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Lagos is a fantastic town in the western Algarve that can certainly be enjoyed by all age groups. It is full of historical interest with it's origins dating as far back as 2000 years BC.
The older part of Lagos is still circled by the city walls that were constructed during the 16th century when it was the residence of the governors of the Algarve and the fort, Ponta da Bandeira, by Batata beach is part of the 17th century fortifications that were added to protect the town. Behind it (on the opposite side of the road) is the Porta de São Gonçalo (St.Gonçalo's gate) with a watchtower on either side and just to the right of this is the Governors' Castle (of Arab construction).
The square next to the Governors' castle is the Praça Infante Dom Henrique with a statue of Prince Henry looking out to sea.
Walk along the cobbled street at the back of the square just past Santa Maria church and you will come to the famous Lagos 'golden church' of St. Anthony which was rebuilt in 1769 - entrance to this church is through the museum at the side and both the museum and the church are well worth visiting. On the opposite side to the churches is the 'Slave Market' from the 15th century, where slaves brought back from the discovery voyages were sold. There is another church, St. Sebastian, dating from 14th to 16th century, which is on a hill just behind the fish market with fantastic views over Lagos bay.
Lagos is certainly full of history, but it is also a vibrant town with lots going on - the next square along, in the middle of town, is Praça de Gil Eanes and this is often the setting for evening entertainment throughout the year - a comical unicyclist, live music or a medieval fair are just some of the events we have enjoyed. If Portugal are playing football, or there is a major competition on, the cafes will have the big screens up in the square and everyone joins in the excitement.
There are several streets leading off Praça de Gil Eanes, with restaurants to suit all tastes!
To explore a little further, carry on along the Avenida dos Descobrimentos (avenue of the Discoveries) which runs along the water front and you will come to the very modern, Lagos Marina. There is a footbridge over the Bensafrim river to the marina which, on one of Lagos' windy days, can be a very blowy walk, but you do get a lovely view of the town and the 'boats' in the marina!
There is also a daily market in the recently renovated fish market nearer to town - all the fresh fish and seafood is downstairs and upstairs are market stalls full of fruit, vegetables, dried fruits and preserves and also fresh bread. The top floor has a restaurant and a fantastic view across Lagos bay.
Lagos has some stunning views, it has to be said! From the Ponte da Piedade (in front of the lighthouse) you get a fantastic view of the sweeping sands of Lagos bay with the Monchique hills as a backdrop, and you can see all the way to Sagres to the west and past Albufeira to the east.
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