Somewhere between 1242 and 1246 the Moors took possession of this then small-fortified hamlet and placed it under the control of nearby Silves. The location was later formally declared a town only to be severely destroyed by the earthquake of 1755. It was in this town in 1797 that the notorious bandit José Joaquim Sousa Reis known as Remexido was born. Commanding a fierce band of followers his acts are recoded as being a mixture of good and bad legends. Most of the Algarve area with also to the north the neighbouring Alentejo district suffered by this band of brigands. He died before a firing squad in Faro in 1838. The town of Lagoa has since grown as an administrative town for the area that lived off in the past its abundant agricultural produce.
Within the town are a number of long buildings with double doors that open into courtyards, off which more than just a large storeroom can be found as it will often be the home of some rich landowner. The produce was dependent on the time of year and could be from carob beans to topsoil vegetable products. On the outskirts of the town used to be an active co-operative for the owners of vineyards that are still producing a small quantity of full bodied red wine. This reduction has been seriously effected by the demise of vineyards over recent years but their owners have found a new pot of gold by selling their land as building plots.
The parish church was inaugurated in 1814 but there is the older church, the Igreja de Misericórdia that dates from the middle of the 18th Century. Another building of interest is the Convento do São José which was built in 1713 and survived the earthquake of 1755. It is now used by the local Council as a location for art exhibitions and has a small theatre for cultural events. Inside is a turn-box door which was in previous times used for passing unwanted babies to the nuns. The mother would place the baby and any small possessions on a shelf in the box and communicate through a small aperture with the nun on the other side. The revolving door delivered the baby to the nuns without the mother having to disclose her identity.
In August of every year an important commercial and rural produce Fair named Fatacil is held in the town, exhibiting products from all over Portugal. The occasion provides an excuse for enjoyment and national bands and singers entertain the visitors late into the night.
The nearby town of Estombar has a history dating further back to when the Moors occupied the Algarve. It was the home of the famous 11th Century Arab poet “Ibn Ammar”. Many local legends exist and there are reputed to be subterranean passages from near this town going inland for about 12 Kms. to the ancient Moorish capital of Silves. Near to Estombar is an area named Sítio de Fontes that has for centuries been a popular swimming spot due to two freshwater springs that provide a small lagoon prior to joining the Rio Arade. The authorities have now created at this attractive area an open space for performing plays and general picnicking.
To the south of the Lagoa is the once small fishing village of Carvoeiro that today is an area of expensive villas, comfortable holiday apartments and golf courses. To the east is the small and attractive village of Porches that dates back to the Roman period. Unfortunately, the earthquake of 1755 destroyed its ancient castle and also the original parish church that is believed to date to the 16th Century.
To the west of Lagoa on the edge of the river, Rio Arade, opposite the town of Portimão is the small town of Ferragudo. Romantically said to have once been the home of local pirates this place has retained much of its Portuguese flavour, and as yet, it has not been too influenced by tourism. During the summer on weekend evenings the main square is filled with the sound of music and laughter as the locals and tourists dance the night away.
Faro Airport Transfers Algarve with Perfectomorrow.