If you come to Portugal, go to Lagos!
Lagos, Portugal is located in one of the most visited parts of Portugal, the Algarve. This is a beautiful area with so much to do and see. So we’ve compiled the top three things to do when visiting the Lagos area. Lagos has been on our list of places to visit for some time. Along our travels one thing we have learned is that if you want to go somewhere new or try something different, you just have to make it happen.
So let’s start with our number one thing to do in Lagos.
Lagos is located in the southwest of Portugal in what is known as the Algarve coast. This area of Portugal is known for it’s amazing beaches. Some of the top beaches in Lagos are Praia do Camilo and Praia Dona Ana. These beaches are super close to the downtown area of Lagos so you won’t have to travel far. First we visited Praia Dona Ana and it’s beautiful! We went off season and so we had the beach pretty much to ourselves. One of the features of this beach are the giant rock formations in the water and the soft sand and light blue waters. We could have easily spent the rest of the day at that beach.
Praia do Camilo was a little further from the downtown but not much. This beach is much smaller than the other beach and is more difficult to access since you have to walk down some steep steps to reach the beach. Don’t let this discourage you though because you will be rewarded for your efforts! The beach can be divided up into two parts one to the right and the other to the left. Most people will stay on the right since that’s where the stairs lead you. We recommend going through the rock tunnel on the left and spending your time on the left side. You will find a small secluded beach on the other side of the tunnel.
Again this beach does not disappoint! It is postcard perfect! This beach is great for picnics and we recommend grabbing some snacks or a light lunch and then enjoying it on the beach while taking in the view. If hiking is more your cup of tea, then if you go up the stairs you can explore the different cliffs and rocks that connect to one another by different paths. You’ll find many Instagram worthy views! Just be careful because there are no ropes or barriers and there are fatal accidents every year in Portugal from people falling.
Our second must-see thing to do in Lagos is to visit the downtown. Since moving to Spain, one of the things we miss is variety of cuisine that we have in the US. So it was really refreshing to walk around downtown Lagos and find a variety of restaurants from Mexican to Indian and British food too! We ended up eating at a place called Beats and Burritos because they advertised a burrito that was California approved! We couldn’t resist. The restaurant really embodies that California surfer vibe. The food was pretty good but we both agreed it’s not quite California standards.
Walking around downtown Lagos you will see all sorts of shops if you’re into shopping. The area really has a hippy/surfer feel. You might feel like you’ve stepped into some kind of English vortex though as you will hear people speaking English everywhere. It’s a town full of expats. It really reminded us of Berkeley or Santa Cruz, California.
Last but not least is Sagres. Sagres is located at the extreme southwest of Portugal and it is about 30 minutes from Lagos. If you love wild natural beauty and dramatic cliffs you must visit Sagres. Besides being a beautiful drive to the town, they also have some nice beaches as well. We headed down to a beach called Praia da Mareta. This beach was amazing! The views! We hung out at a restaurante called Restaurante Raposo. Definitely check it out if you like relaxing on the beach with your favorite cold drink. We had some pastel de natas and green wine which Portugal is known for.
Don’t skip Portugal! It is often overlooked for more touristy countries like Italy, France and the UK but if you make the effort to visit you will be happy you did. You’ll find everything to be less expensive, less crowded and more untouched than many other popular European destinations. Looking for more Algarve inspiration check out this post!
Portugal has great weather pretty much most of the year. So if you want to visit off season in the fall, for example, you probably will even be able to swim, the weather is really great.