When most people plan a trip to Portugal, the first place that comes to mind is normally Lisbon. Lisbon is full of beautiful ancient ruins and historic landmarks enamored with Gothic grit and glamour (Hello Initiation Well at Quinta da Regaleira!). What most people don’t know is that Portugal also has one of the most beautiful coastal regions in the world, the Algarve. The Algarve is the southernmost region of continental Portugal. With its alluring coast, the Algarve provides the perfect alternative for those seeking relaxation under the sun on some of the most stunning beaches in Europe.
I chose Lagos as my destination in the Algarve because of its charming historic centre and numerous stunning beaches.
Here are some highlights of my trip in Lagos.
You will need to fly into Faro Airport. This is the closest airport to getting to Lagos. Lagos is situated on the Western Algarve coastline. If you are coming from Lisbon, you can take a 3 hour train ride to Lagos.
Everywhere is pretty much in walking distance. I would say if you’re planning to spend most of your time on the beach, stay at a hotel that is centrally located from all the beaches.
There are many activities on land and sea that you can explore depending on your interest. This is one of the reasons I chose Lagos over Lisbon, I wanted to be on the ocean most of the time and Lagos was perfect. You can do a kayak tour, grottos tour, catamaran sail, or even explore the countryside between Lagos and Alvor on a quad. I did a kayak tour through http://daysofadventure.com/ and I highly recommend them. I strongly suggest booking a water activity when you’re visiting.
The Ponta da Piedade
The Most iconic rock formulation in Lagos. There’s a lot of walking trails and every trail provides a complete difference sensory experience. I found it the most calming during sunset, but if you’re looking to capture some great photos, go during the day where the sun shines through the water from above, you’ll capture some of the best photos during the day.
The Praia do Camilo
My favorite beach in Lagos. There are 225 stairs to get through to get through the beach, but it’s totally worth it. Just see it as leg day. There is also a restaurant at the top of the beach called O Camilo, I strongly encourage you to make a reservation now if you’re planning to go there in the next 30 days or so. It gets booked up really early so try calling them instead of booking online. It will say they are booked online, but if you call, you’ll most likely get a table. Plan it around sunset, it’s breathtaking.
Praia Dona Ana
The Praia don Ana beach is one of the most visually stunning beaches of the Algarve coastline. You can get some beautiful photos on top of the cliff and once you’re on the beach, the arches of the rocks create some very instagrammable moments.
Meia Praia Beach
This is very close by central Lagos. You can walk across the bridge from town center to get here. It is one of the largest beaches in Lagos. It gets very crowded during the summer, but it is so large, you should be able find some quiet areas to get some sun.
Historic Centre of Lagos
Fascinating buildings include the beautiful Santo Antonio church, the Mercado dos Escravos (Europe’s first slave market) and the charming 17th century Bandeira Fort. There are plenty of restaurants and shops you can explore. The best thing about staying in Lagos is that everything is pretty much in walking distance.
One tip to remember, if you’re traveling into Faro Airport, book your airport transportation through Yellowfish at https://www.yellowfishtransfers.com/, otherwise you will be ripped off from a lot of other services.
If you have any other questions or thoughts, definitely send me a message on insta!