Lagos travel guide

Lagos Tourism | Lagos Guide

You're Going to Love Lagos

The western hub of Portugal's Algarve region, Lagos is a tourist's dream. Its medieval walls, beautiful beaches, excellent eateries, and amazing range of activities to enjoy makes this compact coastal gem a superb vacation destination.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Lagos

1. The Beaches

If you love beaches, you'll love Lagos. Period. Meia Praia stretches for miles, Camilo Beach is small and lovely, while Porto de Mós is soft, sandy, and more secluded.

2. A Wealth of Activities

Being bored in Lagos is pretty tough. You can play golf, tennis, or soccer, strap on water skis, pilot a jet ski, race karts, or snorkel until the sun goes down.

3. A Beautiful Historic Heart

The city of Lagos is enclosed by 16th-century walls, while the church of Santo António doubles up as the city museum and you can clamber over the ramparts of the Forte da Ponta da Bandeira as well.

4. Coastal Hikes with Superb Views

The coast around Lagos has some astonishing sights, including the famous "Ponta da Piedade" cliffs, that shine like gold.

5. Nightlife, Food, and General Good Times

Aside from the attractions, Lagos is simply a fun place to be. It's laid-back and classy, hosting the Lagos Music Festival in July and offering fine dining all year-round.

1. The Beaches

If you love beaches, you'll love Lagos. Period. Meia Praia stretches for miles, Camilo Beach is small and lovely, while Porto de Mós is soft, sandy, and more secluded.

2. A Wealth of Activities

Being bored in Lagos is pretty tough. You can play golf, tennis, or soccer, strap on water skis, pilot a jet ski, race karts, or snorkel until the sun goes down.

3. A Beautiful Historic Heart

The city of Lagos is enclosed by 16th-century walls, while the church of Santo António doubles up as the city museum and you can clamber over the ramparts of the Forte da Ponta da Bandeira as well.

4. Coastal Hikes with Superb Views

The coast around Lagos has some astonishing sights, including the famous "Ponta da Piedade" cliffs, that shine like gold.

5. Nightlife, Food, and General Good Times

Aside from the attractions, Lagos is simply a fun place to be. It's laid-back and classy, hosting the Lagos Music Festival in July and offering fine dining all year-round.

What to do in Lagos

1. Meia Praia: The Big One

Dotted with parasoled picnic tables; wide, grassed sand banks; and surfers aplenty, the Meia Praia beach is the largest in Lagos, stretching from the west to the Odiáxere River mouth in the east. Given the expanse and course of water activities, spending more than one day at the beach is the way to go. Check out the small, informal beach cafes, work on your tan, go wind surfing, kite surfing or even jet skiing. When you're done with your water activities for the day, hit up any of the bars and restaurants along the beach in the evening.

2. Dona Ana Beach: A Walk to Remember

The steep, jagged strata cliffs that hug the coastline are not the only remarkable things about this beach in Lagos. The caverns and small pools these cliffs crate make for great areas to explore and its calm waters are easy to walk in. Little tidal pools full of sea life form around the high tide, so children will truly enjoy their time here. Although the clubs are on top of the steep and imposing cliffs, there are also plenty of great restaurants alongside them that boast both coastal views and sea breeze through your hair.

3. Fort da Ponta da Bandeira: History... and Amazing Views!

Everything in Lagos seems washed out, eroded and weathered by time and burnished into a glow by the sun. The same is true of Forte da Ponta da Bandeira, a maritime fort that was part of Lagos's defense system in the late 1600s. Inside, there is a small preserved chapel. This is the spot to visit if outstanding views of the beaches and marinas are what you crave. Come at sunset for some calm and quiet.

4. Porto de Mos Beach: Fun and Water Sports for Everyone

After Meia Praia, Praia do Porto de Mos is the 2nd largest beach in Lagos. The backdrop of limestone cliffs is the perfect companion to those long walks on the beach, where a wind frenzy can certainly kick your hair -- and the waves -- up. Those who see the beach as more than a sun-bathing opportunity will enjoy the plethora of choices such as stand-up paddle-boarding, pedal boating and snorkeling. Once you've had your fill of fun, relax and unwind at one of the two local restaurants. Praia do Porto de Mos feels much more secluded than Meia Praia and its low tide reveals plenty of sea creatures that come ashore.

5. Mercado de Escravos: A Somber but Important History

Literally translated, this is the "Slave Market", a museum dedicated to Portugal's historic trade. It's housed in the same district as other attractions such as the Igreja de Santa Maria, the Igreja de Santo António, the Museu Municipal and the Castelo dos Governadores. True to its name, the museum charts the coming of the first slaves who were of African heritage in the 15th century, as well as their treatment. The lives of the slaves are carefully traced as they were assimilated into the Portuguese population.

