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Arrabida Natural Park

Natural Park of Arrábida
'Between mountain and sea'
Between the fishing town of Sesimbra and the city of Setubal, on the Costa de Lisboa, the wild beauty of the woods and thickets of the Arrabida Mountain contrast strongly with the intense blue of the sea.

Text provided by the Portuguese Tourist Office (with minimal corrections)

Enclosing the coastal mountains of Risco, S. Luis, Gaiteiros and Louro, this protected area constitutes a paradise not only for lovers of Nature, but also as an inexhaustible source of joy for geologists and biologists, thanks essentially to the various types of limestone and sand.

The profusion of seaweed, with more than seventy identified species, and the abundance and diversity of sea animals, easily justify the special attention given to this environment. An example of this is the recognition given to Pedra da Anixa awarding it nature reserve status.

It is however the land vegetation that makes this park a place of special interest in the panorama of national protected areas.  Its scientific value and state of conservation lead to this protected area being included in the European Network of Biogenetic Reserves, as well as justifying the creation of 3 integrated reserve areas: the Solitario, Vidal and Coberta forests, where the oak reigns.  It is often associated with strawberry trees, mastic trees and bush heather which are true relics of past geological ages.

The most important of the mammal species include the wild cat, the genet and the mongoose, as well as various bat species. Bird life is equally well represented, with birds of prey being particularly important. Less known and appreciated, but no less important, are the insects, including approximately 300 species of butterfly and 450 species of beetle that have already been catalogued to the delight of experts.

A visit to the Oceanographic and Fishing Museum in the Fort of N. Senhora da Arrabida and to the Arrabida Convent are an essential extra on this trip.

Park Office
Praca da Republica, 2900 Setubal
Coastal promontory, south of Lisbon
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