Travel to Lagos, Portugal! Lagos, located in Portugal’s magically beautiful Algarve, coming from the Arab word for the west, al-Gharb) coast, has some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe surrounded by magnificent and unbelievable grotto rock formations. Although today it is a small beach town, Lagos was once the capital of the Algarve region as well as an important hub for seafaring activity. It was the departure point for the expedition to the New World by the famous explorer Vasco da Gama and a rally point for the Spanish Armada. Lagos was under constant threat of pirates, slave traders, and once thwarted an attack by Sir Francis Drake. At various points throughout history, it has been colonized by Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths, Byzantines, and the Moors.
With these diverse and lasting cultural influences, the city not only has an interesting history and historical significance, but also impressive remnants to prove it! A town plaza is all that remains of the square where African slaves were sold in the 1400′s in Mercado dos Escravos, and Forte de Ponta da Bandeira is a restored 17th century fortress.
Lagos offers a wide variety of activities such as sailboat cruises and surf lessons, great restaurants with Portuguese food, Thai food, just plain delicious food, and more. It is a wonderful place to spend a weekend out of Sevilla. There is a farmers market every Saturday with local produce, as well as special products like homemade hot-sauce, pesto, and pies. Lagos is also just a short drive away from Sagres, the southern most point of Europe. It was at one time thought to be literally the end of the world and offers a beautiful view of the sunset.
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