- flower of Portugal's Algarve
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Silves -
Moorish Capital

Situated at the western end of the Algarve coast, Lagos is a delightful old fishing town packed with plenty of history. It was the place where  Portuguese  explorer  Henry the Navigator set sail on his voyages of discovery and the main thoroughfare through the town is Avenida dos Descobrimentos - the Avenue of the Discoveries. town badge
downriver The town is set on the east-west aligned coast of the Algarve with a canalised river running almost directly north to the picturesque modern marina - a worthy descendent of the town's maritime history although it is mainly packed with pleasure craft, yachts and catamarans, the local fishermen being relegated to a site further along the river.

At the southern end of the river, next to the harbour entrance stands the town's old fort, opposite the original fortified town walls and the substantial old town entrance gate.  From there the town rises uphill through a maze of little cobbled streets that are now lined with bars, restaurants and souvenir shops catering for the thousands of visitors who holiday there.
fort view
fish market
Everywhere the smell of grilled fish pervades the atmosphere, particularly the pungent aroma of fresh sardines, which are offered for sale at almost every cafe in town.  The local delicacy of chicken piri-piri, a spicy delight that brings back the traditions  of the Moors who ruled the Algarve centuries ago, also appears on many menus.  It consists of grilled pieces of chicken with a hot, chili sauce.  Another Algarve tradition is the hundreds of different kinds of cake, sweets and baked goods that are served with extra strong, tiny cups of coffee - "bica" in Portuguese - at any time of day.

To drink there is the young, fresh vinho verde, or green wine, the soft delights of a glass of port or the local fire water, medronho, which is made from the fermented fruits of the arbutus tree.

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