Monday, 31 December 2012

Lagos, Algarve - Midnight bar curfew from February?

Regrettably, this has been in the air for years.
Despite the economic crisis and the travails it has brought, Lagos Council seems hell bent on continuing to destroy what little remains of its night-life attraction. While I can sympathise with the issue of noise in the old town, it is a regrettable side effect of about the only economic raison d'etre for the town, at present.
Fishing is practically dead, the cost of parking is chasing people away from down-town shops, and this latest move will contribute to the slow death for the solo traveler business.
Lagos, for many years, has been on the European backpacker route for US and Antipodean travelers. One of the attractions has been the late night activity. This has generate substantial income for Lagos in terms of backpacker hostels, etc. It has also spread the word about the desirability of Lagos as a holiday destination.
Lagos is already suffering from a number of almost terminal hits.
I have never seen Lagos so quiet as over the past few days. Even the Vila Galé Hotel only had 20 to 30 cars in the car park over Christmas.
Meia Praia is empty. Usually there is the usual small crowd of folk from LisbonSeville etc. This year none!!!!
Lagos in the Algarve is dying. The local youth are moving away and it is not just because of the economic crisis.
I suspect, that in the absence of having money to spend, and to try to distract the populace from the fact that vast amounts of money do not appear to have been spent wisely in Lagos in recent years, the Council, with elections coming up in late 2013, are trying to push through a measure that will be popular with residents of the old town, irrespective of the economic consequences.
Given the increased cost and difficulty of getting to Lagos, what with ongoing train strikes, motorway tolls, reduce frequencies of flights to Faro, the prognosis for this town is not good.
I have always made an effort to promote and encourage folk to visit Lagos, but these latest measures are making me actively desist from promoting it.
I no longer can recommend Lagos as an ideal cost-effective destination for holidays.
I now prefer to encourage travelers to visit Lisbon, where there is still a night life, a greater range of things to do and tourist offers, and some great beaches at Oeiras, Carcavelos and Estoril. From there, it is also much easier to visit other parts of Portugal, than it is from Lagos.
In the Algarve, albeit the eastern end, it appears that Olhão and Monte Gordo are making a real effort to promote themselves as "visitor friendly destinations"!!