Algarve-Tourist.com - Sagres

Sagres Portugal - A Tourist Guide

Sagres is remote, adventurous and unlike any other destination in southern Portugal. The small town is situated at the extreme western tip of the Algarve, a region of dramatic natural scenery; comprising of raging seas, towering cliffs and vast beaches.

fishing harbour of Sagres portugal

The fishing harbour of Sagres Portugal

Sagres is a destination where visitors come to embrace nature’s immense power, be that in the sea surfing, on the land hiking, or basking under the glorious sun. Sagres may not be for all, as the town has a laid back ambience with an outpost’s rugged and unkempt appearance, but for others Sagres will be the best location in the Algarve.

Why visit Sagres?

Sagres offers visitors beautiful beaches, a unique fort and some of the best surfing beaches of Portugal. Just outside of town is the Cabo Sao Vicente, the most westerly point of mainland Europe.

Sagres beach

The beautiful scenery of the Sagres region

Surfing is the main activity of Sagres but there also challenging hiking trails, quiet roads for cycling, while departing from the harbour are deep sea fishing trips. For those tourists with a rental car, Sagres can be used as a base to explore the south western side of the Sao Vicente National Park, a region of remote beaches and stunning natural beauty.

What about a holiday to Sagres Portugal?

A holiday to Sagres will appeal to two main groups of tourists; surfers (kite, surf or body boarding) and visitors who enjoy the outdoors, and wish to escape the crowds and mayhem of the central Algarve. Part of the allure of Sagres is the remote setting but this may (and should) deter tourists wanting a conventional weeks holiday as, apart from the beach and surfing, there is not actually much to do in Sagres.

Sagres, along with whole of southern Portugal, is extremely popular in the summer, always book accommodation well in-advance as places to sell out. For a selection of Sagres best hotels please click here.

Cabo de São Vincente

The light from the Cabo de São Vincente light house can be seen for up to 45km away
and is one of the brightest in Europe

How about a day trip to Sagres?

Sagres makes for an enjoyable day trip for those visitors based in Lagos or the surrounding area. A typical day trip to Sagres visits the Cabo Sao Vicente, Sagres fort, the working fishing harbour and lunch in the town. Sagres can easily be visited as an independent day trip as there are regular and inexpensive bus services connecting Lagos and Sagres. For a guide to a day trip to Sagres please click here.

Sagres Fort

The wind compass in Sagres Fort

Sagres is the name of one of Portugal’s most famous beers but it is not brewed in the town.

Surfing in Sagres

Sagres has some of the best surfing waves in Portugal, with massive and powerful swells rolling in from the Atlantic Ocean. Due to the positioning of the headland that Sagres is located on certain beaches are more sheltered from the waves than others. This means for surfing the beaches are suitable from beginners through to highly experienced surfers.

Praia do Martinhal beach sagres

The Praia da Mareta is main surfing beach of Sagres

Sagres has many excellent surf schools (with lessons in a range of languages) and is an inexpensive place to learn to surf. Surf equipment can be hired in Sagres and this avoids the hassle of transporting items. After spending the day in waters, the bars are filled with likeminded people and there is a distinct surfer’s vibe in Sagres, especially outside of the tourist season.

Sagres Beaches

The beaches of Sagres are simply stunning. There are three beaches within walking stance of the town; the Praia da Mareta, Praia do Tonel and the Praia da Baleeira. The Praia da Mareta is the most popular offering medium surfing waves, a large sandy beach and shelter from the almost constant breeze.

Praia da Mareta beach sagres

The Praia da Mareta is a fantastic beach

The Praia do Tonel faces a westerly direction and is pounded by some of the largest waves of the region, while the Praia da Baleeira is next to the fishing harbour and is the most sheltered of the three. The Praia do Martinhal is only a short walk from central Sagres and is another large beach. Northwest of Sagres is the Praia do Beliche one of the most popular surfing beaches in the region.

Praia do Tonel beach sagres

Only the most experienced surfers should consider the Praia do Tonel

What’s the best tourist attraction in Sagres?

There is only one main tourist attraction in Sagres, the unique Fortaleza de Sagres. The fort has only one defensive wall on the southern edge, as the other three are guarded by the immense and sheer cliffs of the headland.

Praia do Tonel beach sagres

The lighthouse inside the spars Fortaleza de Sagres

Inside there is a pleasant 1.5km cliff side walk, a lighthouse, a grotto where the waves crash into and a large wind compass. Some visitors may be slightly disappointed by the sparseness of the fort but as with everything in Sagres the main attraction is the setting. The entrance fee is €3 and a typical visit lasts 40 minutes.

The Cabo de São Vicente

The Cabo Sao Vicente is the most westerly point of mainland Europe and up until the 14th century it was believed to be the end of the known world. The ferocious waves of the Atlantic Ocean pound the massive cliffs, while high above the immensely bright light house guards the treacherous (dangerous) cliffs. No visit to Sagres is complete without visiting this bleak and wind torn headland.

Cabo Sao Vicente Portugal

The 75m high cliffs of Cabo Sao Vicente Portugal

The constant winds prevent any substantial plant growth, while the whole barren appearance is in keeping with the once belief that it was the end of the world. There are two bus services Monday to Friday from Sagres to Cabo de São Vicente. The bus is convenient as it waits approximately 30 minutes at Cabo São Vicente before departing, which is usually enough time to see the entire area.

Eva bus at Cabo de São Vicente

The Eva bus at Cabo de São Vicente

Do I need a rental car?

There is almost no public transport in the Sagres region, there is a regular bus service to Lagos but not much else. The nearest train station is in Lagos and this is also the location for the main regional bus station. To get the most from a holiday to Sagres a rental car is needed. A pre-booked taxi transfer from Faro airport to Sagres will cost almost the same as three days car hire, so collect the car from the airport before visiting Sagres.

What else can be done in the Sagres Portugal region?

Sagres makes for a good base from which to explore the southern edge of the “Parque Natural Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina”. This protected coastal landscape incorporates Sagres and extends for 100km along the western coast of the Alentejo up to the major port of Sines and contains some of Portugal’s finest and remotest beaches.

Sagres Portugal Holiday Guide

 

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