We continue our Vila do Bispo tour - day 2 now and day 19 of our Algarve tour. Breakfast was served at the hotel’s restaurant, O Terraço. Since it was a sunny morning, I decided to get a table outside and enjoy the ocean view before heading out for the day.
I started my tour of Sagres at the Fortaleza de Sagres, an old fortress surrounded by white walls that once protected the town from maritime attacks. For a moment it felt like I was stranded on an island, with nothing but the ocean in sight.
As I got closer to one of the edges of the cliff, I began to notice the beaches scattered along the coast and further ahead, the tip of the Cabo São Vicente, the most south-westerly point in mainland Europe.
Behind me, there was a huge circle marked on the floor. I couldn’t tell what it was at first, but then I read the sign and discovered it was a wind compass used during the Portuguese Age of Discovery to aid navigation.
I also visited the tiny church inside the fortress, Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Graça. Unlike the church of Vila do Bispo, here the walls were completely bare and the only thing worth capturing was the altarpiece at the centre of the church.
For lunch, I went to Three Little Birds, a quiet café that has been opened since 2016. The café is named after a Bob Marley song and serves mostly burgers and salads. Looking at the menu, all the burgers sounded delicious! In the end, I chose the Portobello burger which had tomato, caramelized onion, bacon jam, cheese and smoky mayo.
With my stomach full, I was prepared to get back on the road towards Cabo São Vicente. Just before I reached the cape, I drove by the Fortaleza de Beliche. While the interior of the fortress is off-limits, I was still able to walk around it and enjoy the view over the sheer cliffs.
Finally, I made it to Cabo de São Vicente, the most famous landmark in Sagres. It was from this exact spot that the Portuguese navigators launched their boats into the unknown during the 15th century and at one point it was even considered the end of the world.
While I waited for the sunset, I went inside the lighthouse where I found a small museum explaining the history of Portugal’s maritime navigation and the lighthouse itself. Outside, the wind was blowing so hard that I could feel the sea’s spray. I saw people gathering in a corner, like an audience waiting for the show to start, so I joined in. Moments later, the sky turned orange and I watched one of the most magical sunsets I had ever witnessed in the Algarve. Even when the sky was dark, the lights never faded completely, as the powerful lighthouse helped illuminate the way.
I had dinner at the hotel, once again overlooking the ocean, but this time sat inside sheltered from the wind. After dinner, I went up to my room and started planning my journey back to Faro. I decided to drive along the north of the Algarve and then visit a couple more towns on the South coast before getting to the airport. So my next stop will be Aljezur.