Lagos, Portugal & its rugged coastline

In En-Route, Europe, Our Journeys, Portugal, Trip-Types, World Travel by JanisLeave a Comment

Our first trip to the Algarve.

As part of our Portuguese road trip, we decided to head south, as surely you can’t complete a taster of Portugal and not include the Algarve.

The view off Ponta da Piedade, Algarve, Portugal

The photos that we had seen of Portugal’s rugged coastline looked incredible, with its clear blue ocean, gold sandy beaches and boats bobbing up and down between the ochre cliffs.

We couldn’t wait!!!




What was I expecting?

We chose the coastal town of Lagos to base ourselves in for a couple of nights, while we had a little discovery of the region.

The tiled promenade of Lagos, Algarve,  Portugal

Initially, I was sceptical about Lagos it felt a bit too commercial for our liking. Usually, but not always we try and stay somewhere that our native tongue isn’t so commonly heard. However, if you want to enjoy some locations, you just go with the flow.




A stroll around Lagos

We decided to spend some time discovering Lagos town before heading along the shoreline.

The castle gates of Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

Lagos has some fascinating history dating back centuries. A medieval castle and surrounding walls were built to fortify the town, as Lagos was building strong maritime trade links. Some of the walls still exist today.

Age of Discoveries

Through the 13th century ships would have left from the port during the Age of Discoveries under operations from Henry the Navigator.

The Monument to the Discoveries,  Belém, Lisbon, Portugal

If you have visited Belém, just near Lisbon, you would have seen the Monument to the Discoveries. Erected to commemorate the 500th Anniversary of Henry the Navigator’s death.




Stop, who goes there?

Just across from the castle is the late 17th-century Ponta da Bandeira Fort, one of the many forts built along the coastline to enable them to protect themselves from pirates and ne’er-do-wells.

The fort protecting Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

Search them out

Although I said that Lagos does attract a lot of visitors, it’s still possible to find those little-secluded lanes and alleys that are so synonymous with Portugal.

The quiet lanes of Lagos, Algarve, Portugal
Following the tiled lanes of Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

I love the floor tiles.

The fish tiling,Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

Our favourite travel reads

Why not?

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Sit & relax

While taking a stroll through the historic streets, we came to Praca Infante Dom Henrique, a large open square where families and friends congregate. On one side of the square is the church of Santa Maria.

The church of Santa Maria, Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

To be remembered

On the other side of the square is a piece of history that Lagos would probably prefer not to have. Unfortunately, here is the site of the first slave market in colonial Europe, from 1444.

The Slave Market Museum, Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

The same market building is now a museum to this appalling era in history.




From the old to the new

There’s a modern marina in Lagos along with a wide-open promenade, so it is quite pleasant just to amble along and watch the world pass you by at a relaxing pace.

Strolling along the promenade in Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

Jump into the car

Now we wanted to search out Algarve’s beautiful coastline, and there is certainly a lot to choose from.

The coastline of the Algarve, Portugal

As there was a lot of ground to cover, so we headed off early directly to Tavira and planned a slower route touring back.

Something to make your travels easier?

Tempted to?

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Tavira

The day started a bit overcast, but not deterred we parked up and had a wander around the town. Tavira is a pleasant bustling town with quite a bit of history to its name from the Romans to the Moors and then the Christians.

The bandstand at Tavira, Algarve, Portugal

Parts of the castle walls remain, however, along with a vast amount of the Algarve, the massive earthquake in 1755 which devastated Lisbon also destroyed large parts of Tavira old town.

The lanes of Tavira, Argarve,  Portugal
The town hall of Tavira, Argarve,  Portugal

Go west

We started heading back west, and it was taking longer than predicted. Also, perhaps in our naivety, we thought there might be a coastal route. Instead, we had to travel slightly inland, and not so picturesque and quaint as we had hoped.

The golden sands of Quarteira, Argarve,  Portugal

However, as we wanted to visit a couple of the long sandy beaches and the little coves we need to keep stopping. We jumped out at Quarteira, near Faro to dip our toes in the sand.

A storm coming in at Quarteira, Algarve, Portugal




Praia de Benagil

Then further along the shoreline, we came to signs for Praia de Benagil, our timing was fantastic the clouds were starting to clear, and the beautiful cove shone.

The beautiful sands of Praia de Benagil, Algarve, Portugal

Tour boats were on the ocean bobbing in the bays so that you can admire these beautiful cliffs unhindered.

A speedboat off Praia de Benagil, Algarve, Portugal

If you are walking the cliff top path, just past the beach heading east is an incredible huge hole in the ground. Other than a flimsy cordon, there is nothing to stop you peering over the edge to the stunning cave below.

Secret caverns at praia de Benagil, Algarve, Portugal




Why wouldn’t you visit?

Before heading on to our apartment in Lagos, we took a detour to Ponta da Piedade, one of the most iconic and scenic ocean views in the Algarve.

The stairway at Ponta da Piedade, Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

Amazing craggy little caves and grottos dotted in and around the cliff faces.

The stunning waters of Ponta da Piedade, Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

It is most definitely worth the visit and once again the Portuguese trust their sightseers and allow you to judge for yourself how close you should stand on the edge of the cliff.

A boat moored off Ponta da Piedade, Lagos Algarve, Portugal

Have You

Visited any little coves and bays along the Algarve that you’d love to share with us?




Next stop America

Then to our furthest southwesterly point and that is Sagres. You can stand on the coastline look west, and the next landfall would be America, how incredible is that.

A yacth moored off Sagres, Argarve,  Portugal

I can see why visitors flock to this part of the world it is stunning.

The coastline of Sagres, Argarve,  Portugal




Where we ate

Our first night we ate at Meu Limão, it was a fantastic little place that we found on the off chance, at the far end of the Old Town. It specialised in homemade tapas, tasted really fresh and used good quality ingredients, reasonably priced as well.

The cheesecake was delicious!!!!

Where we stayed

The accommodation we chose for the two nights we were in Lagos was at the Captain’s Nest apartment overlooking the marina.

The view from our apartment in Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

I couldn’t fault the apartment at all; it was about a 15-minute stroll to the old town, had underground parking, excellent facilities and extremely comfortable.




Something for the Traveller

Inspired to visit Lagos?

Why not jump on a plane and make it happen? the Algarve coastline is beautiful.

Checkout the latest deals on Booking.Com?

Booking.com
Lagos, Portugal & its rugged coastline

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About the Author

Janis

Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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