Portugal’s beautiful landscapes, incredible weather and welcoming people combine together to entice many foreign citizens to pick up sticks and call this country home. If living in Portugal is your desire, you’re going to find yourself among a British expat population that is over 50,000 strong and growing.
If living in Portugal and calling Setubal home is the plan, this quaint waterside town offers some incredible sights. With a population of about 120,000 people, Setubal is not Portugal’s biggest city by any stretch of the imagination. The port here however is considered quite important. It is the country’s third largest.
Situated on the Bay of Setubal at the Sado River’s mouth, Setubal is in the southern portion of Portugal. It is located about 40 kilometres south of Lisbon. The city experiences mild temperatures in the winter and balmy weather in the summer months.
Although Setubal traces its roots far back in time, the city didn’t officially become recognised as such until 1860 when King Pedro V dubbed it so. It did however serve as a royal residence for John II between 1481-95. The region surrounding the city is rich with Roman and Celtic ruins, clearly illustrating the area’s rich past.
Some of the attractions that delight holidaymakers and expats like when exploring Setubal include: –
The Monastery of Jesus – This church is Setubal’s primary architectural destination. Its construction began in 1490 and continued for 20 years. The church is considered a major achievement in Portuguese architecture and was created in the Manueline style. This style offers the Portuguese spin on Gothic. The church includes twisted pinnacles, stepped buttresses, gargoyles and a host of other eye-catching features. Although it was damaged in an earthquake in the 1700s, the church still stands out as a primary feature in Setubal’s landscape.
The port – Setubal’s bustling port provides many visual attractions. The port itself is generally alive with activity. Many people enjoy taking in its beauty from the 17th century fortress-turned-hotel atop a nearby hill that overlooks the port. The Hotel Pousada de Setubal is indeed itself an attraction.
The beaches – The waters sports potential in Setubal is not lost on holidaymakers or expatriates. The city is home to several beaches along the Sado River.
Troia Peninsula – This nearby destination also intrigues those living in Setubal or visiting here. This location is known for its golf courses, beaches, forest and the spring Troia International Film Festival. It is also home to a number of important historic sites dating back to Roman times.
Sado Estuary – Located to the east of the main city, this area is loaded with wildlife. The estuary is home to more than 100 different species of birds. It is also a favoured destination because it is home to many bottle-nosed dolphins.
As Setubal captures the attention of developers and expats, buying property in Portugal in this city is still considered largely reasonable. Three-bedroom flats here command less than GBP 110,000, despite the incredible location and weather.
Whilst it doesn’t offer the cosmopolitan flavour of Lisbon, Setubal offers an appealing pace of life for expats looking for something different. If quaint and breathtaking are what appeal, then living in Portugal‘s Setubal might be for you.