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Things to do in Palmela

Our most recommended things to do in Palmela

Arrábida and Sesimbra Day Tour & Wine Tasting

1. Arrábida and Sesimbra Day Tour & Wine Tasting

Experience the flavors and natural beauty of Portugal on this lovely full-day tour. Heading towards Portugal's Extremadura region, you will travel out of Lisbon over the longest bridge in Europe, the Vasco da Gama Bridge. In Palmela, you will find a Moorish castle offering fantastic photo opportunities. Visit a family estate where you can try homemade wine. Then continue through the mountains of the Arrábida National Park - up to 500 meters or 1,640 feet above sea level- and marvel at the spectacular views of one of Portugal's most beautiful landscapes. The park is also home to many plant and animal species found exclusively in this region. Much of the park is subject to strong protective measures and certain locations can only be accessed with special permission. Time for a short break. Take a relaxed stroll on the beach of Portinho Arrábida and enjoy the cool sea breeze and crisp air. Then, head to the charming fishing village of Sesimbra to have lunch at one of the village's friendly local restaurants with delicious dishes featuring the day's fresh catch. In the summer, cool off with a swim in the Atlantic, or simply go for another walk along the village's inviting beaches. Don't miss your chance to visit the village's beautifully restored church dating back to 1725, or take a walk to explore the Sesimbra Castle. Of course, the perfect follow-up to a delicious meal is great wine. Take part in a guided tour of the José Maria da Fonseca winery, one of the oldest in Portugal. It is still family-owned. Discover the region's outstanding wines at a wine tasting that includes 2 local varieties. As a perfect finale, take in the view over Lisbon from the platform of the Christ the King statue before crossing the 25 de Abril Bridge and heading back to Lisbon.

Private Van Tour Arrabida and Wine Tasting

2. Private Van Tour Arrabida and Wine Tasting

Start the tour admiring the beautiful Tagus River Bay. At Palmela, climb to the medieval castle to enjoy the breathtaking view and then, down to the village historic centre, taste the Setúbal Moscatel, which is the emblematic wine of the Setúbal Peninsula Wine Region and one of the Portuguese wine treasures. Relax for lunch in the fishing town of Setúbal or at Sesimbra beach, where the local gastronomy, especially the fresh fish, is superb. After lunch, go to the highest point of the Arrábida Natural Park to enjoy the magnificent scenery and paradisiac views over the green mountain and the Atlantic Ocean. Then go to Azeitão where you will visit one of the oldest wineries in the region (Casa Museu José Maria da Fonseca) and enjoy another wine tasting. In this noble village, the local sweets and cheese are also a must. Finally, stop at the Cristo Rei (inspired by Rio de Janeiro’s Christo Redentor) to enjoy the view over the city of Lisbon, before returning to Lisbon, crossing the 25 de Abril suspension bridge.

From Lisbon: Private Wine Tour with Setúbal & Arrábida

3. From Lisbon: Private Wine Tour with Setúbal & Arrábida

Discover the Peninsula of Setubal and admire the impressive mountain ranges and beaches. Ride over the 25th of April Bridge and see the other side of the river at Tejo. Enjoy the view of the beautiful coast and the Arrábida mountains, then ride past the wine producers in Palmela, Setúbal and Montijo, where the finest wines are made. Visit Cabo Espichel and its breathtaking landscape. Visit Sesimbra, with its beautiful bay and one of the main fishing ports in Portugal. Continue along the summits of Arrabida Mountain, which gives the name to the Arrabida Nature Park, and on your arrival in Setubal visit the Livramento Market where fresh products from the sea and land are sold from Tuesday to Sunday. A Wine and Cheese tasting will be waiting for you in a quiet environment at the Mourisca Tide Mill in the Sado Estuary Nature Reserve. On your return to Lisbon cross the Vasco da Gama Bridge, one of the longest bridges in the world.

