Things to do in Gran Canaria during winter

Things to do in Gran Canaria during winter

Visiting Gran Canaria during winter?

Do you have enough of the grey sky and are the rainy days bothering you? Then grab your passport and come to the Canary Islands this winter. The beautiful beaches of the islands are waiting for you!

When is the best time to visit Gran Canaria? Some may say that the best time to visit Gran Canaria is between April and October. The average annual temperature is 24°C, with highs of 26°C between the summer months of August and October.

But did you know that from December up until April, winter presents warm days with average highs of 22°C? That is already one good reason why Gran Canaria is a great holiday destination during winter!

Whether you are looking for a relaxing beach holiday or an active holiday filled with water sports, Gran Canaria has something to offer for any type of traveller. It’s a popular holiday destination among tourists all year round because of its very mild climate.

Discover the dunes of Maspalomas

Visit Playa del ingles and discover the dunes of Maspalomas

Even in January, the southern beaches of Gran Canaria are guaranteed with sunshine and warmth. At Playa del Inglés you can hire sunbeds and laze the day away in the sun. For the more adventurous ones amongst us, we recommend taking a walk across the Dunas de Maspalomas, one of the island’s natural reserves! 

From Puerto Rico, you can take a nice boat tour in Gran Canaria

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is the perfect location to do dolphin watching. From there, you will sail to the area where the magnificent creatures live. What is more beautiful than observing wild dolphins in their natural habitat

It is also possible to do some great watersport activities from Puerto Rico. Discover the  beautiful flora and fauna around the island whilst snorkeling or go for the first time diving! The sea temperature has an average of 20.8°C in December. The water might be too cold for some, but others still swim comfortably. 

During winter and spring, the island will be much greener.

Carnaval in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

February is the month when one of the most famous Carnivals in Spain is held in Gran Canaria. Carnaval is taking over the streets in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria with people dressed up, smiling, dancing and lots of visitors from all over the world.

It is definitely worth a visit if you are in Gran Canaria in February. There are plenty of attractions and events for kids, nightlife parties, dancers, people watching and even pets! Did you know that there is a Carnaval especially dedicated to pets? 

The “golden hour” is magical all year round

In a nutshell, Gran Canaria is one of the best holiday destinations during winter! We also wrote a blog about some practical tips for your holidays in Gran Canaria. Please let us know if you need any further help in planning your holidays.

visit Lanzarote in low season

5 reasons to visit Lanzarote in low season

Looking for some travel inspiration for this Winter? Lianne, responsible for the Spanish market and content/translations at SeaBookings, gives us 5 reasons to visit Lanzarote in low season.

Are you planning your holidays to the Canary Islands? Maybe it’s time to visit Lanzarote. Whether you plan your holidays to Lanzarote in high or low season, it all depends on what you want from your holiday.

We are sure that both in peak season and in low season you will have a good time spending your holidays in Lanzarote.

Some like to follow the trend and visit places during the summer season, for others they want to escape the madding crowd and come when it’s quieter.

Of course, this very much depends upon whether you have children and are tied to visiting during the school holidays.

The summer months, when it’s a popular time to go on holidays to Lanzarote, are July and August. But visiting Lanzarote during low season, between the months September and June, is maybe one of the best things you can do. Really! During this time of the year, there are so many beautiful things you can see and the fact that it’s less crowded means that you can enjoy the island even better. 

Here are Lianne’s 5 reasons to visit Lanzarote in low season:

Sunny Lanzarote

#1 Sunshine guaranteed

One of the major advantages of Lanzarote during low season is the weather. It’s not boiling hot, but comfortably warm. The average temperatures are between 19°C and 22°C in December and January. The sunshine and very low rainfall throughout the year makes it easy to escape from the cold winter and enjoy what Lanzarote got to offer. 

So, if you are looking for some summer sun, why not spend Christmas next to a palm tree instead of a Christmas tree? 😉

Enjoy empty beaches

#2 It’s quieter

There are not so many tourists on the island Lanzarote during the low season. That means that you can really enjoy the island without too many people spoiling it for you! The island is such a relaxing place to visit in the off-season.

Life can be pretty hectic at times and when on holiday, we understand you really want to relax and reload before you go back home. Lanzarote is just the perfect place to do that during the low season.

Dolphin watching in Lanzarote is a unique experience

#3 Dolphin watching in Lanzarote

Doing a boat tour to search wild dolphins is a fun and exciting experience for young and old. Dolphin watching in Lanzarote can be done all year round, also in low season! From Puerto del Carmen in Lanzarote, it is easy to navigate to the open seas of the Atlantic Ocean where many dolphins and other cetaceans pass. If you are lucky, you might even spot some whales

Experience the thrill of searching for dolphins, whales and other marine mammals in their natural habitat during a dolphin watching trip in Lanzarote! After watching these incredible loved creatures it is even possible to watch an amazing sunset, if you decide to join a boat trip in the afternoon/evening of course 😉

Isla de Lobos Canaries
Visit the sea life sanctuary at Isla de Lobos

#4 Discover the natural reserve of Isla de Lobos

The nature reserve Isla de Lobos (Lobos island) is a sanctuary for sea lions, rare birds and lizards. Also, the waters surrounding the island are full of a huge variety of fish and other sea creatures. Beach lovers should definitely visit the island. Because there are no buildings around to offer shade on Lobos island, it is advisable to visit the island during the winter months when the weather is cooler.

During the period from November to March, the weather conditions are more easily tolerated and it will be easier to explore this island. If you decide to do a boat tour from Lanzarote to Lobos island, you will get you the opportunity to walk through the natural park and the fisherman village. 

Did you know that there is a natural spa on the island? The crystal clear turquoise waters will definitely make you want to take a dip in the ocean. Fill yourself with vitamin D on the white sandy beaches.

La Graciosa island is very mystical when it’s cloudy

#5 La Graciosa island

La Graciosa is known for its calm and crystal clear waters and incredible beaches. In La Graciosa, you can go to the beach during winter and even might swim in the Atlantic Ocean! To get to La Graciosa island you should cross the sea from Ózorla, a fishermen’s population on the north of Lanzarote.

The best way to do this is with a catamaran boat tour in Lanzarote. Enjoy the marine reserve of La Graciosa and walk through the unpaved streets of the island where it seems that time stops.

I hope I could help you prepare your visit to Lanzarote in low season! Enjoy your stay and feel free to contact us for any additional tips or questions.

News! The Ocean Cleanup has started!

We had to share this exciting news! Even though we believe that the solution to keep the oceans clean is not only by cleaning up, but also by avoiding plastic, we’re big fans of the “Ocean Cleanup“.

The Ocean Cleanup is a Dutch non-profit organization developing advanced technologies to rid the oceans of plastic. today they announced that its latest ocean cleanup prototype system – System 001/B – is successfully capturing and collecting plastic debris.

The Ocean Cleanup models indicate that a full-scale system roll-out could clean up 50% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 5 years.

After one year of testing, the project has succeeded in developing a self-contained system in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch that is using the natural forces of the ocean to passively catch and concentrate the plastic. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the largest accumulation zone of plastic in the world’s oceans. In addition to collecting plainly visible pieces of plastic debris, as well as much larger ghost nets associated with commercial fishing, the latest system has also successfully captured microplastics as small as 1mm.

Learn a little more about The Ocean Cleanup Technology

The Mission Continues

With new learnings and experience derived from the successful deployment of System 001/B, The Ocean Cleanup will now begin to design its next ocean cleanup system, System 002; a full-scale cleanup system that is able to both endure and retain the collected plastic for long periods of time.

The Ocean Cleanup develops advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic.

Once fully operational, The Ocean Cleanup will return plastic to land for recycling. Timing of that phase of the mission is contingent upon further testing and design iteration.

For more information about The Ocean Cleanup, please visit: theoceancleanup.com

Ponta da Piedade - Lagos - Algarve - Portugal

Tips & tours in Lagos Portugal

Boat Tours Lagos Portugal

Ponta da Piedade

If you’re looking for holiday inspiration about southern sunny Portugal or if you’ve already booked your trip to Lagos, Algarve, this article about tours in Lagos is for you.

We, the SeaBookings.com team, are from Lagos. We grew up there and some of us still live in this beautiful idyllic Portuguese fishermen town.

