It must be impressive seen from the sea, but from the land side it seems no more than a strong wall. It is not the look what justifies the visit, but what it means to the world and the middle age development.
Don't go there without reading something about Portuguese discoveries - You'd risk to miss the meaning of the place.
- Historical Travel
Very beautiful views, with wonderful beaches sheltered by high cliffs invite us to swim. That may not be a very good idea - the sea is rougher than eastbound, and the water is colder, sometimes two or more degrees.
There is always someone fishing, which means that it may be the best sport in the area.
Sagres is full of history and empty of interesting details.
To justify the visit, it is used in some cultural activities that give life to the place.
It´s a good idea, before going, to try to find out what is going on and its scheduling.
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
Henry the Navigator Fortaleza
From a quick drive around Sagres there is not very many older buildings. Apparently the great 1755 Lisbon earthquake devastated the town and many buildings were never rebuilt.
An exception to this is the imposing Henry the Navigator Fortaleza which is located on the Ponta de Sagres which is north of the town. Henry the Navigator is famous for the navigational school he built in Sagres in the 15th century. Some of the students that attended that school included Fernando Magellan and Vasco de Gama.
The fort has an imposing entrance and there is a circular drive that you can park in if you wish to enter the fort. The walls of the fort remain only on one side of the fort. There is an interesting arch to the fort as you approach it.
We walked up to the fort but did not enter it. There were so many other naturally beautiful things in the area we decided to put it off for another day.
Gorgeous Homes Along the Cape
Driving back from the Cape to Sagres we noticed a few gorgeous homes that were set out on the bluffs on the Cape. Two of them stood out as being designed in a way that there were in complete harmony with nature. I hope you enjoy these pictures and look for them on your drive out and back from the Cape.
Outside Vendors at the Cape
Often times with a spectacular site or scenery, vendors in all forms will follow. The situation at El Cabo De San Vicente is no different. On the Sunday we were there we counted no less than fourteen vendors selling items from winter alpaca sweaters, pottery, to bratwursts. Of course as the sign said these were "Cape Special Prices."
What I found interesting was going back at previous VT reviews of the "Cape Flea Market," as far as nine years was that some of the merchants are still there. The bratwurst vendor is still selling his brats but without the same ostentatious sign he had. Other vendors like the little fish place mentioned in one of the reviews is gone.
We didn't buy anything but we did wonder about the potential market for alpaca sweaters in 28-30 degree heat of May. Oh well...... and yes this posting should have gone to Tourist Traps.
El Cabo San Vicente
Located not more than 5 km from the town of Sagres the El Cabo San Vicente (The Cape) is definitely worth the drive. As you depart Sagres you notice how barren the cliffs are and how crystal blue the water is. Not quite as blue as the Mediterranean but still strikingly blue. There are a few interesting homes that have built on the bluffs of the Cape. However the most striking scenery is to be had at the end of the road. There exists the great views of the cliff and the little lighthouse with its museum. We found it somewhat surprising that none of the area had any railings at all protecting folks from the steep and slippery cliffs. Caveat emptor? Oh well there is an awful lot of cliff to cover and anyone with common sense should avoid the edges.
Costa Vicentina - Acantilados / Cliffs
Vale la pena este viaje sólo por conducir por las carreteras solitarias y estrechas llenas de curvas e ir descubriendo en cada curva un acantilado o una playa impresionantes
It's worth the trip just for driving through the lonely and narrow roads full of curves and to discover at every turn a stunning cliff or a beach
Costa Vicentina Playas / Beaches
Castelejo , Garapatira , Bordeleira, Arifam , Monte Clerigo , Zambujeira de mar...
Estas son algunas de las playas que encontramos por esta zona , con sus acantilados , su arena fina y el majestuoso atlántico es un lugar para perderse pues no está sobresaturado de turistas y te permite pasear , nadar , hacer surfing , pescar...
Nos llamó la atención que vimos muchas caravanas haciendo camping libre sin mayores restricciones y no sabemos si esto es normal o si sucedía porque estábamos en tenporada baja
Castelejo, Garapateira, Bordeleira, Arifam, Monte Clerigo, Zambujeira sea ...