Mercado de EscravosMercado de Escravos

1. Meia Praia: The Big One

Dotted with parasoled picnic tables; wide, grassed sand banks; and surfers aplenty, the Meia Praia beach is the largest in Lagos, stretching from the west to the Odiáxere River mouth in the east. Given the expanse and course of water activities, spending more than one day at the beach is the way to go. Check out the small, informal beach cafes, work on your tan, go wind surfing, kite surfing or even jet skiing. When you're done with your water activities for the day, hit up any of the bars and restaurants along the beach in the evening.

2. Dona Ana Beach: A Walk to Remember

The steep, jagged strata cliffs that hug the coastline are not the only remarkable things about this beach in Lagos. The caverns and small pools these cliffs crate make for great areas to explore and its calm waters are easy to walk in. Little tidal pools full of sea life form around the high tide, so children will truly enjoy their time here. Although the clubs are on top of the steep and imposing cliffs, there are also plenty of great restaurants alongside them that boast both coastal views and sea breeze through your hair.

3. Fort da Ponta da Bandeira: History... and Amazing Views!

Everything in Lagos seems washed out, eroded and weathered by time and burnished into a glow by the sun. The same is true of Forte da Ponta da Bandeira, a maritime fort that was part of Lagos's defense system in the late 1600s. Inside, there is a small preserved chapel. This is the spot to visit if outstanding views of the beaches and marinas are what you crave. Come at sunset for some calm and quiet.

4. Porto de Mos Beach: Fun and Water Sports for Everyone

After Meia Praia, Praia do Porto de Mos is the 2nd largest beach in Lagos. The backdrop of limestone cliffs is the perfect companion to those long walks on the beach, where a wind frenzy can certainly kick your hair -- and the waves -- up. Those who see the beach as more than a sun-bathing opportunity will enjoy the plethora of choices such as stand-up paddle-boarding, pedal boating and snorkeling. Once you've had your fill of fun, relax and unwind at one of the two local restaurants. Praia do Porto de Mos feels much more secluded than Meia Praia and its low tide reveals plenty of sea creatures that come ashore.

5. Mercado de Escravos: A Somber but Important History

Literally translated, this is the "Slave Market", a museum dedicated to Portugal's historic trade. It's housed in the same district as other attractions such as the Igreja de Santa Maria, the Igreja de Santo António, the Museu Municipal and the Castelo dos Governadores. True to its name, the museum charts the coming of the first slaves who were of African heritage in the 15th century, as well as their treatment. The lives of the slaves are carefully traced as they were assimilated into the Portuguese population.

Mercado de EscravosMercado de Escravos

1. Meia Praia: The Big One

Dotted with parasoled picnic tables; wide, grassed sand banks; and surfers aplenty, the Meia Praia beach is the largest in Lagos, stretching from the west to the Odiáxere River mouth in the east. Given the expanse and course of water activities, spending more than one day at the beach is the way to go. Check out the small, informal beach cafes, work on your tan, go wind surfing, kite surfing or even jet skiing. When you're done with your water activities for the day, hit up any of the bars and restaurants along the beach in the evening.

Mercado de Escravos

2. Dona Ana Beach: A Walk to Remember

The steep, jagged strata cliffs that hug the coastline are not the only remarkable things about this beach in Lagos. The caverns and small pools these cliffs crate make for great areas to explore and its calm waters are easy to walk in. Little tidal pools full of sea life form around the high tide, so children will truly enjoy their time here. Although the clubs are on top of the steep and imposing cliffs, there are also plenty of great restaurants alongside them that boast both coastal views and sea breeze through your hair.

3. Fort da Ponta da Bandeira: History... and Amazing Views!

Everything in Lagos seems washed out, eroded and weathered by time and burnished into a glow by the sun. The same is true of Forte da Ponta da Bandeira, a maritime fort that was part of Lagos's defense system in the late 1600s. Inside, there is a small preserved chapel. This is the spot to visit if outstanding views of the beaches and marinas are what you crave. Come at sunset for some calm and quiet.

4. Porto de Mos Beach: Fun and Water Sports for Everyone

After Meia Praia, Praia do Porto de Mos is the 2nd largest beach in Lagos. The backdrop of limestone cliffs is the perfect companion to those long walks on the beach, where a wind frenzy can certainly kick your hair -- and the waves -- up. Those who see the beach as more than a sun-bathing opportunity will enjoy the plethora of choices such as stand-up paddle-boarding, pedal boating and snorkeling. Once you've had your fill of fun, relax and unwind at one of the two local restaurants. Praia do Porto de Mos feels much more secluded than Meia Praia and its low tide reveals plenty of sea creatures that come ashore.

5. Mercado de Escravos: A Somber but Important History

Literally translated, this is the "Slave Market", a museum dedicated to Portugal's historic trade. It's housed in the same district as other attractions such as the Igreja de Santa Maria, the Igreja de Santo António, the Museu Municipal and the Castelo dos Governadores. True to its name, the museum charts the coming of the first slaves who were of African heritage in the 15th century, as well as their treatment. The lives of the slaves are carefully traced as they were assimilated into the Portuguese population.

