Most people spend their days in Sagres on one of the excellent beaches, five of which are within walking distance of the town. Three are on the more sheltered coast east of the fortress, with the best, Praia da Mareta, just five minutes’ walk southeast of the main square. Further on is the slightly scrubby harbour beach, Praia da Baleeira, but you’re better off walking another five to ten minutes over the cliffs above the harbour to the longest beach, Praia do Martinhal, which is particularly good for families and backed by a purpose-built resort. West of the fortress, Praia do Tonel is a wilder location, popular with surfers. It’s a longer walk to the beautiful Praia de Belixe, 2km down the road from Sagres to Cabo de São Vicente, which is overlooked by a small fortress (closed to the public). Wherever you swim, take care – there are some very strong undertows, especially on the west side of the fortress.

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