The best independent guide to the Tróia Peninsula
The best independent guide to the Tróia Peninsula
The Troia Peninsula (Peninsula de Tróia) is one of the most beautiful coastlines of Portugal, with a 13km stretch of pristine sands, crystal clear waters and pine forested sand dunes.
Hidden within the pine forests are exclusive tourist developments, offering chic and secluded holidays for those who can afford the cost of super-luxury.
The main tourist development of Troia is to the northern tip of the sandy peninsula and exudes sophistication and class, with fine dining, fashionable bars and a grand casino complex.
This high-class reputation of Troia originates from the 1980s when the magnificent Troia Golf was constructed, and this golf course is still considered as one of Portugal’s finest.
Tróia is famed for its beautiful beaches
For the average tourist, Troia is an outstanding beach destination and is easily accessible from Setubal due to the regular and inexpensive ferry service.
During the summer, Troia is incredibly popular with day trippers, but hire a bike or take a short hike, leads to deserted beaches and peaceful forests. Troia was the site of a major Roman fish-salting settlement (Cetobriga) and today there are extensive ruins on the eastern side of the peninsula.
Troia has a reputation for exclusivity and wealth, but it is actually a peaceful and scenic stretch of coastline, which is highly recommend to visit. This guide will provide an introduction to Troia Peninsula, either for a holiday or day trip.
Related articles: - Setubal guide - Serra da Arrabida - Sesimbra guide
Below is a map of Troia, with the highlight marked in green and the beaches in yellow
1) Casino de Tróia 2) Cetobriga Ruínas Romanas 3) Troia Golf 4) Marina de Tróia 5) Praia Tróia Mar 6) Praia do Bico das Lulas 7) Praia da Questa 8) Praia da Costa da Galé 9) Praia Atlântica
Welcome to Tróia
Troia is a wonderful holiday destination for visitors who seek tranquillity and seclusion, combined with a touch of class. Any holiday to Troia will be primarily focused around idyllic beaches and the facilities of your hotel complex; Troia is not a bustling or hectic resort. A holiday to Troia will be much more expensive, but then this is why people choose to live or have a holiday here.
The main resort of Troia overlooks the marina
The main town is at the northern tip of the peninsula and boasts a selection of stylish restaurants and bars, and the Casino de Tróia. Even though the town is small, there is always a good holiday atmosphere, and in-part due to the ferry departing from here.
There is a second popular development further south on the Peninsula, referred to as Sol Tróia . This area is a mixture of modern holiday homes and stylish hotels, including the Pestana Troia Eco-Resort. Sol Tróia is much calmer and low key than the northern tip Troia with fewer restaurants and bars, but there is the trendy SPOT - Troy Water Lounge .
Below is a map of Troia showing the locations of the main hotels and accommodation, if you adjust the dates to your holiday it will display availability and the best prices.
The main reason for a day trip to Tróia are for the beaches, and they are wonderful beaches, but there is more to see and do in the region.
Bikes could be hired (or brought over on the ferry) to cycle along the quiet roads to the Roman ruins. The undeveloped eastern side of the Peninsula is a haven for wildlife including flamingos and migratory birds. Alternatively, a relaxing afternoon and evening could be spent in the romantic restaurants, which overlook the marina and estuary.
The majority of day-trippers come from Setubal, as this is the departure location for both ferries (the passenger catamaran and the car ferry). It is possible to have a day trip to Troia (using public transport) from Sesimbra or even Lisbon (train from Lisbon and ferry from Setubal). If you are on holiday in Setubal, then Troia offers the best beaches which are accessible by public transport.
Tróia is not just exclusive tourist developments, there is also beautiful natural scenery
The main reason for a day trip (and often a holiday) are the glorious beaches, which extend along the western side of the Peninsula. This coastline offers vast beaches of soft golden sands, onto which the cooling waters of the Atlantic Ocean roll onto.
The Praia do Bico das Lulas beach, south of the main town
One interesting aspect of Troia Peninsula is that the seas tend to be much calmer than at other Portuguese westward facing coastlines (such as the Costa da Caparica or Ericeira, both famous for their surfing).
This calmness is due to sunken sandbars out to sea, and these give rise to the calm turquoise seas for which the region is renowned for, especially Comporta to the south. The beaches on the western side of Troia are safe for children to swim in, but only swim where there is lifeguard supervisor, and it is safe to do so.
The Praia Atlantica beach, looks out over… the Atlantic (as the name suggests!)
The majority of visitors tend to congregate around the north-eastern side of the Praia de Tróia, as this is the closest beach to the ferry terminal and main resort town. From the town centre there are broad walks to quieter sections of this beach, including the southern side of the Praia do Bico das Lulas . To further escape the crowds head to the Praia de Tróia-Galé, which is behind the Troia Golf course.
The Praia Atlantica is the main beach for Sol Tróia, and is another magnificent beach, which is very similar to the northern tip.
The eastern side of the Troia Peninsula has beaches that are as picturesque as those of the western coastline, but the waters come from the Sado Estuary and are not suitable for swimming in.
The beach on the eastern side of Troia overlook the Sado estuary and tend to be much quieter but are not for swimming
Troia Golf is the outstanding golf course of the Troia Peninsula, and is considered as one of the top 20 golf courses in Europe. The setting is beautiful, and, with narrow greens and numerous bunkers, it is a challenging 18-hole course. Green fees are €102/ €78 (18/9 holes) and they can be contacted by phone: +351 265 494 024, or www.troiaresort.pt/en/troia-golf/
The Troia Golf clubhouse and lake to cross on the first hole
Cetobriga was a major Roman settlement which specialised in the salting of fish, caught from the Sado Estuary or the Atlantic Ocean. This fish-salting process was performed on almost an industrial scale, and many of the factory like buildings have been unearthed, along with bathhouse temples and even an early Christian church. The town was abandoned in the 5th century after being critically ravaged by a winter storm.
The ruins are situated on a separate headland of Troia , and are unfortunately a significant distance (7km) from the main resort town. If you have a car (or are cycling), this is a very peaceful and idyllic section of Troia. The entrance fee to the ruins is €6.00 and it closes during lunch.
The Cetobriga ruins have detailed information and are well worth the cycle, hike or drive from Tróia
There is just a single road connecting Troia to the mainland, but this travels from the south, via Comporta, and is a massive detour when heading from Lisbon. Most traffic from the north crosses the estuary using the car ferry (€17.20/€31.00 single/return) that departs from Doca do Comércio in Setubal and terminates at the Cais Sul terminal on Troia. This ferry terminal is close to Sol Tróia, and is three kilometres to from the main resort town and the passenger ferry terminal.
The slower car ferry heading back to Setubal
For foot passengers, the catamaran is the better option. It departs Setubal from Cais 3 and terminates at the Ponta do Adoxe, close to the marina in Troia . A return catamaran ticket costs €7.75 and is charged to the Navegante Card (the same public transport ticket as used in Lisbon), which costs €0.50 for the initial purchase.For the latest timetable, please visit the Atlantic Ferries website:
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It is possible to travel on the ferry as a foot passenger, and this is convenient for Sol Tróia, but the journey is much longer than the catamaran. A single ticket costs €3.60.
The green Atlantic Ferries catamaran is the fastest way to Troia
Setubal Portugal Holiday & Tourism Guide