Bookmark and Share


Lagoa is a Portuguese city in Faro District, in the region known as the Algarve, with about 6,100 inhabitants. It is the seat of a local municipal unit (concelho) of the same name, 88.50 km² in area, with 23,835 inhabitants,[2] divided into 6 civil parishes (freguesias).

It is bounded on the north and east by Silves Municipality, on the west by Portimão Municipality, and on the south by the Atlantic Ocean. The city (then town) was officially incorporated on 16 January 1773. The municipal holiday is September 8; its patron saint is Our Lady of Light.

The location adjective for the city is Lagoense. The present Mayor is José Inácio Marques Eduardo, elected by the Social Democratic Party. History The entire region of the Algarve was conquered by the Arabs when they moved into the Iberian peninsula in the 8th century. When the area was reconquered in the mid-twelfth century by the Christian forces from the north, it was integrated into the Portuguese kingdom.

Lagoa was within the area governed from Silves. On the 16 January 1773, by a charter of King José I (Joseph I), the municipality (concelho) of Lagoa was created, after its principal settlement (Lagoa) was elevated to town status. According to historical sources, the earliest settlement of Lagoa was on the edges of a small lake or marsh [Portuguese: lagoa], which was drained in order to create fertile land and habitations which in turn were later occupied by the Muslims.

The natural resources of the area have contributed greatly to the current economic structure of the municipality based on agriculture (especially fruit and wine production), fishing, light industry, and tourism. The fishing industry (of the communities of Ferragudo, Benagil, Carvoeiro and Senhora da Rocha), vineyards, and the traditional products of unirrigated agriculture were the principal sources of wealth of the area up to the 1970s.

Driven by the abundance of fish, the canning industry at the beginning of the last century broke open the local economy, bringing with it general prosperity and wealth. From the 1960s, however, tourism has been the principal driver of the area’s development and the creation of the infrastructure necessary for the growth of the economic fabric.

The most important outcome has been the high level of job creation over the last few decades. This activity has rapidly became the economic motor of the municipality, and has now assumed a permanent place in the local economy. Parallel to the growth of tourism has been the growth of all the related activities, especially in the the construction industry, services, and general commerce.