Lagos – A beach paradise in western Algarve

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I came to Lagos on a sunny morning in late November. The train that drove me from Faro to Lagos was almost empty and I had amazing views on both sides. To the left, the coastline and the big blue, to the right, orange trees, small villages and mountains in the background.

I was met by friendly locals who offered me maps and directions to Hutch Hostel, Europe’s smallest hostel, where I had decided to stay. I arrived in a narrow street, filled with pastel colored houses, but with no signs of a hostel. But behind one of the anonymous doors, was the lovely, tiny hostel in which I stayed for 4 days.

The days in Lagos were long and sunny and I spent them in the cobbled stoned streets and on the gourgeous beaches among cliffs and caves. The nights were filled with cheap beers and traditional Portugese dishes.

I’m so happy that I went in November, as I imagine Lagos being really crowded during summer. Some of the restaurants and smaller shops were closed for the winter, but there was still lots of things to do.

Here’s what I recommend in Lagos:

Stay

I highly recommend the Hutch Hostel, honestly it’s one of the nicest hostels I’ve ever stayed in. Hugo, who runs the place is really great and very helpful. The kitchen has everything you need and if you’re lucky, there will be pancakes in the morning. I can’t wait to come back to Lagos and stay here again.

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My absolute favorite meal in Lagos, was the prawn and clams cataplana at Casinha do Petisco. The restaurant is very popular with the locals, so I would advice reserving a table. We had to wait for about 30 minutes, but it was so worth it. The food is delicious and they have a big wine menu with regional wines as well. We were 3 people sharing a cataplana for 2, but the servings are huge, so there was more than enough for all of us. I can’t praise this place enough, it’s really a must if you’re visiting Lagos. A good place for lunch in the center is Restaurante Jotta 13. I had the grilled fish platter with salad, and I thought it was great to taste all kinds of fish in one meal.

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I spent 4 days in Lagos and even though a lot of my time was spent chilling on the beach and at the hostel, I still got to do a lot of cool stuff. I recommend doing a walking tour on the cliffs. The scenery is amazing and a treat for photographers. Be sure to go with a local and wear good shoes, it can be slippery. I went with Hugo from Hutch Hostel and it only cost me 5 euros for about 3-4 hours. I also did a boat tour, to see the cliffs and caves from the sea. I went on the 1 hour tour in a motorboat, with Days of Adventure. It was really fun, though I felt a bit sick when we were going fast. The views were worth it though. I’d like to go back in the summer and do a kayak tour.
If you’re interested in history, I recommend visiting the old slave market, which is now a museum. It’s located right off the marina and it’s quite small, so it’s an easy activity to squeeze in. There are a lot of bars in Lagos and many hostels arrange bar crawls at night. There are a lot of shopping opportunities, I got different kinds of fish paste and some beautiful ceramic bowls.

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