Lagos in the
Algarve region of
been a prosperous and bustling port for centuries with a
rich and varied history.
Originally settled by the Phoenicians,
Lagos, which is
located in one of the largest natural bays in
Baia de Lagos, has weathered well through the years.
is still one of the most popular
destinations on the
attracting visitors both young and old for activity and
and they are many, include a plethora of stunning
beaches, ideal for both surfing, sailing, swimming,
building sand castles and sun bathing; a network of
rocky coves to be explored either under or over water;
a relatively well-preserved historic centre with cobbled
streets and traditional architecture; a marina; port and
historic Fort, which juts out into the Atlantic Ocean.
has many claims to
fame and was for 177 years the capital of the
before the title was passed to
Tavira, then to the
modern day capital,
Faro, both in eastern Algarve.
Henry the Navigator made
a maritime base in 15th century before
setting out on voyages of discoveries.
the location where the ill-fated Dom Sebastiao, the 24
year old king, set off for his adventures to Africa,
never to return.
unfortunately has the dubious honour of
being the first place in Europe, and the
only place in
open a slave market (Mercado de Escravos). In Portugal's
defence they were the first country in Europe to outlaw
the slave trade. Today the
slave market, which itself was converted from the town's custom house, has been
transformed into a museum charting the history of the
town and the region.
Lagos was the first
town in Europe to open (and close) a slave
Lagos Slave Market
Fort de Ponta de Bandeira
is both a lively
and laid back resort town with a good variety of bars,
cafes, restaurants, hostels and hotels providing a good
range of both accommodation and food for all who visit.
is somewhere come
rain or shine is appealing to all from backpackers to
the more affluent yacht owners.
The historic centre of
is a maze of
cobbled streets, interspersed with leafy squares, lined
with a variety of artisan shops, bars, cafes and
A statue of Prince
Henry the Navigator, erected to mark his 500th
anniversary of his death in 1960, looks out, aptly over
Avenida dos Descrobimentos (Avenue of Discoveries).
Though there are also statues erected to other important
navigators and explorers of the same age throughout
Lagos' main beach,
Meia Praia, is situated a couple of minutes east of the
town itself. Stretching for nearly four kilometres Meia
Praia is popular with sun bathers, families and surfers
alike and given it's size there is space for everyone.
In recent years moves have been made to protect the sand
dunes bordering Meia Praia with the installation of
wooden walk ways. The walk ways, which provide
pedestrian access to the beach, protect the native flora
and fauna from destruction.
Lagos Historic Centre
Ponte da Piedade
Lagos Historic Centre
Steps to Coastal Grottoes
To the west of
the beaches are a
complete contrast to Meia Praia's vast openness. A network of rocky coves
and grottoes with more intimate stretches of
sand providing interest for both swimmers and scuba divers. The
most famous, if not the most photographed, of
these beaches is Praia de Dona Ana, which is dominated
by huge, rocky arches stretching out into the Atlantic.
If you're in the mood for a walk then why
not stretch your limbs and set out to Ponte da Piedade,
a good 10 minute stroll from Praia de Dona Ana. You will
not only get a good view back to Lagos, atop the rocky
cliffs, but if you have the energy, you will be able to see
some of the Algarve's coastal grottoes and caves from
You will need to trek
down an inordinate amount of cobbled steps to see the
caves, but the view is worth while. If the weather is
inclement though, be careful as it can be slippy and the
waves can crash up over the waist-high viewing
Eating out in Lagos, Western Algarve, Portugal
There certainly is no shortage of choice
when dining out in Lagos with a huge choice of cafes and
restaurants offering both traditional Portuguese fair
and international cuisine. There are a number of British and German
owned eateries providing tourists and Expats alike with
a taste of home.
Getting to Lagos, Western Algarve, Portugal
is situated 88 kilometres from the international airport at Faro and
there are several road routes providing relatively easy
and quick transit. The A22 electronic toll road does
have a cost implication, though will be relatively free
of traffic. Alternatively if you are driving, you can
utilise the scenic route of
the N125, which wends it's way through most towns and
villages, though is free to use.
Lagos is connected to the Algarve train
network and there are regular trains running from and to
Faro, though if arriving from the airport you will need
to organise a taxi or transfer from the airport. Most
hotels do provide airport transfer services for clients,
though there is usually a fee for this service.
Buses do run from Lagos to most towns
along the Algarve, though these tend to be more
infrequent than the train network.
Location Map of Lagos, Western Algarve, Portugal
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