Lagos: Portugal – History, beaches and a great nightlife

I try not to travel to the same place often but sometimes places just keep drawing me back. I recently visited Lagos again in Portugal for the second time in 12 months. Why? Well it has everything I love.

lagos portugal


The town of Lagos has more than 2000 years of history. With the Moors from North Africa settling in the 8th century and also the town having some Roman foundations still in place on a couple of the bridges.

However as a travel fanatic what fascinates me the most about this area is its importance during Portugal’s age of discovery. Henry the Navigator is said to have set sail on voyages from Meia Praia beach. It’s pretty cool to lie on the beach soaking up some rays and imagining the scene of ships preparing to leave for voyages of discovery. Most of the ships would have all been built in Lagos and a navigational school was set up in nearby Sagres.

During this age, Portugal went on to discover Madeira and The Azores and Vasco de Gama also travelled to Mozambique and India. Finally in 1500 Pedro Alvares Cabral officially discovered Brazil.

There are a couple of really interesting museums in Lagos. The Municipal Museum tells the history of Lagos and surrounds and has a unique collection of artefacts. For me though the most interesting was the ‘Mercado de Escravos’ which is the Lagos Slave Market. It is located in the main square of the historic centre and documents the beginning of the slave trade. It was here that the first African slaves were brought into European territory.


I rated Praia Dona Ana as one of my Top 5 best beaches in Europe so it goes without saying that I absolutely love this stretch of coastline. To drive between Lagos and Cape St Vincent is no more than an hour but along this bit of coastline there are many beautiful coves, inlets, grottos and sea cliffs all which take my breath away. I was told that this area of Portugal is like Cornwall with sunshine! I tend to agree the cliffs and coves are just as dramatic and between April and October the days are generally filled with sun and a cooling breeze.

I still haven’t explored all the coves, caves and grottos of this area so will definitely be travelling back to hunt down some more favourites.







If you’ve ever met me then you will know I often like to get the party started and sink a couple of Jagermeisters or Jagerbombs. I like somewhere with a good, chilled and relaxed nightlife. Whilst Ibiza is amazing it can be crazily over the top and the many 18-30 resorts are full of people who……

……..‘well aren’t really my kind of people’.

Lagos is quite popular on the backpacker trail in Europe which means it has struck the balance of chilled party people and tourists perfectly. Most of the bars are small and friendly with a great atmosphere frequented by people from all over the world. I did seem to meet a lot of Americans and Australians but there were also Brits, Irish, Italians, Germans, Swedish, Dutch and probably some more I’ve forgotten! I love a good multi-national party 🙂

There is nothing worse than going out in a typical British resort and it feeling like your down the pub in London!

The bars here are all quite small and most close at 2am with a couple of larger places open a lot later for those who want to stay out.

So if you’re looking for a chilled beach town somewhere in Europe which has a great nightlife and great people then Lagos Portugal is it! Along with Ios in Greece I would rate it as one of the best spots I have visited for my kind of nightlife and vibe

2 thoughts on “Lagos: Portugal – History, beaches and a great nightlife”

  1. I got confused at first and thought you were talking about Nigeria until I read the title again…and, you know, the word “Portugal” in your posts. I’ve never really heard much about Lagos before and the only stuff I’ve ever read on Portugal has been about Lisbon, Porto or Sintra.

    It sounds EXACTLY like my kinda place from what you’ve written here (ditto to what you’ve written about Ibiza) – and I do like to be the first one to start with the Jagerbombs 😉 Hmm…Lagos 2013?

    1. Yea most people get confused and think I’m on about Nigeria!! Lagos – Portugal has such a great vibe you should definitely visit whilst it’s a big town it’s not too overdeveloped and still retains all of it’s live in the oldest parts of town! I can see myself there again next year chilling on the beach and having a few shots in the evening 🙂

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