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      our holidays > Walking Holidays > Portugal & its Islands > From Cape to Castle

From Cape to Castle

Portugal's Arrábida Natural Park
 
This Holiday in a nutshell
  • self-guided hotel-to-hotel walking, luggage transported
  • journey from seaside town to hill-top vantage
  • coastal, valley and ridge-top walking
  • stay in a pousada set within a medieval castle
  • savour the region's acclaimed seafood, cheese and wines

 

The Douro Valley has its vines, Sintra has its castles and the Algarve has its coastline but in the dramatic Arrábida Natural Park on the Setúbal Peninsula, just a stone's throw from Lisbon, you'll find all that, along with an abundant harvest from both sea and land, and as yet, it's virtually undiscovered.

It is neither here nor there, namely, it is wherever it begins to be seen, that Portugal begins to be wonderful; those who come with us will see that Portugal begins in the Peninsula of Setúbal to be the wonder of which books speak.
     
Sebastião da Gama, Portuguese poet (1924-1952)

In the fifteenth century so many pilgrims travelled to the Cape of Espichel that a small village comprising lodgings, shops and even an opera house were constructed to serve their needs. Known as the Shining Cape, the tip of the Setúbal Peninsula looks out over the Atlantic Ocean while along its southern shore lies one of Portugal's most stunning coastlines where the mountains of the Arrábida Natural Park melt into the sea behind sheltered coves of soft, white sand. In the valleys between the ridges, vines braid the landscape producing some of the country's finest wines, including its famous Moscatel dessert wine; while in the coastal villages of Sesimbra and Portinho an abundance of fish and seafood dominate menus and the irresistible aromas of the region's trademark grilled sardines and tender choco frito  (fried cuttlefish) permeate the warm evening air.

From dinosaur footprints ascending the cliffs of Espichel, to a Pousada set within a medieval castle on a hill, a journey through this generous land provides a taste of traditional Portugal and some of its finest walking. Come and enjoy it before the secret's out of the bag.

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