The town of Setubal, about 42 kms south of Lisbon looks like a small Lisbon. It is also a harbour town. The estuary of the river Sado, bordering the town of Setubal is also very broad.
The town and the area has had its ups and downs. Centuries ago it was an important supplier of salt to northern Europe. It was also a sardines harbour. In the 1970's, industry and ship building became very important economic activities.
In the 1980's, the region fell into crisis as ship building decayed.
Lisnave shipyards, which in the 70's had the largest dry dock in the world, closed their yards in Cacilhas, at the south bank of the Tagus river, keeping their operations only here, in the city of Setubal.
The sardine industry almost died here as well. Nowadays, it's Morocco who supplies most of the sardines to Europe.
Besides being a harbor and fishing town, the region and city of Setubal is also a place where people commute to Lisbon. It's at Lisbon's border. The northern municipalities of the region are within the greater Lisbon area.
It has a very good tourist potential due to its climate, more Mediterranean and less windy than Lisbon.
The landscape around is beautiful and peaceful. There are many beaches of all kinds nearby: Troia, Portinho da Arrábida, Praia do Meco (Alfarim), Sesimbra, Praias Sado. Some of those beaches are among the best near Lisbon.
Next to Setúbal there's also a mountain range with a natural park: Serra da Arrábida. It very scenic for hiking. The mountains, though not that high, end abruptly in the sea west of Setúbal, making them the highest cliffs of the Portuguese coast.