The city has a glorious history since the year 2000 AC. Formerly called “Lacobriga” by the Romans, and then renamed “Zawai” by the Moors in 1189, until it received its current name. Due to its proximity to the sea, the port of Lagos has played a vital role in some epic voyage of discovery. The city was also the capital of the Algarve between 1578 and 1756.
What the hell am I talking about?
City of Lagos. A Portuguese heaven. Lagos literally means Lakes. We were visiting Lagos, not for the city, Not for Playing golf. Nor, to buy our retirement home.
Although The Algarve is recognized as one of the best golf destinations in the world. In Lagos you have the choice between two fantastic routes; the first is Palmares, designed by one of the most famous golf architects in Portugal, Frank Pennink, the other is Boavista, located between the city of Lagos and Praia da Luz.
And Portugal is known for being one of the best retirement destinations. I guess the Retirement and Golf goes hand to hand. And Algarve region is certainly can hold the top spot for both.
Unfortunately for us, none of us have reached to our retirement age, we do not excel in our golf skills and we certainly don’t have sizable bank accounts to follow our early retirement dreams come true. But we can always dream. Also, we can not just sit and relax all the time. Have not reached to that mentality. Yet.
Then why we are here in Lagos, Portugal?
And that’s just one of the examples.
Also, the town center is beautiful. Peaceful and exquisite. But, the coastal marine landscapes of Lagos (and Many other parts of Algarve regions) is just one of a kind. With that, combined with beautiful Portuguese weather = NOW YOU KNOW THE REASON TO RETIRE AND TO PLAY GOLF in PORTUGAL. Huh! Or, you could just visit this region for next holiday.
Our train ride from Faro to Lagos was short, comfortable and simple. Weather was sunny and hot. Remind you that we are still carrying our winter clothings. Therefore, our bags were still big and heavy for this weather. So our clothes. Shorts and flip-flops were truly missed. However, there were moments when our clothes helped us. Specially in a windy situations, it can be cold.
That being said, our task to reach the apartment on foot was a little complicated. We had to ascend the upper part of the Lagos on foot. And 25 minutes felt like 25 minutes and forever. But we did check into our apartment at 13h instead of 15h. The host of the apartment was a fantastic man. He had a wonderful and charming personality. The balance between his sense of humor and professionalism was truly brilliant. He took good amount of time to suggest us almost “everything YOU need to know about Lagos, PORTUGAL. It was also him who gave us a brief history of Lagos with humor. Which I later looked deeper to know more in details. And that’s what I wrote at the beginning of this blog.
That evening, we did nothing because of our plans to see the sunrise from the coastline. And to do so, it was imperative that we wake before the sunrise (Obviously! Hello!) , And walk for about 40 minutes to be on time, find a decent spot for our eyes, to photograph and videograph the moment. And it was imperative also to be efficient because, sunrise and sunset happens so fast.
So, that afternoon we went to Intermarché (A French Supermarket Chain) to do our groceries, eat, relax and try to sleep early.
OUR MORNING ITIRINERY
Have you ever had that moment? when you just witnessed something extraordinarily beautiful, something that you have seen all of your life in postcards, travel documentaries with David Attenborough‘s deep dramatic voices, and now you are there in person And your mind became lost, overwhelmed, you started to make some sound that doesn’t mean anything? You were also in deep peaceful state of mind for exact same reason?
That was us when we arrived in one part of the coastlines of Lagos, Praia do Camilo.
We woke up at around 5.30am in the morning. Then left our apartment at 6am. It was a 40 minutes of walk give or take. Pretty windy morning. Not so good for our drone. Once we arrived in Praia Do Camilo. The sun was about to rise, so we took our position to witness it. The sky and the rocks had a pink tint color right before the sunrise, then slowly everything turned orange to yellow. Only other things we could hear are sounds of waves hitting the rocks, waves and birds. We tried to capture some photos and videos but those images will hardly justify the formidable experience and the feeling. From there we slowly walked towards Ponta Da Piedade. At the headland of the Ponta Da Piedade, there is a lighthouse, a car park (no overnight camping), a couple of gift shops and the Sol Nascente restaurant, where drinks and referments can be purchased (it was closed though). There is a staircase leading to the base of this beautiful cove.
Ponta Da Piedade is arguably the most famous part of the Algarve coastline. Only probably because it is fairly easily reachable from Lagos on foot. Because, the total coastline is really long and big. Also, not everyone can go anywhere except those who has trekking or climbing experience or via boats. The Natural arches, Sandstone cliffs, Caves and Crystal clear blue waters were just a reminder that Earth is beautiful and don’t pollute it. The scenic Boardwalk on the cliffs was not physically easy. But the effort was worthwhile, we witnessed the beautiful coastline view of Lagos.
Although, our cameras with polarized and non polarized lenses had trouble to see through the water because it was still morning and sun light was coming from the east, not from the top. We hiked as much as we could around the area. Very carefully though, because one simple mistake and that would be enough to face some serious injury or worse. Specially, edges of the cliffs are not always hard, or it is easy to confuse the bushes at the edge to be a part of the cliff. We tried to be as adventurous as we could, with extra care though.
Remember, Holding your camera in certain angle is more important and safer than literally stand at the edge of a cliff to take a photo, so that you can show your friends that you were really high. They would love to see you physically unharmed then “That” cool photo. Eventually we reached till the Praia do Canavial. The whole Canavial beach is viewable from the edge of the cliff.
After adventures day (or should I say, Morning), we headed back to our apartment. It was 10am. 10AM!!!
and we did so much. Then we had an early lunch and a nap.
Later in the afternoon, we headed out to discover the old historical town of Lagos. The centre is very similar to the city centre of Faro, of course. The centre includes beautiful Santo Antonio church, the Mercado dos Escravos (Europe’s first slave market) and the charming 17th century Bandeira Fort. We did not enter to any of those. The Lagos Castle seemed closed. Neither to the Nautical Museum which was at the end of the river side promenade. Interestingly the beaches near the city centre were more interesting. For example, Praia Dos Estudents. That is a small Sandy Beach in between the Rocky formations and surrounded by cliffs. There were tunnels through the rocks that gave access to the other beaches.
IN THE END
To be honest, the city centre of Lagos is beautiful. But we were already spoiled in the morning with the beautiful coastline view of Lagos. Our strolling around the city centre of Lagos was just “Icing on the Cake“. So, we thought it would be an wise idea to head back to the apartment, watch some TV and enjoy some quality “Do Nothing” moment. And that evening we dragged (almost literally) our tired Butts out to eat some famous Portuguese Chicken with Piri Piri sauce.
Next destination: Lisbon.