Parque Natural da Arrábida

Serra da Arrabida Natural Park Caving

Useful Information

Location: Cabo Espichel and southern coast of Setúbal peninsula.
Open: depends on operator. [2020]
Fee: depends on operator, duration of tour. [2020]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave
Light: bring own torch
Guided tours:
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: definitely not
Address: Parque Natural da Arrábida, Tel: +351-265-541-140.
dicover portugal, corporate and group travel incentives, Tel: +351-918-354-714.
Wind - Centro de Actividades de Montanha, R. Eduardo Mondlane 44, 2835-116 Baixa da Banheira, Tel: +351-969-787-615.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.



The Parque Natural da Arrábida (Arrábida Natural Park) is of great geologic interest. Here you can find geologic witnesses for the fragmentation of Laurásia and the formation of the North Atlantic. Also it is one of the rather sparse limestone karst areas in Portugal. Arrábida has hundreds of karst caves, of which the Gruta do Frade stands out for its rarity, uniqueness, diversity and beauty of the speleothems it presents. There was once a show cave in the area, but it was destroyed some time ago by limestone quarrying and road construction. Most of the year the area is drained completely underground through river caves. But the hills have torrents, gorges, which are reactivated mostly after heavy rains during winter.

While there is no show cave, there are caving tours offered. The Americans call them cave trekking tours, it is a term for touristic visits of undeveloped caves with emphasis on sports, not on science. For some reason the Natural Park allows such cave trekking tours into some caves. We found two action sports operators who offer tours of different difficulty levels and duration into various caves, and also surface tours with similar schedule, including canyoning. As we are not convinced such offer are a good idea we will not give any further information on the details. Please help yourself with the links below.