If you are staying in Lagos you will be pleased to know that the location is fantastic for exploring the rest of the Algarve and the Western coast of Portugal. Don’t miss destinations such as Sagres, Portimao and Albufeira, all of which can easily be done in a day. Here are some of the best day trips from Lagos Portugal.
Portimao is one of the most important cities in the south of Portugal, in terms of economy and population. You can get to know it on a half-day tour from Lagos.
The Lisaboa Cruise ship terminal is situated at Portimão. The city has an impressive industry of canned fish production, but it is also famous for its beaches. The climate of the city is mediterranean, with mild winters and hot summers. There are some historical monuments in Portimão: there’s a beautiful castle in the Romanesque style (Castelo de Portimão) and an old shopping arcade (Rossio do Carmo).
The cruise ship terminal is situated in the center of the city, it’s really close to the most important beaches. We can organize a half-day walking tour through Portimão for you, where we go to see the main points of interest of this city. Itinerary: Rossio do Carmo (inside view), Church of St.Vincent (built in 1802), Lighthouse, Fish market, Forte de Santa Catarina, Portimão Castle.
The tour of Portimão finishes on Praia da Rocha, one of the most emblematic beaches in Portugal. Praia da Rocha is known for its very high waves, making it a perfect spot for surfing. The beach has guarded areas with showers and bathrooms.
The historical center of Silves is one of the most charming places in the Algarve region. You can get to know it on an easy tour from Lagos. The town was once the capital of the Algarve, and you can still admire its Arab-Norman castle.
Silves was founded by the Arabs in the 10th century. It’s located on an elevated spot (solum) surrounded by walls, which is why it has many mountain landscapes. It’s a mediaeval city with great historical importance. You can see the symbols of this past in places like the Arab-Norman castle or the cathedral (12th century).
The easiest way to discover Silves is on a half-day tour. We start at Praça da República, where we see St. Peter’s church (13th century), St. Michael’s chapel and the town hall. We then visit the Arab-Norman Castle (12th century) and admire the view from Santa Luzia viewpoint. Close to this point, we find Silves Cathedral (12th century), which is located inside an arab bath.
A popular day trip is to travel south to Sagres which can easily be reached by car or public transport via Portimão (for more information on getting there please see Day Trips From Lagos). From here it’s possible to visit some of the amazing beaches (São Rafael for example, has been voted one of the best 10 beaches in Europe) and enjoy stunning scenery along the dramatic west coast. You will also find a lighthouse which was once manned by Henry the Navigator, where you can climb up and enjoy fabulous views out to sea.
From Sagres it’s also possible to take a ferry across to the beautiful island of Porto Santo, which is another day trip worth considering. On the Algarve’s east coast there are some fantastic beaches near Quarteira and Vilamoura where you can enjoy everything from surfing to windsurfing, or simply laze on the sand.
Portugal’s capital city, Lisbon, is also within reach and is well worth a visit, but youy would need to be up early for a day trip as it’s 3 hours there and another 3 hours back. Ideally, youy would want to book overnight accommodation in Lisbon and spend 2-3 days there if time allows.
The historic centre contains Roman and Moorish ruins as evidence of its long and eventful history and there are plenty of museums, galleries and lively bars to enjoy too! Another must see attraction which you can easily combine with a trip to Lisbon is the Gulbenkian Foundation in nearby Belém. The modern art museum contains pieces by Picasso, Renoir and Salvador Dali among others, with both permanent exhibitions and special temporary shows which change regularly so there’s always something new to see.
Vila Nova de Milfontes and Sines
From the west Alentejo coastline, visitors can visit Vila Nova de Milfontes – a picturesque fishing village with beaches and a marina. Inland from here is the town of Sines, where you can visit the Sines Castle – a medieval fortress which was once occupied by Henry the Navigator.
If you enjoyed this article you might also like to read about Albufeira to Lagos – How to get there and One day in Lagos
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