Lagos in Three Days

By Blonde Bowhemian - June 24, 2017

After exploring the sights in Lisbon and Porto, we flew down to Faro and drove over to Lagos for some beach time. Lagos is on the southern shore of Portugal, not too far from the western coast. The town itself is pretty small and easily walkable with plenty of bars, restaurants, and shops. Our hotel was on Praia Dona Ana beach, about a 15 minute walk from town. The shoreline itself is mostly cliffs, so no hotels are actually beachfront, rather they're on top of the cliffs and then you take stairs (so many stairs) down to the beach. Over our three days I'd say we had a good balance of doing absolutely nothing on the beach and filling our time with activities. 

Here's what we fit in:

Beaches - You really can't go wrong with any of the beaches in Lagos. Since we were staying close to Praia Dona Ana we spent our first day there. The water was pretty cold, but definitely refreshing. The beach itself had a casual restaurant where we stopped for lunch and the option to rent out chaises and umbrellas. We also walked over to nearby Praia Do Camilho, which had even more stairs, but a little more wow factor with more dramatic cliffs and boulders. There was a small stand there for refreshments but no chaises or umbrellas, and it was slightly more crowded. I'd definitely recommend heading toward the beaches farther out from town as they're more picturesque and the cliffs provide some protection from the wind.

Lagos "downtown" - I use the term "downtown" lightly here as Lagos is a relatively small beach town. However, we found some great bars and restaurants. For dinner one evening we went to Dois Irmaos, and picked our fish right off the platter, so definitely no concerns over how fresh it was! Our waiter was also memorable and actually had spent time living in the US, so we spoke with him for a while (plus he de-boned our fish for us, greatly appreciated). I'd also recommend Bar Vivant for either pre or post-dinner drinks. It has a small and cozy rooftop bar, with super cheap, but well made, drinks. If you're gluten-free like me, head to KISA for lunch, they have a dedicated gluten-free menu, so I was able to have bread (aka carbs) for the first time in eight days; I'd call that a win-win. For very traditional, home-cooked Portuguese food, check out Restaurante Reis. It's tucked away on a side street, but worth going to. In terms of shopping, there are a multitude of little stores with beautiful plates, bowls, and dinnerware. My mom and I each got a serving dish at a little store on Rua 25 de Abril (I know I can't wait to use mine in my new apartment!)

Kayaking - This was definitely the highlight of our time in Lagos. We used EZ Ride Ocean Kayak Tours and they took us all along the southwestern coastline of Lagos, weaving in and out of grottos and caves. I may have screamed a few (okay, many) times, but it was so cool to see the coastline via boat and explore such beautiful scenery. (I will warn you, though, that some people got seasick so if you get motion sickness easily, you may want to pass on this one.) We also had 45 minutes to relax on a beach, and got towed back, so you're really only kayaking for a little over an hour.

Ponta Da Piedade - This is the western tip of the town of Lagos and one of the most scenic areas, full of cliffs and natural archways. It's actually the same area that we kayaked around, but this time we drove to it and were able to see the grottos from above. Definitely drive out here and spent some time exploring the different viewpoints.

Sagres - This is the most western town of the Algarve region. We spent out last day out here and loved how quiet and calm it was. We grabbed lunch right on the beach at Restaurante O Telheiro Do Infante before laying out on the practically deserted beach right below. The town itself is quite small, but we grabbed some drinks at Pau de Pita before having an early dinner at Armazem in order to have time to drive over to Cabo de Sao Vicente to catch the sunset at what's known as the "End of The World." It was pretty cold, so bring a blanket or two, but watching the sun sink into the Atlantic is worth the shivering!

If you find yourself in Portugal, don't miss the southern coast!

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