We’d like to share, from our own experience, some of the best tours in our home town to enjoy a day or few around the city, some inside tips and of course the best water sports and boat tours.

We definitely recommend you to check out the city itself. Grab your friends and family and go wandering to the city centre, the beautiful and lively old town.

Due to its history (Lagos is an ancient maritime town with more than 2000 years of history), it has a great abundance of historical sites and an intricate Moorish architecture.

In the main street and around the city centre you will find many restaurants with friendly terraces and coffee shops, and of course the boutique shops where you can buy bikinis and souvenirs.

Best things to do in Lagos city center lagos

Wandering around the city

To assure you get the most out of the several tips & tours in Lagos, we recommend you to check Cultural Centre (Centro Cultural). From our experience and especially during the summer season, there is nearly always an act worth seeing.

Maps, which also may include information about the activities in Lagos, are available at the several tourist information points. Also, “Free Maps” are available at several hotels, shops, restaurants and real estate agencies.

Logistically, Lagos is rather small and public transport works fine but don’t forget that Lagos is a hilly town, so bring your comfy walking shoes to avoid unnecessary pain.

Please don’t forget that parking can be difficult in Lagos centre during the summer. The best parking places in Lagos are paid (very cheap if compared to other European countries, though).

If you want to go out for dinner or walk around the city, try finding space along the paid parking places along the main avenue “Avenida dos Descobrimentos”.

When the Avenida has no free space to park, you can also check the paid parking garage that is situated on the main avenue, next to the “Infante Dom Henrique” statue.

If you’re planning to park for the full day or longer, we suggest you to park for free, on a considerable good and safe place at the back of the Lagos Marina.

Portugal

Marina de Lagos, Lagos, Portugal

Historical attractions – things to do  for culture lovers

Museu Regional de Lagos – Town Museum

Lagos has got a few small but worth to visit museums if you like to get a better taste of the local history.

The Town Museum of Lagos presents some local archeological findings, religious costumes, international coins dating back to 300 AD and unique currencies for each municipality of the region.

Also, you will find historical attributes related to the city’s link to the ocean and the Discoveries like fishing (and farming) equipment, sea shells and minerals and assorted weapons.

The entrance fee is a symbolical 2€. The opening times of the museum are from 9:30 to 12:30 and 14:00 to 17:00; Tuesday to Sunday.

Don’t forget that, like most museum in Portugal, the Town Museum is closed on Mondays.

Museu da Cera dos Descobrimentos – Wax Museum of Portuguese Discoveries

Lagos hosts a Wax Museum of the Portuguese Discoveries where you and your family can get to know a bit more about this era by meeting the main individuals that represent Portugal’s Discoveries around the world.

We think this museum is a must-do activity for families with kids who are eager to learn about history.

Entrance fees are 5€ per adult and 3€ for children. The wax museum of Portuguese Discoveries is opened from 10:00 to 19:00 all days of the week.

Wax museum Lagos

Wax museum

Igreja de Santo António – Saint Anthony Church

The Church of Santo António should surely be on your list of things to do in Lagos. Originally constructed in 1707, and rebuilt in 1769, this church, named after Saint Anthony, is rather simple and plain on the outside and astonishingly impressive inside.

It’s a true surprise, don’t forget to walk in the church to appreciate the brilliance of the ornate wood carvings that contrast with the intense colorful dome ceilings.

The interior church walls are covered with typical local 18th century “azulejos” (tiles) of blue and white. A statue of the patron saint, Santo António holding Baby Jesus is located on the throne within the altar. The church is located on Rua General Alberto da Silveira, in the city centre.

Mercado de Escravos – Slave Market

This historical city once housed Europe’s first black slave market. The market was built in 1444 and during the 15th century, here the first slaves, captured and transported from Africa, were sold.

The trade of slaves brought a considerable income to the Portuguese monarchy and merchant classes.

The major sponsor of these expeditions was Infante Dom Henrique (Prince Henry the Navigator), who’s statue appears on the square where the market is located. The Navigator received 20% of the selling price of all the slaves.

Nowadays, the Slave Market  holds a museum with ancient findings. On one of the walls of the building there is a stone dating from the 17th century.

Beside the ancient findings, the building now serves as an art gallery presenting a rotation of local artists from across the Algarve. António Alonso is a local artist that we highly appreciate, for example.

The Slave Market has no entrance fee and is open from 9:30 to 12:30 and 14:00 to 17:00, Monday to Saturday. 

slave market Lagos Portugal

The slave market Lagos, Portugal

Castelo dos Governadores – Governors Castle

As we mentioned before, the town of Lagos played a decisive role in the Portuguese Discoveries. It was from Lagos where the caravels left in 1419 to discover the Madeira archipelago and in 1427 the Azores archipelago.

This city was also the point of departure of the ships that conquered Alcácer-Ceguer, Arzila and Tânger in Africa.

The castle of the Governors has its origin during this epoch. Around 1642, during the Portuguese Restoration War from Spain, the Castle’s walls were reinforced for the use of artillery. With the big earthquake of 1755, many of the castle’s walls were destroyed again.

Nowadays the Castle of Lagos does not maintain much of its initial construction, but it is an important heritage, classified as National Monument. 

If you walk from the city centre in direction of Praia da Batata, you will pass by its very well preserved walls which are still is one of the main references.

Castelo Lagos Portugal

Castelo histórico

Lagos City walls

The old part of the town is circled by the old stone city walls. The Lagos city walls were constructed in the 16th century to protect the city.

Once this city was the capital of the Algarve, when the territory needed to be protected by city walls.

A fun way to experience the old city is to enter from the back of town, through a beautifully arched entry hole in the wall.

You can park your car near the old walls. From there you can wander around the typical narrow back streets of Lagos and feel like a local.

Many of the old street walls are draped with the vibrant color of bougainvillaea.

Also, street art is becoming more and more common in Lagos and you encounter some walls covered by artistic graffiti paintings, sometimes with a political touch.

Statue of São Gonçalo

Situated on the main Avenida dos Descobrimentos, right on top of Praia da Batata beach, you can find the statue of São Gonçalo de Lagos. The statue illustrates the Algarve’s only Saint, São Gonçalo.

The statue is in a spectacular position overlooking east of Lagos the Meia Praia and Praia da Batata, Alvor and beyond. São Gonçalo is the protector of the local fishermen.

statue of sao goncalo Lagos

The statue of São Goncalo

Sculpture of Dom Sebastião

Dom Sebastião is a statue in Lagos, right in the city centre.  Dom Sebastião I was King of Portugal and the Algarves from 11 June 1557 to 4 August 1578. As such, he was the penultimate Portuguese monarch of the House of Aviz.

He disappeared in the battle of Alcácer Quibir in Africa. Sebastian I is often referred to as “O Desejado” (The Desired) because the Portuguese people longed for his return. The decline of Portugal occurred because of his death.

Statue of Infante Dom Henrique

The statue of Infante Dom Henrique may be found on the square next to the Slave Market we mentioned before. Infante Henrique of Portugal, Duke of Viseu was born on 4 March 1394 and died 13 November 1460.

He is better known as Henry the Navigator, or “O Navegador” in Portuguese. He was an important figure in the 15th-century Portuguese politics and the beginning of the Portuguese Empire.

In fact, he is regarded as the main initiator of the Age of Discoveries as he was responsible for the start of the Portuguese exploration and maritime trade with other continents through the exploration of Western Africa, the islands of the Atlantic Ocean while searching for new routes.

Tours in Lagos

The famous Grotto boat tours

grotto tours lagos things to do in lagos

Boat tours are surely one of the best things to do

Lagos is worldwide known for its particular coastline. In fact, the region around Lagos, in particular from Praia da Batata to Ponta da Piedade is characterized by distinctive and magnificent cliffs with rock formations and grottos.

That’s why, one of the most popular tours are the so-called “grotto tours”. The famous Ponta da Piedade is a place to visit.

If you are in the city for the first time, you need to do this! Step into a small typical fishing boat and let your local fisherman be your guide.

Your guide will navigate around and under the breathtaking rock formations and take you into the caves including the “Elefante”, “gruta do amor”, “A capela” and more.

It’s also a great way to decide which beaches you want to go during your holidays as your guide will point out the many beaches that surround the town.

Our favorite grotto tour is the two-hour grotto boat tours to the Ponta da Piedade caves. This tour is a two in one as you’ll depart on a beautiful sailing boat and later step over to a smaller boat to enter the caves. It’s a real taste of Portugal.

