1 Unmissable Boat Trip to See Dolphins in Setúbal


Haven’t you seen it? Come back for free!


Adults: 35€
Childs: 17.5€

16 Max. customers

Welcoming tourism close to nature



Our program for observation of dolphins in setúbal is the best value boat trip price/quality in Arrábida because its itinerary combines the experience of an intimate meeting with the community of resident dolphins in sado with a stroll along the beautiful beaches of the Setúbal bay and Troia.

Adults: €35
Children: €17.5 (3-10 years old)
Baby: Free (0-2 years)

2.5 hours

Guided by Marine Biologists
The trip is accompanied by experienced marine biologists who will help identify each of the dolphins and interpret their behavior and the surrounding environment.

Responsible Dolphin Watching
During dolphin watching, it is essential to fully respect international recommendations and code of conduct rules, in order to minimize disturbance. Silence is requested on board and the maximum duration of observations is 30 minutes.

Points of interest in Arrábida
Passage through the points of interest and historical monuments of the city of Setúbal, along the beaches of Arrábida (figueirinha beach, galapos, galapinhos and alpertuche), with a historical introduction, description and some curiosities about each point/monument.

Stop for sea bathing
Depending on how long it takes us to find the dolphins, we may have less or more “free” time, yet, whenever the sun invites us, we make a brief stop for a swim in the sea.

Meeting point
Rua Praia da Saúde 11 A, 2900-572 Setúbal (Arrive 15 min. before)



Is it normal for people to get seasick at sea?

It’s very rare for anyone to get seasick on one of our tours. The vast majority of tours only take place in favorable conditions and the boat used minimizes the slow and prolonged oscillations that cause seasickness. If you suffer from chronic motion sickness, where you get seasick even in the car, we recommend taking a pill 30 minutes before boarding.

What should I bring?

Bring comfortable clothing suitable for the season you’ll be in the water. We also recommend that you bring a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses, a camera as well as a bathing suit and towel in case you want to take a dip. Don’t forget that it’s often 10 degrees colder in the water, so a jacket or windbreaker is never a bad idea.

Can we always see the dolphins?

The probability of seeing dolphins is very high (around 95% of our tours) as the dolphin population lives in Setúbal Bay on a permanent basis. Even so, there are a few days when the dolphins are not seen by any boat.

What if I don't get to see the dolphins on my tour?

If your tour is one of the rare days when dolphin watching is not possible, you will receive a free voucher to reschedule. Arrábida Sea Ventures thus ensures that when you buy a ticket you are sure to see dolphins.

Is it possible to swim with dolphins?

It is forbidden by law to swim with wild dolphins in mainland Portugal. You can do this on the islands of the Azores and Madeira, where you are allowed to swim with dolphins, subject to a number of rules.

How can I book?

You can book directly online on our website; use the contact form; or by phone or email.

If you prefer to book with our assistance, you should call (+351) 933396375 or send an email to booking@arrabidaseaventures.com stating the date you want and the number of participants (Adults and Children up to 12 years old). After contacting us, you will receive instructions on how to pay.

What happens in the event of bad weather?

If the weather conditions are not favorable and the crew decides that it is better not to go out to sea, we will contact you in order to reschedule your reservation for a later date, if this is not possible, we will refund you in full.

How do I change the date or time of my reservation?

Have you booked tickets, but the date or time is no longer right for you? Don’t worry, we’re here to help you. You can postpone your booking up to 48 hours before the date of the tour. Contact us at:
phone: 933396375
email: booking@arrabidaseaventures.com
* Enter your reservation number.

What if I cancel the reservation?

Although it’s rare, sometimes we may have to cancel a reservation. We understand that this can have a significant impact on your plans and will never happen without verifiable justification. You can rest assured that, in the unlikely event of this happening, you will automatically receive a refund or we can help you find a similar or better tour to re-book.

What do our customers say?

