There is another lighthouse near Sagres. Its current appearance dates back to 1908 and its optical devices are among the 10 largest in the world. The lighthouse can be reached around beautiful cliffs in probably Portugal's most scenic area.
The first lighthouse on Cape St. Vincent dates back to 1520. In the following years, a fortified tower was built to protect the coast from raids, but in 1587 it was destroyed by the famous English sailor Francis Drake.
In the middle of the 19th century, the current form of the lighthouse gradually began. However, its lighting equipment was still quite imperfect, and it was less than 50 years later that the tower was rebuilt and raised. The beacon was newly given a 1.3 meter diameter Fresnel lens, making it among the ten largest beacons in the world. Its light can be seen at distances of up to 53 kilometers.
I went to the lighthouse along a beautiful trail along the cliffs of Sagres. Because storms hit the whole region a few days before my visit, the ocean retained incredible strength. Even though the sun was shining almost all day. The waves reached the top of some 70 meters high cliffs and made the already beautiful scenery an unforgettable spectacle.
Moreover, the local nature, thanks to its sandstone bedrock and specific climate, creates a unique landscape where you hardly come as in Europe. For me the experience was underlined by the constant haze and tiny droplets of waves in the air.
At the lighthouse itself, I waited until dark and then asked an unknown car with excursions to take the bus back to Sagres. I happened to encounter two Czechs who took me to Lagos for accommodation and we had a great chat on the way.
I would highly recommend visiting the whole area around Sagres, for me it was probably the nicest part of Portugal together with the surroundings of Sintra.
It is an archipelago and also an island which is located in the Macaronesia region. Only two islands are inhabited as the whole archipelago is a natural reserve. These islands are Madeira and Porto Santo.
Incredibly, it is still possible to travel. One of the European countries that can be easily reached without tests from Prague, but also very cheaply from Vienna, is Portugal. Low-cost airlines fly from Vienna to the Portuguese city of Faro, which lies in the beautiful Algarve region. The sandy beaches are lined with beautiful cliffs, the water is crystal clear. From Fara, the train leads to the city of Lagos, which is one of the most beautiful in the Algarve. Then you can continue by bus to the very southern tip to the picturesque town of Sagres.
We have already presented the Algarve region in our series in great detail. We end it with the city of Lagos, which is one of the most popular tourist and serves as a perfect base for exploring. Thanks to the surfers, it also maintained a very relaxing atmosphere.
"The birthplace of Portuguese nation" is how this city is dubbed or as "the cradle of Portugal". they believe that the first Portuguese king was born here. Close to here, a decisive battle on country's future was fought. Every Portuguese patriot must visit Guimarães. Yet what can a foreign visitor, e.g. from the Czech Republic, get from visiting this place?
Everybody knows port wine. Perhaps you also link Porto the a high steel bridge and its majestic arch crossing the Douro river. Perhaps you would think of wooden boats carrying wine barrels from the inland wineyards. Porto is, however, a diverse city. There is great history, culture, cuisine, and beaches along the Atlantic coast. Every year, an increasing number of visitors visit this city.
Lisboa is righteously one of the most visited cities in Europe. Yellow trams, hills, cable cars... You can easily get lost in its colorful streets for hours. Washed laundry waves in the wind, you can drink coffee with locals at one of many great cafes and taste local sweet pastry. You can also just set off to the grandiose Ponte 25 de Abril, a red bridge which looks like Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
Wine, coffee, cliffs, waves. The western-most country of continental Europe is of the sort everybody likes. It belongs to the top 20 most visited countries in the world. There are beautiful beaches including the best surf beaches of all Europe. Nature in the inland is magnificent as wel. Culture is rich and cities are lively and busy. Let's visit Portugal!
Fatima is undoubtedly one of the most famous Catholic pilgrimage sites in the world, but it does not mean anything to most Czechs. The Virgin Mary appeared to three children here, and so millions of people come here every year to ask for a miracle.
Travel to Madeira by plane only. There is probably no other way to travel almost 1000 kilometers from Portugal and 600 kilometers from North Africa. Moreover, sailing on a ship might not be comfortable for everybody.
Not far from Portimão on the south coast of Portugal lies the small town of Carvoeiro. At the same time, it offers beautiful scenery and small beaches protected by majestic cliffs, where you can enjoy some peace and privacy even in the greatest season.
Bright white plaster, color-framed windows and doors, narrow, cobbled streets, screaming seagulls and beautiful atmosphere. Portuguese fishing villages are among my favorites and Ferragudo is one of the most famous. Let's have a look there together.
There is a lot to see at the westernmost tip of southern Portugal. Among other things, a large national park, which protects the best preserved part of the coast, as well as the important fortress of Santo António de Belix in Sagres, to which we will now go.