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Portugal It has beautiful destinations because they mix history and tourism, an extremely attractive combination when you have free time and money to spend on vacation. One of these destinations is Lagos, a city in the Algarve region.

It is one of the most popular and popular tourist destinations in the country and we will see today what to do in Lagos.

Some lakes

some lakes is in the Algarve region, in the district of Faro. The first human beings to settle there were the conesa pre-Roman village who lived between the Guadalquivir Valley and Cabo San Vicente. We are talking about 2,000 years BC Obviously, other peoples will arrive later, such as the Carthaginians, the Romans, the barbarians, later the Muslims, finally the Christians.

seaside town was key in Portuguese ocean travel logistics and it is precisely for this reason that King Sebastian named it town in 1573. Lagos was also a town of shipyards and many of the caravels used by the Portuguese on their commercial and discovery voyages around the world were born here. And an important fact, it was the first European city to have a slave market.

mid 18th century was destroyed by an earthquake, the Lisbon earthquake of 1755 and going ahead was not cheap. In the middle of the 19th century, the first industries were introduced in Lagos, so it experienced a small revival after its participation in the Napoleonic Wars and the Portuguese Civil War.

As in many other places in Europe, it has recently been after the end of the Second World War that tourism started to come here and discover its beauties to the point that today it is tourism its main economic activity.

Yes, yes, Lagos also lives from fishing, but since the 1960s, tourism has overtaken this centuries-old traditional activity. And it is that Lagos has great weather, beautiful beaches, a beautiful coastline, historical heritage and a marina for 460 boats. In addition to the fact that it can accommodate long-distance cruises.

What to see in Lagos

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Lagos rests on the banks of the Bensafrim River which flows into the sea. It has nature on one side and historical and cultural heritage on the other. So, let’s start with its natural treasures and what you can do.

we can name five beaches for walking, sunbathing and swimming in the sea. If you’re driving, then you can hop from beach to beach looking for the one that best suits what you have to do, but these five These are the ones that are closest to the city, so whether you are driving or not, they are accessible.

Meia Praia it is the largest and is right at the mouth of the river. It will be about 5 kilometers long and has some low dunes and sand. There are walkways to walk on so as not to damage the vegetation, which can be leafy, and if you arrive on foot you can follow a path that comes from the center of town. By car, there is parking.

The Batata Beach It is a short walk from the historic center of Lagos, so the people who stay there are the ones who frequent it the most. So, if its advantage is proximity, its disadvantage is that it usually has a lot of people. The Beach two students is well known. It has two sectors which are connected by an arc. The second beach is only accessible through a hole in the same rock, at low tide… It is the most classic postcard of Lagos beaches.

Then there is the Praia Dona Ana and Praia do Pinhao. The two are connected by a 300 meter path on the cliffs. Praia Dona Ana has its rocks in the water, it is wide, it has parking for cars and there are buildings nearby, so people who live there always choose it. For its part, Praia do Pinhao is at the end of Rua José Formosinho and is surrounded by beautiful cliffs.

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Continuing with the landscapes, about two and a half kilometers from the center of Lagos, there is a beautiful cape, the Ponta da Piedade what is a great place to go watch the sunset And, if you can’t, then you can go for a walk at any time because you will take beautiful pictures of the sea, the rock formations, the horizon… And then there is a series of activities that you can rent and which I think cover many themes.

For example, you can do a Western Algarve Jeep Safari, go wine tasting and discover Benagil, Ferragudo and Carvoeiro, take a boat trip on the Ponta da Piedade when the sun goes down or go dolphin watching.

Now what about the cultural, historical and architectural heritage? The Church of Saint Anthony It’s in the historic center and although it doesn’t say much from the outside, inside it’s a baroque party. Too bad it has to be recorded on the retina because photographs are not allowed. You will see fine, polychrome wood, blue and white tiles, angels, gilded wood…yes, there is an entrance fee. It hasn’t been charged amid the pandemic but it’s possible that paid entry may already be back.

Another church is Church of Santa Maria de Lagos, located in the main square of the city. It was built between the century fifteenth and sixteenth and although it burned down in the 19th century and part of its original version was destroyed, it is still visible. I’m talking about the cover, but its appeal lies in the beautiful fresco behind the altar which depicts a battle of angels.

The Infante Dom Henrique Square It is beautiful and very close to the banks of the Besanfrim river. It is a very open square where people meet, stroll, enjoy the sea breeze… The statue of Dom Henrique or Enrique the Navigator, is the heart of the square, recalling that he discovered, for example, the island of Santa Maria in the Azores.

We mentioned above that Lagos was the first city in Europe to have a slave market, and for this reason there is a museum who remembers. The museum has two floors and tells the story of the slaves who came to Lagos to be traded. It is estimated that between 1444 and a decade around 800 people passed through it. The building itself is also magnificent.

The Regimental arms It sits in Dom Henrique Square and as the name suggests, it was once a military warehouse. It is not open to visitors but its baroque facade, in yellow and white, is very striking. Lagos also has a wall and today you can see part of it. It is located south of the Church of Santa María and together with the Puerta de San Gonzalo, entrance to the city.

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In reality these are not medieval walls but roman walls, conditioned later by the Arabs and later, in the 16th century, by Kings Manuel I, Joao III and Felipe I. This section is to the south, but there are also more parts of the wall to the west of the historic center , from Rua do Cemitério to Rua da Porta da Vila. While walking you can hike the whole wall and through several parks so it’s a nice walk.

The Governors Castle it is in ruins but was once part of the wall. The Lisbon earthquake knocked it down but you can see part of the facade. Finally is the Fortress Ponta da Bandeira, facing the sea and the river. It was built in the 17th century to protect the port and restored in the day of today it houses exhibits related to the so-called Age of Discovery.

Finally, beyond these specific places, the best is to walk around, wander around, get lost in its stone alleys, see its colorful houses, its squares which have restaurants and bars and of course, walk around municipal market It opens from Monday to Saturday morning. It is located in front of the marina and is full of stalls selling fish and seafood, fruit and typical products. And on the third floor you have a wonderful terrace. The building dates from the 20s of the 20th century, it has been renovated, and its tiled stairs are a work of art.

Beaches, walks, wines, spirits, unforgettable sunsets… all of this is Lagos.

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