Day trip to Setubal & tile artisan

Lisbon is without any doubt the trendiest European capital right now. This compact and beautiful city offers an exciting cultural scene, artisan shops and rooftop terraces with a 360º panoramic views of the neighbourhoods.

The increasing gastronomic offer and the rich history and museums makes it a perfect destination to discover the Portuguese culture.

Lisbon is easily visited in a couple of days and for the most restless travellers offers some interesting day trips.

If you want to enjoy the local side of the country along with its nature, in this day trip we invite you to explore Setubal.

The famous 25 do Abril bridge in Lisbon

From Lisbon you will cross the famous 25 do Abril bridge – below the fresh water of the Tagus river meet the salty Atlantic Ocean – towards the south. Setubal is just 30 miles away.

Setubal is located in the mouth of river Sado, in the northern bank of its beautiful estuary. A dolphin colony inhabits the Sado River waters.

Since Roman times, it has been an important fishing port with a flourishing industry specialized in processing and exporting sardines. You can still find shops that sell different recipes of canned sardines, a delicious souvenir!

Day trip to Setubal
Day trip to Setubal

Today Setubal has become an important holiday resort for Portuguese people, but the old town preserves a nice marina and port.

With our local guide you will visit the pedestrianized old town stopping by its lovely squares, learning about the city’s history. The highest part, where the old fortress is, offers the best views of the estuary.

As you can imagine, the seafood in the city is fresh and delicious you will not leave without tasting it!

One of the most popular dishes that you can have in the popular bars on Avenida Luisa Todi (a famous opera singer born in Setubal in 1753) is choco frito, a dish of fried squid.

Choco frito, a dish of fried squid
Fort of San Felipe in Setubal


Today you will also have the chance of learning on firsthand the art of tile painting.

Immediately after landing in any Portuguese city you will notice that tiles are a big thing in Portugal, you will spot them everywhere in façades, inside metro stations… Tiles (azulejos) are a national symbol and the highest form of art in Portugal.

Ceramic tiles are one of the oldest forms of decorative arts. There many fine examples of the use of tiles in ancient history like the Ishtar Gate of Babylon built around 575BC.

The art of tiles on firsthand
The art of tiles on firsthand

It is through the Moors that tiles become popular in Europe in the Middle Ages and it was precisely the Al-Andalus kingdom in the south of the Iberian Peninsula that started the tradition of tiles in what later would be Portugal.

The Portuguese artist managed to make the ancient art of tile decoration evolve.

Today you will visit a tile artisan in his workshop. He will show you all the process, from preparing, to painting and baking each piece.

If you feel artistic you will even be able to paint you own tile and he will take care of sending it to you home once it is ready!

A tile artisan in his workshop in Setubal. Portugal

When you walk by the beautiful houses, palaces, churches you will know all the work and care that is put in the creation of the amazing decorative panels.

If you want to go deeper in the history of tile you should not miss the Tile Museum in Lisbon.

For sure in this day trip you will learn about an important part of the Portuguese culture!

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