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|€72 (4 pax)
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The City of Lagos was once the capital of the region and is located on the western end of the Algarve. It is a maritime port with much more than 4.000 years of history. Originally known as Lacobriga it was a port of cal for the Carthaginians, the Romans, the Visigoths, and then the Moors who fortified the settlement and renamed it Zawaia. In 1249 King Afonso III took the town and it continued as an important port. During the 15th century it was the naval base for the Voyages of the Discoveries organised by Henry the Navigator. The older defending walls of Lagos are still circled the city which were constructed during the 16th century and the Fort on the beach is part of the 17th century fortifications to protect the town. Next to the quarters of the Governors is the Praia Infante Dom Henrique with a statue of Prince Henry looking out to sea and at the back is 15th century Church da Santa Maria which is known for its impressive gold leaf altar. On the opposite side and dating from the same period is the oldest Slave Market building in Europe. At the back of the Church of Santa Maria is a museum with an eclectic collection of items.
Lagos is certainly very charming with narrow streets full of restaurants, bars and shops and probably the most attractive town in the Algarve. All the year around it is vibrant city with tourists and the square in the middle of town is often the backdrop for a diverse evening of lively entertainment. The Avenida dos Descobrimentos which runs the length of the city provides a promenade from which to view the movement of the many incoming or leaving boats and yachts. Whilst at the inland end of this walk is the large yacht Marina accessed by a bridge footbridge and from here visitors can hire tourist boat trips. . Behind the Marina is the railway station with connections along the Algarve and to Lisbon. On the east side of the River Bensafrim is the access road to the 4 kilometre long sandy beach named Meia Praia.
Every Saturday morning in a building almost opposite the Marina footbridge a market is held with all the fresh fruits and vegetables, olives, honey, figs, almonds and many other items. There is also a daily market in the recently renovated fish market nearer to the main square with fresh fish on the ground floor and upstairs stalls of fruit, vegetables, dried fruits and preserves and also fresh bread. The upper floor is a restaurant with good view across the Lagos Bay.
The main beaches in this area are Meia Praia, Praia Solaria, Praia da Batata, Praia da Dona Ana, Praia da Canavial and Praia de Camilo. There are three golf courses in the near area to Lagos the 27-hole Palmaris Course, the 18-hole Boavista Course and the 18-hole Espiche Golf Course. Also, to the north-west of the city there is the smallish Zoolagos at the village of Barao Sao Joao which is worth visiting