There is lots to see and do in Lagos and the surrounding area. Here are our top 5 suggestions of fun attractions, activities and our favourite restaurant.
Palmeras Golf Course (very close to Quinta do Maranhao)
The course has been totally transformed by the American course designer Robert Trent Jones Jr. He has created a mixture of parkland with authentic links style. The 27 holes are laid out on the side of a south-facing hill overlooking the Bay of Lagos, with breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and some of the holes run along the cliff tops. The fifth hole is a par-5 of 550 metres, making it a real challenge! See www.algarvegolf.net/courses/palmares.htm
for up to date green fees
With over 120 different species of animals and 200 botanical species, Lagos Zoo offers a fun and educational day out for the whole family. Undoubtedly one of the main attractions is the primates, but the zoo is also home to lemurs, wallabies, lynxes, reptiles and tropical birds to name but a few! The animal enclosures have been designed for the specific needs of each individual species and great care is taken to ensure the well being of all the animals housed at the zoo. The zoo’s philosophy is based around the principles of conserving, educating and protecting. There is information on hand for those wanting to learn more about each species and, during peak season, keepers offer talks during feeding times and are happy to answer visitors’ questions. Feeding time is definitely one of the highlights of a day at the zoo and is not to be missed.
Rei das Praias restaurant, Ferragudo
Highly recommended by last season’s staff and guests, situated on Praia dos Caneiros on the other side of Portimao, this is one of the most popular beach restaurants in the area. There is a fantastic selection of Portuguese cuisine with emphasis on a wide choice of fresh fish and seafood dishes, all served in mouth-watering combinations. Stunning views of the beach and the ocean, for dinner guests make sure you are there in time to watch the sunset from the beach terrace. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Telephone 282 461 006
The shows include Dolphins in Motion; The Magic Book (a pantomime performed by seals, sea lions and their trainers); The Enchanted Forest (with tropical birds) and Sweeping the Skies (a bird of prey display). There is also an aquarium showing over 20 marine ecosystems and there are several marine life exhibitions scattered around the park. The 4D cinema show promotes environmental awareness and the newly built Rehabilitation Centre treats marine species that have been washed up along the Algarve coastline, in the hope to then release them back into their natural environment. If all that isn’t enough, there are family fairground rides, including a big wheel, which gives a spectacular view of the whole park, a mini rollercoaster and some water slides. The park has good access for wheelchairs and buggies. If booked in advance, children over 8 years old can swim with dolphins.
Horse riding (very close to Colinas Verdes)
One of the largest stables in the area, Quinta de Paraíso Alto offers a variety of riding options. There are lessons from qualified instructors to suit all standards, individually or in small groups, through beautiful scenery with breathtaking views. Moon light rides can also be taken and this is a great way to discover some of the Algarve’s unspoilt countryside away from the hustle and bustle.