(English) What to do in Lagos during your Algarve vacations
So you decided to enjoy summer on the Algarve coast? Welcome to Portugal! If you’re coming to the Algarve, you must come to Lagos. In this post, we’ll tell you all about what to do in Lagos.
Discover the typical, the tourist and the beautiful faces of Lagos, and also take our personal suggestions on the best experiences here. Check it out!
What to do in Lagos?
Although Lagos is a small city with over 50 thousand inhabitants, it is one of the most important urban centers in the Algarve region. That means that it also has a lot to offer.
Travelers of all kinds find Lagos a perfect summer destination. In here, you will find:
- Stunning rock formations and beaches;
- A charming marina and historical center;
- Hotels of all luxuries and prices;
- Restaurants, hospitals, schools, and bars;
- A professional touristic industry, always ready to serve;
- Some of Europe’s cheapest drinks.
But besides all that, here is what you really must see and visit in Lagos.
Visit Ponta da Piedade
This amazing natural setting is one of Portugal’s most beautiful postcards. Along with the Benagil cave near Lagoa, the Ponta da Piedade cliffs and caves are top attractions around. Definitely a must-see!
That blue sky touching the emerald green water and the golden sands is breathtaking to anyone even if it is not there as a tourist. Going to Lagos or passing by requires you to take a look from the top of the cliffs, even for half an hour.
Read also: Living in the Algarve: all about sunny southern Portugal for expats
You can hike on the Ponta da Piedade cliffs
The number of boats that decorated the transparent waters by the coast was such that I was dazzled by the image of joy that this framework provided.
With a unique cut, that part of the Algarve coast, touched by transparent waters, allows breathtaking images.
We descend the staircase that in Ponta da Piedade allows us to reach the level of the sea. Just out of curiosity we count the stairs when we climb them. It’s 170! I got my legs to shake for a couple of hours, but it was worth it!
Take a boat ride or kayaking tour among the rocks of Ponta da Piedade
But as the images that we leave here bear witness, there are many ways to take nature lovers into the paradisiacal scenery. The boat trips in Lagos are a must.
They all make stops to take a dip in the crystal clear waters, thus taking advantage of the opportunity to be in one of the most beautiful places on the Portuguese coast, doing what many only imagine or come in the movies.
Whether it’s a kayak tour, a boat trip, or a tour by foot through the cliffs, it is worth spending some time in this magnificent place.
Note, for example, the number of kayaks that can be fixed with a click from a camera. An operator told us that by day there are more than 400 people in the water enjoying the beauty of the coast.
The tours to the caves, the largest and also those where the boats can not go are today one of the biggest attractions of Ponta da Piedade. This demonstrates well the attraction that this modality represents.
Go for a walk in the historical center
Lagos is a very old town with a lot to add to the history of Portugal and the world. The place was inhabited and had its first walls since the year 1899 BC by the Conio people, followed by the Fenicios, Romans, Moors, and then the Portuguese in the time of the Reconquest by Christians. With so much happening in the area, the city, such as Portugal, is a result of the mix all these different peoples.
Unfortunately, not all is great. In the city of Lagos, you can find what is left of Portugal’s first slave market built in 1444. At the time, the Portuguese monarchs decided to explore the field of slavery, kidnapping African people and selling them as slaves to the rest of Europe. You can still visit its location today where there is a museum with exhibits focusing on the slave trade & Portugal’s role. A dark tourism destination, with a lot to teach about the world of a dark past that is still very present.
Besides that, decorating the city there are the ruins of the old walls and castle of Lagos all around town. In medieval times, the walls provided defense for the entire city against invaders, but today they are simply a reminder of grandiosity and beauty.
Go to all the best beaches
The city of Lagos is blessed with its location. Some of the most beautiful beaches of the entire Algarve coast are located here. And the best part is that they are really close to the city center, yet ridiculously amazing.
Check out a list of the most amazing beaches in Lagos:
- Dona Ana beach;
- Camilo beach;
- Estudantes beach;
- Batata beach;
- Luz beach.
Know more about the best beaches in Lagos in our complete article.
Enjoy the restaurants and street musicians
Lagos is also a very beautiful small Portuguese town, with a fantastic chill vibe. The buildings of the town are all small and mostly white, which turns out to be a very pretty view.
Besides, Lagos is also a destination that attracts a lot of hippies and the alternative folk. It’s a great vibe, not too connected to crazy parties like Albufeira and not too much of a family-only place like Armação de Pêra.
However, there are many amazing restaurants in Lagos, affordable for all kinds of public.
Enjoy the view of Lagos Marina
The ocean goes inside the city of Lagos, and right in the center you get to pass by the Marina. With a great capacity of boats – both touristic and private, the marina is both beautiful and useful.
Those traveling on their sailboats will find in the Marina of Lagos a great stop for a few days. Also, this is where the famous sailing family from ‘Sailing La Vagabonde‘ spent part of their lockdown quarantine in 2020.
Join a tour with your family
What to do in Lagos with the family? As a couple? With a group of friends? Well, the activities that we can develop in Lagos to occupy a day are very diversified.
Water fun in Lagos: boat and kayak tours
The most popular activities in Lagos are done on the ocean, understandably. Boat trips and kayaking tours are fantastic, and take you to see the coast from different point of views with very experienced skippers.
On our website, you can see and research all the best boat tours in Lagos before booking.
However, kayaking is an even more in-depth experience, plus gives you some adrenaline rush. Check out all the best kayaking tours in Lagos on our website.
Explore the mountains on a jeep tour
If you want to take a break from the ocean, it might be a good idea to run to the mountains. Or at least visit the rural Algarve mountains on a fantastic jeep tour!
These 4×4 vehicle excursions take you through the craziest roads, visiting small villages and a different side of the Algarve. What to do in Lagos? Definitely go on a jeep tour.
Visit a vineyard or go on a wine tasting session
Portugal is a country with a lot of good wine, and of course, a very rich wine tradition. The Algarve has been a vineyard paradise at least since the XI century, and you should not miss the chance to taste the local wines.
If you have the time, don’t miss the chance to go on a wine tasting tour in Lagos.
Hot air balloon ride in Lagos
There is also the extraordinary opportunity to see all this from the sky during a hot air balloon ride. Helena, an experienced pilot of hot air balloons, is based in Lagos as well and provides baptisms Hot air balloon flights. For those who like to get up early and are not afraid of heights, they are a great way to get some wonderful pictures and have an unforgettable glimpse of the landscape of the region.
When are you going to visit the Algarve?
The entire Algarve coast is a sight for sore eyes, and should be excited about visiting it! The best time to go to the southern region of Portugal is during the summer.
However, if you wish to escape the crowds, you should consider visiting during May or September. The weather is not so hot but is also nice and with much fewer people on the beaches.
If you liked this post, please share it with a friend who is coming to Portugal! No one should miss getting to know Lagos!
Post written by Letícia Melo.Hi there, I'm Leticia! Living in Portugal since 2017, I'm a Brazilian writer passionate about traveling, discovering new cultures, beaches and music! Let's share our best experiences!