Portugal // Lisbon and around //

Parque Natural da Arrábida

The craggy, scrub- and wood-covered slopes of the Serra da Arrábida rise to around 500 metres above a dramatic coastline dotted with cove beaches. It’s stunningly beautiful, though surprisingly little known to tourists: home to wildcats, badgers, polecats, buzzards and Bonelli’s eagles, the region has had protected status since 1976 and makes up the Parque Natural da Arrábida. Walking guides are available from the park’s main office in Setúbal, though to get the most of the park you’ll need a car – indeed, the spectacular N379-1 ranks as one of the most dramatic drives in Portugal. Note, however, that from July to August, a one-way system is in place on the narrow coastal road through the park, which operates westwards-only from 8am to 7pm (though the inland N10 and N379-1 roads operate both ways).

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