Great beaches, fantastic cafes and restaurants, beautiful mosaic walkways, historic charm, and only 3 hours away from Portugal’s capital of Lisbon! It’s not difficult to understand why Lagos is a hit with tourists year after year.
But what if you only had a day to spare? How do you make the most of it? Don’t worry, this handy guide will help you with some handy suggestions of activities and places to eat and drink during your day in Lagos.
First things first, however:
Where to stay?
This is a fantastic option for solo travellers or couples looking for somewhere quieter to stay for a night. It is slightly outside of town, 4km from Lagos, in a lovely quiet location providing some incredible views. It is a beautiful eight-bedroom country home and as a bonus comes with stunning botanical gardens. There is also a lovely 2 bedroom cottage on the grounds – Casa Bonita. A standard en suite double/twin room will cost you €140 for one person or €190 for two people. A room with a view of their stunning gardens is €160 for one person or €210 for two people. There are also options for rooms with sea views which are slightly more expensive again. If Casa Bonita interests you, this ranges in price from €250 for a couple to €450 for two adults and two children. More information can be found at:
Hotel Marina Rio
If you are looking for something in a more central location, then this could be a good option for you. This hotel provides views over Lagos Marina and provides you with simply decorated rooms that are only an easy 10/15 minute walk from the city centre. Each room is en suite and provides you with free wifi, a tv, a kettle and a mini-fridge. The hotel also has a rather lovely roof-top pool where you can enjoy a lovely swim and stunning views at the same time! A standard twin room is €78.07 on its own or €91.27 with breakfast. Rooms can be booked here:
Centro Ciência Viva de Lagos
If you’re in the city centre, this is a fabulous spot to spend a few hours. It is a science museum based in a mansion house commonly known as Casa Fogaça to the locals. It is dedicated to the Portuguese navigational discoveries of the 15th and 16th centuries, such as making and using maps, how they discovered and studied the stars, and how they built their ships. There are permanent exhibitions including a submarine to explore! The museum is also brilliant for kids with a variety of different workshops and an outdoor play area, complete with a lighthouse, and water play area. This museum is open from 10 am to 6 pm, Tuesday to Sunday, with the last entry at 5.30 pm. Entry is free for children under 6 and costs only €1.50 for children aged 6 – 17 and for students/seniors. For adults, entry is €3.
Boat trip to the Benagil sea caves
If this is something that interests you, be prepared – it’s a hot spot for tourists! But for good reason – it really is a fantastic experience. These are natural rock formations that create the stunning coastline that the Algarve is well-known for. It is a 2-hour experience in total, starting at Lagos Marina. The first 15 minutes are going over important safety aspects etc, then the other 1 hour and 45 minutes are your travel to and from the caves. You will have the opportunity to see some of the Algarves hidden beaches as well as these incredible rock formations. The guides on the boats speak Portuguese, Spanish and English. It is important to note that this experience does need good weather, so if, on the day of your trip the weather is too bad, then you will receive a full refund. This trip can be booked in advance via Tripadvisor, costing £33.94 per adult and £21.22 per child:
Where to eat and drink
Naturally, during your day in Lagos, you’re going to have to stop off somewhere for something to eat and drink.
Perhaps after a busy day of exploring, you just want to sit down with a big, juicy burger! If so, then Nah Nah Bah is the place for you. This burger joint offers several different burgers, all with rather cheeky named sandwiches, served between their signature sweet potato bun. Their menu states that all their burgers contain 100% organic and grass-fed Angus beef. The restaurant offers a relaxed tropical island vibe with a funky Tiki style bar, offering a variety of beers, sangria and inventive cocktails all at very reasonable prices! Their menu can be viewed at: https://www.nahnahbah.com/
A completely different option is The Green Room offering the most incredible Mexican food you can imagine! Chimichangas, fajitas, burritos… this restaurant does them all – and more! It is extremely popular and as such can be very busy. There can at times be quite a wait for a table but you could always grab a seat at the bar and sample one of their lovely cocktails while you wait for a table! Their menu can be viewed here: https://cdn.website.dish.co/media/67/f1/2763058/The-Green-Room-Burritos-und-Cocktails-95960071-10158146368412487-6682489381908905984-o.jpg
Perhaps though, you are looking for somewhere which offers more authentically Portuguese food. If so, O Camilo is a fantastic option. This is a family-owned seafood restaurant where regardless of whether you choose to sit on their terrace or in their glass-walled dining room, you can have spectacular sea views to accompany your spectacular meal. While seafood is what they specialise in, they do have meat options, so fear not, if seafood is not really your thing! The most important thing to the family behind this restaurant is that they are providing you with traditional, high-quality demonstrations of Algarve food. They have carefully thought out their menu to take advantage of their location and the beautiful seafood they have to offer. In addition to their regular menu dishes, they also frequently offer varying specials depending on the fresh fish caught each day. Their menu can be viewed at: https://camilorestaurante.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/RCEmenta2021.pdf
There are of course many more incredible places to stay, activities to do and restaurants to try but those listed above make for a fantastic starting point when thinking of how to spend a day in the beautiful city of Lagos.