Planning a trip to the Algarve
The Algarve is a section of coastline in the south of Portugal made up of a scattering of sea caves, grottos and gorgeous beaches. For anyone planning a trip to the Algarve, I would highly recommend Lagos as your destination of choice. There are a number of little towns all along the Algarve coast which can leave you a little lost when deciding where to stay. I would highly recommend Lagos as the PERFECT spot for your trip to the Algarve. It is easily accessible by bus from Sevilla, you’ll be in short walking distance from some of the most beautiful beaches and coastal cliffs and the town of Lagos has an amazing atmosphere.
Where to stay
We stayed at a lovely hostel in Lagos called Tag Hostel. I would highly recommend booking your stay in Lagos here for a very affordable accommodation close to the town and within walking distance of the beach and harbour. It was one of our cheapest accommodations of the trip and one of the best. There was a beautiful rooftop terrace, homey dining area and fully equipped kitchen, all in tasteful beach decor. We even had a view of the sea from our room.
What to do in the Algarve
Do a sea kayaking tour
Go beach hopping between Lagos town and Ponte Piedade (you can walk from one end to the other in 45 mins so I recommend doing this).
Visit beaches: Batata Beach, Praia de Dona Ana, Pinhao Beach, Praia de Camillo and Ponte Peidade.
Eat tacos at The Green Room
Go partying at the Three Monkeys Bar or the Black Cat Bar
Lagos, The Algarve
After the most incredible time in Spain I was a little worried that anything else would pale by comparison. But Portugal did not disappoint. Not one bit! We took a bus from Sevilla, popping across the Spanish/Portuguese border into the Algarve to a coastal town called Lagos. One of the things we just kept noticing was that everyone that worked in the hostels, restaurants and bars were either British, Australian or American. It seems like the type of place that people just come to for a season of working and surfing. Having a spent just a few short days there I can totally see why! Lagos is DEFINITELY a place I want to come back to. I’d happily spend a few months of my life exploring these beaches.
Our first evening we just went for a little walk around the town, orientating ourselves and remarking small differences in the Spanish and Portuguese culture.
We ate supper at a Mexican style restaurant with divine mojitos and the best burritos before walking down to the beach by the moonlight to enjoy the calming effect of nature after many days in the city. One thing we struggled the most with in terms of orientation was how by 21:30 (22:30 Spanish time) everything was pitch dark and not many people were out and about. It was such a vast contrast to Spain where everyone stays out til LATE.
The next morning we woke up early to watch the sunrise from the rooftop terrace while enjoying a mug of rooibos tea. We could definitely feel the autumn chill and it was so refreshing to be snuggling up in our warm tops, sipping on tea after such a hot summer. We filled up nicely on the complimentary breakfast before walking 10 minutes to Batata beach where we were to start our kayak tour. We were beyond excited to be exploring the Algarve for the first time by boat.
We got kitted up, grabbed our life jackets and paddles before making our way down to the bright orange and yellow kayaks. We set off into the fresh morning, our paddles slicing easily though the deep blue water. We breathed in the cool air and looked out at the beautiful vista of blue dotted with sea clusters and lined by golden beaches. We were guided through sea caves and grotto’s, all the while in absolute awe of the beauty that surrounded us.
We stopped off at a beach only accessible by boat and braved the freezing cold Atlantic, snorkeling and chasing fish. We were then pulled back along the coast by a little boat as the North wind made paddling back a bit of an impossibility.
It was honestly such an amazing experience and I was SO glad that we did it. It is a little bit more on the pricey side of things but it is well worth it.
We then went about beach hopping for the rest of the afternoon with a lunch break of traditional Portuguese seafood in between (quite possibly the best prawns I think I’ve ever had). Lagos’ coastline is just fabulous in that you can walk from the town centre to the final cliffs and lighthouse within 45 minutes and there are countless absolutely gorgeous beaches dotted all along the way. This makes for a really lovely trip as you can walk along the sea cliffs catching the incredible bird’s-eye view of the secluded bays below and then scramble down for a quick dip or lengthily stay before carrying on to the next one. Absolutely IDEAL.
We managed to explore pretty much all of the best spots, stopping for ice-cold swims and sun lazing sessions. We walked all the way along to Ponta da Piedade where we could look back on the most incredible view of orange cliffs falling into light blue cold waters with golden stretches of sand and sea caves . Absolutely breathtaking.
That evening we got ready for a night out in the most pumping place in the Algarve. And what a night it was! Anyone looking for a place with beautiful beaches, an amazing atmosphere and a good time; head on over to Lagos.
After a ridiculously small amount of sleep we woke up to watch the sunrise. The sky was lit with orange and all was tranquil as we heard the seagulls cawing and soaring across the burning sun. Lagos was incredible and a perfect start to our week in Portugal!
Planning a trip to Portugal? Make sure you read my blogs on Lisbon and Porto. Spain is also a great country to combine with your trip to Portugal so why not read up about Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia and Sevilla while you’re at it?