Algarve, Portugal

Sagres – Fort and Waterfront Run

Wikimedia Commons

Sagres, located at the far western end of the Algarve, is known for the Sagres Fortress — a single fortified wall & 3 natural cliffs providing protection for defenders. A scenic path around the fort’s perimeter makes for a 2 km loop, featuring a lighthouse and the scenic Cape Sagres Viewpoint. For a longer run, head east on the N268-2 (not that scenic, but good sidewalks) for 1 km, and turn RIGHT on the small road overlooking Praia da Mareta (beach), and then do a loop around the small roads of Baleeira (R. Patrão António Faustino), overlooking the Ponta de Atalaia cove, to the Divers Cape and Baleeira Harbor. For the return, option is to retrace your steps or use the main commercial road through Sagres (R. Cmte. Matoso). Note: this route is somewhat hilly.
Fortress Loop Only: 2-3 km, using the perimeter paths and the interior path.

Add-Ons: North of Sagres, there’s 50 km dramatic coastal scenery with rugged cliffs and beautiful beaches, including the largely undeveloped Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina. There’s decent running on the beaches (sand tends to be grainy), and on some of the cliff-top coastal paths — some of which are wider and gentler (hence runnable), others more rugged and suitable only for experienced trail runners.

Essentials
  • 8.5 km (5.3 miles) loop; Fortress Loop only is 2-3 km
  • 95m (312 feet)
  • Sagress Fortress parking area
  • Parking near Sagres Fortress. Can also start from Sagres center (2 km away)