Today, you will be walking towards the south western tip of Europe. This is a magical place where one can almost hear the echoes of the voices of sailors and pilgrims. Monumental cliffs, outstanding views over the coastline and a privileged area to watch the natural phenomenon of autumn bird migration.
On this section the very high cliffs provide unique perspectives. Ornithologists and birdwatchers are attracted to Sagres by the autumnal migration of soaring birds and seabirds, which amount to more than 5000 individuals from more than 300 species.
In fact, they may come across booted eagles, black kite, honey buzzards, short toed eagles, sparrow hawks, red kite, kestrels, fly catchers, Eleonora’s Falcon, black storks and different species of vultures. The more rare imperial Eagle and Golden Eagle appear at times. In October, some seabirds can also be easily observed, such as the shearwater, gannet, skua, the common tern and sandwich tern.
The vegetation is still the protagonist on this trail along the top of the cliff. It crosses the Sagres Biogenetic Reserve, a sanctuary for botanists because of the rare chalk soil plants, and for species unique to the world or which were thought to be extinct but have reappeared. The undergrowth is dominated by gorse, Erica, thistles, Lithodora lusitanica, rosemary, thyme, violets and hyacinths.
You are about to finish the Rota Vicentina, but before you’ll pass an area called Vale Santo, which was for centuries part of the pilgrimage route of devotes of St. Vincent, whose journey finished in the monastery that existed, where now is located the lighthouse.
Finish this walk by the sea
Take advantage of the Telheiro Beach Circuit to fully enjoy the arrival to Cape St. Vincent. Between ‘Ponta Ruiva’ and ‘Pedra das Gaivotas', this is the trail with the certification “Leading Quality Trails – Best of Europe”. The section maintains the distance of 14 km.
This is an area of strong winds. Choose to do this section in a north-south direction, the probability of having the wind on your back is much higher.
Cape St. Vincent - Sagres: 6 km
From the lighthouse to Sagres is 6 km. Save energies for an easy walk along the road. Alternatively hire a taxi.
Vila do Bispo:
Next to the Church, heading towards the roundabout near the access road to the beaches of Castelejo and Cordama, where you must take the left road.
Cape St. Vincent:
At the lighthouse of Cape St. Vincent, following the paved road until you find a directional sign post to the left, heading to Vale Santo.
Bring water and supplies
With the exception of the final part where you reach the lighthouse, you will not find any refreshment points along the way. You should carry water (1.5 L minimum) and sufficient supplies.