Lagos: A Hidden Gem in the South of Portugal



After having two non-stop days of sightseeing in Seville, a beach getaway was just what I needed (yes, I know there is a beach in Almeria). This trip was full of beauty, nature and pure relaxation.

My sisters had recommended to me DiscoverExcursions based out of Seville for some trips within the area. They provide extremely organized trips to Morocco, Portugal and Gribraltar and the guides all speak English since mostly American students use this tour company. Our destination for this trip was Lagos, Portugal, a beach city on the southwest coast in the Algarve region. My sisters had taken this trip when they studied in Seville so I knew what to expect from the trip, but was still taken aback my the pure beauty of southern Portugal. The 3.5 hour drive from Seville to Lagos was full of rolling hills, white towns and wild flowers.

Once we arrived we checked in to Carvi Hotel, a hotel with the picturesque Dona Ana beach less than 50 feet away. We were given an extremely nice room with four beds and plenty of space to spread out our stuff, a nice break from small hostels. After taking a moment to let it sink in that I was in paradise, we headed to the port where a sangria cruise was waiting for us. This little cruise was not provided in the tour cost, but was well worth the extra money. The cruise sailed along the coast and provided endless sangria. We were able to get on a little boat and take a tour of the caves, which were beautiful (you don’t get that in Florida) and I even took a couple dives into the extremely cold Atlantic ocean.
Our boats for the sangria cruise!
The beach outside of our hotel!

Later that evening we ventured to the charming, completely white city center that provided many different choices for food. We decided on Thai food and enjoyed some curry and Pad Thai. After dinner we went to a bar where most of the group was since DiscoverSeville set up a little party there.

Some of the caves close by
The next day we awakened and went to a local beach, Meia Praia, that was pretty expansive and had amazing waves and sand. There was even a little beach bar close by with yummy food and free Wifi. After soaking up the sun and riding some waves we headed back to the hotel and got ready to go to the “End of the World”, or the end of Portugal at least. We took a 30 minute bus ride to the southwest corner of Portugal where we were supposed to watch the stunning sunset, but rather experienced the sun disappear behind a haze. It was beautiful scenery none-the-less and I can now say I have been to the “End of the World”. It is called "The End of the World" because back in the 1400s this point was really believed to be the end of the world. After the return bus ride we found a local Mexican restaurant in the city center where we enjoyed burritos the size of a football. It was nice to have a break from Spanish food (ham and bread).

The "End of the Worl
Our final day in Portugal was dedicated to more beach time on the West Coast. I had the choice of signing up for surfing, but was nervous I would pay 35 euros to fall off of my board and get rocked by the waves, so instead I just soaked up the sun and took in the amazing surroundings. The West Coast beach is known as a great place to surf, but I liked it for its blue-green water and amazing cliffs. I felt as though everywhere I turned in Portugal I saw an another breathtaking view.

the West Coast beach

I fell in love with Portugal and am extremely happy I decided to join this tour. The guides were amazing and super nice, and Portugal was a beach-goers paradise. Lagos was a perfect little town that was not overwhelming but still enchanting.

Overlooking the West Coast Beach

Tips:
1.     Take advantage of DiscoverExcursions and their amazing trips.
2.     If taking a trip to Lagos, I recommend the Carvi hotel, due to its amazing location next to the perfect beach. It may only be rated 3 stars, but I was extremely pleased with the room size and cleanliness.
3.     Lagos is a perfect beach getaway, place to retire or honeymoon location. I would not mind coming back in a couple years over a trip the Bahamas.

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