Arrabida Sea Ventures
Based on 110 reviews
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Polina ShcharbakPolina Shcharbak
13:07 16 Jun 24
Very good service! I appreciate for your fast answers and perfect managers work 👍
Joo &friendsJoo &friends
17:45 07 Jun 24
Sofia NevesSofia Neves
13:39 03 Jun 24
5 star service
Claudia CristinaClaudia Cristina
11:21 03 Jun 24
Daniela CarvalhoDaniela Carvalho
11:24 26 May 24
Mafalda FrazãoMafalda Frazão
11:22 26 May 24
Lidia EstevesLidia Esteves
11:57 09 May 24
Diogo FerreiraDiogo Ferreira
10:07 29 Apr 24
Nuno SantosNuno Santos
16:50 09 Apr 24
géraldine Verwilghengéraldine Verwilghen
21:04 04 Apr 24
Great people, very professional and nice. Perfect experience with kids
18:47 28 Mar 24
A very pleasant trip at sea. Fernando and Vítor were very helpful and friendly; we loved their explanations about history and geography.
A Google User
A Google User
16:05 21 Feb 24
I loved the tour, the team is super attentive.
Martim RodriguesMartim Rodrigues
16:05 21 Feb 24
I loved the tour, the team is super attentive.
Luís GomesLuís Gomes
15:19 21 Feb 24
Gabriel AbreuGabriel Abreu
15:18 21 Feb 24
Vinicius AmaralVinicius Amaral
15:18 21 Feb 24
Fantastic experience!
Andre TeixeiraAndre Teixeira
15:18 21 Feb 24
Eduardo CarneiroEduardo Carneiro
15:18 21 Feb 24
Tonny 26Tonny 26
15:18 21 Feb 24
Tomas GodinhoTomas Godinho
15:18 21 Feb 24
SK8G0D 259SK8G0D 259
15:17 21 Feb 24
Very good
Mustaf BaigMustaf Baig
09:39 29 Nov 23
We went on a school activity and it was awesome 💪
09:26 27 Nov 23
Wow! Unique experience🫶🏼
Catarina CaeiroCatarina Caeiro
09:25 27 Nov 23
I really enjoyed the activity, I will do it again!
Inês Jones BarataInês Jones Barata
09:25 27 Nov 23
5 star team!!
Bia PedrosoBia Pedroso
09:24 27 Nov 23
Spectacular tour!!
Carolina PinheiroCarolina Pinheiro
09:24 27 Nov 23
I loved it 🤩
Elisa Barchiesi RebornElisa Barchiesi Reborn
20:02 04 Oct 23
Telmo VicenteTelmo Vicente
12:33 28 Aug 23
Jorge Serrate NevesJorge Serrate Neves
14:09 22 Aug 23
I found the tour without a life jacket and without support for people who feel sick on the boat to be irresponsible.
Josééé ChristianJosééé Christian
16:41 12 Jul 23
It was an excellent and wonderful experience. The employees were pretty friendly. Susana and Vítor provided a great service, they left us all happy and full of laughter during the whole trip. They explained the landscapes and history to us very well. Their company is the only one that can be very close to the coast. Besides, after leaving for twenty or so minutes, it was lucky that we found many dolphins by their good guide. Comparing with my experience in Madeira on a tour boat, in Setúbal it was much better and we loved it a lot. Without a doubt, we will go there and take more people. I want to give ten stars!!! ❤️
R KumarR Kumar
15:25 17 Jun 23
Wonderful experience. The most considerate and helpful team who helped accommodate us at the last minute. The dolphin tour and tour of the coastline was phenomenal!
Tina HoffmannTina Hoffmann
16:00 03 Jun 23
We had a super fun time on board. The crew was so nice and explained a lot about the history and the area. We really enjoyed the tour- even that the weather wasn’t that sunny- great all over experience.
Mark RapisardiMark Rapisardi
16:44 02 Jun 23
The tour was fantastic, Marco is a true professional and an unbelievable tour guide. If you’re in Sesimbre, this is a must. This was the highlight of our trip.
Heike UhligHeike Uhlig
09:56 27 Oct 22
We really enjoyed our boat tour. The skippers were friendly and our boat was great. We've even seen some dolphins. It was a great and unique experience.
ian nefskyian nefsky
08:45 26 Aug 22
Fabulous experience!!! Great communication. Victor and his daughter were very gracious, clean boat, perfect for the excursion. Saw so many dolphins. Swam in a beautiful clear water green grotto. A very exciting memorable day! Thank you Edgar and group!
We had an amazing time on the dolphin and coastline tour with Arrabida Sea tours! Our guides were knowledgeable, professional, experienced and very friendly. They were kind to my children and very eager to point out and help them see dolphins!It took a while before we saw any dolphins, and we were worried they might give up and say no dolphins today, but they kept looking and calling other boats. And sure enough, we saw dozens. It was truly magical and something my kids will never forget! And at age 74 my mom saw dolphins for the first time in her life, and experienced it with her only grandchildren! It was a fantastic day filled with a lifetime of memories!Do not hesitate and do not book with anyone else. If you have any questions, concerns, issues, send a WhatsApp or call/leave a voicemail. I did, and I am so thankful I did. They answered my voicemail and my WhatsApp and really took care of my family. Treated us like their family!We can’t wait to return and book another adventure! THANK YOU!
Deli MatsuoDeli Matsuo
16:41 25 Aug 22
We used Arrabida Sea Ventures to book a private sailing boat. It was the highlight of the trip for us. We truly enjoyed our time with the crew and the incredible sightseeing that you can only get from the water. Highly recommended.
Great tour with a good view of the occean and a comfortable boat/crew. We saw the dolphins close to the boat and were next to them for a long time. When the dolphins needed peace, we drove to the coast and looked at some of the beaches.Would definately reccomend this company!
Yuranny CabralYuranny Cabral
10:05 08 Aug 22
Very nice tour! Got to see many dolphins. My 4-yr old kid enjoyed it very much. Great views and great crew. Would definitely do it again!
08:30 25 Jul 22
Wow - what can I say? Thank you, thank you thank you! Quite simply one of the best days we ever had - made extra special by the thoughtful tailoring of the day to the needs of our very mixed group, wonderful hosting by the crew, and a wonderful boat. It was just so much fun!
Sara RamosSara Ramos
21:06 25 Jun 21
The best captain in Sesimbra! Available, helpful, friendly, extraordinary, no adjectives possible for the trips we made. Over the years we have done several and I can assure you that the last one is always better than the penultimate. Don't hesitate, this is your choice for a Genre adventure. P.S. for those who can, ask to see the sea on fire....
S. G.S. G.
21:23 25 Jul 20
A fantastic experience. We saw loads of bottleneck dolphins and were the only boat there for a while. Edgar is a great guide who gave just the right amount of Information. The trip along the coast after the dolphins was also wonderful.

