It was in Sagres that Prince Henry the Navigator established his school of navigation – from here the great sailors and navigators such as Magellan, Diaz, Cabral and Vasco da Gama set sail on their voyages of discovery.
Visit the so-called o fim do mundo (the end of the world) – a long, craggy peninsula terminating in the Atlantic Ocean at the southwestern tip of Europe.
Sunbathe or swim from the golden sands of Praia de Martinhal, or surf the waves off Praia do Tonel and Praia do Mareta.
For magnificent coastal panoramas, follow the sign-posted Ponta de Sagres pathway.
Ponder the Rose dos Ventos, an impressive 43m-diameter wind rose (or wind compass) used for measuring the direction of the wind and believed to have been built for Prince Henry.
Admire the 16th century whitewashed chapel of Nossa Senhora da Graça, which faces the promontory of windblown Cabo de São Vicente.
Admire several sights along the way, such as the crumbling wall and arch of Fortaleza da Baleeira – about all that remains of the ancient harbour fortification.
Peer up at the enormous walls of the 18th century Fortaleza de Sagres (photo), which houses a small museum displaying interesting historical artefacts.
To reach the cape, take the daily weekday bus. Or get a different perspective on a two-hour boat ride to the tip of Cabo de São Vicente – once believed to be the end of the inhabited world.
Visit on a day trip or stay longer at the colonnaded Pousada do Infante, positioned on the cliff-top overlooking Fortaleza de Sagres and the lighthouse of Cabo de São Vicente.
Choose from four beaches all located within walking distance of central Sagres: Praia do Tonel, Praia da Mareta, Praia da Baleeira and Praia do Martinhal, while the more secluded Praia do Beliche is 3km out of town.
These beaches face different sides of the Sagres headland, so at any time at least one beach is good for surf or just relaxing on the beach.
Praia do Tonel faces a westerly direction and is the most exposed to huge waves, strong winds and ocean currents. Popular for surfing.
Praia da Mareta faces south and is slightly better sheltered than Praia do Tonel. This is generally where most people prefer to surf.
Praia do Martinhal faces south-east, is generally sheltered from strong waves and currents and offers a beautiful expanse of golden sand, with lifeguards on duty during the summer season.
This is where to head to for a conventional day on the beach. Praia do Martinhal is the most popular beach in summer. The beach is located around 2km from the town centre – a 25 minute walk or 5 minutes by car.
Praia da Baleeira faces east and is located 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
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Anytime is good to visit Sagres (and the Algarve) – the coast sees little rain and lots of sunny days throughout the year including winter – but for the best weather, visit Sagres between June and October.
The peak holiday season in Sagres is July and August; these are also the hottest months of the year, with the temperature averaging 28°C (82°F) and but often reaching the high 30°Cs.
The months of spring (March to May) and autumn (October and November) are typically warm and – while perhaps too chilly for swimming – are excellent for sailing and land-based activities such as golf.
More information about weather on the Algarve …
Sagres is located 88km (54mi) west of Albufeira and 280km (173mi) south of Lisbon.
The most convenient route to Sagres is by air to Faro International Airport (FAO), also known as Algarve Airport, located 4km (2.5 mi) west of Faro, and around 117km (72mi) west of Sagres – an hour and 20 minutes by car.
Faro – the provincial capital of the Algarve and the largest city in southern Portugal – is located 45km (28mi) east of Albufeira and 309km (192mi) southeast of Lisbon.
Taxis and buses run frequently between the airport and Faro city centre, taking around 7 minutes.
Taxis and hire cars are available at the airport. A bus service operates every 30 minutes from the airport to Faro train station at Largo da Estação for connections to Sagres and other destinations on the Algarve.
More information about how to get to the Algarve…
Latest update: Sagres Honeymoon Guide: 22 December, 2019
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