Posted by: Stevie D | June 29, 2012

The Edge of the Known World.

Cabo de Sao Vicente. Back in Roman times, they believed it was the edge of the world. They believed that where the sun set into the seemingly endless North Atlantic, the sea boiled. We more educated types know this not to be the case, and a look at an Atlas printed in Europe clearly shows the Americas to be nestled safely there at the real edge of the world over there in the Pacific.

However, I’m told that in Chinese atlases, their homeland is safely placed in the middle of the page and to them, Cabo de Sao Vicente would indeed appear to be the edge of the world.
It’s all a matter of perspective.

The lighthouse at Cabo de Sao Vicente is one of the most powerful in Europe.

Huge cliffs are unprotected by barriers to protect the unwary.

Just down the road from Cabo de Sao Vicente is the small, seaside town of Sagres. Even though we stayed here in late June, Sagres during the day had an atmosphere befitting the town at the edge of the world.It’s streets remained stubbornly quiet until well after the afternoon siesta time. The tourist guide I read claimed it wasn’t always windy in Sagres, but our week there started breezy and ended in a full-blown gale. The campsite we stayed on remained only 5% full the entire week, but those that we occasionally encountered wondering the site gave a clue to the success of Sagres.

The campsite at Sagres was bubbling with activity.

During the day,much of the town was almost deserted.

Surfing, of course, on Sagres’s choice of fine beaches is a major draw.

One of five excellent beaches that surround the town.

Great views of Portugal’s spectacular South West coast.

On a promontory beyond Sagres is it’s fort. It’s a strange kind of fort though as it’s only got a front. The cliffs behind give more than enough protection on the other three sides.

Looking down the barrel at Cabo de Sao Vicente.

We took a ride up the west coast one day to the town of Aljezur with it’s cobbled streets and crumbling hilltop fort. The ride was great though, through increasingly wooded and hilly countryside.

The castle at Aljezur, with our arrival route in the valley below.

The bike had to wait in the hot sun while we walked up the steep cobbled hill to the castle.

Just south of Aljezur, spectacular views from Arrifana.

The road from Aljezur to Sagres was great, and better surfaced than many of Portugals minor roads.

Along with the surf crowd, there seems to be a large number of people who come to pack out Sagres’s small selection of all night cocktail bars. Here they get on down to groovy dance, trance and Drum ‘n Bass sounds(please excuse me if the terminology isn’t quite correct, I’m a bit out of my depth here).Jayney and I found ourselves in one of these establishments late one night. We only popped in to see if we could phone from there to get a taxi home. Ended up staying for 4 hours. All in the cause of research for the blog, you understand.

The music was not to my personal taste, and I wish he wouldn’t shake my beer so much before handing it over.

I would imagine Sagres would be more busy in the winter, as up to 20,000 motorhomers descend on the Algarve coast to sample the mildest winter weather in Europe. Great climate, lovely scenery, friendly locals, the place really does have a lot going for it.



  1. You finally surface!! LOL. Great photos and blog; you guys are turning in to awesome tour guides. I don’t think I would leave that spot, then again, you have been to other places that I wouldn’t have left either. 🙂 Glad you guys are having a great time. Ride safe Brother. BikerMonkey

    • Yeah Sorry BM. Been a bit busy lately. You know married life, I guess. Still,we’re back on the road now and I should be on here a bit more regularly from here on in. Nice to know you missed us. Take care man.

  2. Nice to see you settling in to married life :-), that coast line looks amazing, we are champing at the bit now to see some blue sky, ohh by the way Steve going to pick up another Harley tomoz its going on a trailer behind the hotel on wheels, and i blame your pics:-)!!!xx

    • Hi man. Blue sky? It’s just started to rain here. 😦 Actually, it’s making a pleasant change. Oh dear, now it’s stopped again.
      Anyway, good plan about the Harley buddy. You know what I always say…..Not without the bike. 🙂

  3. Another great write up and fab pictures. Loving this blog thingy 🙂 Love to you and the Mrs xxx

  4. Thanks Troodles. All that writing stuff…’s all in ‘our’ surname. 🙂

  5. I can’t believe more people wouldn’t be in Sagres. What a beautiful little town. Hope you were able to spend some time there! I love the steep cliffs along the beach. They remind me of some of the beaches we visited while living in Greece (as a child), and later when Hubby and I went to Italy and France. I’m feelin’ the pull to head overseas again….. 🙂

    • Yeah, lovely place. But I’ve been surprised by how quiet many of the places are. Just coming into ‘high season’ now though so I guess we’ll see a change.

  6. Nice to see you back Stevie. Great post. Shaken beer, ouch.

    • I guess they like a bit of froth.

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