The Algarve has long been a popular holiday destination, and it’s recently seen a surge in popularity as a gay-friendly tourist destination. From gay-friendly beaches to a thriving gay nightlife, Lagos is an ideal destination for holidaymakers, whether travelling alone, with family or with friends, to unwind and enjoy the sun.
A beautiful, scenic drive along the coast brings you to the famous Praia Verde. This magnificent, sweeping beach is a treat at all times of year, so be sure to take the opportunity to do a little swimming, or just take in the views with a walk.
Praia do Barril
Another truly spectacular beach, Praia do Barril is slightly further off the beaten track than Praia Verde. It’s a peaceful 20-minute walk from the road to the beach, and the relaxed atmosphere and seemingly untouched scenery will enchant you from the beginning.
Praia do Cavalo Preto
With the region’s status as a hotspot of gay-friendly tourism, it’s no surprise that there are dedicated gay beaches. One such beach is the lovely Praia do Cavalo Preto, with its broad, pristine sands and bounded by distant cliffs.
Praia de Santa Eulalia
Another well-regarded beach is the Praia da Santa Eulalia. On top of its gorgeous scenery and views, it has a gay zone, making it an ideal place for gay visitors to the region.
Candido dos Reis
R. Candido dos Reis is located in central Lagos, slightly to the west of the harbour mouth. Walking is recommended, as parking in the area is difficult and you’ll want to be free to wander in and out of shops at your whim.
If it’s clothes shopping you’re after, R. Candido dos Reis is undoubtedly one of the best streets in the area. There are a number of larger shops to keep the selection broad, but the real gems are the small, exclusive boutiques, replete with elegant Mediterranean fare.
AlgarveShopping is easy to reach from Lagos. It’s approximately a 40-minute drive over the A22, and the shopping centre itself is just north of Albufeira.
If you want to make a day of it and really get stuck in with the shopping, consider making the trip to AlgarveShopping, the region’s primary shopping hub. There’s a range of shops to keep even the keenest retail fanatic happy.
Sightseeing & Activities
The Algarve region is famed for its rugged, picturesque cliffs. If you’re a keen walker, you may be pleased to know that many of the region’s rock formations are connected by paths. A day’s walking could take you through any number of magnificent ocean vistas, and many of the region’s most famous rock formations will make an appearance too.
Lagos has both a fitness centre and a sports complex nearby, for those of you who love to keep a high level of activity even during your holidays. Both of these facilities are beautiful and equipped with state of the art gear.
Lagos Em Forma
Complexo Desportivo de Lagos
Rossio de S. Joao
Wine Tasting at Monte da Casteleja
Monte da Casteleja is located a 15-minute drive north of Lagos, and is reachable via the N125.
Monte da Casteleja specialises in excellent quality, 100% organic wines. What’s more is that you’ll have the opportunity to book a tasting on any afternoon from Monday to Friday. A tasting at Casteleja is highly recommended for any wine lover.
12,50 € per person
Located in Albufeira, the ebulliently decorated Espelho, while not strictly a gay bar, is most certainly gay friendly. Whether you’re spending a sunny afternoon on the terrace or meeting here to start your night, Espelho is a strong choice.
Avenida Sa Carneiro 81
This spectacular gay bar promises lots of good music, dancing, good drink and good times. A great place to spend a night out.
Av. Tomas Cabreira
Building Casa da Praia
Praia da Rocha
Also located in Portimao, Loft Portimao is a recently opened, fashionable gay club. There’s a brilliant party atmosphere and the venue and music makes for a night to remember.
R. da Olivenca, 5
How to Get to Lagos
Lagos’s closest airport is Faro, which is a short 2-hour-55-minute flight away from London. Non-low-cost airlines’ return tickets tend to be around £160 per person. The most comfortable way to travel between Faro and Lagos is by booking a Faro airport transfer, which will have you at your holiday destination in around an hour and will be tailored to your specific requirements.
If you would rather take public transport, there is a bus from Faro airport for 1’95€ that takes 2 hours and 10 minutes and a train that makes the journey slightly shorter at around 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Where to Stay:
Romantik Miranda – This intimate, stylishly decorated boutique hotel offers lovely, spacious rooms with private balconies and gorgeous views of the sea. It also has a Neal’s Yard Remedies Spa for those looking for some holiday pampering, as well as a chic and quiet reading room.
Cascade Wellness – Modern and luxuriously decorated, this resort is perfect if you’re looking for tranquillity, indulgence, and superb staff. The spa offers both beauty and massage treatments; the two restaurants serve traditional food with a twist; and the panoramic views are breathtaking.
Belmar Spa – This resort offers ‘guest units’ with their own kitchen, roomy living area, and private balcony overlooking the lush gardens. There is a state-of-the-art spa and fitness centre, and the à la carte restaurant never fails to impress with its contemporary dishes.