Sagres, Portugal

The end of the world.

Waves crash onto a beach tucked into steep cliffs on the coastline of Sagres, Portugal
Sagres, Portugal (2022)

Sagres is a quiet, unassuming surf town situated at the most south-western tip of the Algarve region. Instead of hitting up the much more popular and touristy cities in the Algarve, we opted for this more rugged seaside spot that has some unique and pretty badass history.  

Sagres was founded in 1519 and is historically connected to the early Portuguese Age of Discovery. It has stood the test of time, despite being repeatedly attacked by raiders and ravaged by earthquakes throughout the centuries.

Early explorers believed this place to be the end of the world.

It sure as hell felt like it.


Hiking to Praia do Telheiro

Praia do Telheiro beach extends from steep cliffs into the ocean
Praia do Telheiro, Portugal (2022) 

We walked along the 200 foot high cliffs, which drop off dramatically into the glittering Atlantic. Local fisherman sit precariously along the edges with their long lines cast below them. Beautiful red sand beaches stud the windswept coast line. Turbulent turquoise waves crash into the rocks and sound like a constant thunder.

We clambered our way down the steep cliffs to the remote Praia do Telheiro for a truly magical afternoon. There were only two other people on the beach when we arrived, which made for a totally surreal experience.

Our advice to you:

  • Park at the Lighthouse of Cabo de São Vicente, a neat historical attraction you can visit quickly before you start your trek
  • Give yourself about 1 to 1.5 hours each way from the lighthouse (it takes about an hour if you are moving quick, but you'll probably want to stop and take a million photos like we did)
  • If you don't want to do the hike, there is a parking lot close to Praia do Telheiro (but we highly recommend hiking there and back)
  • Wear proper footwear, especially for the steep climb down to the beach
  • Bring water and snacks!

Fortaleza Sagres

Fortaleza Sagres, Portugal (2022)
Fortaleza Sagres surrounded by steep cliffs into the ocean

We visited the Fortaleza Sagres, a historic 15th century fort built on the southern tip of the peninsula. The geography of this area is a perfect natural defense. The fort was designed on these 200 foot high cliffs to defend the town from raiders and pirates over the centuries.

Even though it was heavily damaged in the Great Earthquake of 1755, the remaining buttress wall and fortress grounds are impressive.

Our advice to you:

  • Go early, before it gets busy with tour groups (this is a popular tourist destination for the Algarve)

Sunsets on the cliffs

Two people sit looking over the cliffs to the ocean while the sun sets
Sagres, Portugal (2022)

What could be better than a sunset at the end of the world?

Grab some drinks from the small grocery store in town and head to the area around the Lighthouse of Cabo de São Vicente for an insanely gorgeous view.

Where we stayed

The small town was super fun to wander through. There are some nice beaches within walking distance, as well as the fishing marina. We loved walking around in the residential area, it had a totally different vibe from Porto, the previous city we were in. The buildings are small and bright, an array of yellow and white with a pop of pink here and there. We even found a really cool abandoned old hotel.

Also, there are cats everywhere.

Our accommodation in Sagres was perfect. Located just off the main strip down a quiet side street, it was an ideal spot. The host, Marc, lives in town and is really lovely. He provided coupons for local restaurants and gave us great advice.

One of his restaurant recommendations ended up being quite possibly my favourite restaurant I've ever been to. Eating there was one of those "I'll never be the same again" moments. So life changing in fact, that I am going to write an entire blog about it.

Stay tuned for the upcoming post about the best restaurant in Sagres.
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The sleepy town of Sagres was a perfect spot to relax and soak in some nature between exploring two bigger cities. This place was such a treat, and we highly recommend spending a couple days here if you are in the area.

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