Lagos, Portugal: the perfect summer sunshine hotspot

Whether you are planning next year’s summer break or just need some last minute sunshine to prepare for the onslaught of winter, Lagos, Portugal, is the perfect destination. Its mild all year round weather, golden beaches, historic sites, excellent cuisine and vibrant nightlife make it a popular choice for sun-starved Brits.

Lagos: a vibrant Algarve town steeped in more than 2000 years of history

Lagos, Portugal is one of the oldest Algarve fishing ports and as such has plenty of character, narrow cobbled streets and an Old Town that makes it much more than a beach resort. Situated on Portugal’s south-west coast around 10 miles from Portimao and 50 miles west of Faro airport, which is well served by budget flights, it’s easy and cheap to get to.

Lagos is a historic centre which played an important part in the Portuguese Age of Discovery, was a frequent home to Henry the Navigator, and one time centre of the European slave trade. The Carthaginians settled here until it was colonised by the Romans then the Visigoths and later the Byzantines. But it was during its occupation by the Moors, when it became part of the coastal region of ‘al-Gharb’, that the name of ‘Algarve’ originated.

Visist the Regional Museum of Lagos (Museu Regional de Lagos) next to the church of Santo António and the Slave Market/Customs House of Lagos, to learn about the town’s history. Now the harbour area is home to a number of first class fish and seafood restaurants where you can also try the delicious local wines.

Head for the Praia da Dona Ana beach if you’re looking for somewhere secluded or to the two-mile long Meia Praia if you’re looking for somewhere more lively. It’s the Algarve's longest beach and attracts windsurfers and jet-skiers.

At the end of the day, hit the trendy bars and street cafés or one of the late night jazz bars such as the Bar Amuras where you can boogey until 4am.

Lagos, Portugal offers a heady mix of beach resort fun, fascinating history and a true taste of authentic Portuguese life. Take a look at websites such as directline-holidays.co.uk for offers of package holidays or book a budget flight. Ryanair (ryanair.com) flies to faro from no fewer than 11 UK airports.

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