Practical Guide to Dolphin Watching in Setúbal in 2024!


If you’re looking for an incredible experience, dolphin watching in Setúbal is an unmissable opportunity. Find out all about dolphin watching in the region and choose a service that offers safety and complete information. The duration of the activity is ideal for adults and children, providing memorable moments in contact with nature. During the summer, this offer becomes even more attractive, allowing you to become a member of the select group of people who have had the privilege of spotting these stars of the marine world.

The Unique and Spectacular Experience of Dolphin Watching in Setúbal Bay.

Why Choose Setúbal

If you’re looking for an exciting and unique experience, dolphin watching in Setúbal is the perfect choice. Setúbal Bay offers a spectacular natural habitat for dolphins, making it the ideal place to watch them. With a very high probability of sightings (around 95% of tours), thanks to the permanent population of dolphins in the bay, you are guaranteed to spend unforgettable moments with these enchanting animals.

The bay not only provides a stunning backdrop for this activity, but also allows visitors plenty of time to explore the coast while enjoying the company of the dolphins. In addition, during the boat trip along the Sado River Estuary and the coast of the Arrábida and Tróia mountains, participants have the unique chance of observing Bottlenose Dolphins – one of only three colonies resident in estuaries in the whole of Europe. This rich marine diversity makes every moment spent in Setúbal Bay truly memorable.

