It is getting towards the time of year where we get itchy feet, eagerly anticipating some spring sunshine, knowing full well those days could be few and far between.
However, there is a way out and Lagos in Portugal provides a perfect opportunity to get away.
Situated in the south west of Portugal, in the well-known region of Algarve, between Faro and Sagres to be precise, Lagos is a popular destination at this time of year due to its warm climes and the variety of things it offers. Ranging from beaches to relax to sporting activities for the more active amongst us, this coastal town does not disappoint.
Dating back to possibly as far back as 2000BC, it offers history, as well as sun, sea and sand.
The beach of Meia Praia is one of the most popular in the Algarve due to its soft white sand and clear blue water.
In addition it is just a few minutes away from the town centre of Lagos, making it easily accessible.
Meia Praia has one of the largest open bays in Southern Europe and is a great spot for those wishing to top up their tan or if you wish to stretch your muscles by taking a dip in the ocean’s transparent waters.
Praia da Batata
Praia da Batata translates into English, somewhat amusingly, as Potato Beach.
This is not the only thing about the beach that will bring a smile to your face, though, as you can marvel at its small coves that provide decent shelter, whilst simultaneously enjoying the Algarve coastline.
If all this was not enough, this cosy beach is famous for its small music festivals that reach their height in summer.
It is also the closest beach to the centre of Lagos which makes it an easy to get to option.
Praia da Dona Ana
Praia da Dona Ana is a quaint beach despite being centrally located within Lagos.
It is particularly attractive because the cliffs provide excellent cover from the breeze and this gives it the warmth that can be so desirable for those seeking good coastline temperatures.
The rock formations are a sight to behold and offer a magnificent backdrop if you are looking for jaw-dropping views.
Barao Sao Joao
The Algarve’s largest forest, Barao Sao Joao, is a great option if it is nature you are after.
If you need to lose a kilo or two having fine wined and dined on Portugal’s south coast, then this natural experience could suit you just fine.
Why? Because there are hilly walks on offer, if you so wish. Nevertheless, any sweat that is worked up is all worthwhile as you take in the views from the plains of the Serra de Monchique.
Lying just 15 minutes inland from Lagos by car, or 20 minutes by bus, the Barao Sao Joao forest is a delight to behold. Please note, it is advisable to take water and something to snack on if you wish to trek through the forest.
Lagos’s walls that surround the old city and the central parts of Santa Maria and Sao Sebastiao are understandably widely appreciated. This is initially brought about because of their age, around 500 years old, but then the sheer beauty takes over and is greatly admired.
This beauty continues as you enter the old city centre itself. At first it is the history that strikes a chord, but you soon realise there is so much more on offer, not least the amazing food.
Dishes can be enjoyed from one of the city centre’s restaurants that include local delicacies such as steak or chicken piri piri, or from any number of fantastic seafood platters.
Once you have savoured the dishes of Lagos’s eateries it is time to burn off some of those calories.
To gain access to some of the sea caves on the Algarve’s coast why not try using a kayak.
There are a number of kayaking tours you can take as you weave in and out of the rocks and caves that cover Portugal’s south coast west shoreline.
The transparent water and the spectacular sights available make this a popular activity whilst holidaying in or around Lagos.
Whether you are a first time scuba diver or someone who has been doing it for many years, Lagos will not disappoint on this front.
The attractions of diving here are numerous. The scenery is breath-taking and the water is clear. In addition to this you can witness some of the most incredible sea-life the Mediterranean has to offer, especially when you reach the ocean’s deepest parts.
Finally, if you are looking to become a certified diver then you can even do a four-day course in this part of the Algarve. There are many diving schools from which to choose, all offering programs at a reasonable price.
How to get there: Lagos
Faro is the nearest airport with decent connections and sees as many as six million passengers pass through its gates each year.
It is fed by low cost airlines in addition to the more celebrated flight companies, including Air Lingus, Easy Jet, Ryan Air and British Airways. It also has all the other major airlines from throughout Europe toing and froing on a daily basis.
With Shuttle Direct you can get from the airport to downtown Lagos in around 45 minutes.
Not only that, the journey will be the beginning of your holiday, rather than a chore, as you can take in the surroundings whilst you go from the airport to your destination in comfort.
Let Shuttle Direct take the stresses away from your journey.
Where to stay
Vitasol Park Apartamentos Turisticos
Despite the affordable price, these apartments are more than enough for almost all holidaymakers.
The air-conditioned rooms come in handy during the summer, as does the opportunity to play tennis within the accommodation’s grounds.
There is a playground on offer for children wishing to let their hair down, as well as a swimming pool for those looking for a swim to help cool off from the Algarve sun.
Finally, the residence offers a discount to guests at a local golf course, a welcome bonus for those looking to reduce their handicap.
Aqualuz Suite Hotel Apartmentos
These hotel apartments are seen like a home from home, with perfect Mediterranean weather as a wonderful bonus.
The location boasts an onsite bar, restaurant, hairdressers and beauty salon. It does not end there, with a swimming pool, sun loungers and a sun terrace all lying in wait for its guests.
It is also well within most people’s price range, at comfortably less than a €100 (£80) per night (prices subject to change, depending on the time of visit).
Cascade Wellness & Lifestyle Resort
The Cascade is there to cater for all your holiday needs.
It offers luxurious accommodation combined with ocean views and amazing landscape
The Five-Star resort has a huge condo pool, a gymnasium and a spa.
The rooms include a stone bathroom and are beautifully decorated, with influences from both Africa and South America, depending on your location within the resort.
This glorious retreat is situated on a stunning cliff-top just over a mile (2 kms) from the centre of Lagos.