Lagoa – the complete guide (2019)
Lagoa is a hill town of whitewashed houses that used to rise above a lagoon (lagoa). Now only the name remains, as well as its top quality wine. The town is closely located to one of the most favorite beaches of the Algarve: Albandeira, Benagil, Carvoeiro and Marinha. These magical beaches are famous for its brightly colored cliffs and crystal clear sea that almost seem unreal. In addition, Lagoa is 5 kilometers from the popular waterpark Slide & Splash which is every kids ultimate holiday experience. Find out all the secret tips on Lagoa.
Lagoa – Highlights
Top attractions in Lagoa:
• Wine tasting
• Beaches around Lagoa
• Slide and splash water park
• Fatacil fair
After the busy summer season of last year, we recommend to book your hotel now, as it will probably sell out. Below you can find a map with the location of hotels in Lagoa. By changing the date of your holiday, the map will show you the current prices.
Lagoa – General information
Lagoa is a small municipality in the Algarve, with only 23.000 inhabitants. The biggest town in the municipality is ‘Lagoa e Carvoeiro’ (with more than 10.000 inhabitants), but other towns in the municipality are Porches, Ferragudo, Parchal and Estômbar. On the east of Lagoa you find the municipality of Silves and on the west of Lagoa is Portimão.
The small town of Lagoa is the centre of a famous wine producing region. Its annual production is around 4 million litres of wine. It is mostly red wine, but also white wine, rosé, a liqueur and a dry aperitive wine.
Lagoa – What to see
Lagoa consists of a mix of new houses and old (18th century) houses. Just walking around the town gives you an idea of the traditional Algarve.
Visitors can visit the ‘Adega Cooperativa’, the largest wine cellar in the Algarve. Here you can taste its wines, which are known for their high alcohol content.
If you are interested in visiting simple, but interesting churches in Lagoa, there is a Parish Church. It is called the Church of Nossa Senhora da Luz (in Portuguese: Nossa Senhora da Luz). It was built in 1521, but was rebuilt after the earthquake of 1755.
There is also the chancel and the Santíssimo chapel, both of which are baroque. In the former, there is a beautiful image of Our Lady of the Light, built by Machado de Castro in the 18th century. Finally there is also the baroque Misericórdia chapel, which stems from the 18th century and has beautiful glazed tiles.
One of the most important events in the Algarve is Fatacil, a fair connected with the economy of the region. Here you can find things related to handycrafts, art works, agriculture, industry and tourism. The fair is visited by thousands of visitors every year. It is yearly held in Lagoa for 10 days in August.
In the municipality of Lagoa are some of the most beautiful small beaches of the Algarve:
• Praia de Albandeira
• Praia de Benagil
• Praia dos Caneiros
• Praia do Carvoeiro
• Praia da Marinha
• Praia da Nossa Senhora da Rocha
• Praia do Vale de Centeanes
All these beaches are protected by rock cliffs, providing shade. These beaches also have excellent facilities and tourists can enjoy several kinds of water sports. You will find companies offering grotto tours and dolphin watching excursions.
It is possible to reach these beaches by car, but we also recommend a boat trip along this marvelous coast. If you like to walk, we recommend you to walk from Nossa Senhora da Rocha along the coast to praia da Marinha. Along this route you will see beautiful clifftop views.
Between Lagoa and Estômbar, the water park of Slide & Splash is located. Visiting the water park can be a nice experience.
Ferragudo is a typical fishing village, situated near Lagoa, on the left bank of the Arade river. It forms an harmonious set of white houses, which climb up the hill towards the church. Nearby is situated the fortress of São João, which was built in the 17th century to defend the estuary of the river from the attacks of the pirates. The most famous beaches of Ferragudo are Praia Grande and Praia dos Caneiros.
Carvoeiro is a village in the municipality of Lagoa. It was once a small fishing village and is now an important tourist centre, without having lost much of its old charm. In the centre you find a small but beautiful beach with fishing boats on the sand. There are many modern villas all around Carvoeiro. Visit the rock formations of Algar Seco and the fantastic beaches of Vale Centianes, Benagil and Praia da Marinha.
From the village of Carvoeiro, we recommend a walk to the chapel of Nossa Senhora da Encarnação, with the ruins of a 17th century fortress nearby. From there, you have a magnificent view over the beach and village.
Porches is a village in the municipality of Lagoa. The village is famous for its potteries and handpainted ceramics. Along the EN 125 road you can find the renowned potteries ‘Casa Grande’ and ‘Artisans Village’ (towards Alcantarilha). The parish church has replaced an older church (16th century) from which the chancel remains. Every Friday and Saturday you can dine and listen to live fado music in the restaurant Porches Velho. The Senhora da Rocha chapel is situated on a rocky cliff above the beautiful beach of Senhora da Rocha.The chapel itself has capitels of Visigothic origin, which can be evidence of the existence of this chapel before the Arabian occupation. Near this chapel there was a fortress which was destroyed by the earthquake in 1755. An old religious tradition is the procession of Senhora da Rocha, which takes place on the 1st Sunday of August every year.
Estombar is a village of Arabian origin. It is located near Lagoa. The Parish Church has a Renaissance portal and 18th century tiles. If you search closer contact with nature, visit the grottos some kilometres north of Estombar, near the Arade river. Here you can see stalactites and stalagmites. Nearby is the ‘Sítio das Fontes’ with natural fountains and a natural pool.
If you happpen to be in the Algarve in August, make sure you visit the Fatacil fair in Lagoa. This is a traditional fair with handicrafts and art works, that most tourists normally wouldn’t see.
Don’t visit the water park Slide & Splash on the weekends, because it will be too busy. A whole day of waiting for attractions in a queue will degrade your experience. You can better visit it during the week. Another tip we can give is to bring your own food to the park, because the food in the park can be quite expensive.