We are on the Lagoa 2 day tour - day 2 and day 14 of our Algarve tour. I left Monte Santo after breakfast and started the day at Lagoa’s local market, looking at the food stalls selling fresh fish and other regional delicacies.
Then, I walked to the Convent of São José, which is now the cultural centre of Lagoa. I visited the exhibition area and passed by the garden, where I saw a large menhir dating back to the 5-4th Century BC. According to the plate standing next to it, the menhir was found in Porches and was only placed here in 1975.
After the convent, I went for a wine tasting session at Quinta dos Vales, a large wine estate in the town of Estômbar. There are several artworks spread throughout the estate and there is even an animal area with sheep, pigs and, the one that surprised me the most, a herd of deer. The best part is that you get to feed them all if you buy the special food from the FarmShop!
I stayed in Estômbar for lunch and stopped at O Charneco. Hidden behind the church of São Tiago, in a town of white houses, O Charneco immediately sticks out with its bright red walls and black doors. Inside, there is a rustic decoration with wooden floors and tile façades. As soon as I sat down, the food started coming. First, a basket of bread and olives, then, my main dish, a delicious lamb stew with green beans and finally, one Dom Rodrigo, a typical sweet from the Algarve made with egg yolks and sugar.
After lunch, I continued on the road to Sítio das Fontes, a large nature park set along the margins of the Arade river and one of Algarve’s hidden gems. I parked the car near the entrance and set off to explore the area, following the walking trail ahead of me. Every step I took, lead me closer to the river and its impressive landscape. On the edge of the river, I found an old mill house, one of the few buildings around here. Behind me, there was also an amphitheatre, which apparently is still used for events.
Throughout the park, there are several pools and waterways, a swimming spot for those who want to be surrounded by nature - and who wouldn’t want to swim in a place like this? If you don’t want to walk, you can simply sit at the picnic area admiring this breathtaking scenario.
From here, I went straight to Ferragudo, a former fishing village set right across from Portimão. First, I stopped by the Fort of São João do Arade. This pretty fort sits between two beaches in Ferragudo, Praia da Angrinha and Praia Grande, which is the best place to capture the fort as unfortunately, it is not open to the public.
Then, I went over to the Lighthouse of Ponta do Altar and arrived just in time for the sunset. As the orange sky began to fade, the lights were turned on, forming a beautiful trail along the coast of Portimão on the other end.
I decided to head back to the hotel for dinner and ate at their restaurant. Looking at the menu of Monte dos Comensais, I could tell seafood was the star of the show, so that’s exactly what I ordered. Starting with a clams soup, followed by a plate of roasted octopus and to finish off, a scrumptious chocolate brownie topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Feeling satisfied, I walked up to my bedroom and started planning what I was going to see in Portimão in the next few days.