I love Portuguese. It’s one of the most melodic languages that exist on this planet. So the name of this region is a pleasure for my ears.
The Costa Vicentina is located between the western part of the Algarve and the Alentejo. But geographically it belongs to the Algarve.
It is wild, it is beautiful, it is far away from mass tourist destinations. And that was the plan. To find and to explore this kind of region at the Algarve.
Sustained tourism and nature protection
As this region is a natural preserve, it’s pristine and far away from mass tourism. The goal of the declaration to a protected area was to save the region from too much construction, protect the environment and at the same time use the region for touristic purposes.
Endless cliffs of Costa Vicentina
The up to 150m high cliffs were formed by erosion over thousands of years. They’re really impressive because of their huge variety of forms and colours. Red, brown and black cliffs – here you’ll find them all.
Surfer’s paradise Portugal
The long cliffs are interrupted by long, beautiful sand beaches. Being located at the Atlantic coast makes it a perfect surfing spot. Jan and I made our first surfing course here and we weren’t so bad at all.
It was so much fun and as a little souvenir we got rewarded with sore muscles.
Costa Vicentina is also perfect for paragliders. Actually it’s perfect for almost any kind of sports.
And: You can see spectacular sunsets here. The wild sea and the wind were an awesome combination.
But the sun makes you believe it’s warm. I had to deal with the consequences after wards and became ill. So if you want to watch the sunset here, bring a knitter and a blanket for yourself.
Contrast to the rest of the Algarve
In September high season is over at the Algarve. Main season here is July and August. But still Costa Vicentina was much calmer than anywhere else in this area.
If you just want to sit down and listen to the waves, this is your place. Sometimes you’ll really feel quite lonely here. Prices here are also much better than at the rest of the Algarve.
Driving along the Portugal’s Costa Vicentina with a rental car
For this region, you definitely need a rental car. When in Lagos, you might not need it. But to see the Costa Vicentina, you definitely have to hire a rental car. You can walk or take a bike. But that’s just something for the crazy people.
Places to see at the Costa Vicentina
Vila do Bispo
You won’t find huge cities here. Just small villages like Vila do Bispo. A little small place which is actually known for its surrounding beaches. As the village wasn’t really pretty, there’s no need for a picture.
Fortaleza de Sagres
The Fortaleza de Sagres is located 10km south western of Vila do Bispo. We haven’t been to the town of Sagres as it’s said to be not spectacular.
But the Fortaleza was truly impressive. In the 14th and 15th century it was of high importance.
Around Sagres, you’ll find some amazing wild and beautiful beaches. Like the Praia do Tonel.
Praia do Tonel
Highlight of the Costa Vicentina – Cabo de São Vicente
When coming here, bring warm clothes with you. No matter how warm it feels. The wind is really strong here.
Falling down is definitely not a good idea here. It’s a long way down and even if you survive it, climbing back would be very exhausting.
The most southwestern point of Europe is not only dangerous, but also really beautiful. The waves smash against the cliffs and the sunset colours them even more beautiful. The cherry on top is the 22m high lighthouse built in 1846. It’s said to have Europe’s stronges light system.
The end of the world has the name of a Saint. As we explored this place in good weather, we assume it needs the protection of its patron in case of bad weather.
According to the legend the corpse of Saint Vincent was washed up in a boat here. But officially the Holy Patron died four centuries before that was said to happen. But still he’s the patron of all fishermen.