New Art Academy Opens The Marina Galeria de Arte in Lagos will host this new addition to the arts scene in the Algarve. Starting in February 2011, classes are available for all ages and levels and will also include tuition in journalism for local youth interested in a career in the media.
Lagos Urban Renewal - The local camara (council) has announced a new project as part of the ongoing urban renewal plan that will involve the creation of two multi-storey underground car parks and a 'revamped riverside area' - encompassing some 22,000sq metres between the Avenida dos Descobrimentos and the Avenida das Comunidades Portuguesas in the east, the Ponta da Bandeira fort in the south, the city walls and historical centre in the west and by Rua Portas de Portugal in the north. Total cost is estimated at 17.9 million euros, so it's a biggy alright.
MEIA PRAIA: The legendary beach of Meia Praia runs from the west of the town marina all the way to Alvor. On the other side of town DONA ANA also has a fine beach, and the area of PORTO DE MÓS also offers golden beaches and some good restaurants.
BUDENS and ESPICHE are inland villages offering supermarkets, restaurants and holiday accomodation and are less than 5 minutes from the coast but with better access to the main east-west highway (EN125).
VILA DO BISPO: Is the administrative centre for the west coast region. For historians there is the 17th century church of Vila do Bispo to explore; it has an interior completely covered in gilding and azulejos (local ceramic tiles), and the small town centre is a classic evocation of Algarvian whitewashed houses and narrow streets.
SAGRES: This small town is situated 4km south-east of Cape St. Vincent (or Cabo de S.Vincente). Sagres is a good place to find restaurants, hotels, cafes, hippies, backpackers, surfing equipment and, of course, beaches. In the early 15th century a largely isolated Portugal started to direct its attention seaward and Prince Henry the Navigator launched an epoch of world exploration when he established a centre for navigational research at Vila de Sagres. From 1419 until 1460 he devoted his life and the revenues of his 'Order of Christ' to this project and built the ships known as the 'Caravelas' which were to revolutionise ocean going boat-building. Henry is also reputed to have created a shipbuilding yard in the small natural harbour, but this is disputed as he was known to prefer Lagos for his permanent residence.
SAGRES FORT / PONTA DE SAGRES: This promontary is just outside the main town and provides a natural protection from rough seas and western winds. More about the 'Fortaleza de Sagres' here.
CAPE ST. VINCENT (Cabo de S.Vincente): The most south western point of Europe and known as 'Fim do Mundo' - the end of the world. The legend of the martyr Saint Vincent is that his relics were transported by ravens from the Holy Land to the Cape and subsequently guarded by them. In 1173 they were moved to Lisbon, where they remain to this day. In ancient times this area was considered a sacred spot - neolithic menhirs have been identified and Greek texts from the 4th century BC describe religious ceremonies being held here and that it was inhabited by gods. The Phoenicians are believed to have had a sanctuary dedicated to solar divinities here and for the Romans the area was part of the 'Promontorium Sacrum' (Sacred Promontory - from which the name Sagres is derived).
WEST COAST: Running from the Cape all the way up to Sines, the West Coast has some of the cleanest, wildest and most picturesque coastal landscape in Europe. The Atlantic creates a freshness in the air lacking in the Meditteranean and the people of the region are incredibly friendly and hospitable.