The beauty of not making any plans is the freedom to be able to make last minute snap decisions, and take the recommendations of people you meet on the road. This was a concept that I had a hard time grasping years ago, when I would almost manically plan down to the day. Thank goodness I’ve been able to free myself from this phase!
Before I landed in Portugal I’d never heard of Sagres, a little town at the western-most point in the south of Portugal. But thanks to the recommendations of my new friend Morgan, instead of voyaging straight from Lisbon to party town central, Lagos, I detoured along the coast to the sleepy cliff-side town.
Part of the appeal to head to Sagres was the hostel The Lighthouse, which looked just like the warm, welcoming, family vibe I was after in my Portuguese accommodation. Also the pool adds at least ten extra points to any stay. The Lighthouse is set a little back from the little main town, maybe 1.5kms walk, which is fine except I do recommend not making the trek through the blaring midday sun, if you can avoid it. But it is near a supermarket, from which I stocked up on an array of fresh, tasty local produce – who says you can’t eat well when backpacking!
The hostel also comes with a delightful rooftop, upon which they run a daily morning yoga, as well as a nightly BYO barbecue, and the hostel staff are a blast, which makes it really hard to leave and actually explore the town and beaches themselves.
But venture out you must, and with the generous driving assistance of our new friend Alex, Morgan and I enjoyed a day of delightful beach adventures.
The beaches here reminded me of the cliff beaches in Victoria – your Torquays or even Gunnamatta back beach – with waters just as chilly, but satisfyingly refreshing.
In between sandstorms, we parked ourselves at the aptly named A Sagres for a sumptuous seafood lunch – how could you not want to try the catch of the day when it comes from just around the corner (vegos omitted). At this lunch I also experienced the joy of GREEN WINE. Green wine, or Vinho Verde, is not a grape variety, it is a DOC for the production of wine and is historically a Portuguese wine. The name literally means “green wine,” but translates as “young wine”, with wine being released in 3-6 months after the grapes are harvested. And it was delicious!
Just look how stunning the beaches here are ❤ The sand is silky soft and those cliff faces are mind-blowing.
Sunsets are also pretty spectacular atop the hostel roof…
Whilst there isn’t a great deal to do in town, I did enjoy the local home style – part Mediterranean villa, part Mexican hacienda.
Our final lunch in this coastal haven was at Laundry Lounge, a cafe-come-actual laundry, serving up equal doses of delicious, healthy food and an impeccable wash and dry cycle. The Lounge also regularly hosts music nights, which apparently go off! Next time…
It was here I also found the details of my future tattooist, but more on that in a later post…
Sagres was the unexpected slowdown, respite and rejuvenation I didn’t know I needed and I honestly can’t wait to head back there, for weeks maybe next time, to really experience what the Algarve is all about.