Full-Day Electric Bike Tour: Arrábida Nature Park

4. Full-Day Electric Bike Tour: Arrábida Nature Park

Once at the meeting point, your guide will briefly introduce the itinerary and the group. Electric bikes will be explained and tested too. Then, from the naval station close to the Commerce Square, board one of the traditional ferries from Lisbon to Cacilheiro and cross the Tagus River to Barreiro. In Barreiro, a train will take you and your bicycle comfortably to Palmela in approximately 40 minutes. In Palmela, the first trip is to cycle to the Castle. The Castle of Palmela is rich in history. In this zone, archaeological findings confirm human occupation from the neolithic period as early as 310 A.C. The earliest fortifications were built by the Muslims around the 9th century. From the hill, you can see the Rivers Sado and Tagus. If the day is clear, Lisbon and the Mountain range of Sintra are visible as well. In Palmela, visit archeological sites and have a coffee break. When leaving the Castle of Palmela, contemplate the beautiful Valley of the Barris, flanked by the mountainous forests of São Luís, Laurel and Arrábida.  Carry on along the less-frequented road of the Barris Valley, first on asphalt, then off-the-beaten-path between vineyards and sheep pastures. Arriving in the town of Nogueira de Azeitão, rest and  taste the region's famous Muscatel wine, tarts and buttery cheese. Burn some calories by cycling up the Arrábida Nature Park. As you go up, sights over the blue sea are of an indescribable beauty. Have a glimpse of the Arrábida Convent built in the 16th century. Finally, in the town of Setubal, take a well-deserved break and share your impressions around a table while savoring some fresh fish. Return to Lisbon by train.

South of Lisbon’s Wonders: Arrabida, Wine & Tile Tour

5. South of Lisbon’s Wonders: Arrabida, Wine & Tile Tour

Learn how tiles became one of Portugal's icons and delve deep into their manufacturing. Drink the best regional wines and discover the process behind getting the grape to your glass. Get picked up by your local guide at your accommodation. Make your way south crossing the iconic Tejo River by Vasco da Gama Bridge, one of the longest in Europe. Continue to Palmela Castle, which has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Due to its privileged and strategic location, it’s one of Portugal’s oldest castles and home to stunning views for both Tejo & Sado River. Move onward to Arrábida Mountain, integrated into the protected Arrábida Natural Park. Marvel at its beauty. Hidden between the trees, turned towards the ocean, find yourself at the Arrábida Convent! Your next stop is the Tile Factory. Travel back in time at this one-of-a-kind handmade factory that still uses centuries-old techniques. Experience for yourself one of the oldest crafts in Portugal at this place. Next, an iconic winery with a unique art collection brings an enriching insight into the Portuguese wine industry. Explore the winery and taste one of the best wines in the country, during a full hour dedicated to you. Head to California Beach, a Portuguese fisherman village that keeps its traditions and costumes alive! Explore the beach and learn about its fun facts. Finally, discover Cristo Rei. This viewing platform inspired by the Brazilian Christ the Redeemer statue provides the best views of Lisbon city. After enjoying views of lush landscapes and crystal-clear sea, untouched nature with fresh air, to the best wine Portugal has to offer, it is time to head back over the 25 de Abril Bridge.

Lisbon: Southern Sights and Wine Private Tour

6. Lisbon: Southern Sights and Wine Private Tour

Cross the Tagus River from Lisbon to the south side and visit a medieval castle with an archaeological museum inside. Travel through the dense forest to the immense Portuguese coast surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with beautiful beaches to explore. Located next to the sea, between Setúbal and the fishing town of Sesimbra, Arrábida Natural Park has incomparable natural beauty. Here, see how the blue of the sea alternates with the white tones of the chalk cliffs and the depths of the green vegetation that covers the mountain range. Have lunch in a sunny fisherman village, and taste the fresh flavors of the Portuguese fish-based gastronomy. Passing through the dense forest, visit an old sanctuary on the top of a dramatic cliff by the sea, and discover astonishing landscapes. Enjoy a wine tasting session with one of the most prestigious local wine producers.

