de São Vincente
& feel the raw beauty of the Algarve countryside
by venturing west of Lagos through rolling hills to Sagres and Cabo
de São Vicente. We never tire of bringing our guests to these
areas because of the wide-open views and endless stretches of cliff-bound
coastline. If you decide you only want to leave Lagos once, then
this is the excursion you really must take!
Make your first stop at Cabo de São Vicente
and take a walk into the lighthouse courtyard where your senses
will be tested with the serenity and remoteness of the cliffs mixed
with the fierce power of the thundering waves. This lighthouse stands
at the southwestern tip of Europe and hugs the very edges of the
cliffs. There are rumours that more than 10 nuclear submarines pass
by this corner en route to and from the Mediterranean sea each day!
If you see one, let us know!
As you feel yourself surrounded by this massive expanse
of cliffs, take a few minutes to gaze down the jagged coastline
and out to the ocean and reflect on "life for awhile".
You will notice some daring local fishermen, perched on the treacherous
narrow cliff platforms that tower
above the roaring waves, awaiting their catch. It makes me wonder
how they ever got to these precarious spots.
you can manage to pull yourself away from this beautiful, extremely
windy (bring a windbreaker) corner of the world, hop back in your
vehicle and drive back towards the town of Sagres. Before you get
to Sagres, stop along the way at Beliche beach and the old fort,
on the right. Fortaleza de Beliche is an old fortress offering spectacular
views, and Beliche also has a great tiny sheltered beach.
dirt path to the right of the fortress entrance is graced with lush
vegetation and delicate tiny vibrant shocks of seasonal flowers.
The path is narrow, rocky and quite slippery as you decline towards
sea level, so be careful not to venture to far down. Both of these
sights offer a great photo opportunity and are worth the stop.
should be hungry by now, so head back to Sagres for
lunch. On the main street in Sagres you will find the"Dromedario"
restaurant. Just look for the "cool camel" on the sign
on the left side of the road. This restaurant became our absolute
favourite, many years ago, for its charming Moorish decor and awesome
selection of food. A nice variety of Pizzas are served along
with salads, sandwiches and crepes. Something for every palate.
On our last visit we enjoyed the Pizza, Sandes de Frango (chicken
sandwich), Vegetable Crepe, Chocolate Crepe (save room for this)
and a bottle of Vinho Verde (traditional Portuguese wine). You really
should try a Batido",
a milkshake with fresh fruit - one of their specialties! We met
the owner on one occasion. We found him working and mingling with
his clientele on Christmas Eve. He takes great pride in his restaurant
and he continues to make creative improvements to this little eatery.
Take a stroll down to the marina, just across the main street and
down the hill from the restaurant. It is a great way to digest your
meal while enjoying the sites and observing the variety of activities
on the go. One afternoon, a crew busily attended to their boat building
project, while in the distance windsurfers took advantage of the
strong Sagres winds.
now time to head back to Lagos, and to stop in at the many road
side pottery dens. They are some of the best you will find. One
of our favourites is in Raposeira, "Hiperceramica Paraiso".
It offers a great selection of ceramics, linens, cork items and
a variety of other traditional handicrafts at competitive prices.
This large shop is on the right side of the road as you head towards
Lagos. On every visit, I continue to be intrigued with the parking
lot gravel with is made up of colourful crushed ceramics.
From Lagos, hop onto the EN125 heading west, along the Western Algarve
coast. Follow this road until you get to Vila do Bispo (and by the
way, fight the urge to stop at the numerous pottery dens - stop
on your way back, after you've been to Sagres or else you'll never
get there!!). At Vila do Bispo, you'll see signs for route 268 to
Sagres - follow this road and drive through the little town of Sagres
noting the signs to Cabo de São Vicente.
Driving time from Lagos: 40 min.
of the road
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