Lagos & Portimão
Lagos is a large, historic yet lively city with an attractive promenade along the side of the large natural harbour now a bustling marina. There are many historic buildings in the attractive walled town including Europes first 15th Century slave market which survived the devastating 1755 earthquake. Lagos boasts many interesting churches, shops, museums, galleries and a plethora of places to eat and drink and watch the world go by. The beaches including the 4km Meia Praia are very popular with windsurfers and paragliders. The Ponta da Piedade and Praia do Dona Ana are a couple of kilometers outside of town and have dramatic tall sandstone cliffs and a warren of caves and grottoes. There are many boat trips available to view the nearby coastline.
Portimão is another well known fishing port with a rather touristy beach area at Praia da Rocha. It is reknowned for its fish, especially sardine, restaurants located between the road and railway bridges, where the waiters will vie for your business and the prices are very reasonable. The town itself is not as attractive as Lagos or Silves but a walk will reveal typical 19th Century houses with pretty cast iron balconies and plenty of good shops and tree shaded squares with plenty of places to eat and drink.