Lagos is a small beach town located on the Algarve, close to the western tip of Portugal. Lagos has stunning beaches with small passageways carved into the rock adjoining each beach. You can hike and experience the most magnificent rock formations but you can also enter the caves via the water by paddle boarding or kayaking. Lagos town itself is full of character with cobbled streets, rustic buildings and authentic restaurants. Whist being lively its still calm and has not succumbed to mass tourism. It perfectly combines portugueses culture with beautiful beaches and a lively evening scene. It was the perfect place for my first solo adventure!
Travelling solo has always intrigued me. The idea first crossed my mind when I was traveling Australia and I discovered how common solo travelling was. It made me wonder what it was like to travel alone and also how different it would be to travelling with friends. This trip was by no means as courageous as travelling Australia alone but it was a stepping stone and I can definitely say I will be taking more solo trips in the future.
Travelling solo allowed me to decide what I wanted from the holiday and I could do everything that I wanted to do.
I spent my first few days exploring the wonderful beaches nestled away behind the beautiful rock formations. All the way around the coast you could find mini hidden beaches and caves linking one to the other. It is a bit of a hike to reach the furthest beaches so I recommend packing lots of water.
I spent my first three nights in the Rising Cock hostel in the centre of Lagos. The location was great and its such a lively hostel. Every night the hostel would organise a bar crawl with the other guests and so it was so easy to meet people, as well as a boat party which was organised for all the hostel guests every Saturday afternoon. Plus every morning we got home made crepes for breakfast!
After three days of enjoying the surroundings and the lively atmosphere the centre of town had to offer, I moved to a hostel slightly outside the centre to take part in a surf camp week. At the Algarve surf school I stayed in the Lagos hostel and the surf camp week included 5 days of surfing lessons, 2 yoga lessons, accommodation and breakfast and lunch. In addition the hostel also arranged some evening meals including going to a local Portuguese fish restaurant and a BBQ, a Boat Party and a paddle boarding lesson.
We woke up at 6am so we could squeeze in a paddle boarding lesson before our surfing lesson. Going early meant we were paddling at sunrise which was amazing but also we were the only group on the water. Later on in the day more paddle board tours and kayaking tours also take place so it can get a little crowded. Being on the water means you can enter the caves which are not assessable by land. Paddle boarding is a little more challenging than I thought it would be and it was definitely a good workout to start the day with.
I have had a few lessons on surfing here and there over the years but I have never done anything like this before. Coming from the middle of England its always been a sport that has be so unaccessible to me but its always been a sport that has fascinated me and that I’ve wanted to be able to do. So this year I decided it was finally time to fully give surfing a go. Having 4 hours on the water each day with guidance from great instructors allowed me to perfect my technique and give me good foundations to be able to practice myself. It took me longer than I care to admit to stand up and I am by no means good at surfing yet but I can stand up and I’ve realised I love the sport and I can’t wait to get back on the water.
I would recommend a surfing camp to anyone! It is such a great way to meet people and is a safe way to learn how to surf.