AN HISTORICAL TOWN
In the 15th century, the curious spirit of the Portuguese sailors took them to one of the greatest maritime expeditions of all times, with a tremendous influence on the world we know today.
Lagos in the south west of Portugal was, by that time, the city where everything was happening. Ships were being built, plans on how to conquer new territories were being made, and a new golden era was about to begin. And it was also from Lagos that the first caravels sailed away to the northern Africa, and from there, to the rest of the world.
Today, in every corner of the city it is possible to find this heritage and live this journey of discovery. Entering the local tourism office is the best way to start. The friendly staff will give you a map and advise on the best walking tour to do with the time you have available. Churches, old markets, castles, and museums side by side with contemporary art exhibitions, gourmet stores, science centers, arts and crafts shops and many other local attractions. If you love history, food, sea and being welcomed, this is one of the places to visit in Portugal.
A NATURAL BEAUTY TO UNVEIL
Although unveiling the Lagos’ four millennia past is an important chapter of the journey, taking some time to enjoy the natural beauty and the activities that the city and the surroundings have to offer is also something not to be missed. One of the highlights is certainly the sea caves boat trip or kayak tour available at Ponta da Piedade Beach, an unforgettable experience that will give you a different perspective of the dramatic coastline. The lighthouse and walking trails nearby are great places to take the photos that will make your friends jealous.
Another fantastic way to discover the western coast of the Algarve is to set out on a tour to Sagres. Whether on a short road trip on your own, taking one of the jeep tours available or a classic car tour, be sure you visited the small villages along the way and got to know the local traditions. While on this beautiful scenario of the Costa Vicentina Natural Park, don’t forget to take a picnic basket to enjoy the magical sunset by the Sao Vicente Lighthouse in Sagres.
In the opposite direction you will find also a good day trip option to the Ria de Alvor Nature Reserve, where you can discover the beauty of birdwatching and see the traditional technics of catching shellfish. You will not regret if you stop to watch the flamingos while you delight yourself with the local oysters. Then, head to Serra de Monchique, the highest mountain in the Algarve, where you will find the thermal complex with its famous medicinal water and treatments. When in Monchique, you have to see the largest magnolia tree in Europe on the premises of the 17th century monastery and visit Parque da Mina. And please don’t miss the opportunity to taste the local honey, the traditional sausages or to ask someone for the way to the distilleries of “medronho”. Before you leave, make the last stop way up high in Foia, the highest viewpoint in Algarve, and surely one of the most amazing views of the southern Portugal.
On the way back to Lagos you might want to learn about the production of biological wine at Monte da Casteleja. Try the guided tour to the vineyards and the cellar, ending this experience with a wine tasting session.
AN HISTORICAL TOWN | A PARADISE FOR FOODIES | A SUNNY TREASURE OF WHITE SAND BEACHES | A PLACE TO STAY AND UNWIND
The historical heritage, the location between farms and sea and the surf scene nearby made of Lagos an interesting combination of paradise for foodies and sanctuary for the local bar lovers.
Food plays a big role in Portuguese culture, and the Algarve is no exception. Gathering friends and family around the table for hours is almost a national sport. The rich heritage left by the Arabs, Phoenicians, Celtics, Greeks and Romans that inhabited Portugal centuries before, combined with the influences and new products brought by the Portuguese sailors on the golden era of maritime discoveries, turned the Portuguese cuisine into one of the most richest in the world. Since it is part of the healthy Mediterranean Diet - considered an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO -, you really need to explore it all over Portugal, and especially in the Algarve.
The best way to start might be visiting the Lagos Local Market and get to know all the fresh ingredients from the local farms and fisherman that make the difference on the dishes you will taste later.
Although there are excellent choices for the meat lovers, fish and seafood are the highlights of the southern Portuguese cuisine, along with fruits like orange, almond, carob and fig used as central ingredients to create local sweets and desserts.
From high end to small local restaurants and grills, from coffee shops to bakeries, Lagos has a wide selection of places to visit. You might want to try “berbigao”, a local shellfish cooked with olive oil, garlic and coriander; the famous “cataplana”, a feast of sea flavors; and the “dom rodrigo” or “fig cheese”. There is only one issue: the chances of falling in love with the Algarvian cuisine are very high and you might spend your all live wanting to come back just to taste it again.
The local bars in Lagos are a must see. As eclectic as it gets and influenced by the multicultural surf scene, the end of the day in Lagos will certainly have exactly what you are in the mood for. From relaxed wine bars to rock’n’roll or irish pubs, from crowded street in the middle of the old town to waterfront or panoramic views. Just be sure you try the Portuguese wines and the local “melosa” liquor.
AN HISTORICAL TOWN | A NATURAL BEAUTY TO UNVEIL | A SUNNY TREASURE OF WHITE SAND BEACHES | A PLACE TO STAY AND UNWIND
Algarve was considered the Europe’s Leading Beach Destination and Lagos is certainly the hidden treasure in it. Besides all the other attractions, the white sanded beaches are on the top of any traveler’s bucket list.
From “Meia Praia” to “Pinhao” beach, from “Dona Ana” to “Camilo”, from “Porto de Mos” to “Praia da Luz”, and every small hidden beach in between, rest assured that you will find your special place in the sun.
Adding to the unquestionable beauty of the beaches - confirmed by renowned publications such as Condé Nast or Lonely Planet - is the international certification of the Blue Flag Program which confirms the safety and accessibility of the beaches as well as the high quality standards of the water.
Just grab the sunscreen, a good book and enjoy one of the 300 days of sun a year.
AN HISTORICAL TOWN | A NATURAL BEAUTY TO UNVEIL | A PARADISE FOR FOODIES | A PLACE TO STAY AND UNWIND
The first step to discover all the wonders that Lagos has to offer is to get there. And that is as easy as it gets.
Flying from Lisbon, Porto or other international city you will land at Faro Airport. From there it is just a 60 minutes highway ride to Lagos. If you are departing from other Portuguese cities there is also the option to fly directly to the nearest airfield located just 20 minutes away from Lagos.
If you prefer to drive from Lisbon instead, just take the highway to the Algarve and you will arrive in Lagos after just 3 hours. Train or bus is also a good option depending on the departure location.
Know that you know everything on how to live the Lagos experience you will just need a place to stay and call home. You will find that special place at Cascade Wellness & Lifestyle Resort.
On a cliff top location facing the Atlantic Ocean and surrounded by Lagos’ best beaches and attractions, the hotel is inspired by the Portuguese epic maritime discoveries with each one of the 4-themed wings of rooms and suites decorated according to the different continents where the Portuguese sailors arrived in the 15th and 16th centuries – Europe, South America, Africa and Asia. The resort also offers other accommodation options such as the 4-bedroom villas with private pool and 1 and 2-bedroom apartments. The pools, restaurants, bar and wellness facilities like spa, golf and fitness performance academies are amongst the facilities also available to make your stay just perfect. But more than that, at Cascade Wellness & Lifestyle Resort you will find all the support you need to help you plan each detail of your trip and to tell you every little secret about Lagos.
AN HISTORICAL TOWN | A NATURAL BEAUTY TO UNVEIL | A PARADISE FOR FOODIES | A SUNNY TREASURE OF WHITE SAND BEACHES