A Trip to Lagos

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Last week was great. My family came to visit, and as they had already been to the East Algarve on two occasions, we all decided to seek out a change of scenery and rented a beautiful villa “up the other end” in Lagos.

The weather was mostly beautiful all week with temperatures that hit the mid-30s several times. I was delighted that my mother got to experience true Algarve heat, having previously only visited in winter.

Enjoying the Water at Praia da Dona Ana
Enjoying the Water at Praia da Dona Ana

Accompanying my mother was her partner and his 90-year-old mother, who wowed us as well as serveral passers-by with her determination to experience everything the holiday had to offer. This included walking up and down dozens of wooden steps in the midday sun at Praia da Dona Ana, climbing onto a small fishing boat for a sightseeing trip and enjoying the water in both pool and sea.

Lagos is a favourite destination of ours and somewhere we were tempted to move to before we settled on the Tavira area. As always, we thoroughly enjoyed being in the town with its happy blend of tourist tat and authentic Portugal. This was, however, the first time we didn’t feel any temptation to move there, which gave us a pleasing sense of having fully settled where we are.

Lagos pre sunset
Lagos pre sunset

We fitted in several barbecues and enjoyed homemade coconut shrimp, presunto wrapped asparagus, sirloin steak, chargrilled salmon and stacks of sparkling fresh local sardines. When we weren’t eating, we did plenty of sightseeing including a trip to Silves castle and a tour of local beaches.

Silves Castle
Silves Castle

As ever, with our family visits, time passed all too quickly. Before we knew it the end of the week had arrived, complete with tearful goodbyes and a sullen reloading of the car. Things were rather quiet at the villa when everybody had gone and we spent some of our last day looking for cheap flights in the hope they can come again before the end of the year.

On the bright side, however, the sad end of an Algarve holiday is far easier to deal with when you still live there. Within an hour of driving away from the villa, we were back in Tavira, enjoying an espresso in the square by the Roman bridge. We really can’t complain.

Enchanting Views in Silves
Enchanting Views in Silves

As ever, our travelling companion was the “Rough Guide Directions” series, see below:

Rough Guide Directions Algarve

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3 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. It all sounds wonderful Ben, glad your mother et al enjoyed themselves. Portugal is always lovely isnt it, but even better in the sun ๐Ÿ™‚

    We come out at the end of the week, so hopefully the sun will keep shining.


  2. Hi Ben, I was curious why you wrote you don’t want to live in Lagos anymore? We’re thinking of moving there… Obrigado!

  3. Hi Trudy,

    It’s less a reflection on Lagos and more a reflection of the fact we are settled where we are.

    The Tavira area is more authentically Portuguese, and we have become more Portuguese as a result. I like the fact that our friends are a mixture of expats and Portuguese people, and some of them help us with our Portuguese as they cannot speak English.

    However long we are here, we are always going to LOOK English. In Lagos in summer there are numerous English restaurant and bar touts trying to drag me (in English) into their establishments. These touts are one of my pet hates, and the fact this wouldn’t stop years after living there would annoy me immensely!

    Now the tout thing is specific to me, but I think hones in on why we would rather be here than in the West – here we are recognised as locals, or at least as expats – in more touristy places, there’s less to separate you from the tourists.

    Don’t get me wrong, I still love Lagos, my heart is just firmly down “this end” now.

    Best wishes,


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