Let’s go to Lagos! During our Portugal Getaway, the city of Lagos was our base camp for exploring the Algarve. It’s also a very interesting and nice city, with lots to see and do…and eat!
First off, though, let’s see where it is on ye olde Google Maps.
While it looks quite far to go all the way across a country, it’s only about a 2.5 to 3-hour drive from Seville. Portugal is small, east to west, so it didn’t take too long for us to get there in our trusty rental car.
We rented an apartment on the marina side of the city. While it felt totally outside of town, it only took us about 10 minutes to walk from our flat to the center. And, it afforded us these views.
Our apartment was massive – way too big for us – but it did the job just fine and was well within our budget. It also accepted pets, which is one of the main reasons we stayed here. That, and the landlords/our friends are super lovely people. Great times with these guys!
The apartment had a fireplace, three balconies, three bedrooms, and two bathrooms.
It was more or less the perfect place to be – with ample parking to boot – for exploring Lagos and the entire Algarve. And, a great place for Louis to sleep near the sun.
Our first day, we took a walk around to see this historic seaside port city.
It’s flat right on the water, but that changes quickly as the streets rise above the sea, going up and down and in and out and around and through every which way you can think of. It’s definitely not a challenge to get some serious exercise here!
As we do, we quickly got lost and explored all the back streets. Even met some friendly dogs!
We really enjoyed running into a lot of the street art in town, something which we probably, barely scratched the surface of during our stay.
It’s nice to see some well-done pieces after spending so much time in cities that unfortunately lack an appreciation for it.
The older architecture here is intriguing as well, with a mix of very old, stone buildings and quaint little houses.
Of course, the Algarve is known for having some of the best beaches in the world, so we did our time looking out over the cliffs of Lagos and climbing down to wander around in the sand.
Looks pretty terrible, eh?
More strolling around at a leisurely pace, more gorgeous views.
When hunger eventually hit us, we stopped by a little place near the market in Lagos, which had been recommended by our landlords. This unassuming spot doesn’t do its best to lure in tourists as it isn’t glitzy or pouring its heart out in passable English. Instead, it’s a local joint run by a lady named Fernanda. She’s a staple here in Lagos, and she makes some of the best and most authentic food you can get in town.
She’s also a real joy, and we had a great time with her as she helped us with our Portuguese and served us entirely too much delicious goodness. While we didn’t spend a lot of time eating in Lagos, I can wholeheartedly say that this is the one restaurant I’d recommend if you’re coming here. Fernanda is the best – like an old friend, a happy grandma – and she’s very proud of what she does.
It’s a shame that all the foreigners walking by didn’t want to take a ‘chance’ on her place, opting instead for places in their guidebooks or places with shiny menus and too much English.
Restaurants like Fernanda’s are the type of places we seek out. Down home, authentic, local food made from the heart, with plenty of love. Her sharing some tasty port with us helped, too, of course!
While this particular day was the most time we spent exploring Lagos itself, we did pop in now and then, whether on walks with the dog, to catch some tasty treats at other restaurants, or just to go get a proper Portuguese coffee.
Speaking of food, another tasty spot – if you’re looking for something non-Portuguese – is Portofino’s at the marina.
It’s a bit more upscale, but it’s worth it as they have fantastic pastas and wines, and the service is outstanding. We highly recommend it as well.
Our mission was to really use our flat as a base camp for exploring the Algarve, and we most certainly didn’t see or taste all that Lagos has to offer. It was also unseasonably cold when we were there, so we didn’t get to do any water tours or anything like that, which are quite abundant here. And for that, we have plenty of reasons to return!
We highly recommend Lagos for all it has to offer – especially if you’re a beach bum that likes to have a decent-size city to fall back into – and think you should give it at least a couple of days if you’re in the area.
Thanks to everyone who was so nice to us here, and to our pals for their very nice and relaxing apartment. Be sure to check out all of our Portugal posts right here.
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Have you ever been to Lagos, or the Algarve in general? If so, what’d you think? If not, what say ye? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!