25 January 2017

Slaves & Steep Slopes - Lagos to Monchique and Ferragudo

Location: Ferragudo, Portugal
Some Day Trips ... Urban and Rural ... Walking and Driving
Follow us by opening TRAVEL MAP 2016/2017 on the right sidebar ([view larger], zoom +/-, pan around).  
Click on any photo in this post to launch a slideshow gallery of all the photos.
Wikipedia provides some content.
So, we're now nearing the end of our stay in this area.

A primary goal for us, this adventure, had been to identify places that we would return to for extended periods (1 to 2 months) during the Canadian winter. 

After 3 weeks here, we've adapted well, we are quite comfortable and have decided that Lagos fulfills many of our 'medium-stay' requirements. The weather would be slightly warmer from mid-February on, there are reasonably priced rentals available, we can stay active walking, hiking, cycling, SUP'ing and kayaking, there are numerous good restaurants, lots of history and local culture and a few driving trips to nearby interesting towns and historical sites.

Meia Praia Beach (above photo) across the harbour and east of Lagos Old Town is an area, reminiscent of the condominium rentals that you would find in Florida or Georgia ... a 4 km beach in front, bermed dunes of grasses and sedges in-between and a wide selection of accommodation types behind; including a mix of restaurants, water sport shops and multi-use pathways.

This will be our last post from Portugal for awhile. We'll soon move north to the Evora/Lisboa area for a few days; then we're off to Dubai UAE.

BUT, before we sign off ... here are a couple of other places in this lovely town to visit and also, a quick look at some nearby villages that really are worth investigating. 
Mercado de Escravos or Slave Market

The slave market, which first opened in 1444 was held in this building in the Lagos Plaza; today it's a museum.

Lagos claims to be the location of the First Slave Market On The European Continent ... the gateway for African slaves into post-medieval Europe.  

But, even before Africa was opened-up to the Portuguese, the seamen of Lagos were already enthusiastic slave-catchers. From this first slave market in Lagos many Africans were dispersed throughout Europe and eventually the Americas.

Forte da Ponta da Bandeira

This small fortress at the harbour entrance was built in the 17th century to protect the Lagos Port. It's been restored and now houses a chapel and an exhibition of Portuguese discoveries.


The municipality of Monchique lies inland, about 50 km northerly from Lagos, in the mountain range of Serra de Monchique; it borders the neighbouring Alentejo region. The village nestles between two peaks, Fóia (902 m) in the west, and Picota (774 m) in the east. This is the highest location in the Algarve. Beautiful 360 degree views! We visited on probably the coldest day of our 27 day trip to Portugal. The wind chill temperature hovered near -4C at the top; brrrr! The wind here is brutally impressive.

About a 40 km drive easterly from Lagos. Ferragudo serves mainly as a bedroom community for the nearby neighbouring city of Portimao and residents routinely travel across the Arade River to work there. Freshly painted newer homes on narrow streets contrast with older, still occupied homes on others.  Views overlook the fort of Sao Joao do Arade and Portimao to the west.  

New friends Paula & Gerry from Nova Scotia booked an Airbnb here and were enjoying the peace and quiet. We initially connected on social media, through the FB Group Canadian Truck Campers. We discovered they were travelling nearby and arranged to meet.
Portimao in the distance

Crusty ...

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TEAM: LOAF, Crumby, Wry & Crusty