Lisbon: South City Sights and Cultural Tour with Wine

7. Lisbon: South City Sights and Cultural Tour with Wine

Cross the Tagus River from Lisbon to the south side and visit a medieval castle with an archaeological museum inside. Travel through the dense forest to the immense Portuguese coast surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with beautiful beaches to explore. Located next to the sea, between Setúbal and the fishing town of Sesimbra, Arrábida Natural Park has incomparable natural beauty.  Here, the blue of the sea alternates with the white tones of the chalk cliffs and the depths of the green vegetation that covers the mountain range. Have lunch in a sunny fisherman village, and taste the fresh flavors of the Portuguese fish-based gastronomy.  Passing through the dense forest, you'll visit an old sanctuary on the top of a dramatic cliff by the sea, and discover astonishing landscapes. Enjoy a  wine tasting session in one of the most prestigious local wine producer.

Lisbon: Day Tour of Azeitão, Arrábida, Setúbal, Palmela

8. Lisbon: Day Tour of Azeitão, Arrábida, Setúbal, Palmela

Cross the largest suspension bridge in Europe, the 25th of April bridge towards Azeitao. Journey through the stunning Serra da Arrabida mountain range. Stop for lunch and see Fort Sao Filipe in Setubal. Take in the prowess of the Castle of Palmela, and finish the day over the Tagus River. Explore the village of Azeitao, known for its delicious cheeses, right in the center of Arrabida National Park. Admire the region's olive tree's, vinyards, and cork oaks. Partake in a wine tasting at the José Maria da Fonseca. Make your way through the beautiful landscapes of Serra da Arrabida and arrive in Setubal. Enjoy lunch in this thriving and historic town and explore the formidable Fort Sao Filipe, built in 1582. Find yourself in Palmela, and witness the castle of the same name. Pass over the Vasco da Gama Bridge, and finish the tour taking in views of the Tagus River.

Palmela and Arrabida 4x4

9. Palmela and Arrabida 4x4

Lagoa de Albufeira - A beautiful and well preserved beach just 20 km south of Lisbon. The natural lagoon is ideal for windsurfing, canoeing or just walking around. A parasol and sunglasses are recommended, especially for children. Espichel Cape - The Cape Espichel is a predominantly located west of Sesimbra village. The location is famous for its sanctuary complex, built extremely close to the edge of the tall cliffs, including a church still in use today. The architectonic set called the "Shrine of Our Lady of Mua Stone", is undoubtedly the most important and characteristic in the area. The cult of Our Lady of the Cape is lost in the mists of time, and its credible that prior to their worship - from the XV century -. Cape Espichel was already an important center of pilgrimage. From 1715, the large influx of pilgrims to Cabo forced the construction of hostels, houses and shops. Here, there are four major sights; the lighthouse, the Santuário de Nossa Senhora, the small Chapel of Ermida da Memória and the dinosaur footprints dated from the Jurassic Era. The church was constructed by King Dom.Pedro II in 1701. The interior follows the simplistic baroque designs and most of the marble was mined from Arrábida.  Overlooking the cliffs on the edge of Cape Espichel is the Chapel of Remembrance, a small temple implanted precisely at the spot where tradition says that the Virgin appeared. Cabo Espichel is ideal for tourists who enjoy raw stunning scenery and uninhabited landscape with stunning views and rugged coastal walks overlooking the Atlantic. Arrabida Natural Park - A road trip through the starkly beautiful Serra da Arrábida is one of the most enjoyable ways to spend a day out of Lisbon. The wild, craggy mountain range rises 500 meters over the bay of Setúbal, and encompasses the protected Parque Natural da Arrábida. Blanketed with verdant woodland and scrub, this stunning landscape is home to a fascinating variety of flora and fauna, and it's possible to park the car and follow a number of signed nature trails. For the most dramatic views, follow the Estrada de Escarpa (N379-1), a narrow winding coastal road that snakes past Sesimbra all the way to Cabo Espichel, a precipitous headland topped by a lighthouse. Bacalhoa museum and winery - Take part in an unforgettable visit of Quinta da Bacalhoa, and discover its history which brings together wine, nature and art.  During the tour, take the opportunity to taste the wines and fully appreciate the pleasure which can be found in the degustation of wines. From the tasting room, admire the tranquil scene of the Japanese garden, in which some of the works of the sculptor Niizuma are exhibited, along with a Kaki tree, the 'great-granddaughter' of the only tree to survive the Nagasaki bomb.  Azeitão - Beyond the excellent wines, Palmela region has a unique cheese (Azeitão's cheese), considered by some specialists the best cheese in the world. For those who appreciate pastry the Tortas de Azeitão are irresistible temptations. Palmela village - The town's name comes from its Roman founder, Cornelius (Palmella). Palmela, once a fortress, was conquered by the Portuguese in the 12th century. The town is located up a hill in the Arrábida mountains. The castle offers a wonderful view over the whole region, including Lisbon, and the Atlantic Coast. It was a strategic place in past centuries, and today it's still a main place to visit. Palmela is an important Portuguese wine region. The principal grapes of the region include Alfrocheiro, Arinto, Cabernet, Sauvignon, Fernão Pires, Muscat of Alexandria, Periquita, Rabo de Ovelha, Roupeiro, Tamarez and Tinta Amarela. The soil of the area is predominately limestone with good drainage potential for the cultivation of red wine varieties. Palmela first gained attention for its off dry white wines made from Muscat grapes harvested early, but has recently turned its attention to producing dry red and white table wines. Quinta da Bacalhoa, JP, Ermelinda de Freitas, Periquita are examples of well -known Palmela brands. Cristo Rei - On May 17, 1959, the Shrine of Christ-King is inaugurated. On that day, 300.000 people wanted to be present to celebrate Christ, King and Redeemer, and the statue was then built.

