Some people say that when you want to see the beauty of nature and some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes in all of Portugal, you have to visit Sagres – the southwesternmost tip of Europe. There is a certain enchantment to the air that flows through this region of Portugal that just beckons you to stop and explore the natural beauty of the region.
For centuries, the landscape of Sagres has called out to many explorers. The area is known for inspiring many of history’s greatest adventurers and explorers to seek out new worlds and see what the rest of the world has to offer. According to local legend, Sagres was the source of Henry the Navigator’s inspiration. Because of Henry, the area played an important role in the early maritime industry. Astronomers, cartographers and mariners alike found refuge in Vila do Infante before they set out into the world to rewrite history.
Sagres coastline, Algarve, Portugal
Today, many visitors make their way to Sagres because of the beauty of the landscape and of course for the sandy beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see. Paragliders and surfers come to this place to make a name for themselves in the untamed waves off the Algarve coast. Snorkellers and scuba divers come to explore the underwater riches of the limestone cliffs that overlook the sea. And of course there are the fishermen who come here for some of the finest sport fishing in the region.
If it is golf that you fancy, you will simply fall in love with the Parque da Floresta golf course which can be found in the nearby Budens village.
In Sagres, you will find the Fortaleza de Sagres which is a national monument that was built by none other than Henry the Navigator back in the 15th century. Of course most of the fort was destroyed in the 16th century when Sir Francis Drake made his way down the Spanish and Portuguese coastlines. But the castle was rebuilt during the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.
Back in 1921, a wind rose was unearthed in the area. The Rosa dos Ventos which is also believed to be a sun dial by many was built back in the days of Henry the Navigator. The Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Graçawas built back in the 16th century along with the Fortaleza. The Fortaleza’s construction was ordered by King D. João III as there was a need to protect the nearby convent from further pirating.
Fortaleza de Sagres, Algarve, Portugal
Of course the area dates back much further than the times of Henry the Navigator. Several large cromlechs (prehistoric megalithic structures) and menhirs (monoliths) which can be dated back to the 3rd and 4th centuries can be found just outside the city. There are also many ruins from the days of the Romans as well. These ruins include baths and a villa as well as salting tanks and a large amount of pottery has also been unearthed in the area.