During the Voyages of Discovery, Prince Henry the Navigator would restock his caravels here as they set out to prove the world did not end at Cabo Bojador. King Sebastião made it the capital of the Algarve, a position it maintained through to 1755. And it was from Lagos that king Sebastião set out to conquer North Africa, an expedition that was to prove historically disastrous for Portugal. From the Manueline window set into the Governor’s Castle, he was to address his troops for the final time. In the Gil Eanes Square, the sculptor João Cutileiro managed to embody the wild dreams of this adolescent king.
In its churches, museums and bustling squares, Lagos reveals its ties with the sea. On either side of the centre stand two testimonies to very different times. There is the Ponta da Bandeira Fortress, built to impose respect among the corsairs that plagued the region and now home to a museum dedicated to the Discoveries.
At the other extreme, there is the Marina, a meeting point with all the people and bars for a lively late afternoon drink.
The first slave market of Europe was held under the arcades of the Infante D. Henrique square. The site is now the place to be for the best in local handicrafts.
Amidst the abundant profusion of gold leaf carving and tiles of the church of Santo António, pick out the Lieutenant-general portrait following the "promotion" that king Pedro II bestowed upon himself.
Right by the city, enjoy the charm of these rock-enclosed beaches and the seafront restaurants with their menus featuring the pick of the sea’s produce. A great suggestion for a great few days.