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Lagos, situated in southern Portugal, was our very first introduction to the stunning coastlines and beaches that make up the world-famous Algarve region. I don’t really know what I was expecting, but to say that we were blown away is an extreme under exaggeration! For us, the Lagos Portugal beaches were some of the most jaw-dropping and gorgeous we’ve ever seen and certainly some of the top in the Algarve too.
So, it’s no wonder that so many travellers fall in love with the beautiful blue waters, golden sandy beaches and not to mention the imposing and other-worldly golden cliffs that can be found all along these beaches and coastline.
Whilst the historic town centre of Lagos is the perfect base to start exploring the Algarve and also has so much to offer as a stand-alone destination in its own right, in this post I want to focus on the best beaches in Lagos, that we loved exploring in and around this gorgeous Portuguese seaside village.
Starting off with what has to be one of my favourite beaches in Lagos and definitely in my top 10 beaches in the Algarve overall, is that of Praia Dona Ana. The beach itself is flanked by two other beaches on our list, Praia do Pinhão and Praia do Camilo.
The entire beach is surrounded and sheltered by stunning golden cliffs which not only offers protection against the winds, but also add to the dramatic landscape and layout of the beach.
The water itself is clear and mostly calm and this beach is ideal to spend a chilled and relaxing day in the sun. Whether you are travelling as a couple, on your own or as a family, Praia Dona Ana is suitable for all.
Facilities include, limited parking space at the hill top entrance to the beach, a small restaurant (nothing to write home about but good to grab a drink!), sunbeds to rent, toilet and beach shower facilities.
Praia Dona Ana also has a blue flag status and does have lifeguards on duty (more so over the busier summer periods).
Apart from its beauty, another reason this beach is so popular is due to its great location. If you are staying in the historic centre of Lagos, then walking to this beach is pretty doable. At certain points along the road you will encounter some steep hills leading up to the beach and it should take you around 20 – 25 mins (around 2 km’s) in walking time depending on your exact location.
If you have your own car rental then you can of course reach the beach quite easily by driving there. As mentioned, parking space is limited, so it is advisable to arrive early to get one. In your GPS simply search for Praia Dona Ana (GPS co-ordinates: 37.091427; -8.669362).
Lastly, you may opt to use public transport by using the schedule bus service ‘A Onda’.
Line 2 (or the Blue Line ‘Onda Azul’) will take you to the beach. In fact, this line actually connects Meia Praia, Praia Dona Ana and Praia de Porto de Mos. Great to keep in mind if wanting to explore these beaches near Lagos too.
Currently the cost of a one-way ticket is around 1.20€. It is also important to note that the service only departs once per hour, so consult the Onda Azul schedule here in order to plan your journey.
Booking a taxi service is another alternative way to get to the beach that you may want to consider.
Another idyllic and certainly Instagram worthy Lagos beach is Praia do Camilo. It is situated about around 1km further down from Dona Ana beach. With its winding staircase leading down onto the beach, the clear blue waters and more amazing golden rock formations, this beach is a little secluded haven. Definitely a must visit for any beach lover.
On the hilltop you will find the O Camilo beach restaurant which is open Tue – Sun from 11:00am to 23:30pm (Closed on Mondays). Limited parking is also available at the restaurant. To be honest, the facilities at this beach are quite basic so if you plan on spending the day then it’d be a good idea to plan ahead and bring along your own snacks, drinks etc.
During the peak summer season there will also be a lifeguard on duty.
If you wanted to walk to the beach it should take around 30 mins to get there on foot (it is located about 2.6 km’s from Lagos centre).
In my opinion, getting there by car is probably the best option. You can search for ‘O Camilo, Estrada da Ponta da Piedade’ in your GPS, which will take you to the restaurant & parking space at teh top of the beach.
Unfortunately, there are no public transport services heading out to Praia do Camilo. If you don’t fancy a walk to the beach and don’t have a rental car, then you could also book a taxi service to take you to the beach. You should be able get some of the cab hailing services available in Lagos, such as Uber or Bolt. Check out my post on ways to save when travelling in Portugal. Here I list a few discount codes you may want to use if you aren’t already signed up to these services.
