The birthplace of charismatic and controversial football manager José Mourinho, Portugal’s Setúbal district is found in the south-west of the country, across the Tagus River, south of Lisbon. This is an area that enjoys a Mediterranean climate and is thought to enjoy close to 2,800 hours of sunshine annually. Bound by the districts of Lisbon and Santarém to the north, Évora on its east, Beja to the south and the Atlantic, it separated from Lisbon in 1926 - the only Portuguese district created after 1835. It has 82 parishes across 13 municipalities that offer a rich and varied mix of Portuguese life and adventure for would-be settlers. 

Old Portugal is here in the municipality of Alcochete, which greets you as you leave the Vasco da Gama Bridge, the second-longest bridge in Europe, a place where bullfighting still takes place. This is also the proposed site of Lisbon’s new airport.

A little more densely populated than some Portuguese districts, a total population of around 790,000 people live here, in an area of just over 5,000 km2, a little less than 2,000 sq. miles. Principal roads are the A2 that connects Lisbon to Faro, which passes through the district; the east/west A12 that connects Loures to Setúbal city, and the north/south A13, connecting Setúbal to Santarém (via the A2).

Almada municipality is, in a sense, ‘southern Lisbon’. It’s connected to the capital by the iconic 25 de Abril Bridge and has a large population, many of whom cross the Tagus to work by road, rail and ferry. Almada’s Cacilhas ferry port is a great vantage point from which to view the Lisbon riverfront, and the district is the home of the magnificent Christo Rei monument and the popular Costa da Caparica beach resort. Public transport, both buses and trains, are plentiful as you might expect when near the capital. Crossing the 25 de Abril bridge by rail beneath the cars, served by the Fertagus company, is a real treat. However, as you head to the district’s south, the picture is less pleasing and a car is a safer bet for serious exploration. 

District capital city Setúbal, on the northern bank of the Sado River, where it’s possible to see dolphins, is just about 50 kilometres from the national capital. Across the river on the Sado’s southern bank, is the Tróia peninsula, prized for golden sandy beaches and luxury holiday resorts along with an amazing golf course.

Setúbal has, in places, an industrial feel, with automotive, paper, cement, fertilizer, pesticide, and pharmaceutical production in its midst. The Port of Setúbal is the 4th busiest in Portugal, handling around 7% of the country’s cargo. Sesimbra sits at the foothills of the Serra da Arrábida mountain range and is popular with tourists who enjoy its beaches and fish restaurants. The beautiful Arrábida National Park has a stretch of road that was immortalised in the 1969 James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

Be sure to visit Setúbal’s Alcácer do Sal municipality, also on the Sado River; a medieval town that’s had a recent facelift, as you head further south and sense the atmosphere of Alentejo and Sines. Sines, the original and now largest port area of Portugal, is the birthplace of the legendary Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama. Its economy depends on energy, oil, fishing and tourism; it has also been accredited as a historical contributor to the success of the Silk Road. The world music festival, the FMM Sines (Festival Músicas do Mundo), which brings thousands of music fans from all over the world is held here too.

Offering a fascinating transition from its most northern cosmopolitan municipalities towards the expansive atmosphere of the Alentejo due south, Setúbal has much to offer. This district gives settlers easy access to Lisbon life, culture, excitement and of course the airport, as well as a gateway to Portugal’s more relaxed and charming South.

A one-bedroom apartment to rent in the city centre will cost on average 510.00 € per month reducing to 420.00 € outside of the city centre.

Setúbal is certainly worth serious consideration being so close to the capital.

For help with EU Legislation regarding all aspects of living and working within the EU, please use the links below.

EU Help in Your Own Language
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Setúbal from Facebook

Setúbal Council (Câmara)

If you are planning a trip to view properties in this District and need help or guidance, get in touch Contact us and we will put you in touch with a property expert that speaks your language. 

For a detailed look at the area topography please click here

If you are planning a trip to view properties in this District and need help or guidance, get in touch Contact us and we will put you in touch with a property expert that speaks your language. 

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