4 Days in Algarve: Part II, Vila do Bispo

Continuing from the last post, which detailed Lagos, this continuation covers the district of Vila do Bispo.

Day 3

Castelejo Trail

We started the day with a short leisure hike on Castelejo Trail. This trail was a substitute for a longer trail out in Lagoa, but being a sweltering hot day, we decided to keep it simple and short. Our drive to Vila do Bispo district was not too far away from Lagos, and the hike was at the Costa Vicentina Natural Park. Supposedly, it’s one of the last and most extensive natural spaces of its kind in Europe.

Castelejo Trail sits on the coastal plateau, at the southernmost end of the park. The walk was reminiscent of our hikes in Southern California as we walked along a small ravine in an arid climate. Our views included scrubland and plants, and at the end of the trail, we saw the ocean in the distance.

Praia Castelejo

After our short hike, we ventured down to the ocean, where Castelejo Beach resides. This is considered as one of the top beaches to surf at in Portugal, and we did see many people surfing. The golden sand is soft and not as littered with seashells like the beaches in Lagos. It made for a nice walk in soft sand.

Praia Castelejo is a bigger beach, surrounded by black shale rock formations, and the high steep cliffs are made up of layers of sediment. We enjoyed this beach and thought this was our favorite one for lounging.

Fort Beliche

Down south in Sagres (pronounced Sa-gresh), on our way to Cabo de São Vicente, we stopped at Fortaleza do Beliche. This small fort was built in 1632 on the site of an older fortress. Its main attraction as you enter the fort, is the seaward side where you descend a rugged and scenic pathway down to the turquoise water.

Cabo de São Vicente Lighthouse

Cabo de São Vicente is the most southwesterly tip of Europe. Up until the 14th century, people used to think this was the end of the known world. The lighthouse here is one of Europe’s brightest and can be seen sixty miles away.

Ponta de Sagres

Outside of Sagres town, Ponta de Sagres is southeast of Cabo de São Vicente, and you can easily see the lighthouse. This whole area is quite scenic as well, with fantastic views of the Atlantic and of Praia do Beliche. Also set on this location is Fort Sagres or Sagres Castle.

If you’ve tried or know Portugal’s local beer, Sagres, it was named after the town of Sagres. We have not tried the beer, but visiting this location was wonderful. This area is definitely worth checking out. Besides being scenic, it provides a different landscape to view from Lagos.