A substantial town yet nonetheless low key and laid back, its focus is along the western riverside near the old market bulding, where a maze of narrow cobbled streets radiate from a pedestrianised square. Here, in the summer, street artists, mimes and musicians vie for the attention of the passing tourists. A huge choice of cafes and restaurants can be found here too, mostly with a traditional Portuguese flavour; whilst at night a number of music bars offer a pumping party scene.
One of the Algarve’s most ancient towns, with several places of historic interest, Lagos can trace its origins as far back as 2000BC when it was known as Lacobriga. A natural harbour and port, it has a strong seafaring past, most notably being the departure point for the ‘Voyages of Discovery’ which brought Portugal prosperity and power. Today, the sprawling new yacht marina on the western side of the river continues the town’s nautical heritage, and several stylish cafe bars and restaurants offer a great spot to relax and overlook the scene.
Lagos is the focus for a large international community that for many years have been attracted to the western Algarve’s scenic charms and sense of free spirit. All around, and extending in either direction along the coast, a huge range of property choices have arisen in recent years, from traditional to modern to high luxury.
For golfers, this regon probably offers the most diverse courses in the Algarve, with contrasting challenges such as the links of Palmares, the more classic fairways of Penina or Boavista, and the dramatic valleys at Parque da Floresta.
Along the coast to the west of Lagos, a string of picturesque locations each offer their own very different attractions, from the self catering family resort of Praia da Luz, the rugged charms of Burgau and the traditional fishing village of Salema. Thereafter the scenery becomes increasingly open until reaching the south western tip of Portugal at Cape St. Vincent. From here, stretching northwards, the west facing coastline is a protected national park, where only spectacular cliffs, unspoiled dune beaches and skilled surfers face the wild Atlantic rollers.