Arrábida and Setúbal: Full-Day Private Tour from Lisbon

10. Arrábida and Setúbal: Full-Day Private Tour from Lisbon

Depart Lisbon at 09:00 on a unique and unforgettable day touring some of the loveliest countryside in Portugal. Visit Bacalhôa Palace, with its collection of Portuguese tiles from the 15th and 16th centuries, and the Bacalhôa wine cellar in Azeitão. During the afternoon, you can also enjoy an optional visit to Palmela Castle. On this 8-hour private tour from Lisbon, you’ll travel to Arrábida, a mountain chain between Sesimbra and Setúbal that offers stunning views of the Tróia Peninsula and the Atlantic Ocean. The region is also known for its fine white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters, tasty fresh fish and Moscatel wines. Setúbal is a region that’s home to more than 250 wine producers, and most of them offer wine tasting! The tour ends back at your Lisbon hotel at around 18:30.

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What people are saying about Palmela

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 181 reviews

What a great tour. Even though the weather was grey we still managed to have a great day of wine tasting and touring the Setubel region. Our tour guide was amazing and full of stories of Portugal’s tumultuous history. It was great to have a small group of 6 people which meant we could take our time at the wine tastings and ask lots of questions. I would recommend this tour to everyone. Thank you.

There were only two couples, so we basically had a private trip! It was a bit rainy, but our guide, Joao, kept us entertained with historical information and stories along the way. He found sites to view the area, even though it was foggy and and answered all of our questions! He really made the trip special, and I would highly recommend any trip if Joao is your guide!

This was a great tour led by Jose! he was knowledgeable, fun, and went out of his way to make sure we all had a great time. We were 4 couples traveling together, and everyone agreed this was the best day of our time in Lisbon.

Jorge, our guide, was very nice. He was new doing this tour so could have explained a little more as we were driving to locations. Wineries were very different and the wine was very good. Van was new and nice to ride in.

It was a great day, we visit Palmela Castle, Arrabida and Sesimbra have amazing views, very good food in Fort Sesimbra, and the winery Jose Maria da Fonseca and Quinta de Alcube, good wine. GREAT GIDE!