Currently, Lagos is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Algarve region in southern Portugal.
Until recently, the Portuguese coast was overlooked by tourists in search of sand, sea and warmth, giving more attention to Spain, Italy and Greece.
But in the last years, Algarve has been increasingly establishing its charms, its paradisiac beaches, its excellent cuisine, its culture and such.
And for having some of the most beautiful beaches in the region, Lagos became even more recognised, and nowadays it is packed in July and August.
We went there in July, and the city was booming.
Usually, we chose to stay in lesser touristy towns, but as we were with friends and we had only 3 days to stay in Algarve, we picked Lagos, as it is right “in the heart” of the beaches that we wanted to visit.
Also, besides the beautiful beaches, the city offers a great tourist structure but preserving the character and the historical heritage.
The centre is charming, full of historic buildings, shops, bars and restaurants. Our difficulty was to choose a restaurant with so many mouth-watering options.
Too bad that at the time, I was still thinking about having a blog or not, so most of the pictures are always with us on them or from not very thought angles.
What to see in Lagos?
– Praça Infante Dom Henrique, where is the Slave Market and the Church of Santa Maria.
– Lagos Town Market
– Marina de Lagos is very close to the train station and the city bus station
– Avenida dos Descobrimentos
– Fort of Ponta da Bandeira was built in the seventeenth century and nowadays is a museum about the time of the discoveries
– Castle of the Governors
And the beaches of Lagos?
Surrounded by golden cliffs and with a blue-green sea colour that is breathtaking, the beaches of Lagos are not to be missed, and without a doubt, you have to take a few days to get to know them.
Being the closest to the centre, just after the fort, it is one of the most crowded in the summer. And indeed the day we went, there was almost no place in the sand.
Praia dos Estudantes
Just next to the beach of Batata, it is a little more “hidden” and therefore is a little more empty than it’s neighbour.
We liked this beach a lot, and we spent a few hours there, because the water is calm, with fewer people and lovely surroundings. Just bear in mind that it has no facilities on it.
Praia do Pinhão
It is a small strip of sand and clear green waters. Access is made down a stairway by the central cliff. There is also a mirador, so you can appreciate fantastic views.
Dona Ana Beach
It is considered the most beautiful of the beaches in Lagos. To access the beach, you have to go down a staircase.
Being more known, it has a good structure, with chairs and parasol for rent and also, with restaurants at the top of the cliffs.
To access it, it is also through a staircase and being of extraordinary beauty, gets quite crowded in the summer.
Ponta Da Piedade
It is the farthest beach amongst them, located 3km from the city centre. You reach it by walking to it or, like most, go by car. People claim to be very beautiful, especially during sunset.
It is entirely different from the others because it is not surrounded by cliffs, and its extension is of around 4km.
How to get to Lagos?
As we were in 6 people and 4 of them were travelling through Europe, we had quite a lot of luggage, therefore the cheapest option was to rent a mini-van in Lisbon.
Of course, we only used public transport in Lisbon, but on the last day, we took the van and went to Lagos, which is 300km away. And to come back to London, we took the plane at Faro airport which is 90km from Lagos.
I always like to rent a car, because it gives you the freedom to stop wherever you want, adjust the itinerary if you feel like it, and you can get to know more distant, less known places.
I also know that you can take a train or bus out of Lisbon, but I am not the best person to indicate because I do not know much about it.
For more information about the train: https://www.cp.pt/passengeriros and on the bus: https://www.rede-expressos.pt/tickets
If you decide to stay in Albufeira, there is a bus that goes to Lagos, and you can make a day trip.
Nevertheless, Lagos is a “must see”, and without a doubt, you will not regret spending some time there.
And stay tuned as soon I will write about some other beaches in the Algarve region.
Enjoy your holiday!