There are so many amazing things to do in Lagos, Portugal that choosing which to do and which to skip can be difficult. After spending some time in the stunning Lagos, I can say I have found the best things to do to make the most of your Algarve adventures.
Lagos is one of the most popular places to visit in Portugal’s Algarve region. Where the Algarve is the Southern coastline of Portugal known for its white sandy beaches, huge rock formations, and quaint villages. Along this coast, there are a ton of tiny towns and municipalities like Lagos that are worth a visit. Lagos has some of the most amazing cliff views and beaches in the Algarve and a visit here is a feast for the eyes.
If you are planning a visit to Lagos use this post to guide you on the top things to do in Lagos.
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12 Best Things to do in Lagos, Portugal
In This Post
Relax at Camilo Beach
Lagos is full of stunning beaches to admire and enjoy. One of the most gorgeous and enjoyable is Camilo Beach which is reachable by walking from the old town or by taking some sort of transportation like an Uber, bike, or bus. A visit to this beach is something that should be one everything list of things to do in Lagos to see and experience a stunning and magical place.
Many people flock to this beach during low tide because there is a ton of space to layout and enjoy the warm white sand and vivid blue waters. At around 12 o’clock it is quite full of people relaxing, swimming, and exploring. This is also because during low tide you can walk through the caves and tunnels on the shore.
What makes Camilo Beach so special is that there is not just a beach to explore but also a place to walk around and admire the views. Above the beach, there are some paths on the cliffs where you can walk along the edges and view the coastline, beach, and surrounding rock formations in awe.
View the Stunning Ponta da Piedade
Going to Ponta da Piedade is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Lagos. This is one of the most famous viewpoints in the Algarve and for good reason. It is located at the tip of Lagos and offers some of the most mesmerizing views of the unique rock formations, caves, and aqua waters. Ponta da Piedade can be explored by boat, kayak, or walking all of which offer their own unique viewpoint.
Walking the cliffs is one of the best ways to see this stunning site in its entirety. Upon arrival, you will find a plethora of paths all around Ponta da Piedade which all offer beautiful and unique views. One could easily spend an hour or two just taking in the beauty here and capturing far too many photos.
Walking the cliffs and taking in the various viewpoints is breathtaking. The land and rock formations of this region are unlike anywhere else on earth and experiencing it first hand is unbelievable. Any photos you capture here won’t even do the views justice, it’s something you have to see with your own eyes. In addition to walking the cliffs, you can also walk down the huge staircase and view the rocks and caves from below. This will have you feeling like a small speck amongst the huge cliffs.
You can get here either by walking from the old town (20-minute walk) or by taking transportation. This is the perfect last stop on a Lagos coastal walk I will expand on later in this post.
Explore Forte da Ponta da Bandeira
Forte da Ponta da Bandeira is an old fortress that was built in the late 17th century. This fortress was used as a defense for Lagos and is one of the best-preserved one’s today. It is a small square fortress that comes complete with a draw bridge, a moat, and a stunning titled chapel. A visit here to view its exterior, and interior, and is one of the more historically interesting things to do in Lagos.
Admire Praia dos Estudantes
Praia dos Estudantes is a stunning and magical beach in Lagos. It is located along the stretch of coastal beaches that make up Lagos’ shores and a walk through here is one of the best things to do in Lagos. It is not so popular for its water and relaxing beach day conditions, but for the unique stone bridge that can be seen be high in the cliffs.
The stone bridge gives this beach a super unique and charming feel and spotting it feels like discovering a hidden secret. The views from this beach with the huge cliffs and unique bridge make for the perfect photo opportunity too!
Explore Lagos Old Town
Like most old towns within Europe, the old town in Lagos is stunning on every street and around every corner. Exploring the whitewashed buildings, cobblestone streets and historical sights is one of the best things to do in Lagos. In the Lagos old town, you will surely fall in love with the beauty that you will discover.
One of the most lust-worthy aspects of the Lagos old town is the quiet streets accompanied by white buildings and bright flowers. Strolling through these streets is beyond enjoyable and you will surely want to have your camera on you. However, since Lagos can get quite warm in the afternoon it is best to explore the old town in the morning or in the evening and spend the afternoon near water in case you need to cool off.
Enjoy the Food
The food in Lagos is not something to miss. Enjoying the delicious dishes from the unique restaurants in the city is one of the best things to do in Lagos. There are a ton of restaurants in the city that serve a wide variety of different dishes. You can find local restaurants serving traditional Algarve food – mainly seafood, Italian, and more.
