A little guide about Burgau

Vista da Praia

Burgau – Algarve – Portugal

This is a little guide to your holiday in Burgau in western Algarve, Portugal.

When we first started exploring the Algarve in the early 1990s, we came across Burgau and it became one of our favourite spots. We arrived on a bus from Lagos, which stopped in the village centre, and made our way past a few little village shops and houses and down the cobbled winding hill to the boat slipway and the beach. The sight of a golden sandy beach enclosed by cliffs and a large restaurant at the back of the beach overlooking the water made it all worthwhile!

Burgau has changed a lot since our first visit and has new apartments and houses springing up all around, but the original village centre of whitewashed houses, clustered together around the entrance to the beach really hasn’t changed very much and the fishermen can still be seen mending their nets and looking after their boats beside the slipway.

If you are planning a trip to Burgau beach, it is worth checking the tide tables – at high tide the beach all but disappears, though of course the beach bar is always available!

Burgau is a quiet, relaxed village for most of the year with a selection of restaurants and bars to while away the evenings. During the summer months there is somewhat of a population explosion with all the new houses filling up and getting a table at a restaurant becomes something of an art form!

There are shops in Burgau for your everday needs, but if there is anything you are missing then the nearest supermarket is Ecomarche, on the main EN125 at Budens (just a few minutes by car). Praia da Luz is just 5 minutes down the road in the other direction and has Baptista supermarket, which is particularly good for their wide range of imported produce. They also have fresh meat and bread counters as well as those items you might have trouble finding if you have special dietary needs (gluten-free, soya products etc).

If all you want from your holiday is somewhere to relax in the sunshine, with a book, a cool drink and maybe an occasional dip in the sea – then you won’t need to leave the village, but if you want to explore around Burgau, then there are plenty of places within easy reach that may interest you.

Burgau is in the municipality of Vila do Bispo which is famous for it’s connections with Henry the Navigator and his School of Navigation during the 15th century.

Just past Budens (going towards Sagres) the little chapel of Nossa Senhora da Guadalupe ( on the right hand side) is where Prince Henry worshipped and the pretty village of Raposeira is where he lived – although no-one seems to know which house! The next town is Vila do Bispo itself, which has restaurants with a bit of a reputation for serving excellent ‘perceves’ (goose barnacles) if you are ready to try something a little different for lunch!

The last stop is Sagres, the most southwesterly town in Europe and home to Prince Henry’s fort on Ponta de Sagres. The views are stunning from here and from the neighbouring headland of Cabo de São Vicente (with the lighthouse). You may well see local folk fishing on the cliff faces around Sagres – unfortunately it is a rather dangerous pastime and not recommended as they do fall off and it’s a long way down.

Coming out of Sagres, on the return journey, is a turning on the right to Martinhal – a lovely beach very popular with wind and body surfers. A few years ago there were just 2 beach bars, but there is also now a development of houses and apartments just behind the beach.

Lagos is just 15 minutes or so from Burgau and is a lovely day (or evening) out. It has a lovely, long, sandy bay (Meia Praia) with several beach restaurants along it’s length; the marina; a compact town centre of paved squares connected by a network of cobbled streets; the ‘Golden Church’ of St. Anthony; a 17th century fort by Batata beach guarding the entrance to the harbour and historic 16th century walls surrounding the town; sheltered cove beaches of Dona Ana and Camilo and Palmares golf course just behind the eastern end of Meia Praia.

There is normally something going on in the central square (Gil Eanes) to entertain or amuse and cafés aplenty to stop at and watch the the daily happenings of Lagos. If you are feeling energetic it makes a lovely walk to follow the town walls around the centre – the ‘outside’ circuit is on paths through a grassy park for most of the way – and then walk along the promenade to the marina.

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