A once incredibly powerful, famous and ancient lady used to say: Better from Sintra to Sagres than from Pontius to Pilate. Well, actually it was not a lady, but a gentleman. And he was not stone age but in the best years.
His fame and power were also limited. In fact, it was a travel blogger from Zurich in beautiful Switzerland called Hendrik.
The unquestionable truth, however, is that this very Sintra -> Sagres route was the next stage of our Portugal road trip from Lisbon to the Algarve.
And that’s why today’s article is about all the Sagres sightseeing, the westernmost tip of Europe. At our previous station in Sintra, we were able to gain great impressions of the castles and villas in the north of Lisbon. Now we are almost three and a half hours later or 350 km (217 miles) further south in the tranquil Sagres. More precisely, in Cabo de São Vicente.
Castelo de Aljezur
On the way to Sagres we made a short stop at the old castle ruin of Castelo de Aljezur. Less than 45 minutes drive north of Sagres is this attraction already from the Bronze and Iron Age originating.
Not only the view of the surrounding countryside is spacious and spectacular.
Even its ancient story is impressive. The fortress has been used over the centuries by changing powers as a fortification. At an altitude of 88 meters, the old fortress towers in its own ruins and there is persistently the (unconfirmed) legend that the Castelo is the one on the flag of Portugal.
Day trip to Sagres
Sagres in southwestern Portugal is already part of the Algarve. This makes it so popular with surfers worldwide.
The sometimes extremely high waves there make it a paradise for those surfers. There are 1,990 inhabitants living in the city and make it truly a small, sleepy village.
The ravages of time gnaw at almost everything and things go calmly, as they have always done.
Presumably, the image you have in your mind is not that far from reality. In the main season, however, the city lives on the many surfers, which shape the cityscape partly sustainable.
As I said, the city of Sagres itself is quite small and usually really interesting for surfers.
As an attraction for tourists usually serves the Fort in Sagres. This old fortress is very spacious and there is a so-called wind compass. Since the fort is a bit off the beaten track (about 1 km walk from the bus stop), the journey with your own vehicle or rental car is recommended.
Cabo de São Vicente
The Cabo de Sao Vicente (en. Cape St. Vincent) has been our actual destination.
Just 7 km west of the town of Sagres, this place forms the spectacular western tip. For many, the highlight is the lighthouse.
As one of the most beautiful lighthouses in Portugal, it is still visible up to 50 km on the sea.
For us, however, the real highlight was the wild, boisterous landscape. It reveals itself to the beholder, steep, rugged cliffs and rocky slopes. Waves whipping the Atlantic meter high and the spray hisses white flames. Unbridled natural power.
But be careful, there are no barriers or safety bands.
A memorandum, embedded in the rocky landscape, testifies to the fall into the death of a vacationer in just that place. Salutem primum – safety first.
The last sausage before America
Let’s get to the real highlight of our Sagres sights.
Ladies & Gentlemen: “The last bratwurst before America”.
This slogan, which probably brings tears of joy to every marketing director, stands for a small food truck in Cabo de São Vicente. And yes, there is bratwurst here. And that means that too.
Tastes, to be honest, quite normal, but there is an official consumption certificate (consumptificate?), which proves that officially one has brought the last Bratwurst before America to its own digestive tract.
Sagres, or Cabo de São Vicente are undoubtedly beautiful destinations.
But you have to be aware of what to expect in advance. Certainly not the Seychelles or the Rocky Mountains.
As the westernmost point of the Algarve on the south coast of Portugal, a rugged rocky landscape with sparse vegetation dominates here . The dream beaches are all further east in Portugal.
Nevertheless, from our point of view, one should not miss visiting the most westerly point in Europe a la “Been there, done that”.
A very own, almost surreal mixture of longing and wanderlust can be captured here. The thoughts vanish in the sharp winds of the Atlantic and remain there forever hidden.
As an interesting hotspot for photographers, we can safely recommend Sagres anyway. The landscape and the lighthouse offer a lot of beautiful motives. By the way, you can find all pictures in our gallery as always.
Dear readers, that was it from Sagres. Next time we will get back from the much more touristy Lagos eastwards. I remain with transatlantic greetings and meanwhile eat a bratwurst on your welfare.
Your oh so terrible non-veggie Meat-lover Hendrik
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