Sagres, end of the world?

portuguese fishing boats in harbour

With much to see, fabulous restaurants to suit any budget and the lighthouse at Cape St Vincent not 5kms away, Sagres is certainly worth a day trip away from the beach — although you could fit in a visit to the beach as Sagres and the west coast is a mecca for surfers.

Sagres, it seems, has been visited since Neolithic times. At the time, with no human settlement in the area, many believed that their gods gathered there and subsequently it became a place of worship. It still appears to be the end of the world, with the ocean stretching off as far as the eye can see.

The word Sagres derives from sagrado, meaning holy. Located at the crossroads of sea routes between the Mediterranean and Atlantic, the town’s port would offer sailors the opportunity to enjoy their time on land before many days or months at sea.

The fortress at Sagres was built strategically on the promontory and offers an insight into how shipping could be controlled from the 15th century. Click here to read more about the history of Sagres with its fort and also about Cape St Vincent with its lighthouse.

The port of Sagres is still actively used by local fishermen, bringing in catches of not just fish but also molluscs. Visitors to the area can see fishermen standing atop the cliffs using rods to catch fish which are then either sold to local restaurants or eaten at home.

Sagres is part of the Southwest Alentejo and Vincentine Coast National Park. Here large numbers of bird nest and rest. In fact, the autumn event Birdwatching & Nature Activities Festival offers wonderful insight into all things ornithological and natural in the area.

For more information about Sagres and the surrounding area click here. For an aerial visit of the area click here.

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