Come and visit Lagos, a city in the Algarve region, in the south of Portugal.
Stroll through the streets of the historic center to discover the charm of this ancient city. Notice the stonework of the doors and windows, the wrought-iron balconies, the Governors’ Castle, the City walls, the Ponta da Bandeira Fort and the patios that provide coolness in summer. See the Church of Santo António, with its surprisingly rich interior full of gilt carvings and tiles that offers a curious image of the saint whose name the church bears with the rank of Lieutenant-General, a promotion that this church earned for serving as the chapel for the Infantry Regiment. Besides it, the Municipal Museum has an interesting collection of archaeology and sacred art.
One can’t help delighting in the local cuisine. Fish and shellfish are the main ingredients for a number of delicacies: from snacks with clams, barnacles, octopus or roe, soups and açordas (bread casserole), or specialties such as carapaus alimados (skinned marinated horse mackerel) and stuffed squid. Sweets are another highlight, especially dom-rodrigos (egg and almond sweets), a recipe from the nuns of the Convent of Nossa Senhora do Carmo.
From the long Avenida dos Descobrimentos you can enjoy the city’s profile and the busy and lively Marina. This avenue leads to the sea and the beaches, which are amongst the most beautiful in the Algarve, and often praised by international bodies and magazines. To the east is Meia Praia, a sandy beach about five kilometres long, ending at the Ria do Alvor. On the other side, there is a succession of smaller beaches with clear waters, to which the rocks carved out by erosion have lent a stunning beauty. These are the beaches of Batata, Pinhão, Dona Ana and Camilo, accessible from the city centre. Further ahead is Ponta da Piedade, the highlight of the region: a series of rock formations with impressive jagged shapes and excavated caves that are best enjoyed on a boat trip. Canavial, Porto de Mós and Praia da Luz complete the range of beaches, which also include many sandy coves that are hard to get to, some only accessible by sea. They are small havens waiting to be discovered.