Scenic Western Algarve
Local Sightseeing, All
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Approximately 7½ Hours
Drive west along the coast, past golden sands, turquoise waters and rock sculptures to Lagos -- departure port of the first Portuguese Caravels. Here, you will see the memorial to Prince Henry the Navigator, and the arcades where slaves were first auctioned in Europe. Lagos was the capital of the Algarve until 1756. Today it maintains its atmosphere of cosmopolitan heritage in its wealth of architecture and monuments.
Visit the Chapel of Santo Antonio (the Golden Chapel), whose interior is a superb example of Portuguese 18th-century Baroque with gilded woodcarvings and paintings. From Ponta da Piedade, you can admire the wide expanse of Lagos Bay and its spectacular rock formation.
Dating back to the time of the Roman conquest, it was in the 15th century that Sagres achieved great importance. The frequent presence of Prince Henry the Navigator during the first days of Atlantic navigation, and the voyages to the African coast as far as the Gulf of Guinea, have forever linked this picturesque fishing port with the Discoveries.
Nearby, at one of the westernmost points of the European continent, is the Cape of São Vicente -- a sacred place for the Romans who called it Promontorium Sacrum -- opening on to a vast horizon of sea and sky.
The Chapel of Lagos is closed on Mondays; additional free time in Lagos will be substituted.