• August 22, 2019

Beaches are a treasure in Portugal - Odessa American: Lifestyle

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Beaches are a treasure in Portugal

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Posted: Sunday, July 21, 2019 5:15 am

Crystal Blue waters, golden orange grottoes and arches, and pristine expansive beaches await visitors to the beautiful city of Lagos, Portugal. If you haven’t added Portugal to your bucket list – it’s time you did.

The city of Lagos is located on Portugal’s Algarve, or the southernmost coast of the country. The Algarve region is known for their scenic views, Atlantic beaches and quaint fishing villages. While Lagos can offer you all of those things, the small city also boasts a rich historic city center with all of the much loved tourist amenities.

So before you head for their sandy beaches, strap on your walking shoes and head to city centre. Walking through historic Lagos you will find narrow cobbled streets, historic houses of every color and authentic family-owned restaurants. Some of the must see attractions include the Santo Antonio church, the Mercado Dos Escravos, and the Bandeira Fort.

The Santo Antonio church is a national monument built in honor of the Saint Anthony who was renowned for his discipleship with the sick and poor. The church was first built in 1707 but had to be rebuilt after the Great Earthquake of 1755.

Tourists today will discover gold-plated, intricately detailed woodworking, along with blue and white azulejo tiles decorating the monument. The Mercado Dos Escravos, is a historic site and museum where one of Europe’s first slave markets was held. While this site is not a joyful experience, it is an important reminder of a part of Portuguese history that is often forgotten.

The Bandeira Fort, also known as the Lagos Fort, stands on the waterfront and was built in 1690 to protect Lagos, which was the seat of the Portugeuse administrative state. This small fort is accessible for a few Euros and panoramic views of the local coast and city can be taken in.

After you have had your historic cup filled, you can seek out the reason the Algarve region is famous — its beautiful beaches and water. Because Lagos has such a rich tourist industry, there are a multitude of options to experience the coast.

You can relax on the famous Meia Praia beach that extends almost 5 miles and also check out the local vendors who rent jet skis, snorkels and offer you the opportunity to water tube or ski behind high speed boats.

Not a swimmer? That’s OK. You can try local boat charters (there are many) for a wine cruise, or a scenic cruise to the Ponta da Piedade.

The Ponta da Piedade are sandstone cliffs that have been weather and water worn over the ages, which created sea arches, grottos and smugglers caves. If you are a thrill seeker climb to the top of these natural beauties and take a dive into the clear blue water, but a fair warning, this is not for the faint of heart.

After diving into the scenic surroundings that Lagos has to offer, go indulge in some of their best cuisine. Some of the restaurants to keep your eye out for are O Camilo, renowned for its seafood, and Mimar Cafe if you want some brunch or breakfast bites. If you are looking for a city with a nightlife Lagos can once again satisfy your needs. Look into the local pub crawls that let you meet new people while enjoying local brews, cocktails and wine.

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