As resorts go, Praia do Vau is one of those small but perfectly formed places. Set on the western Algarve in Portugal, it’s a laid-back little number that comes with just a clutch of restaurants. In the old days, rich Portuguese families used to flock here in summer – now it’s more Brit families and some of the country’s celebs looking for a bit of downtime.
The beach is also a big part of Praia do Vau’s appeal. The golden-sand stretch is divvied into 2 bays, both protected by dramatic cliffs. You’ve got sunloungers and shades for hire, while the waters by the shore are calm, shallow and paddle-friendly. There are a few restaurants here for when you need snacks.
Praia do Vau takes things easy, so walks around here are strolls rather than strenuous hikes. At low tide, you can get right across the sand to next-door Praia da Rocha – it takes about 20 minutes, with plenty of rock pools and coves to explore on the way. Or you can take to the cliffs towards Praia de Alvor.
Daytrips to Lagos
A 45-minute bus ride gets you to Lagos. The old town is a maze of criss-cross streets filled with boutiques. There’s a museum and church to explore, as well as a one-time slave market that’s now a gallery. Down at the marina, you can relax at one of the restaurants or book up for a dolphin-spotting boat trip.
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