Places to Visit
Here are some of the main places of interest in the Sagres area.
Places in Ponta de Sagres:
Fortaleza de Sagres
Classified as a National Monument, the original fortress of Infante D. Henrique, dating from the fifteenth century, was destroyed during the raids of Sir Francis Drake to the south coasts of Spain and Portugal during the sixteenth century, and was rebuilt during the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries.
Attributed to Infante D. Henrique, this circle with 43 meters in diameter and 32 spokes made with stones, it was discovered in 1921. It is known as a compass card, although some scholars believe it was a sundial.
Church of Nossa Senhora da Graça
Built over the foundations of the original church of Santa Maria, built by Infante D. Henrique, this sixteenth century church boasts an image of S. Vicente coming from the convent of Cape St Vincent. In it one can see the tomb of a sixteenth-century Spanish captain who helped defend the fortress from attacks by Sir Francis Drake in 1587 and the tomb of two commanders of the fort during the seventeenth century.
Places in Cape St Vincent:
The King John III ordered the construction of this fortress in the sixteenth century to protect the adjoining Franciscan convent from pirate attacks. The main door bears the coat of arms of the king. The tower was destroyed by Sir Francis Drake and rebuilt in the seventeenth century.
Lighthouse of Cape St. Vincent
Originally built in 1846, the lighthouse was expanded and modernized since then . It is considered one of Europe's most powerful headlights and watches over one of the busiest trade routes in the world.
Archaeological places in the region of Sagres:
The landscape around Sagres is has vestiges of Algarves prehistoric past, confirming the belief that the headlands of Sagres and Cape St. Vicente were ancient places of worship. Various menhirs and cromlechs dating back to IV century BC are scattered around the region and the most notable examples are those in Aspradantas, Milrei, Padrão and Monte dos Amantes.
The name "Sagres" derivates from the sacred name given by the Romans to this promontory, Promontorium Sacrum, where sunset made the water simmer. The most important ruins in the region include a residence, spa and fish salting tanks in Boca do Rio, as well as traces of a residence and fish salting tanks in Salema Beach. The beach at Martinhal contains traces of a large center with three pottery kilns used for the production of amphorae, and in small islands across the Martinhal are also ruins of tanks for salting fish.