We also provide many boat tours, including day tours, boat trips with lunch, boat cruise to the famous Benagil caves,

Sailing boat trip with lunch from Lagos

Sailing boat tours in Lagos with lunch on board

If you are staying in Praia da Luz, you don’t need to come to Lagos to enjoy a grotto tour. We recommend you to go with the local provider that departs from Praia da Luz.

grotto trip luz

Grotto boat tours to Ponta da Piedade

We’re sure you will enjoy these boat tours that depart from Praia da Luz. On this tour, you’ll also get to know the cliffs from Praia da Luz, like the famous “Rocha Negra”, Black Rock, with a volcanic origin.

If you’re in Lagos for only one day and you’re short on time, don’t worry, because there are many one-hour grotto tours that depart from the Marina of Lagos. These tours are all very similar, they differ a bit in the type of boat.

We always recommend the smaller boats, because those are the ones that can easily manoeuvre inside the grottoes. Usually, these tours will take you to the direction of Ponta da Piedade, close to the cliffs and in the caves, and on the way back, speed up a bit to reach the Marina one hour later.

Parasailing

windsurpoint parasailing fun lagos

Parasailing in Lagos

Parasailing is definitely a thing to do if you love adrenaline. Parasailing combines the ocean and the sky while adrenaline flows through your body. It is, with no doubt one of the most exciting ways to explore your holiday destination and also to enjoy a unique view.

Parasailing is a recreational kiting activity where you are towed in the air behind a boat, while attached to a kind of parachute – the parasail wing, which is specially designed for this purpose. Two or three people can parasail at the same time.

On this parasailing adventure, you sail along the coast of Meia Praia beach. Parasailing in the Algarve can be done from only 45€ per person for 15 minutes in the air. And believe us, 15 minutes is enough as this experience is rather intense.

Jet ski charter

windsurpoint jetski

Jetski Lin agos

In Portugal, you need a boat licence to take a Jet ski to open waters. Don’t you have a boart licence but really want to enjoy the adrenaline of speeding on a Jet ski? Good news! On Meia Praia,  you can ride a Jet ski without any licence as long as you stay within the limits set by the operator.

Prices start at 40€ for 15 minutes.

BBQ boat tourLagos, Portugal.

Boat trip in the baia de lagos

BBQ boat tours in Lagos

This sailing boat has become an icon from the city. The boat appears on Lagos postcard and everybody loves it. These boat tours have been operating in the Algarve for many years. They are on the most popular things to do.

We recommend booking in advance because the boats can become fully booked for several days in a row during the high season. The tour will take you on a lovely cruise along the Meia Praia beach.

The staff will serve a typical Portuguese BBQ of grilled chicken and salad and there is plenty of time to relax, swim and make stunning pictures of the coastline.

Dolphin watching tours

Dolphin watching tours in Lagos

Dolphin watching tours in Lagos

Dolphins are animals that fascinate everybody, no matter the age. The waters from the Algarve are very popular for local and migrating dolphin species.

It’s a truly unforgettable experience to see these charming animals in their natural habitat. That’s why the dolphin watching boat tours  should also be on your top things to do. Your children or friends will love the adventure!

There are three dolphin tours in Lagos that we highly recommend.

  • Do you dare to come aboard of “Tornado”, Europe’s biggest rigid inflatable passenger boat? Feel the boost of its twin-engine while speeding over the Atlantic on a very safe way. We’re sure your family will love this boat tours in Lagos. Your husband will love the boat and your kids will remember this as the best things to do in Lagos, Portugal.
  • The other tour we highly recommend is on the Prince of Whales, a smaller boat. On this boat tour, your guide is actually a marine biologist. The biologist will be happy to share all the interesting facts about the creatures you’ll find during this boat tours in Lagos.
  • Also from Praia da Luz there are daily departures for a dolphin watching adventure during the summer. These dolphin watching boat tours in Lagos are excellent for families with kids from 4 years old.

All operators mentioned above have a very high chance of seeing dolphins because they are specialized in this kind of tour.

Finding wild dolphins is not guaranteed because the animals are totally wild and are not fed. Don’t forget to book in advance. These tours are very popular during the summer and may become fully booked for several days in a row!

Windsurf lessons

windsurpoint windsurf

Windsurf  lessons in Lagos

Lagos is a windsurf paradise. Given the privileged location of Lagos, there’s always a spot where the wind is just right. The bay of Meia Praia is one of the most common places to practice windsurf in Lagos. If you’d like to learn to windsurf, there are amazing windsurf lessons on Meia Praia.

We work with a watersports center that is specialized in this sport and has been teaching the art of windsurfing to many tourists over the years. Starting at 60€ for 2 hours you get a very personalized windsurf lesson given by a local and certified instructor.

If you’re based in Praia da Luz, there is no need to come over to Lagos to learn how to windsurf. The local watersports specialist, based on the beach of Praia da Luz, provides a five hour windsurf course for only 120€. These courses are suitable for all ages (as long as you can swim and feel comfortable in the ocean) and levels of experience.

Kayak Tours

Kayak tours in Lagos

Kayak tours in Lagos

To explore Lagos stunning coastline, nothing better than the Kayak tours in Lagos. Like that you’ll be environmentally friendly, you’ll exercise and have no noise while enjoying the fantastic sights!

Another great advantage of kayaking along the coast is that due to the fact they’re so small, you’re able to go inside all of the caves at Ponta da Piedade. Kayaking is a great activity in Lagos for the younger generation or for active families.

Surf Lessons day tours

Learn how to surf in Lagos

Learn how to surf in Lagos

Also for surfing on the waves, there are a great option! The location on the Southwest point of Europe guarantees there are good waves to surf either on the South or West Coast

So, if you are looking for a surf safari for one day, you are at the right place.

We surely recommend this experience for young adventures people. The atmosphere of the surfing scene is really cool and you’ll definitely have a fun and sporty day.

Kitesurf lessons

kitesurf in Lagos

Learn how to kitesurf

Kitesurfing is, along with windsurfing, a very popular sport on the beaches around Lagos, and in particular on Meia Praia.

In Lagos, you can take kitesurf lessons, suitable for all levels of experience. Don’t forget that kitesurfing is way more complex than surfing and windsurfing and therefore it will take a bit longer before you can actually do it.

SUP tours in Lagos

SUP in Lagos

The SUP tours  are a great way to explore the coastline

Stand-up paddle is one of the sports in the world that grows fastest. Why? Because it can be done by all ages (as long as you can swim and feel confortable in the ocean) and because it’s rather easy to learn.

You have several options to do SUP tours in Lagos. If you prefer, you can go to an area far away from all the tourists, in Sagres.

If you prefer to stay in the city, you can go SUPping at Ponta da Piedade. This region of the Algarve is known for its fantastic rock formations and caves and stand-up paddle is definitely a cool way to explore it.

Aqualand, Alcantarilha

Looking for a day excursion with the kids or youngsters and want something different than the sea? Aqualand is an all-inclusive waterpark about 45 minutes from Lagos. If you don’t have a rental car, you can go by bus, but it may take a bit longer.

Aqualand is a world of water attractions for the whole family or group of friends. Here you can experience a broad variety of water slides of all different shapes and sizes.

Aqualand is suitable for the whole family; while some relax on the lawn, others enjoy an adrenaline rush while the little ones enjoy themselves at their very own water playground.

During the summer months, be patient with the crowds as Aqualand draws locals and visitors from across Portugal.

In general, queues may appear big but are rather fast. For the girls: do not wear a strapless bikini top or you’ll lose it! Tickets are available at hotel receptions.

Lagos Zoo

Lagos Zoo

Have some fun time with the kids in the local zoo

A nice tip for families with kids: the Zoo of Lagos. The Zoo is located near Barão de São João, a village about 20 mins from the city and you can either go by car or a bus.

The zoo is home to more than 120 animal species and about 200 botanical species from around the world in a natural environment. We consider this smallish zoo ideal for families with young children who look for activity out of the city.

There are no big animals like tigers and elephants, but you will encounter plenty of birds, monkeys and wallabies. Also, some regular farm animals that the children can pet. There is a restaurant on site. The zoo is opened daily and all year around.

