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Sagres, Algarve: Travel Guide

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Sagres is a small town on the western tip of the Western Algarve. It is believed that Henry the Navigator, one of the most important figures in the Age of Discoveries, may have had a navigation school here and the area certainly gives off the feeling that you’re at the very end of the world.

There isn’t a lot to see and do in Sagres, and most of the focus is on the year-round surfing industry. Everywhere you look there are surf shops, surf schools, surf accommodation, and just about anything else that you can think of related to surfing.

The area is also popular with walkers. Sagres is the final stop on The Algarve Way, a 300 km walk that goes from Alcoutim on the Eastern Algarve next to the Spanish border to Sagres in the Western Algarve. Although it’s not a part of the Rota Vicentina walk, Sagres also attracts plenty of walkers who are starting the trail at the nearby Cabo de São Vicente.

While the town of Sagres isn’t particularly visually appealing, it is surrounded by some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world. There are also several attractions within driving distance, including the lighthouse at Cabo de São Vicente and the Fortaleza do Beliche fortress.

cabo de sao vincente

Featured Accommodation in Sagres

  • Memmo Baleeira – A stylish design hotel with an outdoor swimming pool, spa, and onsite restaurant.
  • Pousada de Sagres – Attractive hotel located on top of the cliffs and overlooking the Sagres promontory and the nearby Atlantic ocean.
  • Cercas Velhas – Small and charming guesthouse that’s located just 900 metres from Praia da Mareta.

Is Sagres right for me?

Sagres is ideal for those that want to wake up on the West Coast. It’s popular with walkers and bird watchers, but especially with surfers.

For surfers, Sagres not only offers proximity to the West Coast but also a great surfing vibe as well. The majority of the town is a mixture of surf shops and hostels, as well as bars and restaurants catering to surfers, and just about everyone who stays here is either a surfing fanatic or learning to surf.

Of course, Sagres is just one of many options in this part of the Algarve. Arrifana, 50 km north of Sagres, is another surfing and backpacking hotspot.

Burgau, 23 km, is a small village with a beautiful beach, and the larger resort town of Praia da Luz is roughly 23 km from Sagres as well. Aljezur is another possibility again, and a popular base for those exploring this part of the Algarve.

Getting to Sagres

The best way to get to Sagres is to rent a car at Faro Airport and drive there, as you’ll want to have a car in Sagres. If you don’t drive or aren’t planning on driving, however, there are plenty of other ways to get there including public transport and airport transfers.

From Faro Airport

  • Airport transfer: Airport transfers are available from Faro Airport to Sagres through companies like Welcome Pickups. If you’re not planning on renting a car, this is normally the easiest and fastest way to get from Faro Airport to Sagres.
  • Rental car: Although there are some public transport options in Sagres, and some companies offer tours from here, the easiest way to get around is definitely by car and it makes sense to rent a car at Faro Airport. The journey time from Faro Airport to Sagres is 1 hour and 20 minutes on the A22 toll road and around 2 hours on the N125 non-toll road (see: renting a car at Faro Airport). 
  • Shuttle bus: Shuttle bus services, with a typical journey time of just less than 4 hours, are available from Faro Airport and can be booked through websites like hoppa.com.
  • Taxi (or Uber): Taxis and Ubers are both available at Faro Airport, although it’s usually cheaper if you book an airport transfer in advance than take a taxi at the airport.
  • Public transport: There isn’t a direct bus or train from Faro Airport to Sagres. To get from the airport to Sagres, you’ll first need to take the airport bus (bus #16) or a taxi into Faro and then take connecting transport from there. Unfortunately, there also isn’t a direct bus or train from Faro to Sagres: you’ll need to take either the bus or train to Lagos and then take a connecting bus to Sagres.

From Faro

To get from Faro to Sagres, you’ll need to go to Lagos and then take a connecting bus from there. The train is usually the faster option (by as much as 40 minutes), but getting the bus means you don’t have to walk between the bus and train stations.

  • Bus: There isn’t a direct bus between Faro and Sagres. You’ll need to take a bus from Faro to Lagos, and then another bus from Lagos to Sagres. Tickets and timetables can be found on eva-bus.com.
  • Train: The trainline only goes as far as Lagos. From Lagos, you’ll need to take a bus to Sagres. Train tickets can be booked on cp.pt (discounts available if you book in advance) and bus tickets can be booked on eva-bus.com.
  • Taxi Transfer: Welcome Pickups offers transfers from Faro to Sagres. This is typically cheaper than getting a taxi, and usually cheaper than getting an Uber as well.

From Lisbon & other parts of Portugal

  • Bus: Long distance coach tickets are available from Lisbon, Porto, and many other towns and cities in Portugal, and tickets can be booked on rede-expressos.pt. If you can’t find a direct route on Rede Expressos, you’ll probably need to book a ticket to Lagos and then take a local bus from Lagos to Sagres. Local bus tickets and timetables can be found on eva-bus.com.
  • Train: The nearest train station to Sagres is in Lagos, and you can get a train here from Lisbon, Porto, and the rest of Portugal. From Lagos, you’ll need to take a bus onto Sagres. Train tickets can be booked on cp.pt (discounts available if you book in advance) and bus tickets for the Lagos to Sagres journey can be booked on eva-bus.com.

Last updated in August 2019.
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