Catch rays on Praia do Pinhão

Praia do Pinhão Lagos

Flickr: dronepicr

Lagos is blessed with some spectacular beaches nearby. While most people head to the Batata beach, a few hundred metres along the coast lies Pinhão, a paradisiacal secluded beach fringed by towering rocky cliffs and turquoise waters.

Hit the food markets

Markets are always a good place to start understanding the food culture and the markets in Lagos are famed for their produce. Head down to the local food market near the marina footbridge early on a Saturday to find a dazzlingly array of fresh and dried fruits, olives, nuts and honey. Almost everything from the market is locally sourced.

Go wine tasting

The combination of hot days and nights cooled by the ocean breeze create excellent conditions for wine producers. There are several nearby vineyards that have opened their doors in recent years, offering the opportunity to taste and learn about the process of wine production.

Gorge on seafood

It’ll be no surprise that seafood is heavily featured on Lagos’ menus. The grilled sardines smothered in olive oil and sea salt and particularly good, as are the little steamed amêijoas (clams) in garlic. There are plenty of restaurants selling international fare including sushi, if that’s your thing. Look out for the lunchtime meal of the day deals which are fantastic value.

Amble through the historic centre

Lagos Algarve

Flickr: fai fu

Be sure to spend some time ambling through Lagos’ historic centre. The maze of narrow streets backed by whitewashed houses open onto typical Portuguese squares and the harbour front. Look out for the Santo Antonio church and the 17th century Bandeira Fort.

Go snorkelling or scuba diving

Scuba Lagos Algarve

Flickr: Mal B

The sea around Lagos is one of the best places to snorkel or scuba dive in Europe. The clear waters make it an easy place to explore the reefs packed with colourful fish, caves and wrecks. The Lagos Diving School offers PADI certified courses for those looking to learn.

Take in the Ponte da Piedade

Ponte da Piedade

Flickr: amaianos

The carved sandstone formations and sea arches of the Ponte de Piedade are some of the finest in the Algarve. Take in the view from the top and hike along the nearby paths to secluded beaches. Even in peak season, it’s possible to have some of the trails all to yourself. Simply a must.

Surf at Praia de Porto de Mós

Surf Lagos

Flickr: Wulf Willis

Portugal is blessed with some of Europe’s best surfing spots. The consistent rolling swells that hit the coastline make it an excellent place for both beginners and experts. Lagos has some great surf schools where equipment can be hired. For those looking for larger waves, head down to the shores around nearby Sagres.

Kayak to Benagil sea cave

The Huffington Post voted Benagil as one of the world’s top coolest caves. Thousands of years of cliff erosion have created a labyrinth of grottoes and caverns, but none as remarkable as the almost perfectly domed Benagil cave. Light creeps through a circular opening bouncing off the turquoise waters and illuminating the cave. Only accessible by boat, the best way to see the cave is by sea kayak.

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