After visiting Porto and Lisbon, we didn’t plan on going to Lagos. Since we were flying out of Faro, we thought it was just easier to stay there and relax before our flight back to the UK. However, after discovering images of the beaches in the Algarve (southern most region in Portugal), specifically in Lagos, we changed our plans completely.
While on the 4 hour journey from Lisbon to Lagos, we immediately noticed the change in apparel of the passengers. Dispersed throughout the train we starting seeing more flip flops and lighter clothes. Once we arrived in Lagos, the sun was shining and the sky was free of clouds. As we peeled off our layers of scarves, sweaters, and jackets, the excitement grew. We knew right away we were going to like this city.
Lagos is a small coastal town in southern Portugal, where the locals eat at the grocery store (and for good reason, the food there was out-of-this-world), and is lined with small bars and tourist shops. However, we weren’t interested in any of that. The first (and only) thing on our itinerary for Lagos was to see the beach.
Suddenly we realized how unprepared we were. Since we never planned on going anywhere outside of Eastern Europe, we had only packed our winter clothes. We were going to have to be those tourists. As Floridians, we should know better. Always pack a bathing suit. In the end, we didn’t really care how foolish we looked. For these views, it was worth it.
We eagerly ran down the man-made stairways to the Praia Dona Ana (praia means beach in Portuguese). The first thing we noticed was that the ocean water was incredibly clean and clear. It sparkled off the sun in multiple shades of blue and turquoise, unlike anything we’d ever seen before. The cliffs were massive and gave a majestic contrast to the coastal landscape that we could not get enough of. The fresh ocean air was therapeutic.
Fun Fact: Apparently this beach was voted #1 in the world in 2012. In the world!
We sat for hours (and eventually days), just staring out into the ocean. Is this real life?! We couldn’t believe how surreal the view was and how much our lives had changed since we started traveling. At this point we had traveled together for 9 months, learning more about ourselves than we ever could have imagined. How did we get to this point that we were able to sit on this ridiculous over-the-top romantic beach in the south of Portugal? We were immensely happy that all our hard work had brought us here to experience it together.
It was romantic. It was over the top. It was, after all, our honeymoon.
We were not ready to leave. Portugal had stolen our hearts. The people, food, culture, and landscape were too overwhelming and we unexpectedly fell in love. But as my father always says, it’s better to leave a place wanting more.
Obrigada Portugal! We decided that we do in fact want more, and will see you again sometime soon.