If you thought Benidorm, Málaga and Ibiza were the only buzzwords worth knowing when it comes to a summer adrenaline break-out, get out that big old map of the world and move your pin just a little to the left. A little more. Now cross the border…into Portugal!
To be specific, we’re talking about Lagos, in the beautiful western Algarve region of the country, and if you’re looking for non-stop thrills in, on and under the water, welcome to your next summer holiday!
So what’s on the menu at this all-you-can-eat smorgasbord of water sports fun? Here comes a taster of what you can get up to in Lagos.
Wet and Wild Water sports
Uni’s out, so forget about the three ‘r’s – it’s time to work on your beach education with the three ‘w’s!
Windsurfing: Lagos’ beautiful beaches are brushed by the famous Nortada offshore wind (coming in from the north), which makes for ideal conditions for windsurfing. For first timers, somewhere like Praia da Luz offers the perfect training ground to get to grips with the technicalities. If you sign up for lessons you’ll get a full safety briefing and learn the basics from qualified experts who are totally familiar with the fun and foibles of the Nortada. If you’ve tried it before, and feel confident striking out on your own, you’ll have the benefit of getting help with rigging and de-rigging so you can concentrate on the fun part.
Beach Hut Watersports at Praia da Luz offers a five-hour beginners’ windsurfing course starting at for €150, or a one-off lesson for €50.
Water-ski and wakeboard: Now’s the chance to get some air between you and the Atlantic and take on the fastest way to get across the water – on water skis or wakeboard. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve never tried them before, or you’re several summers along in your skills, because you’ll be able to choose from a straight boom or a ski/wakeboard pole – depending on your confidence.
While for both sports you’re towed along behind a boat, wakeboarding (which is often likened to snowboarding on water) is a totally different kettle of fish to water skiing. Both use the wake of the boat, but the solid stance of the wakeboard allows you get some real air to execute some pretty snappy aerials. The choice is yours – but you’ll probably want to try both.
Beach Hut Watersports offers a one-hour intro to water skiing or wakeboarding for €80, or, if you’ve got experience, you can start at a 15-minute session for €25.
Fancy slowing down to smell the roses a little? Come on now – you can rest when you’re dead! That said, kayaking is the perfect way to get out and about while you’re topping up the energy tank to try some more high-octane water sports. You can jump in a one or two-man kayak and head up the stunning coastline to explore secret coves, beautiful bays and famous landmarks, like Black Rock or Margas de Luz. Go on your own or grab a mate and pack a picnic lunch.
Kayak hire from Praia da Luz starts at €10 per hour for a single kayak and €15 per hour for a double.
For the ultimate thrill, let a jet ski propel you around the bay!
If it’s freedom and the salty scent of the Nortada in your hair you want, then a jet ski is the only thing that’s going to do it for you! For the ultimate thrill, saddle up with the power of a few hundred horses to propel you around the bay. You’ll be able to undertake a designated course, or head out a little further to explore on your own. You don’t need a special licence for this thrill, so there’s nothing between you and the big blue. Get on board! There’s room for two or just for you.
Jet ski hire starts from €50 for 20 minutes and €75 for 30 minutes. (Top tip: After about two minutes on a jet ski, if you didn’t go for the 30 minutes, you’re going to wish you had!)
Inflatables have come a long way since the humble donut ring in the pool. These days, you can reach warp speed on a giant blown up banana, the flipping, fabulous Flyfish and – what could possibly be the long lost giant spawn of original donut – the Ringo.
While warp speed might be a slight exaggeration, you’ll certainly get your hair messed up as you zoom around the bay on everyone’s favourite, the banana. When you’ve conquered that, move on to the Flyfish, which looks tame – until you get out on the water and it starts to flip. Try to hold on, but don’t hold out too much hope that you’ll succeed! And, as for the Ringo, just picture that old pool donut ring, triple the size, then tie it to the back of a speedboat. You get the picture…
So. Like the sound of Lagos? Of course you do – because, you know, what’s not to like? Did we mention that, as well as all those water sports to keep you on the go, there’s diving, water parks, theme parks, the zoo, mountain biking and go-karting? No? Consider them mentioned.
One last thing: If you want to try something brand new and you’ve never sailed (properly) before, Lagos is the place to do it. If you want to know more about it, this blog post is your next designated reading activity!
How to Get to Lagos from Faro Airport
Getting to the western Algarve from the UK takes around two hours and 40 minutes, with plenty of scheduled flights from which to choose – so if it’s a last minute holiday, you won’t have a problem. You’ll fly into Faro airport, the gateway to the Algarve region, and once you land it takes just over an hour by road to get to Lagos.
The easiest and most convenient way to get directly to the door of your accommodation is on the convenient Faro airport transfers. Shuttle Direct operates shared or private services that can be pre-booked online. Once you land, a friendly local driver will transport you straight to your accommodation, so you can save your energy for all those high-octane water sports – you’re going to need it!
Where to Stay
Baluarte Da Vila Apartamentos – Baluarte Da Vila Apartamentos is situated right in the heart of the action of Lagos, and just 500 metres from the beach – so when you’re not out enjoying the water, you can be out enjoying the nightlife and chewing down some great food. For a break from the beach (if such thing needs to exist) you can relax by the rooftop pool and plan your next adrenaline-based water sport, or just chill out in your spacious room and enjoy the free Wi-Fi.
Carvi Beach Hotel – Cool, calm and contemporary, you’ll wake up to the sound of the Atlantic Ocean lapping at your doorstep in the luxe Carvi Beach Hotel, overlooking magnificent Dona Ana beach. After a day living it large with all the water sports you can handle, come home to drinks on your private balcony, a workout at the gym, or just a night in, uploading your holiday snaps to the world with the free Wi-Fi.
Villa Mar Azul – If you’re looking for sun, sea and lots of space, Villa Mar Azul offers all that and more. Perfectly placed to make the most of the beach life, you’re within super easy access of three of the best in the area. Walk to town to enjoy the nightlife, walk to the beaches to enjoy the water sports, and just walk into your own apartment to enjoy free Wi-Fi, flat screen TV and all the comforts of home – plus as much free sun as you can handle!
About Shuttle Direct
As one of the most respected providers of airport transfers in Europe and North Africa, Shuttle Direct‘s fast, friendly and cost effective services are the best way of ensuring hassle-free onward transport to and from your accommodation. Our easy to navigate online system simplifies the process of pre-booking your transfer, and you can choose from shared or private services.
With safe, fully insured vehicles and experienced drivers who know the local area like the back of their hands, you can sit back, relax and simply enjoy the ride!