If you prefer a vast expansive stretch of beach that isn’t overcrowded, then Meia Praia would be your best bet. It is the main beach of Lagos and stretches for approximately 4.5kms and is one of the longest we’ve seen in the Algarve.
It’s pretty much your typical beach and doesn’t have the characteristic golden rock formations that you’ll find on the other beaches in the area. But it’s location, size, cleanliness and facilities, means it still remains a popular choice for many beach-going visitors & locals.
The waters are fairly calm and clear and you’ll get to enjoy some great views looking back over at the town of Lagos. But it’s worth noting that Meia Praia isn’t as protected from the winds as some of the others Lagos beaches and as such, weather dependant, it can get rather windy.
Meia Praia has all the facilities you may come to expect. It has a host of different restaurants and beach bars to choose from, toilets & beach shower facilities, sun-loungers for rent and has lifeguards on duty. It’s also a fairly flat beach which means accessibility is not an issue.
Do note though that most facilities are located more towards the western part of the beach, which essentially is closer to Lagos town centre itself. This section is also known as Praia de Sao Roque.
Most people staying in Lagos centre may opt to simply head to the western part (Praia de Sao Roque) on foot. It is about 1.5 km’s dependent on your exact location and should take around 20 mins walking. You can simply cross the marina bridge that connects Lagos town and head down towards to the beach.
You may also opt to travel by car and there is generally ample parking available.
By Public Transport:
As mentioned earlier, there is a bus service that runs from Lagos town and connects several beaches, including Meia Praia. This is operated by the ‘A Onda’ bus service.
Line 2 (or the Blue Line ‘Onda Azul’) will take you to the beach.
It is also important to note that this service only departs once per hour so consult the Onda Azul schedule in order to plan for your journey.
You may also want to opt to take a water taxi. There are many operators that offer a quick boat ride across from Lagos town. If you walk along the long avenue found in Lagos (known as Avenida dos Descobrimentos), you will no doubt run into a few operators along the way.
The second longest beach in Lagos, after Meia Praia, is the very scenic beach of Praia de Porto de Mos. Approximately a kilometre long and situated only slightly further out of Lagos town centre, it sits west of Ponta da Piedade.
What this means is that it’s not as sheltered as some of the other beaches in the area and the seas can be quite rough, making for a great surfing spot.
Due to its size, and even though Praia de Porto de Mos is quite popular, there is still ample space for everyone and you get the sense that it’s much less crowded than some of the other smaller beaches.
You will find all the facilities you need at Praia de Porto de Mos, including a restaurant, parking, toilets & beach shower facilities, sunbeds for rent and lifeguards on duty (more so during the busy summer months).
The beach is located about 3 km’s from Lagos town centre which means it can be quite a walk and takes around 40 minutes on foot.
Travelling by car is probably the easiest way to get to Praia de Porto de Mos. It’s a fairly straight route that leads up to the beach and there are plenty of parking space once you reach the beach.
The ‘A Onda’ bus service links the beach to Lagos town centre. Line 2 (or the Blue Line ‘Onda Azul’) is the service you should take to reach the beach.
It is also important to note that the service only departs once per hour so consult the Onda Azul schedule to plan your journey.
The closest beach to the centre of Lagos is Praia da Batata (literally translated as Potato Beach). It’s a small coved beach surrounded by the typical golden rugged cliffs and rock formations that you’ll keep seeing plenty of in the Algarve.
To be very honest, this is not my favourite Lagos beach. In my view it is certainly not as picturesque as some of the other beaches in Lagos and due to it being so close to the town centre, it is a popular option for many tourists & local. As a result, you will often find this beach very overcrowded.
If you are facing the ocean then head towards the right-hand side of the beach where you will see a break in the rock formation that leads to a smaller and less crowded part. From here there is another tunnel that also connects the neighbouring beach, Praia dos Estudantes, to Praia da Batata.
Of course, the advantage of its locality is that you will find all the facilities that you need at Praia da Batata. There are restaurants at the top of the beach, toilet & shower facilities, sunbeds to rent, parking space at the top of the beach and lifeguards on duty (especially during the busier summer seasons).
