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Brimming with rich reminders of an illustrious past, the luscious coastal town of Lagos is a veritable banquet of coastal splendour and cultural wealth. In the afternoon sun, the rugged sandstone outcrops of the coast emit a golden hue, the beauty of which is heightened by the gentle emerald sea. Further inland in the atmospheric old town, picturesque plazas and shady streets twist and turn, leading travellers to quaint churches and crumbling fortresses.
Lagos’ most dramatic natural landmark is the Ponta da Piedade, a jagged wedge of headland that piously protrudes from the iridescent ocean. Ascending this rugged rock will afford climbers breath-taking views of the bay and the quaint lighthouse, also affording a glimpse of orchid smothered banks during the spring.
Enjoy the ecclesiastical extravagance of the ostensibly unostentatious Igreja de Santo Antonio, home to a glittering array of religious relics; beaming cherubs, gilded grapes and elaborate carvings constitute this veritable feast of god-fearing grandeur.
Housed beneath the dazzling dome of Lagos’ former convent is the captivating collection of the Museu Municipal. A 3rd century mosaic depicts the shimmering ocean and rests alongside ancient Islamic artefacts and paintings of local legends.
A Forja is a delightfully traditional tavern that serves some of Portugal’s most fabulous culinary highlights; hearty and wholesome fare is sure to satisfy appetites for authenticity and the bustling and bright interior gives an excellent insight into proper Portuguese culture. (Rua dos Ferreiros 17, Lagos, Portugal)