The Southwest Coast
The Southwest Coast is part of the Tentative list of Portugal in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.
Click here for a short description of the site, as delivered by the state party.
- ●● Tentative
The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.
It's surprising that a tentative site like this bordering one of the most touristic regions of Europe, the Algarve, has no review. Then again, world heritage travelers may not be the typical customers for package holidays, timeshares and all inclusive offerings ...
The proposed area runs along the coast line from Sagres in the South up to Sines in the North. It's easiest to access at Sagres which can be reached by local bus from Lagos.
In Sagres the main site is the fort. While the buildings are of less interest, you get great views of the cliffs and a good feeling of the immense force of the Atlantic ocean. There are holes in the rock and you can hear the sea roaring beneath you. It's also a bit bewildering to see all the Portuguese fishermen standing at the edge of the cliffs, 50m above the sea, with their fishing rods and little to no safety measures taken. Apart from the fort the beach in Sagres is popular with surfers and that's it.
From Sagres I hiked to Cape St Vincent and then along the coast line to Vila do Bispo. The path from Cape St Vincent to Vila do Bispo is rather strenuous due to rocks. Also, the sign posting isn't very helpful and I repeatedly lost the official track. But the views do make up for it.
Difficult. I liked the site and enjoyed my visit, so I wouldn't mind. But I am not sure why these cliffs should be more special than those in Dover, Etretat or Rügen.
There are buses running from Lagos to Sagres. In summer they will continue to Cape St Vincent. From Lagos you can travel all along the Algarve. Long distance busses will even take you to Seville and Lisbon.
* If you are looking for the Sagres brewery, you will go home empty handed. The beer named Sagres is not actually from Sagres.
* Lagos is worth a visit, even though mass tourism has left its ugly foot print on the city.
* When I went there shops at Capo St Vicente were closed. I should have brought provisions.
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2004 - Submitted
2004 - Revision
Includes former TWHS Sagres (1983) and Reserve Naturel de Rio Formosa (1982)