Pretty much all you do in every beach, but with the quietness and peace of an almost desert beach (excluding weekends!)... The water is transparent and sea is calm, even if water may be a little cold! And be sure to take plastic shoes when you go for a swim, because those little stones REALLY hurt your feet! Apart from this, you can be sure you will have a great beach day, if quietness and amazing landscape is what you are looking for.
Since 1991, the Santa Maria Fortress is functioning as a Oceanographic Museum.
The species found inside are mainly from this region.
It's closed on Mondays.
This fortress was part of a set of fortresses built in the 16th century within the war plan against Spain made by King D. João IV in 1640.
It also served to protect the Arrabida Convent and the fishermen from the attacks of pirates.
It was rebuilt after the earthquake of 1755.
There are two restaurants in the beach, with, of course, amazing views of the sea, but I didn't try any of them.
What I did, and what I always highly recommend, is to bring your own food and make a picnic on the beach! It's a good way to save money and sun bathing time! If you don't want to bring yourself the food, there are also some little cafés where you can buy some snacks and ice creams.
Ah, and don't forget: don't leave your garbage on the beach! Even if there are very few garbage bins (unlike most of the beaches in Portugal) don't be lazy and find the closest one.
There are lots of fresh grilled fish.
They are served with the typical "migas", made with bread, garlic, olive oil, and some with fresh coriander, others with green pepers and others with tomato.
I was in other good restaurants. For example, as we go from Meco village to Meco beach, there is one called Carlos, were we can eat very good fresh fish, the shellfish rice, the cataplana, etc. At the Portinho da Arrábida beach, just on the sand I eat a very good caldeirada. The name of the restaurant, I don’t remember, but it was the last of the beach as we go from Lisbon.
Favorite Dish: For desert among other dilicious things there is this sweet pear, with some orange jelly over it....
I made this shopping inside the Palmela Castle, but there are others possibilities.
What to buy: Since this is a wild mountain, Serra da Arrábida, with it’s only particular plants, it’s worth while to buy, as I did, honey, olive oil and vinegar with wild herbs from this region. There is too a very good cheese, de Azeitão, some cookies, Tortas de Azeitão, and a good wine, Moscatel de Setúbal.