6 Highlights from our trip to Lagos Portugal
6 highlights from our trip to Lagos Portugal. Ideal for first time visitors
I am not usually a last minute person, but when it comes to holidays I seem to make an exception. My most recent last minute holiday was booked at the end of June for a weeks trip to Lagos, Portugal. Like all last minute bookings, it had an element of risk. I frantically googled ‘holiday destinations leaving from Belfast’ and hoped that somewhere with the compulsory sunshine and beaches would be available for the timeframe I selected.
Portugal had never crossed my mind as a place to visit. Being determined to go away somewhere hot to relax, I was willing to go out on a limb and so, within 10 minutes the flights and hotel apartment were booked. Not at a bad price I might add, especially at such short notice!
The more I looked at Lagos online, the greater my excitement grew for our trip. Still, it wasn’t really until we landed that it became a reality; we were actually on a holiday – the first time in two years! Yippee! Our flight was very early and when we arrived at Faro airport, we had a further two hour bus journey to Lagos. To be honest, it didn’t seem like two hours on the bus, we were just excited to be on our way to the hotel apartment. You know sometimes when you are on holiday and you instantly get that feeling you are going to fall in love with the place? Well that was not at all our feelings on the journey to Lagos! Luckily we had already read online that the bus doesn’t take the most appealing route into Lagos, so although the views weren’t particularly scenic, we still had our fingers crossed that all would be lovely when we eventually arrived. Our hotel apartment was called Aqualuz, situated a mere 10 minutes from the town. We very much enjoyed our stay at the hotel. The only gripe we had was that the bar closed at 10pm, pretty much putting an end to any potential for atmosphere. The bar prices were a tad high too. Luckily, we went self-catering and could saunter out into the town for food and a longed-for drink.
Our first time trip to Lagos was a wonderful experience. We fell in love with the beaches, the places, the history and the people. I can’t believe it was never on our radar to visit. Whether you want to relax on the beach or learn about the history, Lagos has fantastic places to explore as a couple or a family. Take a peek at my top 6 highlights, ideal for your first trip to Lagos.
1. The Tukano Tuk Tour Starting off first with the Tukano Tuk Tour! Enjoy a one of a kind trip around Lagos’ historic town and beautiful beaches in an electric powered Tuk Tuk! Highly recommend making this the tour you do on your first day. The driver was excellent at showing us around, stopping to let us take pictures and enjoy the views, as well as recommending the best beaches and places to eat.
The Tuk Tuk seats up to 6 people and prices start at a very reasonable 25 euros for at least 1 hour.
2. Praia do Porto de Mos beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Lagos. The cliff edge is gorgeous to look at when walking along the soft sand. We spent the entire day here and it was so relaxing with plenty of space.
The cold water is perfect to cool off on a very hot day.
3. The Marina de Lagos is a hub of activity. Down here is where you board for many of the boat tours as well as relaxing with a drink or two. The views of the marina are splendid.
We particularly enjoyed the Oasis cafe!
4. No Patio restaurant food in Lagos was definitely a highlight. No Patio has a very romantic setting and the food was divine. In fact it was so delicious that for once I didn’t stop to take the time to snap any pictures! More on the expensive side but well worth every euro.
Ala Do Castelo was also a fantastic cafe to hit for lunch. Scrumptious fresh fish. Best to reserve a table.
5. The Grotto Boat Tour on what was the only cloudy day during our stay we decided to go on a boat tour of the caves and it was magical going out to sea and getting up close with the caves. We were able to enter some and looking up through the natural vents is quite an experience!
The locals love naming the natural wonders around them. We learnt all the names given to the caves and many of the rocky landmarks of the coast. It takes a little imagination in some cases, but you really can see why they were named as they have been!
6. The Town centre was about 20 minutes from our apartment and we walked to it pretty much everyday. The centre is buzzing with people and there are plenty of shops for dining and gift shopping. We discovered a great little Italian ice-cream shop called Crema di Gelato that did the best ice-cream!
Places we want to visit next time include: Meia Praia beach – famous for its huge size and many beach bars! The Garden Restaurant which is right opposite No Patio! Cape Saint Vincent also known as ‘ The End of the World’ – spectator views, especially of the sunset.