The ancient fishing town of Lagos is one of the popular destinations in the Algarve region of Portugal. Lagos offers all the ingredients that make a great vacation—nearby beaches, natural attractions, historical places of interest, and a vibrant nightlife.
When it comes to sandy beaches Lagos has quite a few the best of which are the Meia Praia and the Dona Ana. Meia Praia is a white sand bay considered as one of the widest in Europe. Because this beach is not rocky and the sea is usually calm it provides a great venue for water sports. Surrounding cliffs also shield the beach from strong winds. The Dona Ana is likewise surrounded by similar rock formations and is in fact interestingly divided into two by a protruding cliff that completely separates the two sides during high tide. This beach attracts more visitors than the others in Lagos perhaps owing to its thicker bed of sand.
Other beaches that are easily accessible from the Lagos town center are the Praia da Batata, Praia dos Estudantes, Praia Solaria, Camilo, Canavial, and Praia da Luz in the neighboring town.
One recommended excursion while in Lagos is a trip to the famous Ponta da Piedade rock formations, possibly the most magnificent ones you will find in the whole of the Algarve. The tall rocks reach up to 20 metres in height and are detailed by natural arches, crags and overhangs. Ponta da Piedade is visible on land but a boat ride is more advisable for better appreciation.
Much of Lagos’ charm also lies in its preservation of the traces of its past. The town played a big part during the time of Prince Henry the Navigator, during which it launched several expeditions to Morocco and Africa as part of the Portuguese exploration. Even now Lagos has preserved some of its walls from the 16th century, an ancient castle, as well as the old slave market. Other historical sites you should check out are the Igreja de San Antonio, which is a church built in the 1700s, the regional museum and the Ponta da Bandeira fort.
While in Lagos you can opt to stay in a hotel or try the alternative hostels or apartments for a change. One particularly nice hotel is the Marina Club Suite Hotel which overlooks the Lagos marina and the Meia Praia Beach Club. Smaller, family-run hostels within the vicinity of the shops, bars and restaurants may not be as posh as high-end hotels but nevertheless offer comfortable and safe accommodations too. Backpackers and families alike may also prefer an apartment because of the freedom of having your own kitchen.
Despite its reputation as a fishing town Lagos is also known for its exciting nightlife. Especially in the peak months of tourism you can just go out to the heart of the town and easily find entertainment on the streets. The bars are quite diverse in their offerings from karaoke and jazz, to rock and reggae, as well as house and dance music. You will find it quite effortless to pull an all-nighter in establishments like Mullens, Acores, Metro Bar, Phoenix Club, and Stevie Ray’s, to name a few.