Lagoa is a town situated between Portimão and Silves in the centre of the Western Algarve. The town was founded around a lagoon, which is where the name Lagoa comes from. Its marshes were dried to create fertile farmland and homes for settlement.
A few decades ago, the vineyards and the fishing industry was the town’s main source of income. Today, Lagoa’s economy is geared almost completely around tourism, making it an incredible place to visit.
Church of Our Lady of LightThe Igreja Matriz, or Church of Our Lady of Light, is located in the centre of the village. The exterior of the church displays elements of Baroque design while inside you can see the beautiful image of ‘Our Lady of Light’, amongst other examples of 17th and 18th Century religious art. Every year, on the 8th September, there’s a grand procession to honour ‘Our Lady of Light’. It follows the Via Sacra (Sacred Route) past several beautiful chapels, which display beautiful tiles depicting the Passion of Christ.
Convent of Saint JosephBuilt around the year 1713 by members of the Carmelite order of nuns, this convent fostered and educated abandoned girls. At the entrance of the Convent you can see the ‘baby wheel’, which was once used for receiving unwanted children. This convent is now used as a cultural centre with painting, photography and pottery exhibitions.
Municipal Park of Springs or Fontes de EstômbarThis nature park located on the left bank of the Arade estuary has a restored watermill, a reconstructed Algarvean house, an open-air amphitheatre and a gorgeous area for picnics. It also has a number of beautiful rock pools created by the natural water springs, which can be used for bathing. The amphitheatre plays host to the Lagoa Jazz Festival every year, which is held on the third weekend of June.
BeachesLagoa has a brilliant selection of beautiful beaches, lined by clear, turquoise water. The most popular beaches in the area include Benagil and Marinha. You can also hire boats to get to more isolated beaches such as Corredora, Pau, Malhada do Baraço, Barranquinho, Salgueiro or Estanquinha – perfect for a little peace and quiet.
GolfThe Algarve is famous for its golf, and Loagoa is no exception. Golf lovers should not miss the Vale da Pinta: a championship course located in an old olive grove near Carvoeiro. Vale do Milho and Quinta do Gramacho are short nine hole courses but offer a challenging play that will keep even the most well-versed golfer interested.
Food and DrinksLagoa is famous for its wines, which offer a fruity taste and low acidity, and Adega Cooperativa do Algarve and Quinta do Vale offer popular guided wine tasting tours. Remember, they fill up quick, so we recommend booking well in advance. When it comes to food, no visit to the Algarve is complete without sampling the local fresh seafood. Traditional favourites include grilled sardines, aromatic fish soup, fish stews known as ‘Cataplana’, boiled mackerel ‘carapaus alimados’ - and Arabian style lamb for those who like their meals a little more meaty.