Cliff walks

Ponta da piedade most beautifull beaches in the world - Boat trips Lagos , Algarve, Portugal

Ponta da piedade

Ponta da Piedade can be viewed by many perspectives. We prefer the perspective from the ocean by boat or kayak or SUP tour in Lagos, but you can also explore the top of the cliffs.

If you park your car near Ponta da Piedade you can find some nice signed walking trails. You may expect amazing views, so don’t forget your camera.

The most beautiful beaches can be explored, in many different ways. Like even the small hidden beaches like Praia de Estudantes.

Also, be careful, because rain and wind are constantly eroding the edges of the cliffs, so don’t get too close to the edge and stay on the trails.

Do not forget to bring your hat and sunscreen, because the sun is very intense next to the ocean.

Horse riding

Best things to do in Lagos - Horse Riding

Best things to do in Lagos – Horse Riding

For nature and animal lovers, there are several horse clubs in the neighborhood of Lagos where you can go for a ride.

In the winter, you can fulfil your dreams by booking a West coast ride. On this ride, you will gallop over an extensive beach and have a lovely ride through the countryside of Portugal guided by a local who knows the trails and the horses very well.

The beach ride can only be done during the winter because otherwise, the beaches would be too busy. So, during the summer months, you can book a pick-nick ride, and go swimming with the horses in a stunning lake.

These tours are highly recommended for nature lovers and are suitable for all levels of experience and ages. Lagos, Portugal.

Golf in the Algarve

Golf in the Algarve

Golf in the Algarve

The Algarve is home to some of the finest golf courses of Europe. Thanks to its slightly hilly terrain and pleasant weather conditions, the Algarve is renowned for its world-class golf courses, most of which are open all year round.

The town is a very popular destination for golf lovers because of its proximity to a multitude of great golf courses. Lagos is a good home base for a golf holiday, as great selection of luxury golf courses lies within less than a 15-minute drive from the city.

Penina Golf Course is one of the most popular golf courses, as it offers a selection of three courses, bordering the town.

Boavista Golf is another popular course which has scenic views over the bay of Lagos. Some of the courses are quite hilly, so we recommend you to take an electric cart.

The best beaches

One of the best things to do is to spend a warm day is to enjoy your time one of the many beaches along the town coastline. The beaches along the Lagos’ coastline are all stunning and all different.

During the high season, some of the most popular beaches can become quite crowded.

To find a more non-touristic quiet beach you need to hire a car and drive a few kilometres. Please don’t forget to protect yourself against the heat and bring a sunshade, hat, sunscreen and water.

Some of our favourite beaches around Lagos are Porto de Mós, Meia Praia, Praia do Camilo and Praia D. Ana.

Praia Porto de Mós, Lagos

Praia Porto de Mós, Lagos

Nightlife & parties

Lagos is not only known for its natural beauty and as a nice picturesque Portuguese town. Lagos is also known for its lively nightlife. The town has an abundance of pubs, bars and cafes with awesome atmosphere and for all tastes.

To have dinner, the city centre  has many restaurants with lovely terraces to enjoy a local dish or foreign ones, like Italian, Japanese or Indian.

We really like Taberna de Lagos, a bit more chique than the average, with trendy music and a modern Portuguese / French menu. Adega da Marina, on the main avenue, is the best if we consider price/quality.

Grilled sardines in Lagos

Grilled sardines in Lagos

Typical Portuguese food, like fresh fish and meat. Here you can try some sardines if its sardine season. Come early or you risk a queue during the summer months.

For people who like a food-experience, we recommend Pizza Pazza. Pizza Pazza is a Pizzeria owned by a German-Italian family who makes the most amazing thin pizzas.

You have to drive a lot, about half an hour from Lagos, and it’s not easy to find. If you went to the west coast for the day, it’s an ideal way to finish your day. Located in the small surfer village Pedralva, it’s a lovely place to go on your holidays. Try to reserve because it might be very busy.

Another tip if you want to leave the citylife for a bit to escape from the tourists, is Atabai in the old “Hippy” village of Barão de São João. It is just 15 minutes from Lagos and also a true experience. They serve great dishes for a great price.

In terms of bars, we usually go to Red Eye bar for a nice night out with surfer music (indie-rock) and some beers to play pool or darts. Joe’s Garage is the craziest bar of Lagos. If you look for a “noite louca”, go here and feel the real summer nights! Great cocktails and popular music!

Stevie Rays is a bit more classy and are the place to hear some funky of jazz music.  We think Stevie’s is the coolest place to go out in Lagos as they often have live music.

Black Cat Bar, right next to Stevie’s, is a bar that’s all year round frequented by the Portuguese locals.

Always a nice atmosphere for a beer on the street. For the after hours, Duna Beach Bar on Meia Praia is the place to be. Grab one of the transfers provided or a taxi and dance until the sunrise by a pool on the beach to the beat of local DJs.

Transport

The city is well accessible with public transport, such as bus and train. We recommend to hire a car or arrange your transport with a transfers provider.

In a nutshell, and as you may have realized after reading about the best tips & tours in Lagos, this town is a dream holiday destination for all ages and tastes.

Lagos is only 45-minute drive from Faro airport and there are low-cost flights from all major airport around Europe. So, what are you waiting for? If you have got any questions about the tips & tours mentioned in this article or anything else about Lagos, feel free to contact us.

Algarve Caves

Algarve Caves: The 5 best caves

Algarve Caves: Top 5

If you’re planning your holidays to Portugal, more specifically to the Algarve, you’ve most likely already heard of the Algarve caves. 

In fact, the coast of Portugal is known for its impressive caves and rock formations. In this article, we’ll share the TOP 5 Algarve caves you can’t miss.

Therefore to write this article, we’ve spoken to some of our partners who know the Portuguese coastline like no other.

Local fisherman and skippers of the popular cave boat tours are experts on the caves of Portugal. Most importantly, they were proud to share their knowledge about the caves in the Algarve for instance.

In other words, we have experienced many cave tours along the Algarve, the caves are a must on your next holiday.

The top 5 ocean caves of Algarve you can’t miss are:

  1. “Algar de Benagil” – The Benagil Cave

The Benagil cave is the highlight of most cave tours in the Algarve

The Benagil cave is the highlight of most cave tours in the Algarve

The worldwide known ocean cave of Benagil is originally named “Algar de Benagil”. The cave of Benagil in Portugal is one of the most remarkable sea caves in the world.

In 2014, this popular ocean cave of Portugal was listed in the world’s “Top 10 Coolest Caves” by American magazine The Huffington Post.

Well, if this is a worldwide know cave, it surely is one of the best of the Algarve’s caves!

Where and how to get to the caves of Benagil?

The cave of Benagil is located in the Algarve, on the south coast of Portugal. Just next to Benagil beach.

The nearest city to this grotto is called Lagoa. Benagil itself is a small village mostly dedicated to fishing. The Benagil cave is located just next to Praia de Benagil.

The amazing Benagil sea cave is not easy to access. The caves and grottoes are only accessible by boat, kayak, SUP or if you’re a good swimmer, swimming.

However, if you like adventure and would like to swim to the Benagil cave, make sure the ocean is very calm. As entering the caves by boat is already a great adventure.

The safest way to reach the grottoes is by boat and this is suitable for all ages. Boat tours to Benagil depart daily from the Carvoeiro beach, Lagos, Portimão, Alvor, Albufeira, Faro or Armação de Pêra.

  1. “Zorreira” – The Zorreira Cave

The boat reaches the caves very closely

The boat reaches the caves very closely

The cave of Zorreira is another cave in Portugal you shouldn’t miss. It’s located in the area of the cave of Benagil. By going on a boat tour to the cave of Benagil, most likely you’ll also visit this cave.

Out of the about 20 caves that are part of the boat tours to the Benagil cave, the cave of Zorreira cave is definitely one of the most impressive one.

  1. “Arcos de Marinha” – The arches of Marinha

Arcos da Marinha

Arcos da Marinha

The beach of Marinha is one of the most emblematic beaches of Portugal. This beach is also located in the region of Lagoa. Thus this beach is certainly a beach you should visit on your holidays in Portugal.

The Michelin Guide considered “Praia da Marinha” as one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in Europe and as one of the 100 most beautiful beaches in the world.

Marinha Beach is very popular for its stunning rock formations and crystal clear waters. As the ocean is generally very calm here, it’s a great spot for snorkelling.

The wide range of rock formations are a preferred habitat by local marine flora and fauna.

