Surfer-centric Sagres has a hippie-hangout vibe, and it's the perfect kicking-off point for exploring the big, beautiful sandy beaches and national park of the Costa Vicentina, offering all the wave- and wind-powered watersports you can think of. Hiking, biking and other outdoorsy endeavours (including BloKarting – aka land-sailing) are in plentiful supply.
The hotel is directly above Sagres' Porto da Baleeira, from where the excellent Cape Cruiser (+351 919 751 175) will take you dolphin-spotting: head out on an exhilharating RIB speedboat ride with their marine biologists and you've a good chance of spotting common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins and harbour porpoises, and if you're very lucky, you might even catch sight of sun fish, striped dolphin, blue shark or minke whale (€30 for adults; €25 for under-12s). Padded seats are snugly arranged in front-facing pairs, and the ride out to sea is fast and can be rough, so this trip is not suited to under-3s or pregnant women – use your own judgment with toddlers and pre-schoolers (you'll be in very safe hands), or consider a more gently puttering cruise to explore sea caves and coastal curiosities instead.
Cycle along the cliffs to the functioning lighthouse on Saint Vincent's Cape for panoramic views of the crashing Atlantic waves (until the 1400s, this solitary spot at Portugal’s most southwesterly tip was considered the end of the world). It’s open to the public for tours. Also at the Cape is the crumbling ruin of 17th-century fortess Saint Vincent.
If beaches are your thing, you're in luck – there are dozens of super sandy spots to pick from nearby, including Praia do Beliche beneath the fortress, Martinhal, Praia do Castelejo and Praia do Zavial. At Blue Flag Zavial beach, juniper bushes zing green against the red-tinted cliffs, the water is clear and calm enough for snorkelling, and there's a decent restaurant, too: try the cataplana or clams at Restaurante do Zavial (+351 282 639 282). To reach Zavial, turn off the road from Sagres to Lagos at Raposeira, and follow the road for around 5km.
Even closer is gently sloping Martinhal beach, where you'll find loungey little Nortada (+351 918 613 410): don’t be dissuaded by the beach-shack vibe – this gem bats well above average food-wise: try the clams or wholemeal pizzas and soak up views of the sea.
Locals rave about Pizza Pazza (+351 282 639 173), a tiny Italian-run pizzeria in the middle-of-nowhere village of Pedralva near Vila do Bispo, where tasty thin-crust wheels of delight are turned out to a devoted crowd. Pizzas are supplemented by a few simple pasta dishes and desserts (including Tiramisù), jugs of wine and cold beer. In high season, it's open Tuesdays–Sundays, 12.30–3pm and 7.30pm till midnight; October–May, it's open Thursdays–Sundays only. Book ahead.