The day before yesterday, we hiked from the town of Lagos along the coast to Ponta da Piedade. Today, my last full day in Lago, we decided to see the Ponta da Piedade, with its majestic cliffs and cages, from the sea on a boat with Blue Fleet.
Here's a compilation of the videos and some of the photos I took on our tour. Have a look see.
If you prefer photos, check out this slideshow of the cliffs and caves.
Ponta da Piedade trail is one of the most beautiful trails that brings you around the Lagos coast to some of the best beaches in the area.
On my second day in Lagos, my friend Christie and I hiked along the coast from Lagos towards the Ponta da Piedade lighthouse. It was a beautiful day and gorgeous views.
The whole hike goes along the coast and you’ll end up passing some of the famous beaches like Praia de Dona Ana and Praia dos Pinheiros.
Check out my slideshow of our hike below.
As we mentioned, the trail actually starts right in Lagos. So if you forgot any food or want a snack for the trail you can grab one right before you start the walk to Ponta da Piedade.
We brought a picnic lunch of ham, cheese and avocado roll-ups, chips, clementine and water. Be sure to bring lots of water, especially if it is a hot day.
The trail itself is in good condition and you really don’t need hiking shoes for this trail but some good walking/running shoes are definitely a bonus. You’ll be walking on a combination of sidewalk, road, and then natural earth. There are areas where you do see a bit of erosion, especially really close to the coast but again regular walking/running shoes should be fine.
Tavira is a seaside town that straddles the Gilão River via an old Roman bridge. Rich in history and culture, Tavira is the perfect place to take your time and soak up the peaceful atmosphere.
1. Cross the Roman bridge over the Rio Gilão.
The current structure was actually built in the 17th century but everyone calls it the Roman bridge because of the style of its arches.
It’s the focal point of the town and extremely photogenic.
Take your time strolling across it – you might encounter buskers or artists selling their wares.
2. Stroll around Tavira Castle gardens
There’s very little left of Tavira’s medieval castle, but what's left is definitely worth exploring.
A bit of history about the castle ... the Moors began building the castle between the 10th and 11th centuries. Following the conquest of Tavira by the Order of Saint James, in 1242, work was carried out on the walls during the reigns of Kings D. Afonso (1248-1279) and D. Dinis (1279-1325). In the late Middle Ages, the walls enclosed some 5 hectares, an indication of the town's importance. However, once they were no longer required as a defense structure, they fell into ruin.
Inside the castle walls lies a beautiful garden and you can climb up old stone steps within the walls to get even better views over the city. Just be careful, as there are no railings or safety features for much of the area.
3. Go inside one of Tavira’s many churches
Tavira has 21 churches within the town itself and 37 if you count the outlying parishes.
Igreja Matriz de Santiago (below) dates back to the second half of the 13th century. This church already existed in 1270, the year in which Henrique D. Afonso III donated it to the Bishop of Silves, D. Bartolomeu. Its patron saint evokes the Christian reconquest and the Order of Saint James, responsible for the conquest of Tavira in 1242.
The church was damaged by the 1755 earthquake and it took a number of years for it to be rebuilt. From an architectural pint of view, it is very plain, an indication of the lack of means in the period following the earthquake. The interior features artwork of several eras, including work from decommission convents and other churches in the city.
When we were walking by the church, I heard some cats crying. If you know me, you know I love cats so I had to investigate and we stumbled on to a group of cats hanging out on the stairs. There was a scuttle but they all settled down after awhile.
4. Beautiful Photo Ops
Take photos (selfies, usies) in front of beautiful tiles, buildings, gardens, on the bridge. The options are endless.
5. Watch the sunset
Watch the sun set from the bridge of one of the local cafes. You won't be able to beat the view.
6. Eat some great food!
I was only in Tavira for 2 1/2 days but I had a chance to eat some excellent food.
I had one of the best cheeseburgers I've ever had at Come na Gaveta. The name translates as 'Eat from the Drawer' a nod to the reputation earned by hard working individuals before going out for lunch was a thing. They would eat at their desks with the food in the drawer. If customers came in, they would close the drawer and wait on them.
The burger was made with beef patty, cheese, bacon, cornichons, with a delicious sauce with sweet potato fries.
For dessert, I had Hazelnut Foam with Salted Caramel Ice Cream. Hazelnuts and salted caramel ice cream (well caramel anything) are two of my favorite things so I had to try this! It was amazing.
When I got home I looked up hazelnut foam hoping to find a recipe to replicate. No such luck! So they must have made up the name/recipe.
My last night, we went to Sabores do Churrasco where I had BBQ Ribs. Yum!
7. People Watch in one of Tavira’s Squares
Tavira is perfect for sitting in a square or riverside cafe for a spot of people watching. There are several cafes with outdoor seating in Praça da Republica.
8. Take Flower Photos.
It's also a great place to take flower photos, if that's your thing. It's definitely my thing.
9. Take photos of the many beautiful doors as well as architecture.
Traveller, chief taste-tester and food finder and retired expat living in Lisbon, Portugal.