Natural Charm

By choosing Setúbal as your dolphin-watching destination, you’ll be immersed in the region’s incomparable natural beauty. The panoramic view of the Sado River estuary and the surrounding marine area provides a magnificent backdrop as you sail through the crystal-clear waters. During the tour, participants have access to explanatory materials about the Sado Dolphins and other interesting aspects of the region.

What’s more, by opting for this unparalleled experience in Setúbal, you’ll have the opportunity not only to interact with the friendly locals – both human and cetacean – but also to learn more about these incredible marine creatures through the information provided during the activity.

Essential Information for Dolphin Watching

Legislation and Safety

When planning a dolphin watch in Setúbal, it is crucial to be aware of the legislation that protects these animals. As the dolphins in the bay are residents, there are strict regulations to ensure their safety and minimize disturbance. Respecting these guidelines not only preserves the welfare of the dolphins, but also contributes to a more ethical and rewarding experience for the observers.

In addition, considering safety during the tour, especially for families with small children, it is advisable to choose a catamaran that offers access to sanitary facilities and sheltered internal areas. For children over 7 and adults looking to get closer to the dolphins, speedboats or semi-rigid boats are ideal options. Being prepared with this information not only ensures compliance with local regulations, but also promotes a safe and comfortable environment for all participants.

Responsible Behavior

It is essential to recognize that the Sado Dolphins are wild animals in their natural habitat. Therefore, when you spot them in Setúbal Bay, it is essential that you behave responsibly and respectfully. Avoid making excessive noise or any sudden movements that might frighten or disturb the dolphins.

Furthermore, as part of responsible dolphin watching practices in mainland Portugal, it is vital to point out that swimming with wild dolphins in this region is strictly forbidden by law. However, in the Azores and Madeira there are specific opportunities where this interaction is allowed under specific regulations.

So when preparing to see dolphins in Setúbal, internalize this crucial information about local marine legislation and ethical behaviour around these magnificent marine animals.

Booking and Preparations for the Observation Tour

Booking process

To guarantee your place on a dolphin watching tour in Setúbal, it is essential to book in advance. During the winter or spring, when there are special promotions, it’s the ideal time to book and even save on the cost of the activity. By booking during these seasons, you can take advantage of advantageous offers that make the experience even more affordable.

When planning your booking, make sure you choose a date that’s convenient for you. During the promotional periods mentioned above, places can sell out quickly. So if you decide to go dolphin watching in Setúbal, don’t leave it to the last minute.

Necessary preparations

Before going dolphin watching in the nature reserve in Setúbal, it is crucial to be properly prepared. As mentioned above in the essential information about dolphin watching, it is important to consider the local weather conditions.

Always make sure you bring suitable clothing to deal with lower temperatures than those found on dry land. For example: if it’s 20 degrees Celsius on the coast, be prepared to face around 15 degrees Celsius at sea.

In addition, take waterproof shoes during the winter and open shoes in the summer – this will ensure comfort throughout the trip. Another important point before boarding is to use the toilets available in the area near the departure point. Most of the time there is no toilet available on the boats used for these tours.

In a nutshell:

  • Make reservations in advance during promotional periods.

  • Be prepared for changes in the weather by bringing suitable clothing.

  • Wear seasonal footwear (waterproof in winter; open in summer).

  • Use the toilets before boarding.

Best Places to See Dolphins in Setúbal

Strategic Points

If you’re eager to see dolphins in the Setúbal region, there are some strategic points that offer a privileged view of these magnificent animals. Setúbal dock and Troia Marina are two popular places where observation tours depart regularly. Further west, in Sesimbra, it is also possible to go dolphin spotting.

Setúbal dock and Troia Marina are ideal for those looking for an intimate, dolphin-focused encounter. These places offer a closer and more personal experience with these incredible marine beings. On the other hand, if you want to combine the thrill of seeing dolphins with the region’s other natural icons, such as stunning caves and deserted coves, then Sesimbra is the place to start your adventure.

The tours that depart from these areas have different proposals: while some prioritize close contact with the dolphins in their natural habitat, others explore all the natural diversity of the region.