The rock formations around the Marinha Beach have two arches. The arches of Marinha are one of the known symbols of the Algarve.

Therefore, local fishermen and skippers consider these arches as a place of Portugal you should not miss.

We conclude, the best way to explore the two arches of the Marina beach is by boat. Most boat tours to the Benagil cave mentioned above also pass by these breath-taking arches.

  1. “Gruta do Capitão” – Captain’s Cave

Captain's cave Algarve Portugal

Algarve caves – Captain’s cave

The Captain’s cave as locals call this impressive cave in the Algarve is also one of our favorites. This cave is located in between Carvoeiro and Armação de Pêra. Next to Praia da Estaquinha and Praia do Barraquinho.

This cave is very difficult to access. In fact, it’s a privilege to be able to access this Algarve cave as you cannot reach it by for or swimming, only by boat. Even by boat, this cave is hard to access.

Zorreira cave can only be seen closely if the ocean conditions are perfect. Low tide and no waves are the perfect conditions required to visit the Captain’s Cave in the Algarve.

A visit to this Algarve cave is part of the Caves & Dolphins boat tour which departs from the Marina of Albufeira.

This boat tour is one of the most popular boat tours of the Algarve, as it combines two things: dolphin watching and visits to the stunning caves of the Algarve. Most of the cave tours in the Algarve visit this cave in small fishing boats.

  1. “Elefante” – Elephant

Elefant cave Portugal

Algarve caves – Elefant cave

The cave called “Elefante” is located in the area of Ponta da Piedade, Lagos. Lagos is a picturesque fishermen village (or city). When visiting Lagos, the “Elefante” ocean cave is the one you should not miss.

The local fishermen and skippers of the boat tours in Lagos are sure that the “Elefante” is one of the most impressive ocean caves of Portugal.

So, when you’re visiting the Western Algarve, you should go to Ponta da Piedade.

What, where and how to get to Ponta da Piedade?

Ponta da Piedade is not a beach as there’s no sand to lay on. Instead, Ponta da Piedade is a magical place where high rock cliffs reach from the blue sky into the deep blue ocean.

Around Ponta da Piedade you can find many grottoes you can visit on a boat tour, kayak tour or standup paddle tour.

The “Elefante” rock formation in Lagos is a cave of Portugal you should not miss, because it’s included in the most beautiful set of caves.

Kids love to recognize these figures in the rock formations and the “Elefante” is with no doubt a favourite!

For example, looking for figures in the rock formations of Lagos is like looking for figures in the clouds. A fun game for the little ones.

As mentioned before, according to the local experts, “Elefante” is the cave of Portugal you can’t miss.

Algarve caves

The coastline

The best holiday with the best cave tours

There are many places where you can take a cave boat tour from, most of the locations have easy and free car park. However, in the summer season, the cave boat trips get very busy, thus book in advance to avoid any disappointments.

In conclusion, there are many more amazing caves, which we would love to share with you. We wish you a beautiful adventure to discover the best sea caves of Algarve, Portugal. If you’ve got any suggestions or questions, please feel free to contact us.

best things to do in Lagos,

The 10 best things to do in Lagos Portugal

The 10 best things to do in Lagos, Portugal

If you are going on holidays in Lagos Portugal, you will have many fun and cheap things to do. Lagos is a beautiful holiday destination if you are flying to Faro airport. The local people are very tourist-friendly, it’s a great destination for young to older people. For the younger generation, Lagos is a very cool place to go out and get drunk. The beach parties are definitely a must do for this generation. 10 best things to do in Portugal

For families, it also a great destination, as you have many beautiful beaches where you can relax, swim & play in or out the water. All beaches have lifeguards, and criminality is almost inexistent. For the older generation, September & October are the recommended months, there is less tourism and the city is emptier so you can walk around, without worrying.

10 best Things to do in Lagos Portugal

1.       Go to the most beautiful beaches of Europe

In Lagos, there is a beautiful place called Ponta da Piedade. At Ponta da Piedade, you can find the most amazing and stunning beaches of Europe. Go to Praia D. Ana, Praia do Camilo e Praia do Pinhão. Or have a better look at Ponta da Piedade, by boat;

Things to do in Lagos, Boat trips Algarve - Ponta da Piedade - Lagos - Boat trips from Lagos- Lagos, Portugal

The 10 best things to do in Lagos Portugal

2.       Discover the historical center of Lagos

Lagos is known for the discoveries, thus you should check the slave market and the 16thcentury city walls. In Lagos you will definitely feel some of its history;

Best things to do in Lagos city center lagos

Lagos – The 10 best things to do in Lagos Portugal

3.       Do a grotto boat trip to Ponta da Piedade

One of the best things to do in Lagos are definitely the grotto boat trips from Lagos. On this boat trips, you will be able to go inside all of the caves in Lagos on a small boat.
This boats, normally take about 10 persons. Book in advance to avoid disappointments. This boat trip from Lagos is suitable for all ages;

grotto tours lagos things to do in lagos

Ponta da Piedade – The 10 best things to do in Lagos Portugal

4.       Do a dolphin watching trip from Lagos

In the Algarve, there are many species of dolphins and other wildlife. It’s definitely an ultimate experience, a must do of the things to do in Lagos. When choosing the company with who you are going, take into account, that only on the Rigid inflatable passenger boats you are almost able to touch them. The dolphins are never guaranteed, because they life in total freedom and are not fed.

Dolphin watching Lagos - SeaLife - Enjoy the Algarve, Portugal!

Dolphin watching – The 10 best things to do in Lagos Portugal

5.       Go horseback riding in Lagos

In Bensafrim, just about 10 min. from the center of Lagos, you have amazing spots to go horseback riding. Have a look at Quinta do Paraíso Alto, the most trusted British riding school in Lagos;

Best things to do in Lagos - Horse Riding

Horse riding – The 10 best things to do in Lagos Portugal

6.       Go to a traditional farmers market

Every week, on Saturday morning there’s a traditional farmers market opposite the Marina footbridge, and near the bus station. Here you can find many traditional and local quality food.

Best things to do in Lagos Portugal - farmer market

Market – The 10 best things to do in Lagos Portugal

7.       Go Snorkeling or Scuba Diving

In Lagos, you have a great scuba diving school, who can take you out for snorkeling along the beautiful Ponta da Piedade or take you on a boat dive to the most amazing underwater cliffs and wrecks. 10 best things to do in Portugal

diving tours Lagos - best things to do in Lagos

The 10 best things to do in Lagos Portugal – Diving

8.       Eat the best fish in Lagos

If you are looking for a typical fish restaurant, o “Bar da Lota” is the place to go. You can find it next to train station and fish auction buildings in Lagos.

Best fish reataurant in Lagos best things to do in Lagos

Sardines – The 10 best things to do in Lagos Portugal

9.       Eat the best shrimps ever

In Lagos, you can find a very long white beach, it’s called Meia Praia. At Bar Quim, at Meia Praia, you can enjoy the best shrimps you have ever tried before. Ah, and don’t forget the amazing beach view. 10 best things to do in Portugal

shrimps - best things to eat in Lagos Portugal

Shrimps – The 10 best things to do in Lagos Portugal

10.   Book your activities early

In Lagos, you can do many activities, from boat trips, parasailing,  kayak tours, SUP or Surf, there is always something to do for the whole family. In June, July and August, expect many tourists, thus don’t forget to book your things to do in Lagos early. Avoid disappointments on your family holidays in Lagos.

Enjoy your things to do in Lagos! 🙂

P.S. If you are going to stay in Albufeira, check out the best trips & tours.

Our top 6 beaches in Lagos, Portugal

Discover the best beaches in Lagos, Portugal

We’ve been living in Lagos for almost 18 years now. Living in Lagos is great and the beaches in Lagos continue to surprise us every single day. Lagos is worldwide known for its stunning beaches.

In fact, there are beaches for all tastes. Around Lagos you’ll find very long white sanded and super cozy secluded beaches. The beaches in Lagos are all stunning and all different.

Our favorite 6 are probably Porto de Mós, Praia da Batata, Meia Praia, Praia do Pinhão, Praia D. Ana and Praia do Camilo. But is was hard to choose and we also like the beaches that are a bit further away from town.

One of the best ways to spend a warm day in Lagos is on one of the many beaches along the town’s coastline.  

