It had been almost 3 years since my last trip to Portugal, I was so excited to be back! On my last trip I visited Lisbon and Porto, this time around my plan was to visit Lagos for the first time and Lisbon once again.
I love everything about this place! It has beaches, great food, spectacular caves and a vibrant nightlife. I spent a total of 4 days in Lagos, and I think I could have stayed for weeks. My friend and I had a few things to see on our itinerary: Benagil sea caves, beach tour, and surf lessons.
Day 1: Benagil Sea Caves
If you are in Lagos, this is 100% a must! We were staying at the Old Town Lagos hostel in the main area of the city. All hostels will offer tours that take you to the caves, but do NOT sign up for them! It’s such an easy trip and you will have the freedom to spend a lot more time in this beautiful place and save some money.
From Lagos, we took a train to Estombar-Lagoa that cost approximately 5 euros return trip. Once we arrived at Estombar-Lagoa, we needed to take a taxi down to the Benagil Beach. We ended up meeting 2 other tourists from Scotland who were also going to the caves, so we all split a cab. The original plan was to rent a kayak or paddle board to reach the cave as you have to go by water. Unfortunately, the paddle boards and kayaks were booked up for the entire day and it was only 11am! My brave friend decided to try and swim out to see how difficult it was to get there. After exploring for 25 minutes or so, she came back and said it was literally right around the corner from the beach. I am a terrible swimmer, so I’m always a little skeptical – but she was right! It was an easy 10 minute swim out and the current just takes you straight into the cave, I pretty much floated the entire way in.
Since we swam in, we had the opportunity to relax in the cave and explore. We saw many tour boats come in, but all they would do is stop the boat for a minute, let people take a picture and go. They weren’t even allowed to get off the boat! Therefore – swim there if you can! If I can do it, I’m pretty sure anyone can (obviously, be careful and smart about it if the current is too strong).
After exploring the cave, we decided to walk and check out the neighbouring beach, Praia de Marinha. It was a little confusing to get there but we just put Praia de Marinha into Google Maps and were able to find a path that took us through the grassy areas. This beach was magical! I swear to you, it was actually sparkling – definitely my favourite beach.
Day 2: Beach Tour – Praia Dona Ana, Praia do Camilo, Ponta de Piedade
Our second day in Lagos was strictly for beach hopping! We were planning to start at Praia Dona Ana and make our way to the Ponta de Piedade.
First up, Praia Dona Ana! We stayed here for a few hours, soaking up the sun. This beach was really cool because not only was it beautiful, but it also had a little cave area on the right side.
After spending time here, we made our way to Praia do Camilo. This beach was also gorgeous, but similar to Dona Ana!
Once the sun started to go down, we walked over to Ponta de Piedade. This is an area where you can get a really good view of rock formations in the water.
Day 3: Surf Lessons in Praia da Bordeira
We booked a tour with Lagos Surf Safari and I highly recommend it! We were picked up around 9am and then we drove to Praia da Bordeira. You had the option of choosing to do a surf camp for up to 5 days but since we were limited in time, we opted for the 1 day lesson.
Be prepared to carry your own board down hundreds of steps to get to the beach – I’m not sure what was more of a work out, carrying the board or actually surfing – I was feeling VERY sore the next day. We had an awesome day though, and our instructor was fantastic! He trained us on the sand before letting us get into the water and helped us get onto the board. Did I actually get up? Well, no. But in my defence the current was very strong (or so he said). All in all, it was a great day and I will definitely do a few more lessons next time I visit!
Day 4: Nah Nah Bah
So on our last day, we didn’t do anything beachy or touristy as we had a train to catch but we did have the BEST food! Do yourself a favour and visit Nah Nah Bah for the best burger in EUROPE (yeah, I’m saying it’s that good).
During our time in Lagos, we stayed at Old Town Lagos Hostel. This place was so much fun! They also had a sister hostel called Sol-a-Sol a few minutes away, and they constantly had events planned for both hostels. Some events included family dinners and BBQs with unlimited sangria! Not only was the food delicious, but it was a fun way to meet people before the nightly pub crawl (yes, there was a pub crawl every.single.night) Stay at Old Town Lagos or Sol-a-Sol, you will not regret it!
- For every beach area in Lagos, be prepared to walk down a lot of steps!
- Go to Nah Nah Bah!
- Really easy to walk everywhere in the Lagos area, the furthest attraction (Ponta de Piedade) was only a 35 minute walk from our hostel