Lagos in Portugal: A Complete Travel Guide
Updated: Nov 16
Want to visit the Algarve but don't know where you want to base yourself from? Lagos in Portugal is the perfect choice for you. It is a charming port town that boasts dramatic natural scenery. Thanks to its proximity to beautiful beaches and the historic town center, it is not surprising that many travelers fall in love with Lagos. However, despite its popularity, this town has been able to retain its authentic Portuguese character.
Check out our video on Lagos to get a sense of what it's like there!
Where is Lagos and how to get there?
Lagos is situated in southern Portugal's Algarve region. The easiest way to get there if you come from outside Lisbon is by plane. You can fly to Faro airport and from there go to Lagos. From Lagos, there are direct busses and trains to both Faro and Lisbon, but there are only a few per day. Private transport is also an option, while being more expensive it is sometimes the easiest way to get from Faro's airport to Lagos. Here you can find more information on how to get from Lisbon to Lagos.
Important things to know before you go to Lagos in Portugal
The best time to visit Lagos is from May until June. In the summer it can get very warm so that's why spring is better. However, if you mostly enjoy staying at the beach and swimming, the summer might be best!
Lagos is a very safe travel destination, the only dangerous situations you might encounter are nature-related. Be careful in the water and especially when the waves are strong because there are lots of rocks.
Find more tips in the graphic below (and feel free to pin it!)
Where to eat and drink in Lagos
Portugal is known for its amazing cuisine. From delicious seafood dishes to pastéis de nata, there is something for everyone. Since Lagos is located along the sea, most of the local dishes are with fresh fish. It is a touristic city so there are a lot of restaurants but we'll show you our favorites.
Best restaurants in Lagos:
If you're a burger fan Nah Nah Bah will be heaven for you. It is named one of the best burger places in the world. Nah Nah Bah also has amazing sangria and some craft beers and wine.
Living the healthy life? Poké Lagos is the perfect place for you. They have a wide range of poké bowls or you can build your own bowl with all your favorite ingredients. Poké Lagos also has homemade drinks, elixirs, and smoothie bowls.
Want to try local dishes? You should go to Ala do Castelo and Dos Irmãos. They have excellent seafood and local dishes such as "Cataplana" which is like a Portuguese fish stew.
Best bars in Lagos:
Are you a cocktail fan? Black Cat has a 2 for 1 deal on cocktails. Everyone is very nice here and the music is great. If you want to have a fun evening with amazing cocktails this is the bar to be.
Three Monkeys is the most iconic bar in Lagos. Chilled afternoon happy-hours, early evening sundowners with live music and party until late with the friendliest crowd.
Things to do in Lagos
We stayed in Lagos for a week and loved it. There are multiple things to do when you're visiting Lagos in Portugal but we will highlight our absolute favorites. If you want to learn more about other places in the country, you can also check out our Portugal Travel Guide.
6. Hit The Beach
Due to its year-round pleasant weather, one of the best things to do in Lagos is to hit the beach. Characterized by flanking rocky cliffs, hidden coves, and white sand, Lagos is home to many beaches that are perfect to relax and swim in. Our favorite beaches for swimming include the sandy Duna Beach, the beautiful Praia de Dona Ana, Praia dos Estudantes, Praia da Batata, and Praia do Camilo.
5. Explore Downtown Lagos
The downtown of Lagos is home to whitewashed houses and narrow cobbled streets, filled with cozy restaurants and cafés. This is all within partially-contained 16th-century walls. It’s just fun to wander around, have a bite or drink, and relax. But if you want to learn a bit more about Lagos’ past, you can also visit an old fort (forte da Ponte da Bandeira), the iconic churches (Santo Antonio or Santa Maria Church), or one of the museums, for example Museu de Lagos dr. josé formosinho. It’s also a pleasure to roam around the traditional houses and check out the pretty harbour.
4. Walk The Cliffs
Starting at Praia do Pinhao, you can walk 3 kilometers of coastal cliffs all the way to the famous Ponta da Piedade. Winding above eccentric limestone formations and through diverse flora and fauna, this trail is truly special. Adventure lovers will find joy in getting lost and then navigating their way back to the path throughout the route. Even though the trail is not well-marked, you can just keep walking south the whole time along the cliffs and you’ll make it to Ponta da Piedade. Don’t get too close to the cliffs, they are limestone and can erode easily. When hiking in the Algarve always make sure you have enough water with you, it can get very warm during the day.
3. Watch the most beautiful sunset in Portugal at Ponta da Piedade
Sitting 3.5 kilometers from the city center of Lagos, Ponta da Piedade is one of the most amazing natural sites to see in the area. Jagged limestone cliffs and hidden caves take center stage while pounding waves make beautiful music in the background. There is a boardwalk as well as small cliff trails that line the edges, winding around the magnificent lighthouse. We recommend arriving at the point an hour or so before sunset. In this way, you can get a little exercise in before rewarding yourself with one of the most beautiful sunset spots in all of Portugal!
Adventure Begins Mug
Made by: Gentlemen's hardware store
2. Do a "grutas" boat tour or kayak tour
There are hundreds of caves and strange rock formations that go along the coast from Batata Beach to Ponta da Piedade. While it’s fun to walk along the top of the cliffs, it’s even more impressive to see them from the ocean level. You have a few options for guided tours of these special cliffs. You can either go on a guided kayak or boat tour that leaves from downtown Lagos. While the kayak is more adventurous, it can also be a little rough because of weather conditions! book your own kayak or boat tour to the caves.
1. Plan a day trip to Benagil cave
Located about 35 kilometers from Lagos, The Benagil Cave is an amazing natural attraction in the Algarve. You can get to the cave by rental car or by boat tour directly from Lagos. Keep in mind that if you choose the boat tour, you won’t be able to see the inside of the cave since the boat is too big. That’s why we recommend renting a car or scooter to get to the cave and then renting a kayak at the beach itself. This will allow you to enter the inside of one of the most beautiful caves you’ll ever see. If you prefer not being alone at sea, we recommend taking a guided kayaking tour. With three limestone openings that have been formed over millions of years, the Benagil cave is something out of this world!
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More Helpful Info About Lagos in Portugal
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