Tourist’s guide to Lagos in Portugal

Lagos or Lagos is a beautiful port city with a history of more than 2000 years. It is often called the tourist capital and one of the most fashionable and popular resorts on the Algarve coast. The ancient city walls, streets, paved with colorful paving stones, numerous souvenir shops, picturesque landscapes … All this attracts many tourists, forcing them to return to this port again and again. Yes, and this phrase itself – Lagos Portugal attractions – has long been synonymous with an excellent and eventful vacation.

City Lagos

And so that you are convinced of the veracity of these words, we offer you to take a virtual tour of 6 unique places of Lagos. What is their uniqueness? The fact is that after the terrible natural disaster that shook Portugal in 1755, this is little that remains of the rich historical heritage of this country.

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Old Town – Cultural Center of Lagos

If you do not know what to see in Lagos, head to the Old Town. This is a special area combining antiquity and modernity. The Centro Cultural de Lagos, surrounded by ancient walls, contains the main historical and cultural monuments of Lagos. One of them is Fort Bandeira, a fortification built in 1683 and separated by a deep moat.

Fort Bandeira in Lagos
Fort bandeira

Behind the fort are the gates of St. Gonzalo and the watch tower. Here you can also see the former slave market (one of the first in Europe) and ancient customs, in the building of which there is now a center of folk crafts, as well as a lot of other very interesting places. Tired of admiring the ancient architecture, you can walk along the promenade, sit in a cozy cafe and go shopping.

Location: st. Lanzarote de Freitas.

Church of St. Anthony – a temple of pure gold

Church of St. Anthony

The Church of St. Anthony is a model of South European Baroque, built in 1707 and restored in 1755 after a major earthquake.

Being restrained in appearance, the temple impresses with its interior, for which it is often called Golden. The coat of arms of Portugal is painted on the ceiling of the church, and the walls are decorated with gilded inlays and white and blue mosaics made of azulejo tiles. The carving of the temple was performed by famous engravers – Custodio Mesquita and Gaspar Martins. Another hallmark of the Church of St. Anthony are asymmetric bell towers.

Church of St. Anthony inside

Nowadays, on the territory of the attraction, the Museum of Local Lore named after Joseph Formasino. Service in it is carried out only once a year.

Where to find: st. General Alberto da Silveira (Rua General Alberto da Silveira).

Opening hours: 10:00 – 17:30

Governor’s Castle – Lagos Business Card

Describing the sights of Lagos and Portugal, you can not stop at this beautiful castle. Governor’s Castle, which was once the residence of the governors of the Algarve, is considered the hallmark of the city.

Governor's castle

The two-story Moorish-style palace is striking in its grandeur. The height of its walls is from 7.5 to 10 m, its width is about 2 m, the top is crowned with battlements and loopholes located around the entire perimeter of the building. But the most interesting is inside – they say that spirits roam the corridors of this ancient castle every night, and the doors of many rooms keep terrible secrets.

Since its founding (1174), the castle has experienced several wars and natural disasters, after one of which its walls were redecorated and partially restored. Since 1924, Lagos Castle has been included in the list of monuments of national importance of Portugal.
Location: Garden of the Constitution (Jardim da Constituicao).

See also: What to do in Lagos and which beach to swim .

St. Mary’s Cathedral – Main Parish Church

The list of the main attractions of Lagos is continued by the Church of St. Mary, built in 1498 in honor of King Henry the Navigator. The temple, formerly called the Cathedral of Mercy, was restored in the second half of the 19th century.

St. Mary's Cathedral

Unfortunately, from the original building there was only one wooden portal, made in the Renaissance style and surrounded by Doric columns, the tops of which are decorated with busts of the apostles Paul and Peter. On both sides of the portal of the church, which leads to the square, stands a pair of symmetrical towers with bells.

Inside the cathedral is small (it has only one nave), but it is quite beautiful. The main chapel deserves special attention – it, like the place for the choir, is located on a certain elevation. To get to the altar with the Crucifixion of Jesus, you need to go through the arch. The walls of the temple are decorated with images of the Virgin, dated to the end of the 17th century. Currently, the Church of Santa Maria belongs to the parish churches of Lagos.
Where to find the attraction – Prince Henry Square (Praca Infante Dom Henrique).

Cape Ponta da Piedade – the pearl of Lagos

Ponta da Piedade Lighthouse is a picturesque rock formation located on the outskirts of Lagos. The height of this cape is about 20 m. This is a real paradise – the coast of Ponta da Piedade is dotted with numerous thousand-year-old grottoes, caves and stone arches. Around – a beach with white sand and open spaces of the ocean. It is an ideal place for diving, fishing, sailing and windsurfing.

Cape Ponta da Piedade

Among the picturesque cliffs and as if a transparent bay towers a lighthouse and an observation deck. The lighthouse is also very ancient. Historians claim that he remembers the days when full galleys of slaves were brought to Lagos. An ancient stone staircase leads to the water from the top of the cape, along which you can go straight down to the surf line.

Location: the outskirts of Lagos (the label is on the map).

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Church of St. Sebastian – a temple with a thousand-year history

Rounding out the overview of the best sights of Lagos is the Cathedral of St. Sebastian, located in the north of the Old Town near the fish market. From the top of the hill where the church is located, a beautiful panorama of the bay opens.

Church of St. Sebastian

Church of St. Sebastian is one of the oldest and most beautiful temples in Portugal. Over the long history of its existence, the cathedral, built on the site of a small chapel of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was destroyed several times. In 1828, during the next restoration, a bell tower was added to it.

Nowadays, a religious attraction consists of three naves, separated by tall columns. The altar dating back to the 17th century, on the creation of which Alvaro Dias himself worked, was also preserved. The old Lagos plan is kept in the temple. At the beginning of the 20th century, the church of St. Sebastian was entered in the register of Portuguese monuments of national importance.
Location: st. Advisor Joaquim Machado (Rua Conselheiro Joaquim Machado).

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As you can see, Lagos Portugal attractions are really worth seeing with your own eyes and once again make sure of the unique flavor of this port settlement.

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