Destinations / March 31, 2018. By Susan Connolly
For a different kind of day trip adventure, why not take the kids to explore the fort of Prince Henry the Navigator in Sagres and then to the nearby village of Salema to discover dinosaur footprints on the beach.
The mighty Sagres fort is perched on a cliff on the most western point of Europe and it makes for an interesting day trip adventure with kids . Once the headquarters of Prince Henry the Navigator. Prince Henry was a leading figure in the 15th century Portuguese empire. He created the first global explorers.
The size of the fort is amazing and the historic compass the explorers used for navigation many years ago is still visible inside the fort for kids to see. There is a blow hole that allows you to stand over and experience the wind and noise the sea makes below the cliffs.
Sagres is about one and a half hours’ drive from Faro and about an hour from Portimão. Admission is very reasonable and parking is free on the long drive up to the fort. An easy walk from the car park to the fort for the kids and there is information about the birds and plants as you walk around. It can be very windy so don’t forget to pack a light jacket. Make sure the kids look up as many facts as they can about the fort and Prince Henry the Navigator.
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After you’ve visited the fort we’d suggest spending the afternoon in Salema. A small fishing village with narrow streets and traditional houses, unlike the built up beaches of the central Algarve. Salema is not a touristy place with lots of shops and nightlife. The small village has several good restaurants and a lovely family beach, ideal for swimming, with amenities close by including cafés and restaurants. On the western end of the beach you’ll find a big, flat yellow rock with footprints from a dinosaur. Discovered some years ago by geologists from Lisbon. The highlight of any day in Salema is watching the fishing boats come and go as traders drag them in. All the restaurants specialise in seafood.
Are you inspired to take a family holiday and enjoy the Algarve with the kids? Leave your comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!