Lagos – Accessible Tour
Lagos is a city where you can enjoy peaceful walks, with the sea always on the horizon. Along the way you can discover its historic past, whose heyday was in the 15th century, an era of discoveries, or simply enjoy the scenery or the beauty of the beaches.
And this is a pleasure that is within everyone's reach since most of the streets slope very gently, and have wide footpaths and a stable surface. As for the beaches, there are several to choose from that display the accolade of accessibility.
We suggest that you start the itinerary with a visit to the Forte da Ponta da Bandeira (Ponta da Bandeira Fort) (1), a fully accessible space built in the 17th century to defend the city from invaders that attacked by sea. If you cross the Avenida dos Descobrimentos, right in front, you can visit the Castelo dos Governadores (Governors’ Castle) (2) a 14th century monument that you can get to know in its entirety since there are no barriers to getting around.
Castelo dos Governadores - Lagos © Arquivo Turismo de Portugal
Nearby, and entered from an open and fully accessible square, Praça Infante D. Henrique (4), is the Igreja de Santa Maria (Church of Santa Maria) (3) where a step at the entrance prevents independent access. This church dates back to the 15th century, but it was subsequently restored and enlarged, benefiting especially in terms of decorative elements such as the 18th century altarpieces.
Praça Infante D. Henrique | Igreja de Santa Maria - Lagos © Shutterstock_InacioPires
Another 18th century building is the Igreja de Santo António (Church of Santo António) (5), the next place to visit. With its entrance on Rua General Alberto da Silveira, which slopes slightly, the sober exterior gives no hint of its enormous wealth of decorative gilded woodcarvings. The entrance has some steps that cause access difficulties but inside there are only a few specific obstacles. Next is the Museu Municipal Dr José Formosinho (Dr José Formosinho Municipal Museum) (6), housing a rich and varied collection in which archaeology takes pride of place. This museum is fully accessible, as the steps can be bridged by means of removable ramps.
Lagos© Câmara Municipal de Lagos
From here we suggest you stroll through the streets in the centre of Lagos along a flat route with no problems of accessibility, and where there are a number of shops and restaurants. For example, you can go along Avenida 25 de Abril and then opt for Rua Lima Leitão, or Afonso de Almeida as far as the Praça Gil Eanes (7) where the controversial statue of King Sebastião by José Cutileiro stands. It is also here that we find the Tourist Office (Posto de Turismo), a spacious, level area where you will find a team ready to assist you in your visit to Lagos. It can also provide audio-guides.
Avenida dos Descobrimentos © ICVM
Continuing towards the sea takes you back to the Avenida dos Descobrimentos (8) where there is the pedestrian bridge that connects with the Marina de Lagos (10). A great many boats are moored in the Marina, and among them is the Caravela Boa Esperança (9), a replica of the old Portuguese caravels. You can admire its external features, but the entrance is inaccessible and there is so little room inside that moving around is difficult. There are several leisure areas on the Marina, as well as the Museu de Cera dos Descobrimentos (Wax Museum of the Discoveries) (11), an accessible place where you find out more about the great maritime epic of the Portuguese.
Forte Ponta da Bandeira - Lagos © JC
Lagos also has several accessible beaches, including the Praias da Batata, da Luz, de Porto de Mós and Meia Praia, with these last three having an amphibious wheelchair so that everyone can fully enjoy sea-bathing and sunbathing.