From the centre of Lagos, Praia da Batata is only about 750 – 800 meters walking distance (about 10 mins). Thus, making it fairly easy to get to the beach on foot. It’s located just up from the Lagos Castle and Fort (Forte da Ponta da Bandeira).
If travelling by car, simply search for Praia da Batata on your GPS and it should take you straight to the parking space at the top entrance to the beach.
Note though that parking spaces are limited and during the summer months it will be especially busy.
As I’ve mentioned above, from Praia da Batata there is a tunnel leading through to the neighbouring beach of Praia dos Estudantes. It’s a smaller and less crowded beach with fairly no facilities.
Regardless of it’s size, it is still very pretty and photogenic in its own right. There is a second hand-dug tunnel that connects to an even smaller stretch of beach.
Here you can see the Instagram worthy historic archway that connects two rock formations and used to be part of the Pinhão Fortress which sadly no longer exists today.
Praia dos Estudantes does not offer any facilities, but since neighbouring Praia da Batata is so close, it makes sense to use facilities available there. Alternatively, plan for the day and pack your own lunch and drinks and simply chill on the beach!
Nestled between Praia dos Estudantes and Praia Dona Ana you, will find Praia do Pinhão. Another beautiful Lagos beach with the exception that it is not as commercialised as some of the others in the region.
This means, if you are looking for sun-loungers, beach bars and other facilities, then this may not be the beach for you! Praia do Pinhão is much more unspoilt and offers up yet more beautiful crystal clear waters and the obligatory golden cliffs (I promise you will never tire of these!).
To reach this beach you do have to go down a very steep staircase leading onto the beach, making this less accessible for travellers with mobility issues. You can also access it from Praia dos Estudantes during low tide.
Praia do Pinhão is best enjoyed by bringing along your own towels, food & drinks and simply taking in and enjoying the beautiful scenery and sunshine without the stress and hassle of having to go anywhere!
Last, but absolutely not least on my list, is Ponta da Piedade, a must visit when you are in Lagos. To be completely honest, it’s not so much an actual beach per sé, more just a small cove. But the real reason why everybody raves about this place, including the Huffington Post, who named it one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, is for its sheer beauty.
Here you will find incredible, jaw-droppingly stunning rock formations like you have never seen before. This spot will no doubt have you snapping a ton of photos, to remember this very specials spot by.
There is a cliff-top pathway from where you can really get to appreciate all of Ponta da Piedade’s beauty. After which you can head down the almost 200 steps to the waters.
Do note that during the summer season, this area is jam packed with various operators running boat trips and tours in the area. For your own safety you may be prohibited from actually swimming here during these peak periods. But get there early or head over later in the afternoon for a chance to do so.
If you are after stunning views, then why not walk along the boardwalk that follows the coastline at the top of the cliffs overlooking Ponta da Piedade. This is a great alternative for those that may not want to descend the stairway down to the waters and you will still get to enjoy the breath-taking views and beauty of this area.
A word of warning – the cliff edges have sheer drops and you need to be extremely careful for your own and others’ safety whilst walking here. Please don’t act recklessly and endanger anyone. Keep a safe distance from the edge at all times!
There are limited facilities here but there is a parking lot, a restaurant and toilets.
Ponta da Piedade is located approximately 3 km’s from the centre of Lagos, which should take roughly 40 minutes to get there on foot.
Travelling by car is another easy way to get there. It will only take about 10 minutes to reach and there are parking spaces available.
Another alternative is to catch the tourist train that departs from Lagos town (from Avenida dos Descobrimentos) and heads towards Ponta da Piedade. Visit the Tourist Train Lagos site to consult the schedule and to view more information on this service.
Lastly, one of the most popular ways to see and explore this incredible gem is to book a boat or kayak tour.
There are plenty of operators that run regular tours & schedules and it’s well worth the extra cost. You’ll get a completely different perspective from the water and it will most certainly be a memorable experience!
Check out a selection of tours on offer:
Whether you plan on spending a day on one of these beautiful beaches or an entire week exploring them all, I’m sure you will have a fantastic time either way.
I would love to hear from you! What is your favourite Lagos beach, are there any other tips & suggestions you have? Feel free to comment and share them!
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