For the first tourist point to present, we decided to search for an area with a tremendous potential and extremely rich in history: the county of Vila do Bispo.
Vila do Bispo is located about 3 hours drive from Parque das Nações, in Lisbon, where Benerent is located, your rent-a-car service. You can check the trip to Vila do Bispo as well as its location.
When talking about the county of Vila do Bispo, all search engines direct us to the beautiful town of Sagres, well known for the Ponta de Sagres and the Cabo de São Vicente.
Ponta de Sagres was very important for the portuguese navigators, in the Age of Discovery, because it offered shelter to the boats before the dangerous navigation in the zone of Cabo de São Vicente. This area includes sights such as the Sagres Fortress which, despite being slightly damaged, remains a visitation point, as well as the huge 43 meters in diameter Rose of the Winds.
Cabo de São Vicente is known for being the extreme southwest of the European continent and the beautiful landscape that you can enjoy during your visit. In addition, it’s possible to observe the passage of ships passing between the Mediterranean Sea and North Africa.
In addition to these points of reference of the county, there is still immense cultural heritage to visit in Vila do Bispo.
The megalithic complex of Monte dos Amantes is one of the places to visit. It’s located southeast of Vila do Bispo and next to the route of the former National Road Number 268, between Vila do Bispo and Sagres. It’s composed of very diverse examples of menhirs, many of them decorated.
The county of Vila do Bispo, like many areas in the country, stands out for its fishing character and, in honor of the fishing population, a monument evocative of the effort of the many vilabispenses was created: the monument “Homem do Mar “.
In addition to the already referenced Cabo de São Vicente and Ponta de Sagres, the Fort of São Luís de Almádena, better known as Fort of Boca do Rio, is another of the ex-libris of the county of Vila do Bispo. This important fort dates from 1632, in the reign of Philip III. Still visible are the ruins of two half-ramparts, moat, gun gate, quarters and batteries (high and low). Its interior also has vestiges of an old chapel.
When travelling somewhere on holidays, you might want to try some activities from that area. There’s a lot of fun activities to do at Vila do Bispo and ways to spend your free time full of fun and discovery. This region takes you back to the Age of Discovery, perfect to explore with your family, partner or friends.
One of the activities you might want to try is Diving on the Sagres Coast. In that place, there’s various aquatic monuments, specially Sunken Ships. You’ll get the change to see and explore the Norwegan ship “Torvore”, also known as “The Bride”. This is the perfect chance to know the sub aquatic world with your partner.
There’s also other 2 ships underwater on the same underwater area. If you’re more into landscapes and ground exploration, Caves of Ponta da Atalaia and Martinhal Islands are a great option, with great views and option to surf.
During the year, there’s a lot of regional parties around the area of Vila do Bispo, so there’s always the possibility of finding even more stuff to do, depending on the time you’re visiting.
Two of the biggest events happening there are the “Barnacle Festival” and the “Fado Contest of Vila do Bispo”. The first one happens every year during the month of September, focusing on the good food you can find on the region, musical entertainment, the second one happens between April and June, with a contest gathering a big number of “fadistas”, people who sing Fado, with various stages with the objective to select the best singer.
There’s a third festival, keeping environment in mind, nature preservation and natural tourism development: Sagres Bird Observation Festival. This event happens every year at beginning of October and unites people from all the globe with the objective to appreciate air-life in Sagres Area.
Like any place in the world, the county of Vila do Bispo have their own gastronomy and different from the others, with some typical dishes, based on what the sea has to offer.
Owner of a festival with his name, goose barnacle is one of the gastronomic ex-libris of Vila do Bispo. Besides goose barnacle, there is still a lot of quality seafood, like mussels, clams, shrimp, etc.
We also highlight the desserts Glórias de Vila do Bispo and Queijo de Figo, which use ingredients that abound in the county: almond and fig. Besides almond, Glórias de Vila do Bispo have a high amount of eggs and sugar, a good dessert to raise blood sugar levels. Queijo de Figo joins to almond and fig the chocolate so appreciated by the lovers of desserts, all this in a form of cheese.
In highlight we also leave the sandwich of fried moray. The moray is a bony, resembling a eel, that is very tasty: crunchy, dry skin contrasts with the juiciness of its flesh. To delight yourself, you should consume it, preferably between October and March and make sure it is dark.
Algarve is well known for the quality of it’s beach and massive numbers of visitors during the summer. Vila do Bispo isn’t exception, with lots of beaches, having two more popular: Tonel Beach and Martinhal Beach.
Tonel Beach highlights the fact of looking like an Urban Beach, with 500 meters of sand and cliffs who protect the winds. During the Summer, water temperature is around 22ºC and invites for activities like sports fishing, surf and body board. Be careful because this beach doesn’t have a dedicated lifeguard.
Martinhal beach is very well-known for its small Islands, with a sand extension of one Kilometer and have its own lifeguard during the summer. You can do lots of fun activities in here, from underwater fishing, snorkeling, canoeing and motorbiking. Water temperature is around 22ºC, it also has the biggest sand dune of the area.
If you want a different option, we highlighted a place for you: Budens.
The parish of Budens belongs to the county of Vila do Bispo and has everything you need for a vacation. Mixing the calm of a remote place, similar to Alentejo’s interior, with the beaches sea air, passing through the historical patrimony that also is present.
The region has had human occupation since ancient times, presenting in its territory important archaeological remains that attest to it, such as the Lusitanian-Roman ruins of Boca do Rio, near the beach with the same name.
Budens is still a rural location, which has undergone greater development in recent years given the region’s tourism growth, which for several decades has been more sheltered from the large tourist masses.
The quiet parish of Budens with its typical Moorish-influenced Algarvian village house is proud of its sixteenth-century church and a single nave, and the forts belonging to its territory, such as Boca do Rio (or São Luís de Almádena) and Burgau.
In addition to the Boca do Rio beach we have already mentioned, we highlight the Salema beach which, in addition to being able to perform various aquatic activities, there are still fossilized dinosaur footprints.
- Vila do Bispo was the area where the Discoveries happened, being this location D. Henrique’s favorite one to do the activity.
- Cabo de São Vicente is the extreme Southwest spot of the European continent.
- 95% of this area happens to be protected area, designated by “Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park”