WHERE TO LOOK
| BEACH LIFE
| MOTOR SPORTS
| RESTAURANTS & BARS
| SHOPPING & SUPERMARKETS
| SPA & BEAUTY
| WATER ACTIVITIES
| WINE TOURS
WHERE TO LOOK
Happily, in the Algarve and Lagos there is always something happening. For a brilliant monthly timetable of events see www.algarveVida.com
Categories include: Culture; Music / Exhibitions / Food; drinks / Markets; Fairs / Social events / Sports; activities.
So many beaches, so little time… The Algarve gives you so much choice! All beaches have blue flag status signifying clean water. Lagos has a huge variety of sandy beaches: wide open beaches with big waves, small safe beaches protected by cliffs; naturist beaches with dunes; beaches with watersports; beaches with beach bars and restaurants; beaches with sun umbrellas - beaches with everything you could possibly wish for. Take a look here and take your pick
So you won’t find the same cultural high life in the Algarve as you would in the big cities of the world – but who needs it when you have our sunny weather?
Here are some ideas for a look at Algarve history:
- Museu de Cera dos Descobrimentos | 4 Km
Located in the Lagos marina on its north side. Telling the story through its wax figures, this museum is a brief guide to the Portuguese age of discoveries.
- Route of the Portuguese Discoveries | 4 Km
Click for a map outlining a walking route with nine points of interest in Lagos town, all related to the Portuguese Discoveries: 1) Caravel (replica) “Boa Esperança”; 2) Monument to the Lagos Navigators; 3) Statue of King D. Sebastião; 4) Slave Market; 5) Statue of Prince Henry “The Navigator”; 6) Per of Discoveries; 7) Manueline Window ; 8) Statue of Gil Eanes; 9) The Governors Castle.
- Centro Cultural de Lagos | 7 km
The Cultural Centre in Lagos, inside the old town, has a varied schedule of exhibitions, shows and events.
No need to be cooped up in a gym here in the beautiful Algarve! Work out in the great outdoors instead. You can jog along the shoreline of Meia Praia beach. Or run along the promenade from the marina at Lagos towards the sea.
Almost all hotels have bicycles to rent. There are many quiet roads and safe tracks, like the ones close to Ria de Alvor near Onyria Palmares.
www.outdoor-tours.com rents out bikes and offers escorted cycling trips, including an exciting one from the top of Monchique mountain downhill all the way to the Alvor estuary.
If you are a tennis fan, Lagos has a nice club with 5 courts and a packed schedule of lessons and tournaments. This is 6 Km away from Onyria Palmares at the entrance to Lagos town.
If you’re a die-hard gym bunny then try:
- Lagos em Forma | 5 km
Run by the local council, this well-equipped facility has lots of exercise classes, personal trainers, workout machinery and a large indoor swimming pool 25 meters long. Prices are very reasonable and there is the option to pay monthly or pay as you go.
- Solinca | 9 km
Club with 2 swimming pools, squash court, spa area, health club and beauty centre. There are lots of classes available and it’s open every day.
The Algarve is a renowned golf area; it was named IAGTO’s best European golf destination 2014. Naturally we believe our ‘Lagos’, ‘Alvor’ and ‘Praia’ nine-hole loops at Onyria Palmares provide the best golf in the Algarve! Designed by world leading golf course designer, Robert Trent Jones II, it has been voted in the top 100 golf courses in europe. But they say variety is the spice of life so here are some other courses you can try.
With the beach on your doorstep, and a bucket and spade, Palmares is a child’s idea of heaven! But when the beach is not enough, here are some other ideas:
- Centro de Ciência Viva de Lagos | 7 km
As the brochure says: “A place where science, fun and hands-on learning are practiced all year round.” This indoor and outdoor play area is at the top of the “Mercado Municipal da Avenida” on the main road in Lagos.
- Pro Putting Garden | 9 km
Backing onto the old city walls of Lagos, on top of the parking area. A very good synthetic golf putting surface with 18 challenging positions plus 9 extra holes for the younger ones.
- Zoo de Lagos | 16 km
Lagos Zoo Park is 20 minutes’ drive west of Lagos. The park has many species of mammals, birds and reptiles, including a large collection of monkeys, and 200 botanical species from five continents. The zoo is an open area where some of the animals roam free so you can get close to them. There are many activities and learning programmes for the younger children.
- Slide & Splash | 23 km
A famous feature of the Algarve and one of the best water slide parks in Europe! Great reviews from visitors about the quality of slides and the grassed picnic areas!
- Zoo Marine | 39 km
TripAdvisor rank this in Europe’s top 10 theme parks. The amusement park with its funfair and marine centre have exciting experiences for all the family. Highlights are swimming with dolphins (booking essential) and seal and sea lion shows.
- Autódromo Internacional do Algarve | 15 km
You’ll find the Algarve’s international racetrack just off exit 3 of the A22 motorway (same exit for Onyria Palmares). Opened in 2008, it has hosted the final round of the Superbike World Championship. Adrenalin junkies can hire a high performance car to take for a spin around the track. The complex includes a go-kart track, an off-road park, a technology park and a sports complex.
- Passeio de Moto4
Quad wander and discover the hidden tracks on the coastline of Lagos and Alvor.