During the high season, some of the most popular ones can become quite crowded. To find a more non-touristic quiet beach, we recommend you to hire a car and drive a few kilometers.

Please don’t forget to protect yourself against the heat and sun and bring a sunshade, hat, sunscreen and water.

Here is a selection of our favourite beaches in Lagos:

Praia Porto de Mós, Lagos

Praia Porto de Mós

The best beaches in Lagos: Praia Porto de Mós

Porto de Mós is one of the bigger beaches in Lagos. Its long stretch makes Porto do Mós ideal for a long beach walk.

Also, given its dimension, you’ll always find a nice quiet spot to spread out your towel, read a book or just relax. Praia de Porto de Mós is a sandy beach. Only on its far right there are some rocks.

Porto de Mós has got two beach restaurants. Campimar on the left, is an ideal beach side restaurant-bar, for a meal or snack at any time of day. António beach bar is excellent to quickly grab a smoothy, beer, water or icecreams. António Restaurant also serves nice dinners.

Also among the locals, Praia Porto de Mós, is a popular spot on a Sunday afternoon on the beach and to grab some beers to end the weekend. There are plenty of parking places (free).

You can also reach the beach by foot from the city town, but it’s quite a walk, about half an hour. You can also go by bus.

Praia da Batata, Lagos

Praia da Batata (or Potato Beach in English) is one of the most popular beaches in Lagos for the young generation. During the summer months, this beach is packed with young guys.

After going out at night in Lagos, this is where the youngsters go for an after party or to enjoy their hang-over in the sun.

Praia da Batata is also searched for by active travelers. From this beach you can go on a stand up paddle boarding tour or kayak tour to Ponta da Piedade.

If you like sports and want to explore the coastline of Lagos in an active way, kayak and SUP are definitely a must thing to do while staying in Lagos.

Meia Praia, Lagos

The best beaches in Lagos: Meia Praia

The best beaches in Lagos: Meia Praia

Meia Praia is the biggest beach in Lagos. Meia Praia’s wide-opened 4 km stretch of beach make it ideal for a long walk or run.

Also to enjoy the sun, this is one of the favourites of the locals with many regular visitors to Lagos. If you like a spacious beach and water sports, then this beach is for you!

Lagos Beach bars

Along the beach you can find beach bars for all tastes. Some fancier ones with fine seafood and other surf bars with live music.

You must stop in at Bar Linda, on the beginning of Meia Praia, by passing the Marina of Lagos. Here, you can enjoy nice juices and delicious honey chicken wings.

We usually go here after a long beach day to drink a beer with some wedges and fried onions.

Bahia Beach bar is great if you like Brazilian or African live music. Every Sunday afternoon around 18:00/19:00 the party begins.

Nice atmosphere and great music to dance and have fun are guaranteed. We recommend the delicious tapas, shrimp pasta and cocktails.

shrimps - best things to eat in Lagos Portugal

Shrimps – best things to eat in Lagos

A bit further away from Lagos, but still on Meia Praia, you’ll find a few more beach bars. Eat a nice freshly caught grilled fish at Gaivota’s beach bar.

This beach bar is definitely a great spot to eat fresh fish and enjoy a Portuguese “Vinho Verde” (Green Wine).

Bar Quim, is THE place to eat shrimps. The best fried garlic shrimps in Portugal are these ones.

While enjoying your meal with a nice local white wine, don’t forget to appreciate the amazing views while your kids play in the sand in front of the terrace.

If you are up for some watersports, you definitely need to check out some of the activities on Meia Praia, Lagos.

From Parasailing to Jet ski rental or windsurf lessons, there’s a wide range of things to do at Meia Praia beach in Lagos.

Praia do Pinhão, Lagos

The best beaches in Lagos: Praia do Pinhão

The best beaches in Lagos: Praia do Pinhão

Praia do Pinhão is a really nice alternative to the larger busier beaches in Lagos, near the city center. Just like Dona Ana and Camilo, Pinhão is stunning.

The rock towers around the beach create shaded areas as the sun makes its way through the day. That’s also why this beach is ideal on the windiest days.

The long staircase from the road and parking place to the beach provide you with a good daily workout.

Praia D. Ana, Lagos

The best beaches in Lagos: Praia D. Ana

The best beaches in Lagos: Praia Dona Ana

Praia D. Ana is one of our favorite beaches in Lagos. The award winning Praia D. Ana (or Dona Ana Beach in English) is considered the best beach by many references in tourism. In fact, it is one of the most popular beaches in Lagos.

Despite the fact that this beach has suffered some modifications to increase it sandy area, it is still stunning as always. Similar beaches to Praia da Dona Ana, are Praia dos Pinheiros and Praia dos Estudantes.

Please bear in mind that this beach is not recommended for people with physical disabilities as it is known for the many stairs to the beach. Parking might be difficult during busy summer months but the effort will surely be worth it.
For people with physical disabilities, we recommend to go to Praia da Luz.

Praia do Camilo, Lagos

The best beaches in Lagos: Praia do Camilo

The best beaches in Lagos: Praia do Camilo

Praia do Camilo is a sheltered little beach cove on the road from Lagos to Ponta da Piedade.

The beauty of this beach is apparent when you look at it from top, where you can park your car. Its crystal clear waters and impressive cliff formations create this little jewel.

As a result, Praia do Camilo is one of the best beaches in Lagos for snorkeling because the shallow rocky ocean floor attracts plenty of marine life.

Above all, the beach of Camilo is nicely sheltered from the winds on most days, which also provides for calmer waters

Just minutes walking, you can have an amazing walk over the top of the cliffs of Ponta da Piedade.

To access this beach, good physical condition is required as there are extremely long staggered stairs. You can park on top of the beach, next to the restaurant.

The restaurant, “Camilo”, is a must for fresh fish lovers or seafood, even though its prices are a bit above the local average. You can also grab a light meal, a beer or an ice-cream there.

Bonus: Sagres

Cabo São Vicente tour

Sagres

From Lagos, the Southwest point of Europe, Sagres, is only a 30 minute drive away. There are also busses that connect Lagos to Sagres. In Sagres you have any amazing places with less people. Most of the beaches are known for their spectacular surfing conditions.

Therefore, you can feel the surf-vibe in the village of Sagres with its surf shops, surf bars and surf camps. Consequently, we recommend Sagres for travelers who look for nature, more quiet beaches of for a surfing experience.

Sagres is definitely worth seeing if you are staying longer than a week in Lagos.

We hope this list of our favorite spots and the reminder that Sagres is worth a visit too helped you to plan your holidays. Let us know if you happen to discover some other beaches that are worth sharing here and enjoy!

We tried out our new dolphin watching tour in Lagos!

By Nathalie, content and translations at SeaBookings, who’d like to share her experience on a dolphin watching tour in Lagos.

When I heard that we had a new operator offering dolphin watching in Lagos, of course, I took the opportunity to try out this new experience myself. I have already been dolphin watching before, but every tour is special and seeing dolphins in their natural habitat is an amazing experience – over and over again! 

So me and my friend went to the Marina in Lagos to try out our newest dolphin watching tour in Lagos. The tour is run by a local group of family and friends, who are all from Lagos. Thus, they are real locals and know all about the region.

You can get really close to the dolphins

The skippers already have a lot of experience in boat tours in Lagos, and especially with finding wild dolphins. So they are the perfect crew to take you out on a dolphin watching tour in Lagos since they love what they do and also love to share their knowledge about the sea and dolphins with you.

The boat is a very modern RIB! It has a lot of power and can go really fast, yet at the same time, it’s surprisingly stable and very comfortable. You can tell it was chosen with much love and to provide clients with a safe and enjoyable dolphin watching trip!

Taking pictures of the dolphins is not easy, but you may be lucky!

We took our seats on the boat and off we went to look for dolphins in Lagos. Once we passed the Marina of Lagos, the boat took up the speed and we raced over the sea. It was a day with perfect conditions: no wind, no waves and a really glassy sea! 

Finding the wild dolphins

Thanks to the experienced crew, it didn’t take long until we found our first group of dolphins. It was a rather small one, about 10 dolphins. However, there were a few baby dolphins!

One of them, so we were told, must’ve been born no longer than 2 or 3 days ago, as it was still really tiny! It was the smallest baby dolphin I have ever seen, and surely a lovely sight.

The ride itself is a true adventure!

Our skippers slowed down the boat so we could stand up to get a better look at the dolphins.

