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Located in the western part of the Algarve region, Lagos is the perfect base for exploring the best things to do in the Algarve region and beyond.
This guide will cover all of the best things to do in Lagos, Portugal, plus where to stay in Lagos, how to get to Lagos, and what you need to know before visiting.
Best things to do in Lagos
Ponte da Piedade
Ponte da Piedade is a gorgeous spot to enjoy either sunrise or sunset. It is also one of the most popular things to do in Lagos so tt gets extremely busy during the day when the tour buses arrive. I would recommend to avoid visiting at that time.
There is a small parking lot when you arrive with free parking by the lighthouse. Once you park, you can either head down the small set of stairs or walk along the path to the right to enjoy the view.
There is a small cafe on site where you can purchase food and drink to enjoy.
Praia do Camilo
Praia do Camilo is easily one of my favorite beaches in the Algarve region. A visit to Praia do Camilo is easily one of the best things to do in Lagos. While it is beautiful at any time of day, similar to Ponte da Piedade, I recommend visiting at sunrise or sunset to avoid the crowds. I visited during the off-season which meant gloomier weather but no crowds, which was amazing! We had the place completely to ourselves in November.
There is a small parking lots of park, and then a long winding staircase down to the beach – with perfect views the whole way down. When you get down to the beach, make sure to head to the left through the rocks for another small beachy area with gorgeous views.
If you’re hungry, stop by O’Camilo for a bite to eat with a great view of the beach!
Explore the other beaches of Lagos, Portugal
While I could continue to list out all of the nearby beaches, the list would go on and on. Here are a few of my other faves:
- Praia Dos Estudiantes
- Praia do Ana
Wander Lagos’ Old Town
Lagos has a quaint Old Town located within the walled cities. You will find most of my Lagos restaurant recommendations within these walls, but there are plenty of other great options outside of the walls (like Mosto wine bar & shop).
During the summer months (high season) the Old Town can get very busy, but during the off season it is calm and perfect for wandering.
Book a Kayak tour
Kayak tours in Lagos typically last approximately 2.5 hours and cost about €30. There are at least two different companies that run tours every half hour, so you can just head down to Praia da Batata (Potato Beach).
There are also plenty of other kayak options in the Algarve, like kayaking to Benagil Caves.
Try a pastéis de nata – a Portuguese custard tart
No visit to Lagos, or Portugal for that matter, is complete until you’ve enjoyed a traditional pasteis de nata (a Portuguese custard tart). You can find one at just about any bakery in Portugal for about a Euro a piece. They are best enjoyed in the morning, when they are warm and flaky coming out of the oven. Here are a few spots to grab a pasteis de nata in Lagos:
- Pastelaria Gomba
- Padaria Central
Things to do near Lagos, Portugal
Explore the coast outside of Lagos with the Seven Hanging Valley Trails Hike
The Seven Hanging Valleys Trail hike is one of the most popular hikes on the Algarve, and easily one of the top hikes in Portugal. This stunning 7 mile round trip coastal walk will take you through some of the most beautiful terrain that the Algarve has to offer. There are also plenty of options to do smaller sections of this hike, if a full day hike isn’t your idea of a fun time.
Check out my full guide to hiking the trail here
Book tour to the Benagil Caves
The only way to visit the Benagil Cave is by the water. This can be a kayak/SUP tour or a boat tour. You can book a boat tour (approximately 30 Euro each) with Taruga Tours.
While it is technically possible to view the cave from above on the Seven Hanging Valleys trail, there is not much that you can see.
Take a day trip to up the west coast
If you have a few days to spare in Lagos, I definitely recommend a trip up the west coast of Portugal. There is so much to see, and the beaches here are much more wild, with large waves and far less crowds. Here are a few beaches to check out that I enjoyed:
- Bordeira’s beach
- Praia do Amado
North of here you’ll find the town of Aljezur, and even further north the national park with miles and miles of coastline.
