Sagres - Ponta de Sagres

The history-charged village of Sagres at the south-western tip of the Algarve with great beaches & surf spots, an impressive fortress, one of the best fish auctions in Europe, hiking and bird watching in the natural park of the Costa Vicentina
Sagres - Ponta de Sagres
  • District: Faro > Municipality: Vila do Bispo > Parish: Sagres
  • Population: 1.909
  • Distances: Faro Airport 119 km, Lisbon Airport 327 km
  • Tourist Info: Posto de Turismo de Sagres

Sagres is a village (vila) and parish (freguesia) in the municipality (concelho) of Vila do Bispo in the district of Faro (Algarve), the southernmost region of Portugal an the European continent.

Sagres location and access

Getting to Sagres

The village of Sagres is located near Ponta de Sagres. Together, this rocky cape and the adjacent Cape St. Vincent (Cabo de São Vicente), form the most south-western corner of continental Portugal. Sagres is located on the south side of the cape which protects the vilage from the sea waves and the strong westerly winds.Sagres is situated in the nature reserve Parque Natural de Sudoeste Alentejano e de Costa Vicentina. With a total area of ​​79 000 hectares this is one of the largest areas of nature conservation in Portugal. The nature reserve extends along the entire west coast of the Algarve and is one of the few parts of the region virtually unaffected by tourism.

Sagres lies at the southern end of the EN268. The road leads north, passing through Vila do Bispo and continues along the coast to Aljezur. The A22 motorway ends in Lagos; journey on to Vila do Bispo via the EN125, and then take the EN268 which brings you to Sagres in about 30 minutes. The EVA Transportes maintains bus links between Sagres and other towns.  The Linha do Algarve, a single track railway line from Vila Real de Santo António on the border to Spain, terminates in Lagos.

Sagres sports and Leisure

What to do in Sagres

Sagres is surrounded by beaches with very different characteristics. On the south coast, the sandy beaches are more extensive than those on west coast, the Costa Vicentina and the influence of strong westerly winds is less intense.

Sagres is ideal for surfers who come from far away to pit their wits against the force of the waves from the Atlantic Ocean, In and around Sagres several surf schools offer their services both to beginners and advanced surfers. The steep cliffs are also ideal for brave paraglider to practice their sport.

Southwest of Sagres is Ponta de Sagres, a headland of one km length and 300 meters width with very steep cliffs.  Here you will find a national monument of paramount importance - the Fortaleza de Sagres. However, it is disputed if the legendary school of navigators of Infante D. Henrique (Henry the Navigator) was located here.

In the fishing port, situated in a sheltered bay on the east coast of Sagres, fishermen auction their catch from Monday to Friday from 15 h. It is considered one of the best in Europe to buy fresh fish and sea food.

History of Sagres

The history of Sagres is linked to Henry the Navigator

The name "Sagres" originates from the adjective sacred: In antiquity, the Ponta de Sagres was named Promontorium Sacrum (sacred promontory). Probably, this uninhabited area, which was seen as the end of the world also had a ritual purpose, as the sets of standing stones (menhirs)  around Vila do Bispo and Raposeira suggests.

The importance of the town of Sagres grew under the Infante D. Henrique (1394 -1460), known as “Henry the Navigator”, who was the driving force behind the beginnings of Portuguese Discoveries. While he was governor of the Algarve, the ancient fortress of Sagres was rebuilt. It was only in 1921 that the famous mosaic “Rosa dos Ventos” " (Rose of the Winds) was discovered, evidently a relic from the times of the Navigator; however, its exact function is unknown. On the other hand, there is now scientific evidence that the legendary nautical school of Sagres was not located in this region. Prince Henry died in Sagres, in 1460.

Prior to 1519, Sagres belonged to Vila do Bispo but in that year it became an independent parish until 1834.  During the war between Spain and England, the corsair Francis Drake occupied the fortress of Sagres in 1587, ransacked the artillery and totally destroyed the neighbouring Fortaleza de Beliche.

The gigantic waves of a tsunami that followed the earthquake of 1755 also left scars on the fortress of Sagres. It was restored only in the mid-twentieth century and opened to the public having obtained the status of a National Monument.

Shopping and gastronomy in Sagres

The fish market in Sagres

In the fishing port, situated in a sheltered bay on the east coast of Sagres, fishermen auction their catch from Monday to Friday from 15 h. It is considered one of the best in Europe to buy fresh fish and sea food.

If you want to taste the best of the traditional regional cuisine, you should not miss a trip to Vila do Bispo, where the restaurant A Eira do mel serves exquisite dishes according to the rules of the Slow Food Cuisine.

Surroundings of Sagres

Ponta de Sagres and Cape St. Vincent

The area between Ponta de Sagres and Cape St. Vincent, the Reserva Biogenética de Sagres is a unique ecosystem that attracts bird watchers worldwide. Each year in October the festival of bird watchers (Festival Mundial de Observação de Aves) takes place here with guided tours led by experts who explain the avifauna in an educational and enlightening way.

Cabo de São Vicente (Cape St. Vincent) near Sagres is one of the main attractions for visitors to the Algarve. The plateau is arid and harsh, the steep cliffs are around 70 metres high and the vegetation is short and sparse. When you see the Atlantic Ocean stretching into infinity and the waves crashing in against the rugged cliffs, you may understand why in ancient times people regarded this place as the world's end (finis terrae). The lighthouse of Cape St Vincent with a luminous range of 90 km over the Atlantic is the brightest in Europe. It usually opens its doors to visitors on Wednesdays between 14h and 1 h.

In the region of Vila do Bispo and Raposeira there are traces of prehistoric human population - Neolithic standing stones, about 5000 years BC. A trail, Roteiro Megalítico, near the road between Sagres and Vila do Bispo leads through "Montes dos Amantes", an area where these menhirs can be found.

Sagres Weather

Actual weather conditions and weathet forecast for Sagres

Actual weather conditions may significantly differ in the various locations due to the winds on the Atlantic coast. Therefore we are publishing more specific and detailed weather data and 72h weather forecast for selected spots on the Algarvian coast, including wind speed and direction, altitude of waves and rating for surfers as a special service to our visitors interested in water sports. According to our own experience, and based on judgement of the locals, this is the most accurate weather information currently available for the Algarve.

Tide table for the Algarve coast

Surf & wave forecast provided by the Hydrographic Institute of Portugal:

  • Significant altitude
  • Average direction
  • Peak periods
  • Wind direction and strenght

Weather in Sagres (Windguru)

Accommodation Nearby
Pousada do Infante Pousada do Infante
Weather Sagres