In June last year I visited Lagos, Portugal. It is an amazing seaside town about two hours from Faro. I have done a lot of travelling but this little town was something completely unexpected and I loved it!
Lagos feels like an Australian beach town transplanted on the other side of the world. I think this is partly because it is full of Australians and that the beaches are so beautiful and sandy you don’t expect to come across them in Europe.
Lagos has a great night life with most hostels running a nightly pub crawl, it is free to get into the bars and drinks are incredibly cheap. I was in Lagos the first week of June and it was not to busy so the nights out were a lot of fun and over the week you came to recognise people that you had seen out on previous nights, however I had friends who went to Lagos in the middle of July and they said it was rather crowded and that detracted from the experience (those of you who have travelled Europe would have come across this phenomenon nearly everywhere in July).
Take the time to walk around to the other beaches, Lagos has a surf beach which is defiantly worth the effort to get to.
Hike to ponta da piedade, we did this early in the morning before it got to hot as it is a relatively long hike and out in the open. The views as we walked along the cliff tops were spectacular and we kept stopping for pictures.
Kayak, take the time and join a tour that kayaks from lagos main beach around to ponta de piedade it is defiantly worth it especially paddling into the caves. This takes a few hours and I recommend a waterproof camera, hat, sunglasses and a bottle of water.
Join in on one of the hostels pub crawls. Rising cocks leaves from Nah Nah bar at around 10 every night.
On the recommendation of a friend I stayed at the Rising Cock Hostel. The accommodation was fine, it defiantly was not the worst and nor was it the best hostel I have come across but something that set it apart was the people. In the mornings you wake up and Mamma will be cooking crepes, regardless of your hunger level she will entice you to sit down and force feed you as many as possible until you have the will power to leave.
The people in our room were amazing we all became really good friends and spent the days together before all going out for dinner and then out to the bars. We all got along so well and because the hostel is so small it really did feel like just one big group of friends. We would all drink together in the evenings before heading off on the pub crawl. Since leaving Lagos I have caught up with two of the girls in Greece and another of the girls came and visited me in Australia when I was home at Christmas so I really did create lasting friendships.
If you want to stay at a hotel rather then a hostel (at least you’d have air conditioning) I would still recommend trying to jump onto one of the hostels pub crawls as they are really friendly and are a great way to meet people.
The food in Lagos was absolutely brilliant! I would avoid the main square as the prices are a lot more expensive there. We did have paella one night in the tourist area and it was fine but wasn’t amazing like a lot of the other food we had.
Breakfast we ate at Cafe Odeon, it was recommended by the hostel and was insanely cheap. We paid €3 for a full cooked breakfast which was amazing and exactly what we were looking for. They also make fabulous juices and have free wifi.
Harleys Cafe had fruit platters, granola and acai bowls which went down a treat after our hike to ponta de piedade
Meu Limao is a Portugese tapas restaurant. We ordered a peri peri chicken dish, tempura prawns and a few other things including the best orange and carrot juice I have ever had. This restaurant is great especially if you are just looking for a little nibble for lunch as the dishes are just a bit bigger then tapas size and you can order as many as your require. The amazing blue tiles captivated me the entire meal.
Ala do Castelo was again recommended by the hostel and the food was brilliant. I have never been a big fan of seafood but even I dove into what we ordered. My friend and I shared a crockpot (I’m not sure of the actual name) it was a rice and seafood dish that came out with a lot of juices and then over team they were absorbed and it became almost like a seafood risotto only better. The size was huge and when we went back for the second time with all our new friends we actually split the dish for two between four of us because the serving was so large.