In the extreme southwest of Europe is a refuge for migratory birds. As if more reasons were needed to justify a visit to Sagres, the region will host the 13th Festival of Bird Watching & Nature Activities. But this is just one of the many opportunities to discover the natural beauty of the Vincentian landscape.
Life is made of question marks, but there is always a comforting feeling in knowing that if there is one thing we can always count on, it is that, year after year, the municipality of Vila do Bispo will be with open arms to welcome us. And we, of course, will continue to marvel at the endless beauty of this county embraced by the Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina Natural Park.
Characterized by Atlantic beaches marked by imposing cliffs on the western coast and sheltered coves and bays on the southern coast, Vila do Bispo is everything we could wish for in the warm months. However, even if we think we already know the region in depth, there are times of the year when all the secrets are revealed, whether they are hidden in the sky, on land or in the sea.
If you haven’t marked your vacation on the calendar yet, focus on the months of September and October, when you still feel the strong summer sun, but the winds are already blowing from the season. On board this change arrive numerous species of birds that find in Sagres, ex-libris of the county, the crossing point in migratory trips to Africa.
As this is one of the most beautiful natural phenomena, you can admire it in the 13th Bird Watching & Nature Activities Festival. The festival, organized by the Vila do Bispo City Council in partnership with the Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds (SPEA) and the Almargem Association, will bring together more than 200 activities, which promise to make holidays unforgettable for the whole family.
From the 1st to the 5th of October, the opportunities to admire the local biodiversity will never run out. Starting with the observation sessions for birds of prey and large and small gliders on the ground. As going to their natural habitat is the best way to check the behavior of the different species, prepare comfortable shoes to walk along the trails that cross the region, such as the Fishermen’s Trail, on the Rota Vicentina. Not only will you admire animals of unique beauty, but you will also discover the natural and geological heritage of Vila do Bispowhich you may have missed the previous year.
Among its most distinguished brands are the monumental dinosaur footprints of Praia da Salema. When you take a break from sunbathing, visit this 125 million-year-old paleontological trail. Here you will have the opportunity to literally follow in the footsteps of a dinosaur.
Since you are on Salema beach, it’s time to go out to sea. It is flying over it that birds like Alcatraz can be found. This is the biggest seabird in Portugal and, this year, the festival’s headliner. If you want to study other birds such as the Cory’s Shearwater, the Balearic Shearwater or the Moleiro, join one of the maritime excursions that will take place during the 13th Festival of Bird Watching & Nature Activities, in partnership with several maritime-tourists. locations..
But it’s not just wings that make an event of this caliber. Wild marine life also features prominently. On this authentic maritime safari you will find species as wonderful as the common dolphin and bottlenose dolphin, without forgetting whales, sharks, turtles, sunfish, among others.
When you disembark from this adventure of a lifetime, there is another awaiting you. The municipality of Vila do Bispo is truly magical and this can be seen with a visit to the local caves. From one of the boat trips organized by the festival, you will discover the coastal caves on the limestone cliffs.
Finally, a trip to the Sagres Peninsula could not be complete without visiting one of its most emblematic places. Access to Cabo de S. Vicente is via short walks, by car or on a pleasant boat ride along the coast. Either way will take you to a place of unique beauty. There you will admire the incredible landscape of what is the most southwestern point of the continent.
If that view doesn’t take your breath away, perhaps the possibility of photographing the Milky Way on one of the festival’s night tours will. But to be able to see all this and do so much more, you can’t miss the registration phase, which has been open since September 1st. What are you waiting for to take your vacation to new heights?