As a vegetarian or someone who likes to eat clean healthy food, Lagos is the perfect place for you. There are a few Bali inspired restaurants that fit with the surfer, coastal vibes of the municipality. The best one is Coffee and Waves where you can get fresh smoothie bowls, plant based lattes and more.
You also can’t forget to indulge in some gelato while in Lagos. There are gelato stands all around and they give huge servings!
Kayak the Coastline
One of the most popular ways to see Lagos’s magical and famous coastline is with a kayak. You can easily find a kayaking tour that will bring you all along the shores and show you some of the most amazing sights of the region. Plus, with a guide, you get first hand, professional information and can enter into some of the small caves. This is a great option if you are only in Lagos for a limited amount of time and want to see as much as possible and learn along the way.
Embark on a Coastal Walk
Since the entire shores of Lagos are made up of a number of different beaches, one of the best ways to see them all is by going on a coastal walk. A coastal walk is something you will embark on yourself and is best done when the tides are low! With a low tide, you can walk all along the shores from beach to beach without ever leaving the sand. However, when the tides are high you will have to walk above the beaches to ensure you don’t get stuck.
Coastal Walk Information
- Time: 2-3 hours
- Distance: 2.5 km
Going on a self-led coastal walk is one of the best things to do in Lagos and something I highly recommend. With this, you get to see all the best of Lagos beaches in an easy and exciting way. Below is a map of the beach walk that will bring you to the top beaches and sights in Lagos. Plus a map of the walking route if you opt for that!
Visit the Benagil Cave
Benagil Cave is one of the most famous sea caves in the Algarve. It is located in the small fishing village of Benagil and has become a very popular tourist attraction in recent years. The caves can be reached by car or bus from Lagos which takes around 45 minutes. However, once you see this stunning, unique rock formation it is all worth it!
Take Surfing Lessons or go Paddle Boarding
The Algarve is one of Europes best-kept secrets when it comes to surfing! In Lagos, you can find a ton of different beaches for surfing with waves for beginners, intermediates, and experts. There are also plenty of surf schools where you can get a surf board and learn to surf with a teacher!
This is a fun experience that will make you feel like you’ve left Europe and ended up somewhere in Asia! You can also go on a paddleboard and tour around the shores of Lagos this way.
Go on a Day Trip
Day trips from Lagos are very popular. Heading to one of the nearby villages to explore the new and exciting beauty is one of the top things to do in Lagos. Below are two of the top day trips from Lagos, however, there are plenty more to be had!
A day trip to Albufeira will show you one of the Algarve’s most charming cities. Albufeira is a small town full of white buildings, local shops, and an amazing nightlife scene. It is the perfect place to venture to if you are looking for a less touristy visit and want to enjoy more fun and upbeat Algarve experience. There are also a ton of amazing things to do in Albufeira that will keep you entertained for an entire day!
Albufeira can be reached by bus or car from Lagos and the journey takes around 1 hour by bus and 45 minutes by car.
From Lagos, you can also visit the famous Faro. This is where the airport in the Algarve is located so you will have most likely already stopped here. Faro is a historical old town full of beautiful buildings and an interesting past. A visit here from Lagos is a journey so expect to be driving or taking a bus for 1 hour or more.
View Igreja Paroquial de Santa Maria de Lagos
The Church of Santa Maria de Lagos (Igreja Paroquial de Santa Maria de Lagos) has been an important place of worship in Lagos since the 1400s. It is a simple yet historically significant church that is well worth a view while walking through the old town.
How to get to Lagos
By Plane: Take a plane to Faro Airport and hire a driver to bring you from Faro to Lagos. A driver will cost upwards of 50 euros and the drive takes over an hour.
By Car: You can rent your own car and arrive in Lagos in a few different ways. From other cities in Portugal, Spain, or from the airport. With your own car, you have the freedom to move around on your own.
By Train: Taking a train from Lisbon is a popular way to get to Lagos. The journey takes around 4 hours. You can also take a train from Faro which takes almost 2 hours.
Where to stay in Lagos
The best place to stay in Lagos is in the old town. Here you are close to all the excitement and can tour around with ease. However, you can find hotels and Airbnbs all around Lagos each with its own charm.
When to Visit Lagos
Lagos is a great year-round travel destination. It is the perfect place to visit in the winter to get a little warm and winter sun, and a great place to stretch your summer in the shoulder month of April – May, and September to October. The summer months in Lagos are the warmest but also welcome the most tourists.
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With so many amazing things to do in Lagos, you should be prepared for quite an adventure. Lagos is a stunning travel destination that will have you in awe the entire time. Use this guide for your visit and enjoy it!
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