Fortaleza de Sagres

Fortification - Modern Age e Contemporary Period (18603)
The Sagres Fortress is located in a small rugged promontory (1km long and 300m wide), with cliffs and an arid surface, rising about 40m tall. This location had an important role in the control and defence of the coast and possessed a significant symbolic connotation. During the Roman period, it was addressed as Promontorium Sacrum, a place of worship to Saturn or Hercules. This fortress features a polygonal shape and possesses wall curtains, two bastions and three artillery batteries. Several military structures were identified in its bailey (casemates, warehouses), as well as the church - Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Graça founded by Infante D. Henrique. This fortified complex is chronologically framed in the Modern period (15th - 18th century), being deeply associated with the need to protect the west coast of the Algarve and the sea routes between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. During the 17th century, a circular figure was discovered, roughly designated as "rosa-dos-ventos", although its real meaning remains unknown. This prominent position over the sea, the isolation and the intensity of the military actions that occurred on the south-western Portuguese coast restricted the maintenance of this fortress, having several renovation works during the 17th and 18th century, mainly after the great earthquake of 1755. In the late 19th century and throughout the 20th century, this fortress loses its military purpose, becoming one of the most powerful symbols evoked by the Portuguese Discoveries.


Interpretation Center on site. Fortress integrated in the European Discovery Route. Individual and joint tickets (Monuments of the Algarve Tour / Monuments of the Western Algarve Tour / On the Route of Prince Henry Tour).

Visit conditions

Entrance with admission ticket


Opening times to the public May to September - from 09:30 to 20:00 October to April - from 09:30 to 17:30 Note: last admission 30 minutes before closing time Opening times to fishermen 8:00h until closing time. Closed Public holidays on 1st January, 22nd January (municipal holiday), Easter Sunday, 1st May and 25th December.


    How to get there? Best practices

    Best practices

    Good practices when visiting archaeological sites

    To visit an archaeological site is to connect with our origins, to understand our path and evolution as a species integrated in the environment, and to respect and safeguard our heritage so that future generations can also visit and enjoy it.

    Walking the paths and enjoying the structures and archaeological pieces that survived over time, fosters the understanding of what is different, but also of what is common among different populations: basically, what identifies us as Homo Sapiens.

    More than just vestiges and ruins of the past, archaeological sites showcase our capacity for creative thought, adaptation, interconnection, comprehension and resilience. Without these traits we would not have been successful as cultural beings participating in an ongoing evolutionary process. These sites also allow to consider choices made in the past thus contributing for decisions in the present to be made with greater awareness and knowledge.

    Archaeological sites are unique and irreplaceable. These sites are fragile resources vulnerable to changes driven by human development. The information they keep, if destroyed, can never be recovered again.

    As such, the Directorate-General for Cultural Heritage (DGPC) invites all visitors to enjoy the beauty and authenticity of these sites, while helping to preserve them for future generations by adopting the following set of good practices:

    • Respect all signs; 
    • Do not try to access fenced areas; 
    • Do not climb, sit or walk on archaeological structures and remains; 
    • Respect areas where archaeological excavations are being carried out, not disturbing them; 
    • Do not collect materials or sediments;
    • Do not write or make graffiti on archaeological structures; 
    • Put the garbage in appropriate containers. If none exist, take the garbage with you until you find a suitable container; 
    • Leave the archaeological site as you found it; 
    • Do not drive bicycles or motor vehicles over archaeological sites; 
    • Respect and protect the plants and animals that live in the areas surrounding archaeological sites;
    • Report signs of vandalism or destruction to DGPC or Regional Directorates of Culture (DRC);
    • Share the visiting experience and the archaeological sites, as a way of raising awareness to their preservation and making them better known;
    • Do not buy archaeological materials and report to public security authorities, DGPC or DRC, if you suspect that archaeological materials may be for sale.

    Further information:

    AIA / ATTA (2013) – Guide to best practices for archaeological tourism. 

    Raposo, J. (2016) – Código de conduta para uma visita responsável a sítios arqueológicos. In Sítios arqueológicos portugueses revisitados: 500 arqueossítios ou conjuntos em condições de fruição pública responsável. Al-madan, 2ª série, p. 20 – 77. 

    DGPC contacts

    Phone: +351213614200 | Email:


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