The dolphins would swim underneath our boat and jump up next to it, so we could observe them really closely. We had some questions about how dolphins bread, and the skippers were happy to provide us with all the answers! 

We stayed for a while with this small pod of dolphins, enjoying the view of them swimming and jumping around in freedom.

While they continued their journey, so did we. The skippers decided to go a bit further west to look for a bigger pod of dolphins.

The water was very calm!

And a bigger pod we did find! While the first group was already very beautiful and special, this group of about 50 dolphins was simply huge.

They were all around, wherever you looked you could see fins coming out of the water and dolphins jumping around! 

The dolphins of this pod seemed even more adventurous than the first one! About 10 of them even surfed the waves behind our boat.

We didn’t even know where to look, as there were so many dolphins in every direction! It was simply impressive and definitely my most adventurous encounter with dolphins in Lagos

We stayed for a while, with dolphins jumping up really close to our boat. It seemed like they were doing a show for us and they enjoyed it a lot showing us how high they could jump.

It was really special seeing so many dolphins together, swimming in the sea and just enjoying their life! 

After this magical encounter, it was time to return back to Lagos. We were west from Lagos, so on the way back we actually drove past some of the main attractions of the coast, like Praia da Luz, Praia Porto de Mós and of course the famous Ponta da Piedade. Our skipper also decided to show us how much power the boat really had!

He went full-speed in front of the beautiful beaches of Lagos, doing steep curves and slides that made us scream with excitement!

It actually felt like riding on a rollercoaster and was definitely a fun ending to this incredible dolphin watching tour in Lagos!

Wild dolphins in the middle of the sea…

Shortly before we reached the entrance to the Marina, the boat slowed down and we were back to “reality”.

After coming off the boat, it actually felt like we had been in a different place for the duration of the tour and were now landing in real life again.

This dolphin watching tour in Lagos was definitely a highlight for me and my friend. The sheer amount of wild dolphins we found and the fun rollercoaster boat ride on the way back in front of the fascinating coastline of Lagos was an unforgettable experience. If you’re on holidays in Lagos, make sure you don’t miss our on this unique boat trip!

Our travel tips for a short trip to Madeira

We went on a 3-day trip to Madeira, a Portuguese island in the middle of the Atlantic. Well, not exactly in the middle, as it’s less than a 2-hour flight from Lisbon, but it feels like the middle of the Atlantic 🙂 We did this trip to get to know the island a bit better and check out the best sea experiences for you!

Madeira‘s truly a natural gem. It’s the ideal holiday destination if you need some contact with nature in its purest state. On Madeira, you’ll find very steep and green mountains but also a very impressive coastline. The weather in Madeira is very pleasant all year round and the water temperatures are way nicer than on the Portuguese mainland, being around 20ºC.

Here’s a little guide for if you’re planning a short trip to Madeira and like active and more radical experiences, like we do.

You’ll be impressed by such a pure nature

When is the best time to Madeira Island, Portugal:

We did our trip to Madeira in June. We had great weather and very good sea conditions. However, it was already rather crowded with tourists. As some of the locals, we met told us, as the weather on Madeira is good all year round, you might want to book offseason. From October to April, you’ll find fewer people, better prices for your accommodation and flights and friendlier locals!

As long as you’re not looking to spend the whole holidays enjoying the sun while relaxing by the pool and the beach, you might prefer to risk some cloudier days and book offseason. Not convinced yet? Read this article we wrote with 9 reasons why you should visit Madeira in the Fall or Winter season.

How to get to Madeira Island, Portugal:

You can get to Madeira from the main airports in Europe. Frequent low-cost flights to Madeira are operated by EasyJet, Smartwings, Binter Canarias, TAP and British Airways are only a few of them. You can fly from Lisbon, Paris, Prague, London, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Gran Canaria, and others. Of season, from November to April, you can find return flights from Lisbon to Madeira from 35€ per person.

You can also get to Madeira from the Algarve, the South of Portugal, by ferry. The ferry from Portimão to Madeira runs from July to September and is part of the Poritmão – Canaries route. Portimão-Funchal runs on Tuesdays at 14h30 and arrives by 14h30 on Wednesday. Prices for the ferry from Portimão to Funchal start at 85€ per person. You can find all the details here.

Madeira’s green mountains

Where to stay on Madeira Island, Portugal:

On our trip, we stayed at Hotel Alto Lido, near the city of Funchal. It’s a nice place to stay if you look for a central location with some nice beaches at walking distance and many restaurants nearby. To get from this hotel to Funchal, there’s a free shuttle service

If you prefer a more urban experience, staying in Funchal, Madeira’s capital city is a good idea. Here, you can find many hotels, hostels and AirBnBs for all budgets. 

Personally, I’d recommend staying a bit “off the beaten track” and look for an Airbnb in a town besides Funchal, like Camara de Lobos or Porto Moniz for example. But choosing where to stay really depends on the experience you’re looking for. 

Renting a car in Madeira is a great idea

How to get around on Madeira Island, Portugal:

In our case, we were looking to discover most of the island, on a short holiday, so hiring a car was the best option. We booked a car with Driving Madeira. The whole experience was just perfect. We opted for pick-up and drop-off at the airport. Highly recommended!

But be prepared, the island has very steep mountains, curvy and narrow roads, long tunnels, and sometimes bad visibility due to fog. As such, we only recommend hiring a car if you are an experienced and confident driver. And because of the steep mountains, we recommend hiring a car with some more horsepower.

Taxis around the island are a good option, especially if you are on holiday in a small group (up to 4). You can even rent a taxi for a full day! Daily rates start at 80 € and give you the possibility to stop at any attraction for as long as you want. And the driver can even give you some tips!

Regarding public transport, there are plenty of bus routes around the island, especially on the Southside. Here you can check timetables and routes. There’s no train, tram or metro on Madeira.

Our favorite means of transport on an island is of course by boat. By boat, you can discover the coastline of Madeira. If you would like to discover Porto Santo island and Desertas islands, there are some boat tours on Madeira that take you there or the ferry

To get to the starting point of the activities on Madeira, like the boat tours, surf lessons and canyoning, you can also opt for a transfer service provided by the tour provided (sometimes even included in the experience price).

SUP is a very peaceful way to explore the coast of Madeira
SUP is a very peaceful way to explore the coast of Madeira

Things to do on Madeira Island, Portugal:

We can’t deny, our favorite things to do in Madeira are of course sea experiences. Oh well, also mountain and culinary experiences!

Here are the things to do on Madeira that we recommend for active travelers who can’t sit still and just want to explore as much nature as possible during their holidays:

Whales are usually a bit shyer than dolphins but some come really close by
Whales are usually a bit shyer than dolphins but some come really close by

Dolphin and whale watching in Madeira

Dolphin and whale watching in Madeira is an unforgettable experience for the whole family in the middle of the Ocean. We were lucky enough to find 3 different species on one single tour! This boat trip is more than just watching these magical creatures. With the local guides and marine biologists, you’ll get to know a lot about cetaceans (dolphins and whales). You can read about our experience here.

Swimming with wild dolphins is a very special experience that we recommend to all you sea-lovers!
Swimming with wild dolphins is a very special experience that we recommend to all you sea-lovers!

Swimming with dolphins in Madeira

Swimming with dolphins in Madeira is more than just watching them very closely. The swimming with dolphins experience is done during the whale and dolphin watching trip. You’ll come on board on one of our two Rigid Inflatable Passenger Boats (RIB) and be taken out to the dolphins and whales. The swimming is only done with Common Dolphins. We found a very big pod of Common Dolphins that were very curious when we got into the water. This was surely one of the most remarkable experiences of my life. You can read all the details about our experience here.

SUP tour in Madeira
Join a fun SUP tour in Garajau

SUP tour in Madeira

SUP, or Stand Up Paddle boarding, is a fun way to explore the coastline. We did this SUP tour just before heading back to the airport. SUP is great because you can enjoy the sea quietly and get a different view of the island of Madeira from a sea view perspective. On this guided tour, you’ll enjoy the local beauty and lush landscape of the island, often merely limited to other types of vessel. We did the tour in Garajau Nature Reserve and had a very nice time with Roberto, the guide. You can read about our experience SUPping here.

A GoPro is a fun idea for some unique sea-selfies!

