The Algarve region of Portugal is absolute paradise. I was first amazed by its beauty when I saw it on Season 23 of The Bachelor. If Colton thought it was good enough to take Cassie there, then I just had to go. I’ve been to France, Italy, Switzerland, and all around Europe, but I can say that nothing compares to laying on the most beautiful beaches in Portugal. This trip was unlike any other European vacation I had ever taken because it is relaxing, stress-free, and so easy to navigate and get around. The biggest struggle you will have in Algarve is deciding which bathing suit to wear and deciding which pictures to post because they are all so amazing!
Algarve is in the southernmost region of Portugal. It’s really a funny story how we ended up here– The day before leaving for Spring Break, the Eurostar Railroad canceled our train to Paris, so we had to figure out a whole other place to go for one of our weekends. After scrambling and brainstorming places to go, we decided on Portugal. We booked our flight for two days later and just prayed that it would work out! This was totally spur of the moment and the most spontaneous thing I have ever done. What started as a spur of the moment thing ended up being the most amazing vacation I’ve ever been on. I had the pleasure of staying in the beautiful town of Lagos, where the views are like no other. The culture is amazing, the people are so nice, and the food is delicious. Pictures can not do Lagos justice. The astounding cliffs and the Atlantic beaches are just breathtaking. Everywhere you turn, you find more beauty. If you are lucky enough to travel there, here are a few of the best things to do and see while you are in paradise.
Faro International Airport (Faro, Portugal)
The Faro airport is the airport of the Algarve region. This airport is fairly small, but it was super easy to navigate and there were barely any lines at customs. Faro airport is about an hour away from Lagos, but very easy to get to by taxi or car service.
Ponta da Piedade (Lagos, Portugal)
This was my absolute favorite part of my trip to Portugal. After a beautiful, perfect beach day at Praia da Dona Ana, I truly did not think anything could top it. When deciding what to do for the next day, I suggested Ponta da Piedade. I thought that it was far away and we didn't want to travel too far because we had a flight to catch that night. Thankfully, I mentioned it because it was only 10 minutes from our hotel. I am not exaggerating when I say that this was the most beautiful spot I have ever been to so far in my life. I then understood why The Bachelor was filmed there. I was in awe and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing– it was just so beautiful. I kept shaking my head in disbelief at how beautiful our world really is. Every way I turned, I had a new perspective of the grotts and the beautiful blue waters below. There were steps that led down to a dock where we took a boat ride for only 20 euros. This was the best thing we did in Lagos. Our little private boat went in the grotts, around the grotts and beaches. It was truly breathtaking to see Lagos from the water. This is a must do in Lagos!
Praia da Dona Ana (Lagos, Portugal)
This was the first beach that we went to in Lagos. I actually almost cried when I got out of the taxi and saw what my day was going to consist of. Down a bunch of stairs was this beautiful beach with high cliffs and crystal clear blue water. Out in the ocean were breathtaking rock structures of all different shapes and sizes. After a day of lying out on the beach and enjoying the warm Lagos sun, we headed up the stairs and walked the hiking path. Just when I thought the day couldn’t get any better, we were on top of a cliff standing over the sandstone grottos. This beach was actually named the best beach in the world by the magazine Condé Nast Traveller. You can not miss Praia da Dona Ana!
Praia do Camilo (Lagos, Portugal)
200 steps down is a sandy paradise divided by vibrant cliffs and a cave hole tunnel that connects the two beaches. This beach is smaller and more private that Praia da Dona Ana, but still just as breathtaking. If you go in the Summer, this beach may feel crowded because of its small size but during the off season, it is a quiet sanctuary.
On Top of Praia do Camilo is a restaurant with the most amazing view. Before heading down to the beach, we stopped and grabbed lunch. There is the option to eat outside on the deck, which we did because who could resist that beautiful view? It did get hot, but it was definitely worth it. This restaurant had amazing tropical smoothies and was perfect for a warm beach day. They served mainly seafood, but I enjoyed the restaurant because it also had other options for people who don’t eat seafood (like myself). I ordered a hamburger with a side of potatoes and vegetables. The hamburger was definitely different than a good old American burger, but it was still very good. This restaurant is the perfect location if you are spending the day at Praia do Camilo and is delicious too!
What I thought was going to be a disaster turned out to be the most amazing experience. To just go with the flow and explore without having anything planned prior is so not like me. I usually like to have everything planned out and know what we are doing on each day. This trip was no stress or pressure and really just paradise. I definitely will be going back to Lagos!