Rugged nature, historic feats, and tasty treats
Perched on Europe’s southwesternmost edge, Sagres is a land of towering waves, choppy seas, windswept landscapes, and the freshest seafood. A sleepy corner of the Algarve, it starkly contrasts the bustling resorts and busy beaches in the rest of the region. Here, time moves slower. Nature seems closer. An enjoyable day can be spent exploring the scenery, history, and culinary delights. So why not make your stay at LUX MARE all the more memorable by exploring this gorgeous town, only half an hour away?
Want to learn more about what to see and do in Sagres, Portugal? Then read on!
Sagres, Portugal: The edge of the known world
As the vegetation gets scrubbier and the cliffs more dramatic as you approach Sagres, it certainly feels as if you are reaching the end of something… a feeling that stretches back as far as the Moors and Romans, who both used the area as a place of pilgrimage and worship, even naming it Promontorium, or ‘sacred headland’. And it is, in fact, the end. The end of Europe and what was, before the 15th century, the known world.
Then came the Age of Discovery – Portugal’s golden age – during which vessels were built that could cross the Atlantic for the very first time. And it all began here, in a school of Navigation founded by Prince Henry the Navigator. His fame came from monumental contributions to geographical discovery and the opening up of trade and cultural links between Europe and the East. The prince would live out his last days on Portugal’s southwestern edge. Still, his influence – and the sailors whose knowledge of cartography, astrology, and archaeology grew thanks to him – would live on in the shape of the discoveries made over the vast horizon like Bartolomeu Dias, who rounded the Cape of Good Hope in 1488 and Vasco da Gama who pushed through the sea route to India in 1498.
Sagres, Algarve: What to do
Now that you know the town’s historical importance, let’s find out the best things to do in the area, the first of which is exploring the untouched nature. You can do this in many ways, from adventuring across rugged hills and tracing hidden cliffside trails to braving the turbulent seas on a surfboard – it’s all within your reach. Or you can sit and observe it. Watch the birds as they stop on their way to Africa and take in the beauty of white storks nesting on the cliff faces – the only place in the world where they are known to do so. The nearby Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park is widely considered the finest preserved stretch of European coastline and well worth exploring for nature and hiking lovers, or you can amble to one of the four beaches within walking distance of Sagres town, each uniquely striking in their own way.
As for the attractions in Sagres are the 15th-century military fortress built by Prince Henry the Navigator to protect the area from Moorish pirates. An imposing structure still furnished with cannons, Sagres fortress is worth a visit, followed by a walk through the Sagres Biogenetic Nature Reserve to Cape St Vincent – the end of the world itself, a bleak headland and southwesternmost point of mainland Europe. Home to one of the most powerful lighthouses in Europe, this is one of the most striking spots imaginable for watching a sunset.
Sagres Restaurants: What and where to eat
When by the sea, fish dishes should be at the top of your list of things to try, and Sagres is no different. However, among the various seafood delicacies available, goose barnacles (percebes in Portuguese) are ones you won’t want to miss. For seafood galore with a sea view, you’ll do no better than A Tasca, O Escondidinho or Armazem, with its modern décor and display case from which to select the freshest fish. Then there’s Bossa Brew House, for those enticed to Sagres, Algarve, thanks to the beer of the same name. Unfortunately, the lager is brewed in Lisbon, but this microbrewery goes one better, serving its own beers and others from breweries across the Algarve.
Now, all that’s left to do is let our concierge know you want a day trip to Sagres. Then sit back and let us take care of the rest.