Inhabited since prehistoric times due to its privileged and strategic location, Palmela has traces of the various cultures it has fostered. Stage for the battles of the Christian conquest against the Moors, it was D. Afonso Henriques who gave it its first foral in 1185. The choice of the Castle of Palmela, in 1443, as the headquarters for the Military Order of Santiago da Espada for four centuries is a crucial landmark of its identity. Nature is exuberant in the municipality of Palmela.
The territory incorporates two of the most important national protected areas: the Natural Park of Arrabida, nominated to Unesco World Heritage, and the Natural Reserve of the Sado Estuary. Magnificent sceneries, endowed with pedestrian paths, provide all the richness of openair experiences. In the middle of the Natural Park of Arrabida, by yourself or with specialized enterprises, sport and openair activities are also leisure options such as Orienteering, Gokarting, walking/trekking, cycling and MTB, donkey rides, paintball, traditional games and rockclimbing.
The generous products that are the basis of the quality delicacies grow both in the neverending plains and the Main Mountain. Start with the creamy Sheep Butter and the famous Azeitão Cheese, a renowned and certified product which are ideal to accompany the homemade bread. Indulge in the genuine taste of the typical “Caramela” soup, in the “Palmeloa” broad beans, in the Rabbit with beans a la Palmela, in the Capon Stew or the Cheery Chicken, and finish with a juicy “Riscadinha” Apple. In confectionary, the Fogaça de Palmela, the Santiago, the Palmelense, the Bolinho de Amêndoa, pear cooked in Muscatel wine, the “Riscadinha” Apple Tart, the Rice pudding with sheep’s milk, the Suspiros and the Bolo de Família are all noteworthy. True delicacies... Accompany with an excellent wine.
Of certified quality and unmistakable fragrance, the wines of Palmela are differentiated by red, white and muscatel, never forgetting the Rosés and the topquality Sparking Wines. In the reds, the caste Castelão dominates, originating fullbodied wines, of intense colour and full fragrance, with hints of dry fruits and spices. The whites derive from a caste such as Fernão Pires and Setubal Muscatel, with good body and a fruity fragrance. The Muscatel of Setubal and Muscatel Roxo castes dominate the generous wines and offer the centenary “Muscatel of Setubal”. Here, wine is an excuse for meeting people, acquiring knowledge and traditional tastes, always with astonishing landscapes as background. In the Town of Palmela you can find the Headquarters of the Wine Route of the Peninsula of Setubal, the ideal place to plan your visit.
The traditional arts and trades were once the only means of production, and handcraft was related to needs, customs, feelings, rules and values. In Palmela, the offer of handcraft is diverse, from the miniature farming tools to pottery; from tiles and artistic ceramics to copper, tin and iron work; from basketry to weaving; from ragdoll making to wood engraving. Works of love and dedication that honour ancient traditions.
Culture has a spotlight position in the municipality’s daytoday life. An associative dynamic movement and a schedule of events filled with proposals of national and international quality, in areas such as theatre, music, or dance, have been combined to the traditional manifestations that the people devoutly maintain. The Wine Harvest Feast is the most significant festivity in the municipality and it is a celebration of the Vine and the Wine.
The Lisbon Metropolitan Region, in which Palmela is included, is renowned for its excellent climate conditions and for the diversity and quality of its golf courses.Distinguished with the award “Best European Golf Destination”, in 2007, by the IAGTO International Association of Golf Tour Operators, the region fascinates golfers. Here, the best conditions for the practice of this sport, may be found framed by stunning natural sceneries, secular heritage, traditional gastronomy and all the comfort of cosmopolitan life.