Exploring Lagos, Portugal

October 28, 2014

On the south coast of Portugal Lagos was the closest town to our hotel. A forty minute walk along the beach or a five minute trip by train took you into the centre of the beautiful Algarvian town. We spent a couple of hours in Lagos on four days of our holiday, partially because it had the closest supermarket for buying water at but also because of how pretty a little town it was.

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Lagos has a beautiful marina just around the corner from the train station that is teaming with boats. As you walk along beside the marina there are countless stalls for boating trips, including ones to go dolphin spotting. I'm too much of a wimp when it comes to water being that I can't swim and so we never did this because the boats were too tiny for my liking! It's a shame really, I would have loved it. On the other side of the lagoon, accessed by a footbridge, there are market stalls selling jewellery, sweets, clothes and all sorts of other goodies with even more stalls appearing on Saturday which is officially the market day!

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Lagos town centre has plenty of shops, cafes and restaurants to keep the tourists happy. We stumbled across lots of lovely little shops packed full with souvenirs. If it hadn't been for the fact we didn't have too much room in our cases and that some things would undoubtedly break en route home then we would have spent so much more money!

I really loved the narrow Portuguese streets in the town centre - even if they were somewhat confusing with all their criss-crossing! There was some really beautiful architecture and the streets were what I always had imagine Portugal to be like. I can't find the word to do this little town centre justice, hopefully the pictures have!

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The top three pictures are of the same little church, St Antonio, whilst the fourth picture is of the church Santa Maria which sits on the main square of Lagos opposite the old slave market. Whilst known nowadays for it's fishing and boat trips, historically Lagos was a gateway for African slaves to be brought into Europe. Built in 1444, Lagos' slave market was the first in Europe and saw many Africans being dispersed far and wide on the continent. At this period in time slave trade was a wealthy endeavour for the Portuguese monarchy and merchant classes.

We sort of stumbled on this area of town by accident whilst waiting for our favourite ice-cream shop to open. Whilst Lagos is only has a small town centre I was amazed by just how much history - and lovely architecture - could be found if you just ventured a little further than the shops.

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Speaking of venturing just a little further, the older area of Lagos is still encircled by the city walls that were built during the 16th century. Back then, Lagos was the capital of the Algarve and home to the governers and the fort, Ponta da Bandeira, which guarded the entrance to the harbour. The old town has an Arab-built castle and, in my opinion, has a Moroccan feel to the place. This is obviously due to the "Moors" invasion into Southern Portugal.

Just beside the added fortifications on the waterfront is a little beach surrounded by the typical Algarvian rock formations. Despite being a little hidden away and pretty tiny it was swarming with people trying to catch a few Portuguese rays so we only stayed for a couple of minutes to snap some photos before grabbing some ice-cream and heading for the train back to the hotel.

You have no idea how hard it was to choose only a few photos out of the 300+ that I took on our honeymoon. I tried to choose the most interesting and best ones too!

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  1. "whilst waiting for our favourite ice-cream shop to open" - that's what I like to hear! You two are also too cute together! I think that's one of my favourite photos of you! (Yup, I'm that much of a stalker).

    Looks like a really lovely place, with the buildings and the walls. I like to be around the history, I like to enjoy it where it always was, but I rarely go to a museum to see it. I can't decide my favourite part, I love all the boats in the harbour but the little pastel houses are also pretty cute.

    Gorgeous photos! and so much sunshine!

    1. Aww, thank you. I think we're okay together. You know, he'll do for just now ;) It's so important to find a good ice-cream shop, especially when you are on holiday!
      I like a mixture of museum trips and being able to wander around places with lots of history. Of course it sure helps when the weather is lovely. You don't want to wander around a fantastic place on a miserable day in Scotland!
      Debi x

  2. What a beautiful place! The sky is picture perfect and you and your hubby look so cute!


    1. Thank you! It was so lovely. I want to go back right now. It sure would beat the cloudy skies and bare trees that I can see from my window!
      Debi x

  3. Love those photographs of the beautiful old buildings - looks such a pretty place, especially with those blue skies. I'm missing that colour of sky already!

    Always good to have a favorite ice cream place I reckon!

    1. Finding a good ice-cream place while on holiday is genuinely at the top of our list of things to do. I you can't eat yummy ice-cream several times on holiday then what is the point of going?! Haha.
      I'm missing blue skies too. All we seem to be getting at the moment are big dark rain clouds. Sigh.
      Debi x


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