South of here is Sagres (more on this town below!). As a day trip you can drive from Lagos to the beaches near Bordeira, and then making your way to Sagres for sunset views before
Spend the day at Albandeira Beach
I think Albandeira Beach may have been my favorite beach of them all! However my opinion on this definitely could have been influenced by the warm temperatures, bright sunny skies and complete lack of other people on the beach. It is a small beach but it is an absolutely magical place to visit. If you’re looking to lay out and get a tan then you’ll want to head there a low tide, otherwise there won’t be much beach to lay on.
There is a small parking lot with free parking. It is just a short drive from the famous Praia da Marinha, so you can easily combine the two beaches in one day.
Take a day trip to Sagres
Sagres is located on the way western tip of Portugal. It is known for dramatic cliffs, high winds, and some of the best surf in Portugal. For this reason, it is primarily known as a laid back surf destination. If you’re interested in surfing, it is worth spending a night or two here.
Otherwise, it also makes a great day trip from Lagos. If you have your own car, it is only a 35-40 minute drive. There are also a number of buses that make the trip for just a few Euro. Although there is not much public transportation within Sagres, which may make it difficult to get around.
The main attraction in Sagres is the fort – the Fortaleza de Sagres. The entrance fee costs 4 euro per person, and offers some great views.
How to get to Lagos, Portugal
It is super easy to get from Lisbon to Lagos, with both self-drive and public transportation options available.
By far the easiest way to get to Lagos is by driving yourself. If you have your own car, great! If not, I highly recommend renting a car. Not only is this easiest way to get to Lagos, and the greater Algarve region, but it will also make getting around a lot easier. The drive from Lisbon to Lagos should take between 2 hours and 30 minutes and 3 hours, depending on traffic.
While there is no direct route from Lisbon to Lagos, traveling between the two cities by train is still affordable and easy to do. Total travel time ranges from 3 hours and 45 minutes to 4 hours and 30 minutes. Choosing between traveling by bus and train will really just come down to personal preference between the two modes of transportation.
When traveling by train from Lisbon to Lagos you will need to transfer in Tunes. Tickets typically range from 22 Euro to 24 Euro for a 2nd class fare, so only slightly more expensive than the bus.
Tickets, which should be booked ahead of time, can be purchased directly through the Comboios de Portugal website.
Traveling by bus is an easy and affordable way to get from Lisbon to Lagos safely. There is a direct bus between Lisbon and Lagos that takes around 3 hours and 45 minutes. Make sure to book the fastest route, because some routes take close to 5 hours.
Tickets can be booked directly through Rede Expressos, and should be booked in advance. You will also find a seasonal timetable on the same website. Tickets are typically around 20 Euro for a one way ticket to Lagos, and 35 Euro when purchasing a roundtrip ticket.
Where to stay in Lagos, Portugal
Luxury: Casa Mae, Tivoli Lagos
Mid-Range: Lagos Uptown Bed & Breakfast
Budget: Sensations Guesthouse
Best restaurants in Lagos, and nearby
- Casinha do Petisco – hands down my favorite restaurant in Lagos (we dined here multiple times during our trip). I recommend trying the traditional Cataplana. Cataplana is served in a big round dish like a steam cooker and is filled with all kinds of seafood. Here they serve it with potatoes on the side – perfect for dipping in the delicious sauce. The portions here are HUGE so sharing is never a bad idea.
- Travia – a newer wine bar in town, Travia serves only Portuguese natural wines. Plus, they have a selection of delicious tapas.
- O’Camilo – located very close to Ponta da Piedade in Lagos, O’Camilo has amazing seafood. There is a great heated outdoor seating area and a view over the beach. Hours are limited during the off-season, so make sure to check ahead.
- Adage Tipica A Forja – referred to locally as the Blue Door, this is another great (affordable) spot for seafood. It is one of the most popular restaurants in Lagos so expect a wait. I recommend the ordering a whole fish to enjoy.
- Coffee & Waves – a tiny coffee shop serving big surf vibes. Here you’ll find great options for breakfast, as well as coffee and tea drinks. These also sell an assortment of local natural wines.
Visiting Portugal? Here are some other articles to check out:
- Getting from Lisbon to Lagos, Portugal
- Best Restaurants in Lagos, Portugal
- First Timers Guide to Lisbon, Portugal
- 3 Days in Porto, Portugal