We had walked round Setubal but wanted to see more of the Sado Estuary and so set off to find the Mourisca Tide Mill – Moinhos de Mouriscas – which is situated in the Sado Estuary Nature Reserve.1 I had stupidly forgotten to bring a recharged battery so these are phone photos!
The Mourisca Tide Mill
The mill probably dates from the 17th century and is one of four mills which used to stand on the estuary. It was still in use in the 1950s and 1960s.
The Salt Pans
Setubal has been a centre for salting fish for 2,000 years in an industry established by the Romans. The Sado Estuary was one of the most important areas for the production of salt in Portugal but today there are fewer than a dozen salt pans which are still active. They do not include these salt pans near the tide mill.
The estuary is also an area in which rice is grown, but we were not aware of rice paddies in the nature reserve.
We spent an enjoyable hour here at the Mourisca Tide Mill, looking at the mill and walking amongst the salt pans. Sadly this was the end of our time in the Pousada of Palmela.
Interesting to see inside the tidal mill. We only saw it from a distance on a cool, wet day as we walked in the pinewoods. We have one quite close to us at Quinta de Marim on the Ria Formosa and another near Silves on the Arade estuary.