A short drive east of Setubal down tiny winding roads will bring you to one of the most stunning beaches in Portugal - Portinho da Arrabida. This former tiny fishing village is now attracting increasing numbers of foreign visitors each year, but its isolation from public transport have so far protected this sheltered cove from serious overcrowding. Crystal clear waters, reaching 17 degrees in high summer, make this an excellent spot for fishing and scuba-diving (equipment is available for rent from the Centro de Mergulho diving school), especially as the beach lies within a protected area and fishing is no longer permitted.
The beach lies adjacent to a picturesque village nestling under the south side of the Serra da Arrabida, here falling steeply into the sea. The harbour is guarded by a tiny seventeenth century fort, now home to the Museo Oceanografico, which features live and stuffed marine animals from the region. A seafront restaurant, the Beira Mar features a similar variety of fish and seafood on its menu. Umbrellas, small watercraft and games are available for hire on the beach, which is patrolled by lifeguards in summer.