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Portugal - Portimão and Lagos

Updated: Apr 14, 2023




The Algarve is the southern coastal part of Portugal. It is approximately 3 hours south of Lisbon. The beaches are beautiful and the weather is temperate in the shoulder seasons (March and October/November). The high season is almost twice as expensive and there is definitely a tourist vibe. You will hear more English spoken on the streets and are more likely to be surrounded by people from Great Britain than Portuguese individuals. The appeal is easy to see. Wide golden beaches and lots of little cafes and bars to ensure that you never need to be thirsty or hungry. You can rent a beach umbrella for the day and relax to the sound of the waves. The water is very cold, but refreshing when the summer temperatures climb to the high 90s. We stayed at a beach spa and wellness resort in Lagos that was just off the water. They have many individual rental units with full kitchens and are 50 feet from the beach. The location was ideal but not something we would pay for during the high season. There are many restaurants and cafes along the cliffs that look down over the water.


Restaurante F

Edificio Falésia, Av. Tomás Cabreira, 8500-802 Portimão, Portugal +351 919 115 512 restaurante-f.negocio.site


Gluten free, dairy free options, reservations recommended, family friendly, nice patio, date night, parking limited to local public lots as this restaurant is in a pedestrian area.


Restaurant F specializes in seafood as do most of the eateries along the coast. Their patio overlooks Praia Da Roche beach and the view is really nice. The managers are very familiar with food sensitivities and know what can be offered although some of the waitstaff were not very knowledgeable. The cocktails were refreshing and there were lots of choices. They had delicious gluten free bread and were the only restaurant that offered olive oil in place of butter for the bread. We ordered the fresh fish and a mixed greens salad — monkfish and sea bass and it was delicious.





Antonio’s

Av. Fernão de Magalhães, Lagos, Portugal +351 282 763 560 FaceBook page "Restaurante O António”


Gluten free, dairy free options, reservations recommended, family friendly, not loud-large patio, fit for foodies, date night, parking in a public lot adjacent to the beach.


Antonio’s is on the beach (Praia da Porto de Mós) in Lagos. We walked down from our resort while we were waiting for our rooms to be ready. The staff is very knowledgeable about food sensitivities but they did not have gluten free bread. We got our stand by, olives, and a jug of the house vinho verde. Vinho verde is a young white wine that is similar to sauvignon blanc. On this occasion it was sparkling, and it was delicious. We ordered a shrimp curry and a monkfish stew and they were SO good. We were starting to realize that the portions in Portugal are large and we could order one entree and share it but where’s the fun in that? The curry was not overpowering and not spicy. The monkfish stew had several mussels and clams in it for flavoring, almost like a bouillabaisse. The base was a tomato broth and so flavorful that it’s making my mouth water as I remember it. They also had lots of desserts for those who can eat dairy. My husband got a lemon meringue pie that he said was amazing and I got lemon and mango gelato that was vegan. The gelato was mostly fruit and not too sweet.





Don Sebastião

R. 25 de Abril 20-22, 8600-763 Lagos, Portugal +351 282 780 480 restaurantedonsebastiao.com


Gluten free, dairy free options, reservations recommended, family friendly early, loud inside, nice outdoor patio, fit for foodies, date night, parking limited to public lots outside the pedestrian zone.


This restaurant is in downtown Lagos which is off of the beach. It is very quaint with a pedestrian only shopping area in the center of the town. This restaurant is in the middle of it all and serves authentic, local cuisine. Most of the menu is seafood, but if you are not a fan, they also have chicken, beef, and pork dishes. My husband had heard about the local speciality, cataplana de peixe, which is a type of fish stew named after the distinctive copper pot in which it is cooked and this is the place he was told he could get it. I ordered the sea bass and it was really mild and flavorful, as were the roasted veggies that accompanied it. If there would have been 6 people at our table, no one would have gone away hungry! They did not have gluten free bread, but they did have flaming chorizo and olives for an appetizer. The chorizo is doused with brandy and if you don’t let it burn off it has quite the kick to it. We had ordered a mixed salad, thinking it would come before the meal, but it came with the meal and there was no way we could eat it - what were we thinking? If you like seafood, we highly recommend this restaurant, and the cataplana.




Accommodations

Belmar Spa and Beach Resort, Estrada de Porto de Mós, 8600-513 Lagos Portugal +351 282 771 800 belmar@belmarresort.com, www.belmarresort.com

This resort has one, two, and three bedroom condos that come with breakfast, partial board, or full board. They have a spa and an adults-only pool, as well as three other pools on the property. It is a block from the water and we had a lovely ocean view from our room. The restaurant had one option for me for dinner - tuna steak on rice - and it was really delicious. They have gluten free bread and I had avocado toast for breakfast. It is 40% cheaper here in the off season which ends at the end of March, so check your dates and prices.










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