The best independent guide to Sagres
The best independent guide to Sagres
Sagres is situated on a beautiful coastline formed of towering cliffs, powerful seas and vast sandy beaches. Many of these beaches have stunning natural scenery and are protected from development as are within the Parque Natural do Costa Vicentina.
The beaches of Sagres may be beautiful, but the region is bracing and barren, being exposed to constant winds, ferocious waves and strong currents. These characteristics make them ideal for surfing (kite, bodyboard and normal surfing) and the whole region is a favourite with experienced surfers.
Sagres is positioned on a south extending headland and the beaches surround three sides of this promontory. This means that while one side is exposed to the prevailing winds and seas, the others are calmer, suitable for typical beach goers and families. This article will provide an introduction to the beaches of the Sagres region.
The Sagres coastline
There are four beaches within walking distance of central Sagres; Praia do Tonel, Praia da Mareta, Praia da Baleeira and Praia do Martinhal, while the Praia do Beliche is slightly out of town.
The western coastline of Vila do Bispo has three pristine beaches; the Praia do Telheiro, the Praia do Castelejo and Praia da Cordoama. The final beach to mention is the outstanding Praia da Bordeira 20km north of Sagres, wonderful to visit if you have a rental car.
Sagres best beach: Praia da Mareta (Surfing, scenery and walking distance from the town)
Relaxing beach day: Praia do Martinhal (glorious sandy beach)
Surfing (in Sagres): Praia da Mareta and Praia do Tonel (depending on the size of waves and experience)
Surfing (close to Sagres): Praia do Beliche
For a family: Praia do Martinhal (sheltered from strong waves and currents with lifeguard supervision in the summer)
Stunning scenery: Praia da Cordoama and Praia Da Bordeira
Note for surfing: the waves and swells are constantly changing, a beach which is outstanding one week may be poor the following.
The Praia da Mareta is main surfing beach of Sagres
There is little variation with the sea water temperature throughout the year ranging from 15°C in the winter to only 19°C in the height of the summer. This lack of variation is attributed to the Atlantic Ocean and the general sea currents from the north and west. If you are spending any extended periods within the sea, you will need a decent wetsuit.
There is no need to venture far from Sagres to find great beaches, within walking distance of the town are four wonderful beaches. These beaches face the three different sides of the Sagres headland, so one will be suitable for your beach or surf day.
The Praia do Tonel (GPS: 37.00543, -8.948166) faces a westerly direction and is the most exposed to the huge waves, strong winds and ocean currents.
The Praia da Mareta (GPS:37.00534, -8.939482) faces south and is slightly sheltered from the extremes of the Praia do Tonel. This is generally where most people surf.
The Praia da Baleeira (GPS: 37.01119, -8.930466) faces east and is next to the fishing harbour. It is sheltered from the breeze and waves but the beach is not as good as the Praia do Martinhal
The Praia do Martinhal (GPS: 37.01849, -8.92605 ) faces south-east and has a beautiful expanse of golden sands. This is where to head to for a conventional day on the beach. The only downside is that it is a little walk from central Sagres and is the most popular during the summer.
A great surfing beach close to Sagres
The Praia do Beliche (GPS: 37.02527,-8.96477) is 3km northwest of Sagres and combines great surfing with a beautiful sandy beach. This is a good option when one partner wishes to surf and the other prefers relaxing on the beach.
The Praia do Telheiro (GPS: 37.04555, -8.97979) 7km northwest of Sagres is remote, isolated and without any tourist development. The beach faces the full force of the Atlantic Ocean.
The Praia de Rebolinos (pebble beach) is best avoided as its full of stones and pebbles and not great for surfing or a day on the beach.