Sagres is a small town in Algarve, Portugal located on the Atlantic and is known for great waves, friendly people, and beautiful beaches. It’s close by to Lagos so if you’re in the area you should try to see both towns. Read on for tips on food and the best beaches around!
How to get to Sagres
If you’re driving to Sagres be prepared to pay some serous tolls! When you reach the Portugal border via A-22 (if you’re driving from Seville) they’ve got a new toll system in place; you stop at the toll center as soon as you cross the boarder and use your credit card to pay for all the tolls you’ll pass through on your way. They take a photo of your license plate and charge your credit card every time you drive through a toll (it’s not the kind where you stop and pay – there’s just cameras set up). It seems that they only enforce the tolls in high season (spring/summer) because we’ve never had to stop and register before. The interesting thing about the tolls is that they only charge you once a month; so you can make a bunch of journeys back and fourth and only pay one time. My boyfriend and I stopped to register our plates and credit card at the machine as soon as we crossed the border but neither of our cards were working…so we just didn’t pay and nobody seemed to care. If you get caught the ticket is about 40 euros, and if you pay for the tolls it costs about 20 euros so it’s up to you if you want to risk it or not!
There are several beaches to go to in Sagres but I’m going to share two of my favorites with you:
Praia do Beliche
Beliche is one of my favorite beaches it’s absolutely gorgeous! Also it’s the best spot to go if Sagres is especially windy while you’re there. You’ll have to go down some serious stairs but it’s worth it once you get to the bottom.
The sand is soft and powdery and the water is crystal clear. Beliche usually has great waves for surfing and there are two sections of the beach to choose from; the main section when you walk down consists of families and tourists, if you walk a bit further to the right there is another section of the beach which is partially blocked by huge rock formations (you’ll get trapped on that side when the tide rises so keep an eye on it!). On this side we noticed a lot of locals, young adults, and nudists. The beaches in Portugal are topless but I guess you get totally naked if you like because no one seemed to mind! The lifeguard on duty told us dogs weren’t allowed in the “main” section of the beach but we could bring him to the far right side which was perfectly fine with us! We put our stuff in one of the caves to keep it cool and spent an amazing morning enjoying the beautiful views and good weather. **It is a long walk from the center so it’s best to get to this beach via car or bike.
Praia do Tonel
Tonel is a favorite spot for surfers as it usually has great waves. This beach can be a bit windy so if it is an especially windy day I’d recommend going to Beliche instead. It looks like there was a big storm recently because the beach is a lot smaller now (the sand got washed away) and there are a ton of rocks on the shore that weren’t there last year. BUT don’t let Tonel’s initial appearance fool you; if you walk towards the left side once you get to the bottom of the hill and climb over a bunch of rocks you’ll see that the beach is as big and beautiful as ever (and the best part is the lifeguards there don’t care if you have a dog or not, wooh!). This beach is a 5 – 10 minute walk from the city center; on the right side facing the fort (Sagres Point/ Ponta de Sagres).
We stayed at ApartHotel Navigator in Sagres one time; it was fine, cheap and within walking distance of everything. When we travel with Pumba we usually stay at a friend of a friend’s place. If you’re traveling with a pet I’d suggest checking out Airbnb or Glamping Hub for pet-friendly accommodation nearby!
I had one of the best and most authentic Portuguese meals this past weekend at Cervejaria Talizé! Definitely eat there if you’re in Sagres; the restaurant is located just off the main plaza (you should be able to smell it once you’re near!) on Ruo San Vicente.
My boyfriend and I each ordered one of the menu specials, Dorada and Robalo, which are both white flakey fish and at Cervejaria Talizé they were served fresh! The menu came with a salad and steamed potatoes (drinks not included). The staff was very friendly and the food was absolutely delicious – make sure to order one of their homemade desserts too – the lemon pie and almond pastry were amazing. We did go for a late lunch (about 2:30pm) and they had run out of a few dishes so if you want to get full menu access show up for an early lunch!
Rua Comandante Matoso is where you’ll find Sagres’ nightlife center. It’s really convenient because all the bars/clubs are located right next to each other in a row. This area is less than a 5 minute walk from the main plaza of the town. Cocktails are reasonably priced at all the bars, between 5 – 7 euros, and by 1am they’re all packed (keep in mind in winter it’s like a ghost-town though!). One of the most well-known spots is Agua Salgada which features really modern surfer style decor and a DJ that plays a mix of funky house music; it’s a perfect spot for drinking and chatting with friends.
Sagres: the perfect spot for a weekend getaway!
We had a really great time in Sagres and I would definitely recommend taking a trip there if you’re looking for a quiet spot to relax and disconnect for a few days. Also Sagres is the name of a Portuguese beer which you should try while in Sagres, it’s great 😉