The relaxed surf town and historic fishing port of Sagres, Portugal is unlike anywhere else on the Algarve Coast – which is what makes it so endearing. Vast, rugged headlands and uncrowded beaches offer a change from the tourist-heavy shores of Lagos and Portimão.
Time moves slower in Sagres. Catch a wave, eat some good food, and witness some incredible sunsets. Sagres reaffirms the beauty of life’s simple pleasures.
If you’re wondering what to do in Sagres, this guide is for you.
Table of Contents
- Quick Facts About Sagres
- Day Trip from Lagos? Or Stay in Sagres?
- Where to Stay in Sagres
- 5 Totally Chill Things to Do in Sagres, Portugal
- Where to Eat in Sagres, Portugal
- Sagres, Portugal: Travel FAQs
- Did you know…
Quick Facts About Sagres
- Just six kilometers west of Sagres is Cabo de São Vicente (Cape St. Vincent): the south-westernmost point of mainland Europe!
- Sagres’s location made it an important part of Portugal’s Age of Discovery and maritime history.
- Sagres is one of the most desirable surfing destinations in all of Europe.
- Sagres is one of Portugal’s most famous beers, brewed right here since 1940!
Day Trip from Lagos? Or Stay in Sagres?
Sagres is pretty small, so with just a day (or even half-a-day), you can see all of Sagres’s main tourist attractions. Having time to relax and soak up the serenity of Sagres is another story though!
If you’re looking for baroque churches, grand museums, and beautiful beaches, taking a day trip from Lagos is a good idea. This is an off-the-beaten path destination!
Sagres Day Trip Options
Here are some of the best day trips to choose from:
- RENT A CAR AND EXPLORE: Feeling adventurous? Why not rent a car in Lagos and hit the road for the day? Give yourself the freedom to explore the beautiful coastline between Lagos and Sagres, pull over at a cute beachside restaurant, and scope out the best cliff sunset spots! Click here to find the best deals on Portugal rental cars!
- OFF-ROAD ADVENTURE TO SECRET SUNSET SPOT: This is the best day trip from nearby Lagos! This off-road experience to Sagres and back stops at an incredible secret spot for sunset (and maybe some cheeky sunset drinks!) near Cabo São Vicente.
- ALGARVIAN WEST COAST SURF LESSON: If you want to give surfing a quick go, then check out this surf lesson tour, which takes you from Lagos to the beaches north of Sagres. Transportation and surf equipment included!
Stay Overnight in Sagres
Sagres is a nature lover’s paradise. Sweeping views of the Atlantic, majestic cliff faces, and open landscapes will have you enamored. (The fact that you’ll have the place almost all to yourself is the cherry on top!) If you have time in your Algarve itinerary, my overall recommendation is to spend a night or two in Sagres!
In Sagres, explore the beaches. Enjoy fresh-off-the-pole fish. Sip a cold beer. Relish in absolute relaxation.
Oh, and surfers, welcome to your new favorite Portuguese surf spot!
Waking up to the sound of seabirds and the fragrance of the ocean is sensational. Immerse yourself in the peaceful vibe of the town by staying the night.
Definitely choose a Sagres hotel with an ocean view, and if you can, wake up for a sunrise! (Enjoying every sunset in Sagres is non-negotiable!)
Where to Stay in Sagres
Accommodations in Sagres vary from surf hostels, to vintage (read: dated) hotels, and affordable luxury stays.
- My top recommendation is Memmo Baleeira Hotel Sagres. Magnificent ocean views, breakfast buffet, and an outdoor swimming pool! Click here to book it.
- If you’re heading to Sagres to surf – or to learn how – then stay at Wavesensations – Sagres Surf House. Not only is this surf lodge right next to Praia do Tonel, but it’s also super cute and comfy. They have a Surf School for beginners! Click here to book it.
- If you’re vacationing with kiddos, check out Martinhal Sagres Family Resort. Click here to book it.
5 Totally Chill Things to Do in Sagres, Portugal
1. Surf in Sagres
Sagres is a dream for surfers. Since it’s settled at the very point of the southwesternmost edge of the country, you have two coasts to choose from.
In the winter, the waves on the Atlantic coastline can be too big, so head to the beaches on the south side. In the summer, when the waves are too small at the south-facing beaches, turn to the west and you’re sure to find a swell. The surfing in Sagres will not disappoint.
Surf Rentals & Surfing Lessons
Didn’t check your boardbag? No worries, head to one of the many surf shops to rent a board. You can also find SUPs and kiteboarding gear.
If you’re new, take a surf lesson or two. The surf schools will take you to the right beach, at the right time, to ensure a safe, fun experience.
Stay for a week and take lessons daily, or just get a quick session in! Check out these schools:
- Wavesensations (Surf): Mentioned above, this is a great place to stay and learn to surf! Click here to book it.
