History of Setúbal

Setubal downtown Portugal

Start your adventure by strolling around in the downtown area, full of history and picturesque neighbourhoods. It’s mainly flat and has beautiful streets, medieval churches and romantic squares filled with cafes and restaurants.

Then go to the fish market, Livramento – the third best in the world. It’s full of life, has amazing seafood, fresh fish and vegetables from the local farms. Once there visitors can also appreciate their prominent walls with 5,700 tiles, representing the scenes of everyday life in the city, such as fishing or agriculture.

There are also statues representing professions connected to the land and sea, such as fisherman, fishmonger, and flower sellers.

One landmark that no one can miss is the Convent of Jesus. It was built in the 15th century and was where the Tordesillas treaty was ratified. It has divided the world into two parts, between the Portuguese and Spanish kingdoms during the discoveries and gave birth to the world that we know today.

Accessible beaches in Setúbal

Setúbal has lots of history – but also incredible beaches.

Troia peninsula in Portugal

You can go to the peninsula of Tróia to see the crystal blue water that stretches as far as the eye can see, or go to the beaches of the Arrábida National Park, which has a number of beaches between the cliffs and vegetation. It’s the typical Mediterranean landscape.

Both Tróia peninsula and Arrábida National Park have accessible beaches for wheelchair users. Tróia is super flat and the accessible beach is a 10-minute walk from the ferry boat.

For the Arrábida beaches, you’ll need a car or to go by bus. The accessible beach is called Praia da Figueirinha, which is 15 minutes away by car/bus from Setúbal. It’s beautiful and totally adapted.

If you are lucky, in both areas you’ll be able to enjoy a visit from the resident dolphins. They are definitely the most special and expected locals!


Stunning views in Setúbal

As well as the beaches and cliffs themselves, you can drink in breathtaking views from a few stunning spots in and around Setúbal.

In Setúbal itself visit Saint Philip Fortress, dated from the 16th century. The views from it are not to be missed. You can see the entire city, bay, river, sea, Tróia peninsula and the Arrábida mountains. Enjoy the view while taking in a coffee or Setúbal Muscat, a type of wine.

Driving along the Arrábida Natural Park is a great option too. The scenic views of the cliffs, blue sea and hidden beaches with Setúbal city as the background allows you to take all of Setúbal’s beauty in at once.

Food and drink in Setúbal

For foodies and wine lovers, Setúbal is a treat. Seafood and fish come directly from the sea to your plate, making them deliciously fresh. Setubal is still a land of fishermen and the market is one of the main suppliers of fish and seafood in Portugal.

Fish market in Setubal Portugal

Taste the oysters, clams, grilled octopus with fried potatoes (a Setúbal speciality), seafood rice, shrimps, grilled fish, squid… the list goes on and on. The tastes and smells make Setúbal as accessible for wheelchair users or those with mobility problems as it is for those who are visually impaired.

Setúbal city and the region is also well known for its award-winning wines. The mountains, the river and the sea have a great influence on the soil, making the grapes and resulting wine rich and flavoursome.

There are several villages nearby Setúbal where you can find centenaries-old cellars where you can buy bottles of wine directly.

The village of Azeitão, 15 minutes by car from Setúbal, has one of the most famous wine cellars and is totally accessible for wheelchair users. It’s a great place to visit and spend hours exploring the cellar, tasting the wine and learning the secrets of wine production. 

We recently took some blind travellers there, too. They loved it, not only because of the wine but also because of the historical palace located in that vineyard, which is also wheelchair-accessible. It has many pieces of art that can be seen or touched. 

Sesimbra, a little village of fishermen, is close by and it deserves a visit as well. 

Visit accessible Setúbal with Portugal4All Senses

If you want to experience everything you have just read about – you can! You have access to an exclusive holiday package, especially for Disability Horizons readers.

You will explore Setúbal with us, two sisters who grow up in Setúbal’s historic downtown. You’ll taste the local liquor, be impressed by the powerful mountains and recharge your batteries by the ocean.

Travelling with us means you won’t need to be concerned about accessible transport or accommodation – we’ve got that covered! You will be staying in a high-quality hotel designed with an inclusive mindset and breathtaking views!

Say goodbye to winter and hello to summer with us in Setúbal!

By Portugal4All Senses

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