© Alex Schröder / CC BY-SA 3.0
Praia de Belixe
Praia do Beliche sits just to the south of the towering, and curiously level, cliffs of Cabo Sao Vicente. This provides not only a spectacular backdrop but also a little protection from the powerful Atlantic swells that pummel the coast further north. This does not mean there aren't waves here - on the contrary. It is one of Sagres' best surf beaches with the waves often a little more manageable than at the other beaches around the headland. The 40 metre high cliffs also provide some shelter from the winds that Sagres is notorious for.
Beliche is a little way (about 3km) from the centre of Sagres but well worth the trek. Whilst Sagres itself is hardly overrun by tourism Praia do Beliche is a relative haven of tranquility with crowds a rarity even in the summer.
The beach itself is a lovely stretch of golden sand which opens up as the tide goes out. There is a lifeguard service during the summer months but care should still be taken if swimming here. Access is via around 100 steps that lead down the side of the cliff meaning unfortunately it isn't the most accessible beach in the area.
For all it's charm the Praia do Beliche also has a rich history.for this is where some of Portugal's most important voyages of the Age of Discoveries began. It was from the beach at Beliche that Gil Eanes set sail in 1434 to round Cape Bojador off northwest Africa - the first to do so as this was the limit of the known world.
There is more history just along the coast at the Fortaleza do Beliche. Built on the site of an earlier fortress in 1632 the current fort is now closed to the public on safety grounds. Once destroyed by Sir Francis Drake and then again by the 1755 earthquake the fort was home to a hotel at one point.
Other beaches near Praia do Beliche
Praia do Beliche tide times
- Thu 20th JanuaryHigh 3:37am (3.23m)
Low 9:46am (0.78m)
High 3:58pm (2.99m)
Low 9:51pm (0.86m)
- Fri 21st JanuaryHigh 4:12am (3.22m)
Low 10:20am (0.80m)
High 4:33pm (2.97m)
Low 10:26pm (0.89m)
- Sat 22nd JanuaryHigh 4:47am (3.18m)
Low 10:57am (0.84m)
High 5:11pm (2.92m)
Low 11:04pm (0.95m)
- Sun 23rd JanuaryHigh 5:27am (3.10m)
Low 11:38am (0.91m)
High 5:54pm (2.85m)
Low 11:47pm (1.03m)