Conscious Choice

When deciding where to go dolphin watching, take your personal preferences into account. If you want to be as close as possible to these fascinating aquatic mammals, opt for the Setúbal dock or the Troia Marina. If you prefer a more comprehensive experience that includes other natural wonders besides dolphins, such as coastal caves or secluded coves teeming with diverse marine life, then Sesimbra could be the perfect starting point for your exciting journey.

No matter which location you choose, they will all provide unforgettable moments surrounded by the unique natural beauty of Setúbal Bay.

Always remember the weather conditions when planning your tour – they can significantly influence your experience while observing marine animals

Details of Dolphin Watching Boat Trips

How they work

Boat trips with dolphin watching in Setúbal offer a thrilling experience for visitors. Generally, these tours last between 2 and 3 hours on average, giving you enough time to see and appreciate the dolphins in their natural habitat. The boats are ledby experienced guides who know the dolphins’ behavior well in the region.

In addition, the boats are specially designed to ensure safe and comfortable observation of these incredible marine animals. During the tour, the guides share valuable information about the local marine life, further enriching the participants’ experience.

For example:

  • Tourists can expect an informative briefing before the tour begins.

  • The companies that offer these tours usually follow strict guidelines to minimize any negative impact on the dolphins and their environment.

What to Expect

When taking part in these dolphin watching boat trips, it’s important to be aware of the realistic possibility of not seeing these animals on every trip. The wild nature of dolphins means that their appearances cannot be guaranteed.

However, when dolphins are present, participants often have the unique opportunity to see them swimming freely in the region’s crystal-clear waters. It’s crucial to maintain realistic expectations about interacting with dolphins and to always remember the importance of preserving this delicate marine ecosystem.

For example:

  • Passengers should be prepared for exciting moments if they come across a playful or jumping group of these aquatic mammals.

  • Visitors are advised to bring cameras capable of shooting video, as capturing still images can be challenging while the boat is moving.

Available options

When it comes to the options available for boat trips with dolphin watching in Setúbal, there is considerable variety between different tour operators. Some offer exclusive packages that include additional activities beyond just watching the dolphins, such as snorkeling or exploring the local beaches.


  • There are also personalized options that allow visitors to choose specific times or even rent private boats.

Always remember: when planning one of these exciting tours, consider factors such as available times and personal preferences when selecting the best option from the various offers in the region.

Swimming with Dolphins: An Unreal Possibility in Setúbal

Thrilling Experience

Swimming with dolphins is an exciting experience that allows visitors to interact directly with these incredible animals. Although it is forbidden by law to swim with wild dolphins in mainland Portugal, and therefore in Setúbal, there are places where this activity is permitted. On the islands of the Azores and Madeira, for example, tourists have the opportunity to swim alongside these extraordinary marine mammals. The guides instruct visitors on how to act appropriately in the presence of these wild animals, emphasizing the importance of mutual respect between humans and marine life. These strict rules aim to promote positive experiences for both tourists and the dolphins themselves.

Prices and Packages for Dolphin Watching

Available options

When planning a dolphin watching experience in Setúbal, it is essential to know what options are available. Prices for this type of activity vary between 35€ and 50€. In addition, for groups of more than 6 people, there is the possibility of obtaining a slightly lower price by opting for a private boat rental.

Arrábida Sea Ventures offers different types of packages and works with different boats to provide the best solution for each client. With this variety, visitors are free to choose the package that best suits their specific needs.

Choosing the right package can guarantee a personalized and memorable dolphin-watching experience in the region.

Costs of Experience

When considering taking part in this unique tour, it is important to take into account the costs associated with dolphin watching in Setúbal. With prices ranging from €35 to €50, visitors have the affordable opportunity to experience this special moment.

What’s more, by opting for a private boat rental or forming a larger group, there’s a realistic chance of getting better value. This flexibility in costs allows different audiences to have access to the thrilling experience of dolphin watching in the region.

Considering all these aspects related to prices and options available, it is clear that there is a diverse range of choices available to those interested in this unique activity in Setúbal.