Coasteering on Madeira

Never heard of coasteering? Coasteering will boost your adrenaline while exploring the coast of Madeira. Coasteering involves swimming, climbing, cliff-jumping, hiking and A LOT of fun! This was our first activity, as soon as we landed. We were picked up by Francisco and his team and were taken to the most amazing places in a natural reserve near Ponta de São Lourenço. After a brief introduction about what we will do during the tour, we’re ready for a true adventure. You can read about our experience here (by Fábio).

It's hard to take pictures of the immense beauty!
It’s hard to take pictures of the immense beauty!

Canyoning in Madeira

Canyoning is the best activity if you’d like to explore Madeira’s green mountains. We did a full-day experience around “Levada do Alecrim” and never felt so close to nature! Canyoning involves hiking, climbing, and rappelling (abseiling) done on a rope. You’ll discover amazing waterfalls in the mountains of Madeira and jump into crystal-clear waters and slide down fun natural water slides. Be prepared to explore the most hidden places, and be impressed by nature in its purest state! You can read about our experience here.

Lapas, Espetadas and Bolo do Caco

The best restaurants in Madeira Island, Portugal:

Trying out some local food is also one of our favorite things to do on Madeira. And of course, the more authentic, the better!

Seafood at “Muralhas Bar”, Caniçal

This place was recommended to us by our coasteering guides when we asked for “a local place with good and affordable seafood”. And this is exactly what we got. We had some delicious local “lapas” and octopus. Exactly what we needed after our exciting moments doing coasteering!

Welcome to Taberna da Serra

Poncha and local sandwiches at “Taberna da Serra”, Ribeira Brava

We had a snack and some drinks after the canyoning experience. We had had a cereal bar during the experience to keep up the energy levels but after 5 hours in the mountains, we were very hungry! The “pork, garlic and wine” sandwich and the passionfruit “poncha” were amazing, as well as the omelette sandwich. And to make it even tastier, the view was incredible!

Craft beer and seafood at “Beerhouse”, Funchal 

For you beer-lovers out there, the Beerhouse is a must. You can try many different craft beer here, from Madeira, Portugal mainland and also international ones. You’ll be served by very friendly and knowledgeable waiters while enjoying the local tastes of Madeira and enjoying the view over Funchal. We recommend the “Açorda de Lagosta com Gambas” and the passion fruit mousse!

Maktub at Paúl do Mar

Sunset and fresh fish at “Maktub”, Paúl do Mar

Maktub was surely our culinary highlight on Madeira. We were welcomed by the owner, Fábio, and drank a delicious Mojito while the sun was peacefully setting in the horizon of the Atlantic Ocean. We were asked if we’d prefer vegan, vegetarian or fish. We opted for fish and were surprised by the “menu do dia”.

Every morning, Fábio drinks coffee with the local fishermen of Paúl do Mar and buys the fish they caught and that is the fish that will be on the menu for the day! We had amazing ceviche and grilled fish in the oven. The desert and wine were also delicious! The environment at Maktub is very easy-going, like a beach bar. We had a great evening and will surely be back the next time we visit Madeira! 

Fábio, the friendly owner of “Maktub”

Skewers at “O Lagar”, Câmara de Lobos

OK, this might not be the most authentic restaurant on Madeira, but we had very good food and wine. The decoration of “O Lagar” is designed for tourists, the theme is clearly “Madeira”. We sat on the cosy patio and had the traditional skewers. I’m not sure if we prefered the skewers or the amazing Bolo do Caco with garlic butter we had as a starter!

Beef sandwich at “Casa de Pasto das Eiras”, Caniço

This place was recommended to us by Roberto, the guide of our epic SUP Tour. We were looking for a light meal after the tour and before heading to the airport. We had very nice sandwiches with omelette and “prego” – beef, served with fries. Next time we visit the island, we’ll come back to Casa de Pasto to try some of the freshly grilled dishes they serve. It smelled so good! It’s a really basic restaurant, that in Portuguese, we’d call a “tasca”. It’s not about the ambience, but about the quality of the food 😉

Whale watching is a very remarkable experience on Madeira
To see such a huge animal as a whale in the wild is a unique experience

We had a great time on this lovely island. We can’t wait to come back with more time, so we can also discover the “Desertas” islands and Porto Santo too! We strongly recommend Madeira as a holiday destination for nature lovers of every age and also families!

We hope these tips will inspire you to book your trip to Madeira! Feel free to share any further tips or to let ask us any questions. Enjoy Madeira!

SUP Benagil

SUP vs Kayak to Benagil

How to choose: SUP or kayak to Benagil

The Benagil cave is one of the most famous sea caves in the Algarve. You can visit it by boat, SUP or kayak. If you’re with an active group of people looking to visit the Benagil cave, a kayak or SUP tour should be on top of your list. Both tours allow you to get off in the Benagil cave, while on a boat tour, you stay in the boat.

But what is the best choice for you to visit Benagil cave? Let us show you by comparing SUP vs Kayak to Benagil

SUP or kayak to Benagil

The epic Benagil cave is just one of the many caves of the region

SUP to Benagil

Joining a SUP Tour to visit Benagil is a super fun way to visit the famous caves. Have you ever tried SUP before? It’s short for Stand-Up Paddleboarding, and it’s very easy to learn. You stand or knee on one of the big SUP Boards and use a paddle to move in the water.

Even if you have never done SUP before, it’s no problem. The SUP guides will always give you a little introduction at the beach about what you need to know. After that, it’s just up to you to grab your board and start paddling.

A Tour to do SUP to Benagil is perfect because you can really access the cave. By going by SUP to Benagil, you can explore also the region just around the Benagil cave with its beautiful beaches. SUP to Benagil also allows us to get really close the Algarve coast.

During a SUP Tour to Benagil, we can even paddle through some arches and grottos! It’s a real adventure. And the best thing is that you also stay very fit while doing SUP – it’s a great exercise for core, legs and arms. Whenever it gets too hot, just jump in the water and after you can easily climb on the board again!

SUP to Benagil is a great choice for people looking for a new challenge or even all SUP-lovers out there. The SUP Tours to Benagil are only done as long as the sea conditions are nice and calm, so you don’t have to worry about the waves. With the Stand-Up paddling, you can also go to the little beach inside the Benagil cave. 

You can join the Stand-Up Paddle tour to Benagil in the morning or in the afternoon. We even have a sunrise SUP Tour to Benagil, which is the perfect way to visit the caves. Early in the morning, you can admire the cave without the masses of tourists and boats.

Kayak to Benagil

Choosing a Kayak tour to Benagil is also a great way to visit the cave. Going by Kayak to Benagil is a lot of fun for the whole family. On our kayak tours to Benagil, there is always a support boat next to it. This makes it a great choice for groups where some might not want to kayak and prefer staying on the boat.

Kayaking is very easy and you don’t need any previous experience for it. You sit comfortably in the sea kayak together with one more person usually and paddle together to explore the Algarve coastline. Admire the beautiful caves around Benagil beach.

Each kayak takes 2 people

Each kayak takes 2 people

On our boat and kayak tour to Benagil, the biggest part of the tour is done by boat. Once you get closer to Benagil, you can switch over to the kayak and get really close to the caves and grottos.

Let the guide show you secret passages in the rock formations and take you to hidden caves and grottos. With the kayak, you can also access the beach inside the Benagil cave! That’s why it’s a great choice to visit the famous Benagil cave by kayak! And of course, you also stay fit and get a nice tan during the kayak to Benagil. 

Benagil boat tour in Algarve

The Benagil Cathedral is just one of the many impressive caves of the area

SUP vs Kayak to Benagil

Alright, as you can see, both a SUP or Kayak Tours to Benagil have a lot of great arguments for it. But what should you choose? A tour to do SUP or Kayak to Benagil

It really depends on the type of person you are and the group of people you are looking to do the tour with! If you are looking to visit Benagil cave with a group or family, that is generally quite active and love sporty adventures, we can highly recommend choosing the SUP to Benagil cave.

However, if somebody on your group doesn’t want to do something too tiring or even if you are travelling with little kids, then kayak to Benagil is the perfect choice for you. There you always have the option to get back to the boat or just stay on board while the ones who want go out exploring the coastline!

But in the end, both SUP and Kayak to Benagil promise to be a lot of fun and a great experience during your holidays in the Algarve! If you need more help making up your mind, just send us an e-mail to [email protected]!