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The beaches around Lagos
are some of the most beautiful of the Algarve, like Praia de Dona Ana, which can
be reached after a 25 minutes walk from the centre of the town, Praia do Camilo,
a bit further on, and Meia Praia, whose sands stretch for 4 kilometres (2.5
miles) east of Lagos.
However, it is the promontory named Ponta da Piedade and sheltering the bay of Lagos which is most admired by visitors, with its caves, rocks and wonderfully transparent waters.
Apart from its animated life-style, the tourist learns that this was a fishing village and that it grew important under the Arabs, which built several fortifications. It turned into an important naval centre in the age of the Discoveries, in the 15th century; became the capital of the Algarve from 1576 to 1756 and was greatly damaged by the earthquake of 1755; thus its beautiful 18th and 19th-century buildings. A fine new marina welcomes boats sailing in from the Atlantic.
Worth visiting is the 17th-century fortress of Forte Ponta da Bandeira, the 16th-century church of Santa Maria and specially the magnificent 18th-century church of Santo António, with fine blue and white decorated tiles, carved, gilded and painted woodwork and a statue of the saint over the altar.
North of Lagos, Barragem de Bravura is a water reservoir offering fine views