Close to Onyria Palmares, in the Ria de Alvor estuary, depending on the time of year, you can see flamingos, colourful bee-eater birds from Africa, egrets, avocets and a great variety of rare and fascinating birdlife. Other parts of the western Algarve, such as Sagres, are also famous areas for birdwatching. Contact tip
- Sagres Sunset Tour | 39 km
For unbeatable sunsets, you should visit "Cape St Vincent" near Sagres at the western tip of the Algarve at twilight. Sagres comes from a Latin word which means “sacred” and it’s also been known for many centuries as “end of the land”.
- Tree Top Adventure Park | 4 Km
Next to the Hotel Vila Gale Lagos, in the middle of pine forest you can find this tree climbing park with slides circuits in the height of trees. Enjoy a different experience in the middle of the green of the pines with fun activities for all ages (from 4 years), with dozens of networks, tunnels, spider web, skateboard and many slides. In the same place in the forest there are also Paintball with natural obstacles.
- SkyDive Algarve | 14 Km
Locator at the entrance of Alvor you can find SkyDive center open throughout the year either for beginners or for experienced divers. It is quite a spectacular way to enjoy the beauty of the Algarve!
RESTAURANTES & BARES
Drinking and eating out are an important part of any holiday. The good news is that Lagos and the western Algarve have gained a reputation for excellent value – quality food at very affordable prices. People’s tastes vary so it’s not always easy to agree on the best restaurants. But here is a selection of tried and tested venues. For the more discerning who don’t mind driving, here are a few restaurants with Michelin Stars that you’ll find in the central Algarve:
Para os mais exigentes, que queiram conduzir um pouco mais em direcção ao centro de Algarve, abaixo está um conjunto de restaurantes com estrelas Michelin:
* Bon Bon (Carvoeiro)
| 27 Km
** Ocean (Armação de Pêra)
| 33 km
** Vila Joya (Albufeira)
| 44 km
When it comes to BARS, it’s even harder to give recommendations! There are so many to choose from!
On the main inner road of Lagos old town – Rua 25 de Abril – there is a legendary bar / disco called “Bon Vivant” with two floors plus a fantastic terrace. Another alternative is the new "Sky Bar" with a roof top bar just next to Gil Eanes square. Check out Stevie Rays if you like live music
If you are looking to escape town center, you could go to the Marina and try:
Lazy Jacks or Amuras.
...From any of these you can’t go far wrong if you make new friends and ask for personal recommendations. Get in the party spirit and go with the flow!
SHOPPING & SUPERMARKETS
When it comes to fashion and shopping, the Algarve will never be Milan or New York but in Lagos there are some nice shopping opportunities for gifts and souvenirs.
There are also two large shopping malls reached by driving east from Lagos:
- Aqua Portimão | 18 km
A shopping complex of 35.500 m2, nearly 140 stores, 20 restaurants and 1.800 free parking spaces.
- Algarve Shopping | 48 km
A shopping complex of 42.535 m2 comprising a mall with open air areas, more than 130 stores, food court, 9 cinema rooms and free parking.
In Lagos it’s easy to find supermarkets and convenience stores of all sizes. Prices are very reasonable because competition is strong. Here are suggestions of where you can find everything you could possibly need.
- Pingo Doce | 4 km
This large supermarket is situated at the entrance to Meia-Praia on the edge of Lagos.
- Continente | 7 km
Another large supermarket at the top of Lagos town.
- Lagos Fish Market | 7 km
Located in the main Avenida dos Descobrimentos this is worth a visit as it’s a typical Portuguese market where you can buy very fresh fish, vegetables and fruit.
SPA & BEAUTY
It’s always nice to have a massage, beauty treatment or just chill out. Below is a short-list of spas located in some of the best hotels in Lagos:
- Wood Spa
@ Yellow Lagos 5 * | 3 Km
- Spa Satsanga
@ Vila Galé Lagos 4 * | 4 km
- Tainai Spa
@ Cascade Resort 5 * | 12 km
- Marina de Lagos | 5 km
Lagos Marina was the first marina in the Iberian peninsula to achieve a 5-star rating by the International Marine Certification Institute. It’s a great get-together area with bars and restaurants and plenty of water activities. The most popular trips available at the marina are Dolphin watching, grotto trips, fishing experience or sailing experiences. We recommend:
- Kayak Tours | 8 km
A fantastic kayak tour starts from just in front of the Governor’s Castle in Lagos. Paddle yourself with a guide to find incredible cliffs, caves and hidden beaches.
Forget Australia or Hawaii, the western Algarve has some of the best surfing in the world! The stretch of coast from Cape St Vincent northwards to the Alentejo is where you’ll find the biggest waves.
Don’t know how to stand on the board? No problem, there are plenty of more sheltered beaches close to Lagos where you can learn to surf.
The companies below provide lessons, equipment and transport.
It’s like water-skiing
- except on a board pulled by cables. This new Algarve attraction is situated near the aerodrome as you come into Lagos from the direction of Portimão. The manmade lake has some exciting jumps which, after some expert tuition, you’ll be doing in no time!
in the gentle waters of the lagoon at Ria do Alvor, a stone’s throw from Onyria Palmares. Experts put on spectacular displays off the beach at Meia Praia and Alvor, where the kite surfing world championships are held every July.
Grapes are thought to have been grown in Portugal for at least 4,000 years, introduced for winemaking by the Phoenicians. During your stay in the Algarve you’ll probably enjoy a glass or two of wine, so why not find out a bit more?
For a guided tour of different wineries, see:
Alternatively you can visit any of the following with your own transport:
Monte da Casteleja
| 8 km
Quinta dos Vales
| 23 km
Adega do Cantor
| 43 km