Lagos, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the south, Portimão to the East, Monchique to the north.
The first record of Lagos is about 1000 BC when it`s port was used by the Phoenicians.
We know that the Greeks used the port on their trade routes and that the Celts, Romans and Arabs followed in their footsteps (roman name Lacobriga, Arab name Zawaia). The Christians, who expelled the Arabs in the 13th Century, were responsible for the name Lagos, and it was from Lagos that Portugal’s “great voyages of discovery” began. The port also played a significant part in the slave trade between Africa and the new world, and the slave market (surprisingly small) still stands.
Portugal´s Great voyages of Discoveries left from here. The town walls date back to the 16th century, and the Pau da Bandeira fort from the 17th century. The main avenue ” Avenida dos Descobrimentos” was opened in 1960 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the death of Henry the Navigator.
Things to see:
– Saint Anthony’s Church (Igreja de Santo António) known as the “Gold Church” 16th Century
– Saint Mary’s Church (Igreja de Santa Maria) 16th Century
– Slave Market circa 1445
– Pau da Bandeira Fort 17th Century
– Old Town walls 16th Century (enclosing the old town Museum)
– White storks nests, on the tall chimneys throughout the town.
Things to do:
– Visit the marina – see the boats, or take a boat trip to see the dolphins or visit the grottoes at Ponta da Piedade. Longer boat trips also available.
– Markets – Farmers market every Saturday, gypsy market first Saturday of the month. The municipal market daily till 1 pm.
– Cultural centre – variety of exhibitions, theatre and music
– Outdoor auditorium – concerts and shows during the summer months
– Street entertainment – Jugglers, musicians, comics, artists. Have a hair wrap, a henna “tattoo”, a portrait or caricature drawn.
– Tourist “train” – Marina Lagos to Ponta da Piedade and surrounding beaches
– Restaurants, bars, Night Clubs and Discos
– Flying – Lagos aerodrome offers microlight trips
– Zoo – about 10 kms outside Lagos
– Reservoir – Visit Barragem da Bravura, north of Lagos
Fauna and Flora:
– Orchids on the hillside
– Almond and fig trees, eucalyptus
– White Storks nest on the high chimneys.
– Little Egret nests
– Rock Doves
Spectacular high cliffs dominate the wide sandy beaches of the coastline. Westwards from the rock formations and grottoes at ”Ponta da Piedade”, high cliffs of Cretaceous limestone and sandstone stretch as far as Praia da Luz, where the basalt outcrop (Black Rock) forms a dramatic landmark.
Crafts/ Local Products:
Traditional marzipan sweets are made in Lagos. The paste made with ground almonds, sugar, egg whites, is shaped in to coloured fruits, vegetables, and flowers.
Another speciality is the ”Dom Rodrigo”, ground almonds beaten into thick syrup of sugar, water, egg yolk, and wrapped in silver paper.
The beaches around Lagos are considered to be some of the nicest of the Algarve, the coast is called COSTA D’OIRO, meaning GOLDEN COAST, due to the colour of its cliffs.
Meia Praia, where the sand is especially full of shells, is 4 kms long with small dunes at the back and absence of rocks.
There are several beach bars and it is ideally suited to practice several nautical sports. Even at the height of the summer, this beach is not overcrowded. Access: from the main promenade one can take the small ferry across the river, walk across the drawbridge, or go by car.
Praia da Batata – this beach is accessible from the town, and leads to other small beaches linked by tunnels carved in the rocks, such as Praia dos Estudantes, and Praia do Pinhão, They are sheltered by their cliffs.
From Lagos, one can walk from one beach to the other by tracks along the cliffs, taking about 45 mins to Ponta da Piedade, where a lighthouse built on the site of a former chapel marks the limit between sea and land… Further west one finds Praia do Canavial and Praia do Porto de Mós, the latter about 3 kms from the centre of Lagos.