Reports and Testimonies from Experiencers

Emotions in the Skin

Dolphin watching in Setúbal is an experience that deeply touches those lucky enough to witness this unique moment. Many people describe an overwhelming mix of emotions when they see the dolphins swimming freely in Setúbal Bay. Some report feeling a special connection with these incredible animals, while others describe feeling in awe of the natural beauty of these marine mammals.

In addition, many visitors express gratitude for the opportunity to witness the dolphins in their natural habitat. The feeling of being so close to these magnificent animals and watching them interact with each other is often described as an unforgettable and life-changing moment.

Inspiration for All

The thrilling accounts of the dolphin watching experience in Setúbal serve as a source of inspiration for those who have not yet had this unique experience. Listening to the real stories of people who have witnessed the grace of dolphins in the Sado Estuary, many individuals feel motivated to embark on this journey themselves.

These testimonies reinforce people’s desire to personally experience the enchantment offered by direct contact with these captivating marine animals. The realistic possibility offered by local tour operators, such as repeating the tour free of charge if it is not possible to spot the dolphins on the first attempt, further increases the confidence and enthusiasm of people interested in this unique experience.

Best Time and Conditions for Dolphin Watching

Best Season

The best time to see dolphins in Setúbal is in spring. At this time, the experience becomes more intimate, as there are fewer tourists. This means you can enjoy dolphin watching more peacefully and have a more authentic interaction with these incredible animals.

In addition, during the spring, visitors can benefit from low-season discounts. This not only provides a unique opportunity to witness the beauty of the dolphins in Setúbal Bay, but also allows you to do so at a lower cost.

During this season, the weather tends to be mild and the waters calmer – perfect conditions for embarking on an exciting adventure while looking for dolphins.

Ideal conditions

To guarantee an incredible dolphin-watching experience, it’s crucial to be aware of the ideal conditions. The visibility of dolphins in Setúbal Bay is influenced by several factors.

It’s important to choose a day with good weather and calm seas to increase the chances of seeing dolphins swimming freely in the region’s crystal-clear waters. In addition, opting for sunny mornings or afternoons can help you get a better view of these magnificent marine mammals.

Another important point is to have expert guides who are familiar with the dolphins’ behavior and know where to find them. These professionals have the know-how to provide visitors with an enriching and unforgettable experience during their tour.

In short, when planning your visit to Setúbal Bay to see the dolphins, prioritize spring for its peaceful atmosphere and the possible discounts offered at this time of year. Be aware of favorable weather conditions and seek expert advice to optimize your chances of witnessing these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.


You are about to embark on an exciting journey in Setúbal Bay, where dolphin watching promises an unforgettable experience. With essential information on reservations, ideal locations and details of boat trips, you’re ready to experience the magic of seeing dolphins in their natural habitat. The possibility of swimming with these incredible creatures is real and accessible, offering a unique connection with nature. Now that you know the prices, packages available and the best times for this adventure, it’s time to get ready to marvel at the beauty of these animals.

Don’t waste time and book your dolphin watching experience in Setúbal. Get ready for exciting moments and memories that will last forever!

Frequently asked questions

When is the best time to watch dolphins in Setúbal?

The best time to watch dolphins in Setúbal is during the spring and summer months, when the waters are calmer and provide ideal conditions for spotting these magnificent marine animals.

Is it possible to swim with the dolphins?

No, it is forbidden by law to swim with wild dolphins in mainland Portugal.

What are the best places to see dolphins in Setúbal?

The best places to spot dolphins in Setúbal include Setúbal Bay, the Sado River estuary and the surrounding coastal areas. These regions are known for being home to a wide variety of marine species, making them ideal for observation.

How can I book a boat trip with dolphin watching?

You can easily book a boat trip with dolphin watching by contacting local tour operators or specialized agencies directly. Always make sure you choose a reputable company that follows responsible sustainable tourism practices.

How much does it cost to go dolphin watching?

Prices can vary depending on the length of the tour, or extra activities (such as diving), as well as the reputation and quality of the operator. On average, basic packages start at around 40 euros per person.

Contact us for more information!

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