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Portugal (Day 3): A Quiet Waterfront Walk in Lagos & the Lazy Coastal Town of Tavira

Summary: After two packed days in the Algarve, we enjoyed a sleepy third day which much more resembled the area's natural pace. The day started with a morning waterfront walk in Lagos, a quiet cup of coffee in old town Lagos, followed by an afternoon in the coastal town of Tavira. We ended our day with stop at Praia da Coelha just outside of Albufeira then enjoyed cocktail hour in old town Carvoeiro.


Morning Walk in Lagos. During our March trip to Lagos, the town was nearly empty of tourists. While we had the uncertainty of rain, the trade-off was being able to enjoy this lovely spot without the crowds. On our third day in the Algarve, we slowed down our pace considerably by starting with a quiet morning walk. From the central district, we headed out to riverfront and followed the path to the coast.

Once we reached the coast we continued East where we caught more views of the Algarve's trademark coastline. Afterwards, we circled back to the central district of Lagos and enjoyed a cappuccino and a Pastéis de Nata.

Tavira. On the Eastern side of the Algarve, nearly to the border of Portugal and Spain, sits the small fishing village of Tavira. Truthfully, we picked our visit here nearly at random. We knew we wanted to head East for the day and this white-washed quant town seemed good as any to stop and explore. As it turns out, it's a bit of a hidden gem located just 75 minutes from Lagos.


After the 1755 earthquake that destroyed much of the Algarve (and other parts of Portugal), Tavira was rebuilt with the area's trademark clay tile roofs. A Roman Bridge (first photo below), survived the earthquake and was the starting point of our walk through central Tavira.

Igreja da Misericórdia de Tavira. On our walk through central Tavira, we stumbled across this beautiful renaissance-era Church. Inside, the walls are lined with Azulejo (Portuguese tile). Buy a pass to the bell tower for a view of the City below.

Praia da Coelha. On our drive back we took a more scenic, indirect route that passed through Albufeira. This town, during the summer, is known for a robust night-life. In March though, it was just as sleepy as the rest of the Algarve. On the Western side of the town sits the beautiful Praia da Coelha. Deserted only because of the time of year, this beach ordinarily hosts large crowds.

Cocktail Hour. Our final stop of the day was in Carvoeiro for a cocktail and beach view. We had passed through here the day before and wanted to return to this spot to watch the sunset and enjoy a cocktail and some tapas. It was the perfect quiet ending to a chill day in the Algarve.

About the Algarve. Located in the Southern coastline of Portugal, the Algarve region is known for beautiful beaches with impressive rock formations, white-washed fishing villages, and great Portuguese cuisine. Depending on where you visit, it is only 2.5 to 3 hours from Lisbon by car.


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