The coast of Lagos, Portugal

In June 2023, I went on a solo holiday for a week to the Algarve in Portugal. This was in fact my first ever time in mainland Portugal, having visited Madeira before back in December for Nomad Island Fest. This time I was back in Portugal for another festival – Afro Nation. I’d previously been to Afro Nation back in 2019 in Accra, Ghana, where I had a job managing a team of videographers and photographers. That was such a fun experience, the work as well as the live music and atmosphere.

Afro Nation had originally started in Portugal, so now I finally had a chance to come and visit it there, just as an attendee this time, not working. So, I bought tickets for this 3-day festival and decided to build it into a one-week holiday to make the most of the trip, since I’d never been to this location before and I wanted to explore it. I spent one night in Faro, then 3 nights in Lagos, then my final 3 nights in Portimão, which is where Afro Nation was being held. I will do a separate post on Afro Nation, so let me focus on the first half of my holiday in this entry.

Stunning artwork on a building in Faro, Portugal

I was very interested in visiting Lagos, Portugal. I didn’t really know much about it, except that it gave its name to the very populous city of Lagos in Nigeria, which I’ve also visited before and it’s near where my family is from. I heard that Portuguese Lagos is meant to be nice, so I was intrigued to check it out, especially since it meant I could now say I’ve visited both Lagoses, hehe!

I flew into Faro, which is the airport for the region of Algarve, and got in late so I spent one night at HI Faro – Pousada de Juventude, a decent basic hostel with complimentary breakfast. I wasn’t here in Faro for long, but I walked around a bit to explore. I loved the hot weather, so was happy with that. When I asked the helpful hostel receptionist about how to get to Lagos, that’s when I’d discovered I’d been pronouncing that Portuguese city wrong all along! I was much more familiar with Nigerian Lagos, which is pronounced “Laygoss”, and I’d assumed that since Portuguese Lagos was spelt the same, it would sound the same too – but nope, is actually pronounced “Largush”. You really learn something new every day, eh!

The living room in Boutique Taghostel in Lagos, Portugal

Then I took a bus to from Faro to Lagos to arrive at my next destination. I realised that Portugal has its own special style of pavement that is very pretty much very cobbled. I had a small suitcase on this trip, but it wasn’t very fun rolling it over these cobbles! So, I had in mind that I’ll stick to a backpack next time I come to Portugal.

I got to my hostel, Boutique Taghostel, which I’d booked in advance. I found on Hostelworld that there are quite a lot of hostels in Lagos to choose from, but I went for this one as they were quite helpful when I’d enquired by email about staying for Afro Nation (I later ended up getting a closer accommodation during the festival, but more on that in a separate post). Plus, they were well-rated and looked like they had great facilities. I stayed in a dorm of 4 with separate bathrooms and it was all very pretty and clean. I liked how homely this hostel was, as it is fairly smallish with a lot of quirky decorations about the place. It is owned by a woman called Filipa, and she and her two staff were very friendly and helpful in my time there. There’s a small kitchen, but I didn’t use it since I was on holiday and only there a few days, so I just dined out and had takeaways. There’s also a living room that was nice to chill or work in, plus an outdoor courtyard that is fab to sit outside in when the weather is warm but comfortable. Here, on one of the nights I was there, they had a group dinner that all the guests are invited to join and bring their food to. This was a nice opportunity to meet and chat to other people.

Street in Lagos, Portugal

Overall, I had a lovely time in Lagos, Portugal, checking out the city and the various stunning beaches and cliffs. There is plenty to see, it’s very chilled out and you can easily go swimming and sunbathing. I had a wonderful vacation here and I’d definitely return!

I shall let you peruse my gallery below and let me know what you think of how it looks!

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