The gorgeous Western city of Lagos is one of Algarve’s top foreign destinations, both for tourism and for relocation.
Lagos has everything Algarve is famously known for: spectacular beaches and amazing natural cliffs, historical city center, an exciting and youthful nightlife scene, an impressive marina and many cultural events all year long and so much more!
Lagos is one of the most visited cities in the Algarve and Portugal, due to its famous spectacular beaches, outstanding natural landscape like the rock formations along the ocean (e.g. Ponta da Piedade), vibrant and youthful nightlife scene, a wide variety of restaurants (especially seafood) and high quality hotels. It’s also known for its impressive marina and its historical city center.
In 2012, TripAdvisor classified Lagos as the number one travel destination, on a list of
"15 destinations on the rise" worldwide.
There is a lot to do and explore in Lagos! Shall we start?
Lagos is located in the western area of Faro’s district, right in the heart of the Algarve region. Despite being around 1h away (~90km) from Faro, the A22 highway can easily get you there with no stress. In between Lagos and Faro, there are other major Algarvian cities like Portimão, Albufeira and Quarteira.
It also has a well-located train station and a bus station. In a ~4h train ride, you’ll be in Lisbon. If you opt to go by car, Lisbon is about 3h away (~300km).
A little known fact is that the ‘Age of Discoveries’ started from Lagos, so it’s safe to say this seaside city played an important role in European history.
In 1415, Henry ‘the Navigator’ commanded a large Portuguese fleet that sailed from Lagos to attack the city of Ceuta in Morocco, which at the time was a crucial trade point. This event was the beginning of the Portuguese Empire during the ‘Age of Discoveries’ and by the 15th century, Lagos became the central point to which Portugal explored the seas of the world.
Another curious fact is that Gil Eanes was a native from Lagos. For those who don’t know who that is, Gil Eanes was an experienced captain who, along with his crew,
passed the Cape Bojador in West Africa, a feat not dared by anyone in Europe for being the most furthermost point known by the Europeans in Africa. Passing Cape Bojador for the first time meant opening new trade routes unknown to Europe until then.
From the 16th century forward, Lagos’ ‘golden days’ were in rapid decline and it was soon reduced to a simple backwater fishing harbor.
Then came the 1755 earthquake. Most of you have heard about this earthquake as the ‘Great Lisbon Earthquake’ with a calculated magnitude of 7.7 to 9 on the scale of Richter, however, its epicenter was nowhere near Lisbon but instead near the Western point of Algarve. If it had its devastating effects in Lisbon, can you imagine how it was in cities like Lagos? As you’d expect, most buildings were destroyed.
A lot of historical buildings destroyed in the earthquake were rebuilt and have ever since undergone many renovations, like the Church of Santa Maria, the 17th century Regimental Storehouse, the Church of Santo António, and others.
Nowadays, it’s possible to revisit the old history of Lagos by simply walking around the old city walls, some dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries.
Lagos is one of the most popular and welcoming cities in Algarve! Although its neighboring cities, like Portimão, Albufeira or Faro tend to be more touristy, Lagos is still a top destination spot for those who wish to live or visit the Algarve.
One thing that distinguishes Lagos from the other cities mentioned above is perhaps the age group to which it attracts: it’s a town especially preferred to younger people who enjoy surfing. It’s, indeed, a youthful town with a refreshing
and easygoing vibe.
Nonetheless, more and more retirees and older folk also end up choosing Lagos to live for being a bit less touristy compared to other towns.
Lagos’ is an excellent spot if you’d like to explore all of the Algarve, as it is very well located and has a great public transport system. In fact, it’s quite close to the second biggest Algarvian city, Portimão, in which you are able to find many essential public services not found in Lagos.
When it comes to groceries shopping, Mercado Municipal de Lagos is your spot! Located in Avenida dos Descobrimentos, it’s here where you can find a wide variety of fresh produce and daily fish! Keep in mind that you need to arrive early, as the market closes around midday to 2PM the latest. The market is closed on Sundays.
Other great farmers markets to get your local fish and produce and to help boost local businesses are the Levante Lagos marker and Viv’o Mercado.
Of course, Lagos also has many supermarkets scattered throughout the city, so you’ll have no issue getting your daily groceries!
Like we mentioned before, Lagos is very well supported by a good public transport system. There are buses for most of all cities outside of Lagos, from all over the country to nearby cities, as well as buses that only operate inside the city. There is also a train station that offers access to most areas nearby and to Lisbon.
Important to note the proximity to Faro’s airport as well! Faro’s airport is 90 kms away from Lagos and it’s easily accessible either by car or public transport.
When it comes to health, Lagos has a small public hospital, the Hospital Distrital de Lagos. The main hospital used by locals in the area is actually located in Portimão. Nonetheless, Lagos also has private hospitals.
REAL ESTATE MARKET IN PORTO
As you might know, the Algarve region is one of the most expensive regions to live in Portugal.
Not only that, a lot of home-owners and landlords prefer to rent short term stays rather than long term stays for being more profitable. So if you are looking for a long term rental (minimum of 12 months), this may prove to be a difficult task.
It’s one of the consequences of being
a highly touristic area.
With this in mind, it’s not all impossible to get long term stays in Lagos but expect to pay more! A small T1 with around ~50m² is around 1000€ and a T2 can range from 1300€ to 2000€ (depending on the size and other factors).
When it comes to buying property, the average price for m² is 4000€.
Anything under 150k will most likely need some sort of renovation, as fully renovated properties tend to be well above 180k.
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