Sagres in Portugal’s sun-baked Algarve is part of a dramatic coastline once explored by Christopher Columbus and Henry the Navigator, two key players in the Age of Discovery. Henry’s legacy encompasses a maritime school out on the promontory of this rugged shore, lined with whitewashed houses, hilltop villages and sleepy fishing towns. The beachy backdrop makes it heaven of the watersports variety; some of Europe’s best surf washes up on these sands. The rest of the Algarve is more developed, but this remote corner has a national park to protect it – the Costa Vincentina runs up the West Coast and not much gets in its way. In Sagres itself, the Moors left their mark and there’s lots of architecture to admire.
When to go
This sunny spot sees little rain throughout the year. Temperatures peak between July and September, ranging from 26°C to 35°C. Spring and autumn are pleasantly twentysomething degrees, and winter never gets more nippy than around 10°C.
PlanesThe region’s main hub is Faro. Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) fly in from all across the UK | including Bristol | Birmingham | Liverpool and London Stansted. EasyJet (www.easyjet.com) flights also depart various UK airports | including Newcastle and London Gatwick. International travellers are likely to need a change in Lisbon.
TrainsComboios de Portugal (www.cp.pt) links up the land’s railways. It has services which call it at most major cities, including Lisbon, Coimbra and Porto. In the south, the handiest stations are Faro and Lagos, reached by regional CP routes.
AutomobilesThe main road leading south to the Algarve is the A2 | or | closer to the coast | the N120. The A22 runs right along the bottom | up to the Spanish border. Hertz (www.hertz.com) has hire car centres in both Faro and Albufeira.
TaxisTaxis don’t really roam these parts and there aren’t any ranks, so your best bet is to book one ahead. Try Táxis Salmonete on +351 282 624 501/450.