what you should know

Conjure up imagery of Lagos, Portugal and what immediately surfaces to mind is likely its picturesque coastline and golden cliffs. For our upcoming October trip, we’re—of course—looking forward to the Atlantic beaches, cobbled lanes, and vibrant nightlife, but additionally noteworthy is that old Lagos is embedded with rich and fascinating history. Bring with you your swimwear, your sunscreen (don’t forget!), and these little tidbits about the charming town:

1 Lagos’ origins date back as far as 2000 B.C., back when it was known as Lacobriga. It played a vital part in naval excursions and trade during Portugal’s Age of Discovery (Lagos started it, actually!).

2 Prince Henry the Navigator designated Lagos home because he spent so much of his time living in and ordering expeditions from this high-profile capital of the Algarve. Besides Prince Henry, the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, and Moors have also all called Lagos home, drawn by the town’s harbor (read: location) and importance—and so are we!

3 Lagos, unfortunately, was victim to the tsunami that befell Lisbon and its adjacent areas during the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755. The waves, with heights as tall as the city’s walls, caused massive destruction. Some walls, as well as the governor’s castle, however, still remain to this day (hoorah!); other structures date from the 17th century.

4 The church of San Antonio—built originally in 1707 and re-built after the Great Lisbon Earthquake—otherwise known as the golden church, is the oldest and one of the finest in the Algarve. As the name implies, it is dedicated to St. Anthony, well regarded for his sermons, humility, and dedication to the sick and poor. Classified as a national monument and featuring a baroque style of architecture, this is one building you won’t want to miss during your stay.

The iconic monument can be seen from various points of town—and the interior, with its shimmering gold and splendid paintings, is even more beautiful!

5 You can’t visualize Lagos without its ochre-colored, clifflike rock formations. Known as Ponta de Piedade (translated: piety point) and located in the southernmost part of the town, they tower above at heights of up to 20 meters and derive their chiseled shape from harsh winter storms. To say that the views of the Algarve coast from the cliffs are amazing would be an understatement.

Now let’s eat!

As important as the destination itself are the delicacies found within! Lagos is home to a plethora of establishments focused keenly on showcasing flavors derived from the surrounding land and sea. Despite the fact that the Algarve is the region of Portugal where the highest number of Michelin stars are found, one must visit the local beaches and hidden gems within each town to find the heart and soul of its cuisine. From abundant, fresh seafood to sun-ripened vegetables to flame-cooked meats, you won’t want to miss out. Vetted’s October home, Casa Mãe, sources all products from its farm and on-premises garden. Farm to table, local, seasonal quality is what you can expect.

The following highlights are just a small glimpse of why Lagos stands as one of the most underrated food cities in Europe:

1 Cheese & Charcuterie: Artisan baked breads accompany Portuguese olive oils and locally-produced meats and cheeses with strong terroir and character.

2 Fresh Seafood: Situated adjacent to the small fishing village of Alvor, Lagos boasts some of the best seafood in the world, fished on the same day that it is cooked. Come with the highest of standards and expect them to be surpassed!

3 Mediterranean Tapas: Come with an open mind and try them all! Join Vetted this October and savor some of the best in the world, brought to you by our friends and culinary geniuses at Tosca Jota.

Play time!

Fortunately, Lagos is home to a range of amazing activities to help offset the inevitable (requisite!) caloric intake. Here at Vetted, our emphasis on experiential travel has brought us into contact with some amazing local businesses. Our friends at Nowhere2far SUP will take you on a breathtaking tour in and around the Algarvian cliffs. This experience is not to be missed and is sure to satiate the mind, body, and soul. Our established partners for rock climbing and surfing will also be there to provide unforgettable experiences for all skill levels.

So join us in Lagos—explore the historic lands and eat, play, rinse, repeat. This is just a glimpse of what we have in store—get involved before it’s too late!

Below is a glimpse of what we have in store. You can access the detailed itinerary here.