Sagres / Cabo de São Vincente
See and feel the raw beauty of the Algarve countryside by venturing west of Luz and Lagos through rolling hills to Sagres and Cabo de São Vicente with wide-open views and endless stretches of cliff-bound coastline. If you decide you only want to leave Luz once, then this is the excursion you really must take!
From Luz, go onto the EN125 heading west, along the Western Algarve coast. Follow this road until you get to Vila do Bispo (and by the way, fight the urge to stop at the numerous pottery dens – stop on your way back, after you’ve been to Sagres or else you’ll never get there!!). At Vila do Bispo, you’ll see signs for 268 to Sagres – follow this road and drive through the little town of Sagres noting the signs to Cabo de São Vicente. Driving time from Luz, about 35 mins.
At Cabo de São Vicente, there’s really only one place to park – along the sides of the road near the Lighthouse. In Sagres, there is ample parking along the main street.
Make your first stop at Cabo de São Vicente and take a walk into the lighthouse courtyard where your senses will be tested with the serenity and remoteness of the cliffs mixed with the fierce power of the thundering waves. This lighthouse stands at the south western tip of Europe and hugs the very edges of the cliffs. There are rumours that more than 10 nuclear submarines pass by this corner en route to and from the Mediterranean sea each day! If you see one, let us know!
As you feel yourself surrounded by this massive expanse of cliffs, take a few minutes to gaze down the jagged coastline and out to the ocean and reflect on “life for awhile”. You will notice some daring local fishermen, perched on the treacherous narrow cliff platforms that tower above the roaring waves, awaiting their catch. How do they ever get to these precarious spots !!!
If you can manage to pull yourself away from this beautiful, extremely windy corner of the world, hop back in your vehicle and drive back towards the town of Sagres. Before you get to Sagres, stop along the way at Beliche beach and the old fort, on the right. Fortaleza de Beliche is an old fortress offering spectacular views, and Beliche also has a great tiny sheltered beach.
The dirt path to the right of the fortress entrance is graced with lush vegetation and delicate tiny vibrant shocks of seasonal flowers. The path is narrow, rocky and quite slippery as you decline towards sea level, so be careful not to venture to far down. Both of these sights offer a great photo opportunity and are worth the stop.
You should be hungry by now, so head back to Sagres for lunch. Take a stroll down to the marina, just across the main street. It is a great way to digest your meal while enjoying the sites and observing the variety of activities on the go.
Time to head back to Luz, and to stop in at the many road side pottery dens. They are some of the best you will find. A favourite is in Raposeira, “Hiperceramica Paraiso”. It offers a great selection of ceramics, linens, cork items and a variety of other traditional handicrafts at competitive prices. This large shop is on the right side of the road as you head towards Lagos. The parking lot gravel is made up of colourful crushed ceramics.