Travel Destinations

A trip to the end of the World – Sagres, Portugal

We took a trip to the end of the world. Well, the end of the world as the Europeans thought it before the 15th Century. Sagres the end of the world location is filled with mystery and intrigue and centuries of history. It’s the perfect trip to visit, the spot in Portugal that was seen as being the end of the world.

Read more:

Our guide to the Algarve with kids

An ultimate guide to Portugal with kids

A winter trip to the Algarve

A road trip through Spain and Portugal

A trip to the end of the World – Sagres, Portugal

Sagres sits at the very South-Western tip of Portugal and on the very edge of the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic sea is Cape St Vincent. This is a landmark point for ships passing and one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. The sea is beautiful and blue but wild and unforgiving and the cliffs drop dramatically with sea birds nestled in crabs and sheltered corners. This place feels different and special…and it is.

A trip to the end of the World - Sagres, Portugal
Sagres, Portugal – looking out to where the monsters lived.

For thousands of years it was believed that this was the end of the world – that as the water stretched away the sea monsters lived out of sight, just beyond the horizon before the earth dropped off into a terrible black hole. The Romans called Cape St Vincent Sacrum Promontory (or Holy Promontory) and believed the sun sank here – they would come to listen to it hissing into the ocean as it was extinguished and watch it bleeding into the water. They considered it a magical place where the sunset was much larger than anywhere else. Today there’s not a huge amount to see in Sagres, it’s a sleepy town and beside the lighthouse at Cape St Vincent with its scattering of souvenir stalls and a small cafe there really isn’t much to draw tourists and travelers. But don’t let that put you off – there are cliffside walks and a beautiful, dramatic coastline.

Sagres, Portugal - Cape St Vincent, Algarve - copyright Globalmouse Travels
The Lighthouse at Cape St Vincent, Sagres, Portugal

And best of all, to stand and look out to the sea, to imagine the terrifying world that Europeans believed lay beyond is perfect for young (and old) imaginations. Read more of our posts on the Algarve with kids here.

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