The Municipality of Lagos is divided into the following parishes:
Barão de São João; Bensafrim; Luz; Odiáxere; Santa Maria; São Sebastião
Municipal Holiday: 27th October
Area: 214 km²
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Of great historical importance, the city of Lagos was the principal naval headquarters for the voyages of discovery made in the 15th century. It was here that the heir to the throne, D. Afonso Henriques, prepared his ships before departure for the coast of Africa. Lagos was the capital of the Algarve from the end of the 16th century until the middle of the 18th century. The main commercial and social activity of this Barlavento (western) town, during a greater part of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, was the canning of fish.
Lagos today is yet another town who’s principal economic activity is tourism. With a picturesque setting, full of colour and movement and rich in heritage, it offers its visitors some beautiful places to visit including the Castle and city walls, with splendid views over the town.
Other sites, also not to be missed, are the Igreja de Santo António (St. Anthony’s Church) with beautiful gold leaf Baroque carving, the Igreja de S. Sebastião (St. Sebastian’s Church), the Municipal Museum dedicated to Dr. José Formosinho and the Museum set inside the Fortress of Ponta da Bandeira, which was part of the coastal defences at the end of the 18th century.
A compulsory visit is to the Ponta da Piedade. A landmark in this part of the coast, it has some amazing rock formations between high cliffs, tidal blowholes and grottos carved into the rock by the sea. It can better be appreciated, along with other unforgettable aspects of the d’Oiro coast, by taking a boat trip, also ideal for those who enjoy water sports. The beaches in this borough are amongst the most beautiful and sought after in the area.
Here, also, golf fans can play the magnificent, high quality courses of Palmares and Boavista. The majestic panorama from the small village of Luz, has gained fame. Nowadays it is much sought after by foreigners who wish to buy a holiday home. A visit to the Roman "Termas da Luz" (Spa) shows us a little about the folk who lived here in bygone times.
The Lagos Zoo (Parque Zoológico) in Bensafrim offers the opportunity to discover animals that are exotic species and those endemic to the region. Set in the unspoiled countryside, here are all the original colours and aromas of the fields, and here also, in September, is held the Feira de Tradições e Artes do Algarve (Local Customs and Arts Fair). This event displays local culinary arts, sweetmeats, handicrafts, equestrian skills and a whole host of hereditary traditions and secular knowledge.
Move your mouse over the aerial view of the Algarve and click on the chosen destination.