Lagos is a municipality that lies along the banks of Rio Serafim, Algarve, in southern Portugal. With around 22,000 residents, Lagos is one of the most visited cities in the Portugal, thanks to its beaches and the famous rock formations at Ponta da Piedade. Visitors come to enjoy good food, cool nightlife spots and beautiful sun kissed beaches.
HistoryThe Romans colonized Lagos near the muddy Rio Serafim, which they named Lacobriga, but its natural river port would indicate that it was occupied much earlier. In the 8th Century the Moors arrived and fortified the town with the building of Lagos Castle. They renamed it ‘Zawaia’ (meaning lake), from which the current name Lagos (Portuguese word for lakes).
Ponta da PiedadeThe Ponta da Piedade is probably the most spectacular natural highlight of the region and is made up of different shaped rock formations, carved out of the cliffs by the elements. They can be accessed by sea with via boat or can be seen from the land from the lighthouse.
Governors’ CastleLagos castle was the Algarve´s military government establishment in the 14th Century. Above the two main doorways you can see the coat of arms of the Kingdom of Algarve. Top spot for history nuts.
City WallsThese ancient walls once completely surrounded the city in order to defend it from pirates. They extend for around 1.5 km in the city centre. Although not in quite so good nick today, they are still a cool reminder of the city’s past and tell a good story. Another one for the history nuts.
Ponta da Bandeira FortPonta da Bandeira, Fortress provides beautiful panoramic views over the sea. Inside you’ll find a chapel dating from the late 18th Century, which was once believed to protect fishermen at sea. Nowadays it hosts the popular August 29th swim, where people go for a midnight swim in the sea.
Beaches and Entertainment
Meia Praia Beach is about five kilometres long and ends at the Ria do Alvorand can be reached by ferry. Batata, Pinhão, Dona Ana and Camilo are smaller beaches with clear waters and sandy coves, some of which are accessible from the city centre, while others only by boat.
The beaches in Lagos provide ample opportunities to practice water sports, such as diving and jet skiing. A visit to Lagos Zoo is an enjoyable trip, particularly with children.
MarinaThe Marina is the first thing you see when you enter the city, and houses lovely boats and yachts. This marina is equipped with high quality sailing facilities and won the ‘Euromarina Anchor Award’ and the ‘European Blue Flag’ award.
FoodTry the local delicacies in Lagos, such as ‘à bulhão pato’, little plates of barnacles, dried eggs, octopus, moray eel, squid or anchovy. When it comes to desserts, go for the local cookies, made from almond paste, egg yolks and syrup. Dom Rodrigos or Morgado are the names of some of these notable desserts and ‘Pastelaria ou Padaria’ shops or bakeries are the best places to find them.
Lagos is an incredible place to spend a holiday, not only for its beaches, restaurants and entertainment but for its relaxed lifestyle too.