- Freeride (Surf, SUP, Yoga)
- International Surf School Sagres (Surf)
2. Get to Know Sagres’s Beaches
Almost all of the beaches in Sagres have a shack for surfboard and wetsuit rentals, as well as a snack bar or restaurant.
These are some of the best beaches in the Sagres region! Reserving a rental car will be handy, when it comes to exploring some of the beaches further afield.
- Praia da Mareta: This is Sagres’s main beach. Good for surfers, kitesurfers, and sun-bathers.
- Praia do Tonel: Picturesque cliffs frame this west-facing beach. And since it’s walking distance from town, it’s a popular spot for surfers of all levels. P.S. The wind is strong here!
- Praia do Castelejo: This beautiful beach boasts cool rock formations and lies 15 minutes north of town. Prepare for a massive swell in winter!
- Praia do Amado: This Atlantic open-beach is about 30 minutes north of Sagres and offers consistently good waves.
- Praia do Zavial: When the tide is high here, Praia do Zavial is best left to experienced surfers. It’s a quick 15-minute drive east and sees offshore winds, while being a bit protected from the wind.
- Praia do Beliche: Just a 5-minute drive from town! Take the steep stairs to the sand and discover neat caves, white sand, and waves (in the winter).
3. See the Fortaleza de Sagres
One of the main Sagres attractions, this sturdy military fortress was built in the 15th century by an important Portuguese navigator, Prince Henry of Aviz, or the “Prince of Sagres,” in order to protect the Algarve.
Explore the fortress and transport back in time as you peer into a telescope, keeping watch for pirates at sea. Venture out to the red-capped lighthouse and peek inside the tiny old chapel of this Portuguese national monument.
The Fortaleza de Sagres is perched upon three sheer cliffs that share awe-inspiring views, as well as a glimpse into the daily life of the local fishermen (can you imagine fishing from that high up?).
Just want to take a day trip from Lagos? Check out these tours:
4. Explore the Town
Slip on your flip-flops and shuffle around the main drag in Sagres like the locals (or, try barefoot). Pop in and out of cafés and restaurants for a beer or coffee, and chill out on Praia da Mareta.
Hang at the little park downtown and listen to the wheels of skateboarders on the small ramp. Observe old men playing cards and drinking beer on the park benches.
Speaking of beer, now is a good time to pick a favorite: Sagres or Super Bock. If you prefer a heavier beer, maybe even a craft beer, don’t worry. There’s plenty of that here.
Find my food & drink recommendations toward the bottom of this guide!
5. Catch a Sunset at Cabo São Vicente
These monolithic cliffs stand tall in the raw power of the elements: the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean, extreme wind, and barren land. It’s totally wild here.
You’ll see another nice red-domed lighthouse; the Cabo de São Vicente Lighthouse. It lies at the very tip of the peninsula, and will probably be in the backdrop of all your photos.
Watching the sun go down at the most southwesterly point of Europe (what used to be thought of as the end of the world) is a brilliant experience! Hang on to your hat (literally) and be sure to take a photo (or ten).
Where to Eat in Sagres, Portugal
- Laundry Lounge Sagres: A popular spot to get your laundry done (yes… really) while you chow down on breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Live music & cocktails at night!
- Agua Salgada: Super fresh seafood right on the main street in Sagres. Great drinks, fresh juices too, and amazing tapas.
- The Hangout: Smashing toasts and sandwiches, cured meats and gluten free brownies! Plus a nice selection of craft beer, and a cool hangout spot for people-watching.
- Three Little Birds: A popular spot for great food and coffee, though it’s a bit pricier than other spots in town.
Sagres, Portugal: Travel FAQs
Sagres is known for having the best surfing in southern Portugal. The quaint town of Sagres is famous for its uncrowded and beautiful beaches, rocky cliffs, and laid-back surf vibe.
Yes, Sagres is definitely worth visiting while in Portugal. Come for a day trip from Lagos, or stay a while. Sagres offers a unique experience since it is more rugged, and less tourist-geared than other Algarve towns. Get ready for amazing surf, stunning beaches, cute cafés, restaurants, and bars – and plenty of relaxation. Make sure to book a hotel with ocean views (find the best deals on this site!), because you’ll want to soak up these incredible ocean vistas all day long.
Sagres is a relaxed surf town with beautiful beaches, good restaurants, and windy headlands. The vibe is chilled-out, like you’d expect from a small surf town almost anywhere.
The best things to do in Sagres are surfing, watching the sunset at Cabo de São Vicente, eating, and relaxing on Praia da Mareta.
You can get to Sagres from Lagos by bus, by taxi (the journey is only 30 minutes long), or by renting a car and driving yourself. Renting a car (via this website!) is the best option if you want to explore more of the coastline between Lagos and Sagres and beyond! You can also take a guided tour to Sagres. I recommend this Off-Roading Adventure to a Secret Sagres Sunset (from Lagos) or this Algarvian West Coast Surf Lesson Tour (from Lagos).
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