When it came to choosing our summer holiday, my boyfriend and I were between Greece, Spain and Portugal for quite some time. After getting some feedback from my brothers who have both been to Portugal, we decided to settle there. All we knew we wanted was a beach holiday, so although the typical Portuguese destination would be Lisbon, just a little bit of research told us that Algarve was where to go to find the best beaches in Portugal. Even in Algarve, there are tons of places to visit, Lagos and Albuferia being two of their most popular destinations, between the two we decided on Lagos as it seemed to be somewhere we could soak up some more Portugese culture….
For the first time ever, we tried out Airbnb. I’ll be honest, there really weren’t many decent options, but my boyfriend managed to spot a place called ‘Lagos Inn’ which is essentially a villa with loads double rooms, managed by a really lovely host called Paulo. The place was literally a dream – we had a pool, fresh bread provided every morning, and it was so close to all of the beaches, the city centre, supermarkets and restaurants. In fact, writing this out makes my heart ache a bit as I miss Portugal. If you’re going to Lagos, definitely check out Lagos Inn here.
The journey to and to Lagos itself from the airport in Faro is exceptionally long, I mean – damn, when you’re used to such fast flowing public transport in London, finding out that trains and buses come less than every hour is quite a shock to the system. Because our flight was delayed by 2 hours, we missed last afternoon train, and decided to get the bus into Lagos instead of waiting 4 hours for another train. In the end, we waited 2 hours for the bus, but it gave us time to explore Faro which is also quite a beautiful place. The bus and train journey are both around 2 hours long, the bus slightly more and the train slightly less. Once in Lagos, it’s very easy to get around with a map, I’m so useless with directions and even I could (eventually) figure it out.
So, what did we do? When we first got to Portugal it wasn’t blazing hot so we spent some time just exploring. We explored the city centre, had a look at all the beaches, and chilled by the pool in our villa. We tried to cook dinner each day (our villa provided us with kitchen utensils), and typically we’d go out for lunch in the city centre, with a few dinners out. There are so many restaurants to choose from in the City Centre and 9 times out of 10, the food was amazing! I’m happy to say I’ve traveled to a decent number of places now in my life and the food in Lagos was one of the best I’ve tasted. There’s a lot to do in the city centre – a lot of shops to visit, places to eat and if anything just a lot of beautiful sights to take photos. I’ve really managed to get my boyfriend very involved in this blogging thang so he was more than happy to spend time taking lots of photos and filming the locations with me.
As the weather got hotter we finally took to the beaches. The most popular beach in Lagos is Dona Ana Beach, it’s the beach that Google likes to show you when you look up beaches in Algarve – the one with the gorgeous, coppery rocks. It was literally around the corner from our villa so we spent some time relaxing there. I typically don’t like spending too much time in the sun but there’s something about a beach that makes me not care, and makes me feel so relaxed, which was so necessary given we jetted off right after exam period. My favourite beach, however, was actually called Praia de Batata, it’s a much smaller and more chilled beach, but I personally found the more simplistic landscape a lot more appealing, and the sand just that little bit softer.
Some time into arriving we decided to see what the nightlife in Lagos was saying. Well… it wasn’t saying much. We checked out a few bars and enjoyed a lot of cheap Sex on the Beach cocktails, JD and cokes, and Southern Comfort and lemonades, but it just wasn’t really a turn up location. We didn’t mind this as we came out on holiday to relax, not at all to have a crazy party holiday, so if that’s what you want too – then Lagos is a great pick for you. Interestingly, Portuguese folks seem to have a real love for reggae, this was especially appreciated by my boyfriend being that he is a British-born Island boy.
Unfortunately sometime into the holiday my boyfriend fell sick (we think he got food poisoning preparing the meat for one of the meals we ate out there), so we spent some time just chilling in the villa and weren’t able to do anything too adventurous. We had bought tickets for a Kayak tour that we had to return (which the owners there were quite rude about, but I guess business is business), however I have no regrets there as I was too scared to do the tours anyway. Even though my boyfriend got ill we were still able to have some relaxed times chilling by the pool and out to dinner. Paulo was also really helpful in getting him meds and offering up his help to get him better.
After 8 amazing days we made the long journey back in London and as I write this, I am currently suffering from massive holiday blues. (However as I edit it, I’m currently sat in my room in Miami, back in the sunshine, with my holiday blues definitely temporarily washed away). Portugal really was amazing, from the people, the food, the sights right down to our villa. An added bonus was that everything was so cheap, I came back with way more Euros than I would’ve predicted. It’s definitely one of the best places I’ve ever visited and one day I will for sure be going back to Algarve. If you’re looking for a chilled out holiday in a beautiful place – definitely consider going to Lagos, you won’t regret it!