Having never explored Portugal before I was more than excited when I found myself in Lagos at the beginning of July 2017. I stayed in Lagos for 6 nights which I felt was the perfect amount of time for me. As it is a beach town far more or far less time can be spent here. Given that it was my second destination on my trip I used my time to unwind from the stress of leaving home, spending most of my time reading on the beach and walking the rugged clifftops.
I made cheap and healthy food in the kitchen and slept as much as possible. It was perfect. My friend Amy met me on my second day here and joined in on my beach/walk/eat schedule. We both laughed a lot and enjoyed catching up.
Lagos in undoubtably a place people come to party and if you're into remixed top 40 hits, fluro face paint, grinding, vomit and groups of lads walking hand in hand singing waltzing Matilda (at the top of their lungs) then this place is definitely for you!!! I was genuinely outraged at the way GROWN ADULTS behaved here...
There is a super cute bar called The Garden which is a lovely place for a drink at sunset... Make sure you check their opening hours as they seem to be open at weird times of day??
Obviously the beauty of the beaches makes up for the questionable crowds of people who come here so don't let this deter you. The beaches are truly something else and the first time I saw Praia Do Camilo I just stood there and laughed, I was so shocked by its beauty. The best beach is Camilo with Dona Ana coming in at a close second. Make sure you also explore the Ponte Del Piedade which is a little further walk away from the beaches but has the most amazing view into the alcoves below.
The tide comes up pretty fast so if you wanna secure a spot on the sand for the day go as close to the cliffs as you can to assure you're not getting swept away.
There are also several beaches closer to town that you can access via the port and main road. These are pretty lovely as well and in low tide you can walk through the rock-face connecting all of them through little tunnel networks. The last beach has a massive bridge over the top of it which was a pretty unique touch.
The one downside to beach days in Lagos is that the water is ICE COLD and I mean so cold we couldn't swim. The weather outside was sunny and 34 degrees and as the walk to the beach was uphill and 20 minutes long I'd be dripping in sweat by the time I arrived and yet still couldn't go deeper than my knees... On our last day, Amy and I jumped in (which was a big achievement) but it lasted about 2 minutes before we ran for the shore covered in goosebumps.
For food, there are two massive supermarkets. One is on the back side of town which is a bit of walk but it is absolutely humungous so if you're going to do a big shop I recommend going there. The other one is right by the port and is always busy as fuck no matter what time of day it is. The prices are reasonable (although expensive for Portugal) but it has pretty much everything you'll need so its fine!
As far as eating out is concerned, while I didn’t eat out here (because I cooked in the kitchen), Amy did a fair few times and loved her food ALWAYS. There's an 'all you can eat sushi' and Japanese restaurant that’s only 9 euros for lunch and 11 for dinner and there's a restaurant called Pirri Pirri that does amazing fish and chicken dishes served with salad and chips for 10 euros.
As far as budget goes, for a European location this place is pretty affordable. Other than food and accommodation there's not that much to spend money on, all you need is a towel, some sunscreen and a good book! I was spending about 4 euro a day on food and my accommodation was 15 euro a night.
While I didn't get to do this walk my friend Henry sent me this bit of info which i've copied in for anyone interested:
"The 7 hanging cliffs walk one way from Praia Marinha to Vale Centeanes (caught a taxi to Marinha). It was nearly 6km but we spaced it over the day and beach hopped. Favourite beaches: Praia de Bengali (swim 5 mins to the grotto- amazing) Praia do Carvalho (tiny) and then Praia de Vale Centianes. Carvoeiro is the main beach/town near these."
Where to Stay
I stayed in hostel The White Butterfly which I loved. It was the perfect combo of grimy and clean, with very little security (I fucking hate keycards) but provided lockers for your valuables and a killer common area with a huge kitchen. The location was prime, right in the center of town and a 20 minute walk from all the best beaches (and 10 minutes from the average ones) it was also the cheapest accommodation I could find in the area at $20 a night for a bed in a 6 person dorm.
How to get there
I flew from London Stansted into Faro airport and spent the night in a hostel in Faro that was across the road from the main train station. Faro itself has nothing special to offer, I strolled through the town, taking in all its coloured tiles and bought a peach and a croissant from the supermarket for my breakfast. If you do find yourself with time here there is a beach about a 20 minute bus ride out of town. I was eager to get to Lagos so I skipped the thorough exploration of Faro and got on the 12pm train. The train tickets cost 4 euro (roughly) and can be purchased at the station before you board the train. The trains are slow but a very pleasant way to travel. I arrived in Lagos at around 2pm and walked from the station to my hostel.
Amy and I went from Lagos to Lisbon next which was a 4 hour bus ride. The tickets cost $17 each and were purchased at the Lagos bus station the day before we left.