Famous for its golden beaches, limestone rocks, rugged cliffs and hidden-away coves this area is part of the Parque Natural da Costa Vicentina. Largely untouched by tourism, the western Algarve retains its authentic Portuguese appeal with small villages and hamlets, which are peaceful and entirely charming. Old fishing villages such as Burgau and Salema have been transformed into resort towns with heavenly beaches and a variety of activities and facilities.

The town of Lagos has an interesting Roman heritage with a variety of ancient Roman ruins to discover as well as museums, shops, restaurants, cinema and bars. The Igreja de Santo Antonio is a National Monument and seems unassuming from the outside, but once inside the frescoes, paintings and intricately carved woodwork is superb. There is only one service held here each year, on June 13th to celebrate and observe the patron saint. Old Lagos, the historic centre, has beautiful whitewashed buildings and winding cobbled streets to explore. If you are travelling with children, you may wish to take them to Zoo de Lagos. It has an animal farm, a large range of bird species, monkeys and other mammals.

Ponta de Piedade is an absolutely magnificent place to visit, with enormous limestone cliffs and crystal clear waters. There are tours available from the city, where you can take a kayak from the Marina and paddle out under the rock arches and into the caves. If you prefer to walk, there is a staircase leading down from to the protected beach below. Another cove, Praia do Camilo, can be accessed by climbing down a wooden stairway with around 200 steps. It’s well worth the effort as the views are phenomenal and the beach below has a natural tunnel that leads to a neighbouring cove.

The area is served by Faro International Airport, which is conveniently less than three hour’s flight from the UK. The distance between Lagos and Faro Airport is 90.5 km via the A2 motorway.