Andrew had a 5-day weekend so we decided to pop on over to Spain’s neighbor, Portugal. We left Rota early on Friday morning and arrived shortly after noon Portugal time in Albufeira. After the 3.5 hour drive, we were seeking ultimate relaxation. We decided to spend the rest of Friday soaking up the Portuguese sun while sipping a little Sangria poolside at the hotel and voila; ultimate relaxation was achieved and our vacation began. If I wanted to lose all of my readers and give everyone terrible nightmares, I’d post pictures of my pale self in a swimsuit. However, I’ll spare you all. You’re welcome.
On Saturday morning, we ventured off 45 minutes west to Lagos. Our first stop in Lagos took us to Ponta da Piedade. Ponta da Piedade is a place that has beautiful, golden cliffs and grottos scattered with beaches. When we first arrived, we walked along the top of the cliffs. The views were absolutely breathtaking. My pictures do not do it justice.
I’m sure that seeing the views from that peak would have been phenomenal, but I could not bring myself to climb to the top of it. There’s just something about being one wrong foot placement away from plummeting into the water that doesn’t sit with me well. But, I know someone who doesn’t mind risk-taking much.
He’s a fearless fella, that man.
To get to the bottom of the cliffs, there are hundreds of steep steps to get to the water.
At the bottom of the steps, there are several small boats.
The boats are there with tour guides just waiting to take you through the grottos. Our 30-minute tour was only 10 euro per adult and 5 euro per child. It was totally worth it.
Don’t be jealous, but yes; this was our handsome tour guide. Hubba, hubba!
Taking this tour was one of the coolest things I’ve done since bathing in wine in Hakone, Japan. By the way, those are just two reasons out of more than a million why any military family, given the opportunity, should giving living overseas a whirl.
When I saw this opening in the rock, I thought there was no way we could fit. Then, he started steering us in that direction and sure enough, we just barely squeezed through.
Can you see the side view of King Kong?
Can you find the rock elephant?
After we took our amazing grotto tour, we were off to Lagos’ Old Town for a little shopping and dinner.
The main shopping street is just across from the Marina packed with lovely little taxi boats like these. They also had grotto tour boat guides available here with bigger boats and the small ones like the ones we chose.
The streets are lined with colorful cafes and shops. It was hard for us to choose where to eat considering you could get just about any type of food imaginable from Italian, American, Indian, Spanish or Portuguese.
Leaving Lagos’ Old Town we saw the Igreja de Santa Maria church. Twas beautiful. Lagos stole my heart and I will be going back!
If you’re living in Rota, Spain and wondering how to get to Lagos, I assure you it’s such a simple drive. Click here for directions from Rota Naval Base to Lagos, Portugal. Once you’re in Lagos and looking for a way to navigate your way through the city, SimplyLagos.com offers free printable handy maps to help you do just that. Note the location of the Tourist Office. They will be able to help you make the most out of your stay in Lagos. Most likely someone there will know how to speak English. Happy traveling!