Hubby and i will spend a few days in Lisbon at the end of June, then go up to Porto for an 8-day hiking trip. We'll be hiking around the Douro Valley, Peneda-Geres National Park, and the Northern coast. (Booked inn-to-inn self-guided hiking trip with Portugal Green Walks.) Have a few days after to simply relax and would love swimming, sunning and good food. Warmer water rather than western-facing Atlantic beaches. Done research and Lagos and Tavira sound most intriguing. Since it will be high season I need to book soon. Could fly back to US via Faro. Thanks for your input!
I’ve read that the farther east you get, the warmer the water. So, with that logic, Tavira would be better. However, in July, none of the water is going to be warm. September sees the warmest water in the Algarve..
Bear in mind, the beaches in Tavira require a short boat trip. And, yes, you need to reserve ASAP. And, pretty much any place in the Algarve is going to be very, very crowded in July.
Tavira hasn’t been as developed as Lagos over the past 30 years and feels more Portuguese, as most Northern Europeans arrive in Faro and head west.
I find the sea in Lagos to be cold, even at the height of summer, as it’s the Atlantic, not the Med. It’s warmer in Tavira plus Tavira is less windy. I have been to Lagos in June and have been blown off the beaches and it has been windy enough to blow cutlery off a table one evening!
The disadvantage of Tavira is you need to take a boat the 5 minute ride to access the beach or go to Barril beach, about 3 miles west of Tavira, where you can walk to the beach. If you stayed in Santa Luzia west of Tavira, you could walk to Barril and it has several good restaurants.