Arrabida

Arrabida, the coast between Setubal and Sesimbra, the Serra da Arrabida stretches up.These chalky hills have the only surviving example of primitive Mediterranean vegetation. Tucked away in the heart of Arrbida’s Natural Park, the formation goes back 180 million years. The soil and mild climatic features, considered the best in Portugal, have produced a lush vegetation rich in species. The Arrabida Natural Park sits on the northern slope of the Sado River estuary in Portugal. The park was founded in 1976 and covers 108 square kilometres, Sesimbra and the sea make up its boundaries.

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The countryside is hilly and you can find the Serra dos Gaiteiros, S. Luis, S. Francisco, Louro, Risco along with the highest hills, the Serra da Arrabida which stands at 499 meters high. This ends abruptly and cuts into the sea, providing a scene of picturesque beauty with the lush green vegetation and the chalk white face of the cliffs, such beauty which inspired poets like Sebastiao da Gama. On the coast, between the sandy beaches and clear water, up above, breeding grounds for birds of prey abound and one can also find a typical maritime flora which extends as far as the Serra do Risco, the highest coastal point of continental Portugal (300 meters above sea-level). In Creiro, around the Pedra da Anicha, an island traced above the sea leads us to the only zoological reserve of the Natural Park, named so because of the value of underwater plant species found there.

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