The Tróia Peninsula is a 13-mile long, narrow sand spit a short ferry ride across the Sado Estuary from Setubal. It offers tranquil pine forests and some of the best beaches in the area. Whether you come here to soak up the sun on the pristine, white sand beaches overlooking the Atlantic, to play a round of golf at the challenging Troia Golf Course, or to enjoy a flutter in the Casino close to the glamorous marina, you’ll find something fun to do here.
Sheltered by mountains, the Troia Peninsula enjoys a mild microclimate. The Reserva Natural do Estuario do Sado covers part of the peninsula and is a good place to go birdwatching. The waters around the peninsula are home to a school of bottlenose dolphins. Dolphin-watching trips leave from the marina, or you may even spot them gamboling in the surf on the ferry trip across the estuary.
At the tip of the peninsula, just across from Setubal, is a modern resort, built around the marina. Here one finds the Casino, a number of high-rise apartment blocks and a number of cafes and (mostly) seafood restaurants. A short walk from the marina is the white sand beach of Praia Troia Mar. This beach is popular with day trippers and can get pretty crowded in July and August. From here a lovely wooden walkway leads to the Praia Bico das Lulas. If you have a car and want to escape the crowds that flock here in high season, the Praia Atlantica, south of the marina offers miles of scenic beach.
At the very base of the peninsula, the tiny village of Comporta is considered by some to be one of Portugal’s most chic resorts. The stunning Praia da Comporta beach with its smart, pastel-striped beach huts, sand dunes and powerful surf is surrounded by green rice paddies and attracts A-listers from around the world as well as surfers, families, and of course locals.
Most visitors to the peninsula arrive by ferry from Setubal. Foot passengers can take the distinctive green ferry catamaran from Pier 3 in Setubal. Those bringing cars or bikes can take the car ferry from Doca do Comercio in Setubal to the Cais Sul terminal a few kilometres south of Troia Marina.
There are more than just great beaches to explore on the peninsula. There are some interesting archaeological sites too. Originally settled by Phoenicians, Troia was used by the Romans as an important centre for fish preservation. At Cetobriga tourists can wander amongst the ruins of Roman bath-houses, fish-salting tanks and burial tombs. Beyond Cetobriga, the traditional fishing village of Carrasqueira is worth a stop-off to admire the thatched reed fishermen’s huts.