These are some of the beaches we could find for this area, with its cliffs, fine sand and the majestic Atlantic , is a place to loose yourself because it is not overcrowded with tourists and you can walk, swim, surf, fish ...
We noticed that we saw many caravans making camping free without further restrictions and do not know if this is normal or if it happened because we were in low season
El Cabo - San Vicente - Cape
A este singular accidente geográfico, con sus setenta y cinco metros de paredes verticales despeñándose sobre al mar, se le conocía en tiempos romanos como Promontorium Sacrum, lugar dedicado al Dios Saturno.
El nombre del Cabo , proviene de una leyenda que cuenta que en el siglo IV un barco que llevaba el cuerpo de San Vicente , que había sido martirizado en Valencia , recaló en esta punta y estuvo aquí custodiado por dos cuervos , hasta que en el siglo XII reinició el viaje hasta Lisboa
Nosotros vimos el cabo con la mar tranquila , pero ver aquí un temporal tiene que ser algo inolvidable
In this unique landform, with its seventy-five meters of vertical walls tumbling on the sea, was known in Roman times as Promontorium Sacrum, place dedicated to the god Saturn.
The name of the Cape, comes from a legend that in the fourth century a boat carrying the body of San Vicente, who had been martyred in Valencia, ended up at this point and it was here guarded by two ravens, until the century XII that restarted the trip to Lisbon
We saw the place with the sea calm, but to see it with storm weather has to be something unforgettable
El Faro / The lighthouse
El faro está situado sobre los impresionantes acantilados del Cabo San Vicente y tiene un rango de alcance de 95 Kms, que lo ghace uno de los más potentes de Europa
60 años antes de la Era Cristiana ya era conocido como : "el último lugar habitado del mundo”
The lighthouse is located on the stunning cliffs of Cabo San Vicente and has a wide range of 95 kilometers, making it one of the most powerful in Europe
60 years before the Christian era it was already known as "the last inhabited place in the world"
Fortaleza do Beliche
On the way to Cape St Vincent, you'll pass by the remains of this fort that is slowly slipping into the sea. Built in the 16th century to protect the local fishing fleet, it was destroyed by Sir Francis Drake in 1587 and subsequently rebuilt in 1632. Inside the fort is the chapel of Santa Catarina but you're not able to visit it as it's now deemed unsafe.
- Historical Travel
- Castles and Palaces
Fortaleza do Cabo de São Vicente
Located just before you reach the Cape St Vincent lighthouse, this fort dates back to the reign of King Manuel I of Portugal (1495-1521). The original structure was devastated in 1587 by the attacking British under Sir Francis Drake but was rebuilt in 1632 under the reign of King Philip III of Portugal (1621-1640). However, it was badly damaged by a tsunami that resulted from the 1755 earthquake.
- Castles and Palaces
- Historical Travel
Cape St Vincent
Located about 7km (4 miles) west of Sagres, the barren headland marks the south westernmost point of continental Europe. Named after the body of St. Vincent (who was martyred by the Romans) was taken here to protect it from the invading Moors, it became a place of pilgrimage for centuries. In 1173, the first King of Portugal, Afonso Henriques, had the remains of St.Vincent transported to Lisbon. The area around the cape was plundered several times by pirates from France and Holland and, in 1587, by Sir Francis Drake. There is a powerful lighthouse on the point that was built, in 1846, over the ruins of a 16th century convent. The lighthouse, guarding one of the world's busiest shipping lanes, is among the most powerful in Europe (the most powerful being on the French island of Ushant, off the coast of Brittany); its two 1000-watt lamps can be seen as far as 60 kilometres away. Unfortunately, it's not possible to visit it.
The working fishing harbour in Sagres is really picturesque and well worth visiting, even for a minute or two. To the left end of the harbour's car park is Praia da Baleeira, which is a lovely sandy beach, with some rocks speckled across the sand. For the best views, walk up to the top of the headland where you'll also find the remains of an old fort.
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