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Setubal

Setubal is one of the Portuguese towns that came into being in the year 1860. This is not to mean that it did not exist prior to that. In fact, it was a town but existed under a different name (Al-Andalus) courtesy of the Arabic naming of towns. It was not until 1860 that the name was changed by King Pedro the fifth.

One of Setubal’s greatest assets is the fact that it is located on one of the banks of the River Sado estuary. This makes it a very significant fishing town as well as a tourist attraction, managing to attract tens of thousands of tourists every year.

One of the most obvious tourist attractions in the town is the fishing industry that is booming over there. Fishing enthusiasts make their way over there and under a small fee for hiring a boat, are privileged to fish the wide range of fish species available in the river. Among all the fish species, the most prominent ones that attract most tourists are the dolphins. Their colonies can easily be found in the Sado River and tourists really enjoy this because they get to take snapshots of them as well as even take a swim with them.

Setubal Fishing harbour

Setubal Fishing harbour

An unfortunate twist to the tourist industry in this town came when a project top build a luxurious resort by the bank was rolled out. Unfortunately, as the resort was being built, it was realized that the land on which it was being built on was sinking and this prompted immediate abandoning of the project. But on a positive side, new plans to build another resort were rolled out in 2005.

There are also a couple of historical sites in this town that tourists always want to check out. One of them an ancient church called the Monastery of Jesus. It is believed to have been built by the Portuguese sometime between the 16th and the 17th centuries. Along with the Monastery of Jesus, another historical building is the Sao Jilao church which was also built around the same time as the Monastery. Both of these are very interesting historical sites and you would really sample some of the ancient Portuguese architecture by just taking a tour around them. The latter however, was converted into a hotel. There are many places that you can get cheap and affordable accommodation in this town. The cuisine, though mainly made up of fish, is also good and so are the locals. A stay here, therefore, is bound to be pleasant. (photo: fotografar)