Activities & attractions in Lagos

Where to Eat in Lagos

If you want to dine on bacalao (salt cod) and potato croquettes in true Portuguese style, check out Adega da Marina or O Camilo (two seafood specialists). Meals should cost around EUR10 for mains at most places.

When to visit Lagos

Lagos in November
Estimated hotel price
$78
1 night at 3-star hotel
Lagos in November
Estimated hotel price
$78
1 night at 3-star hotel

The Algarve is far enough south to offer warm weather (over 70 degrees) from March through to November. Summer is the peak season, so head to Lagos in May or June for slightly emptier beaches and accommodation bargains.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Lagos

Plane

Faro Airport (FAO) is the major arrival point for visitors to Lagos. The bus from Faro costs EUR5.35 and takes around two hours. Taxis will cost around EUR60-80.

Train

Lagos is connected to Lisbon by train, but you'll need to alight at Tunes, then take the regional Algarve train from there to Lagos.

Car

From Lisbon, take the A2, then the E1 southbound. From Faro Airport, take the A22 straight to Lagos.

Bus

Bus services from Faro, Portimao, and Lisbon are provided by EVA and Rede Expressos and stop by the sea in the center of town.

Plane

Faro Airport (FAO) is the major arrival point for visitors to Lagos. The bus from Faro costs EUR5.35 and takes around two hours. Taxis will cost around EUR60-80.

Train

Lagos is connected to Lisbon by train, but you'll need to alight at Tunes, then take the regional Algarve train from there to Lagos.

Car

From Lisbon, take the A2, then the E1 southbound. From Faro Airport, take the A22 straight to Lagos.

Bus

Bus services from Faro, Portimao, and Lisbon are provided by EVA and Rede Expressos and stop by the sea in the center of town.

Airports near Lagos

FAOFaro

Airlines serving Lagos

Lufthansa
Good (4,689 reviews)
KLM
Good (837 reviews)
SWISS
Good (955 reviews)
British Airways
Good (4,650 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (2,234 reviews)
Delta
Good (4,567 reviews)
Iberia
Good (1,601 reviews)
Air France
Good (985 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (2,103 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (2,416 reviews)
United Airlines
Good (4,995 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (6,024 reviews)
Brussels Airlines
Good (228 reviews)
Finnair
Good (855 reviews)
Scandinavian Airlines
Good (802 reviews)
TAP AIR PORTUGAL
Good (1,173 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (840 reviews)
Alaska Airlines
Excellent (5,787 reviews)
Aer Lingus
Good (736 reviews)
Eurowings
Good (192 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Lagos

High-class spa retreats like the Cascade Wellness and Lifestyle Resort are a popular option, but city center alternatives like the Tivoli Lagos or Marina Rio could be more convenient.

Popular Neighborhoods in Lagos

Old Town - Celtic, Roman, Moorish, and Portuguese influences collide in Lagos' old town, a spellbinding place to shop or dine.

Ameijeira - up the hill from the Old Town, Ameijeira is a calmer, sedate place to stay, with some fine beaches at the eastern end.

Porto de Mos - offering a stunning sandy beach, Porto de Mos faces the Atlantic, making it ideal for surfers and bodyboarders.

Old Town - Celtic, Roman, Moorish, and Portuguese influences collide in Lagos' old town, a spellbinding place to shop or dine.
Ameijeira - up the hill from the Old Town, Ameijeira is a calmer, sedate place to stay, with some fine beaches at the eastern end.
Porto de Mos - offering a stunning sandy beach, Porto de Mos faces the Atlantic, making it ideal for surfers and bodyboarders.

Where to stay in popular areas of Lagos

Most booked hotels in Lagos

Cascade Wellness Resort
5 stars
Excellent (8.9, 1187 reviews)
$271+
Belmar Spa & Beach Resort
4 stars
Excellent (8.7, 3029 reviews)
$233+
Ancora Park
4 stars
Excellent (8.7, 837 reviews)
$162+
Vila Gale Lagos
4 stars
Excellent (8.3, 2065 reviews)
$215+
Vilamar
3 stars
Excellent (8.3, 1516 reviews)
$43+
Pestana Delfim
4 stars
Excellent (8.3, 794 reviews)
$247+

How to Get Around Lagos

Public Transportation

A ONDA runs regional bus services along the Algarve coast. Single tickets cost between EUR1.20 and EUR1.60, depending on how far you need to travel.

Taxi

Taxis in Lagos will cost you around EUR3.50 for the meter drop, then about EUR1.50 per mile after that.

Car

You can rent cars from Faro Airport or in Lagos itself from Europcar, Avis, or Luzcar. Expect to pay around EUR20 per day.

Public Transportation

A ONDA runs regional bus services along the Algarve coast. Single tickets cost between EUR1.20 and EUR1.60, depending on how far you need to travel.

Taxi

Taxis in Lagos will cost you around EUR3.50 for the meter drop, then about EUR1.50 per mile after that.

Car

You can rent cars from Faro Airport or in Lagos itself from Europcar, Avis, or Luzcar. Expect to pay around EUR20 per day.

The Cost of Living in Lagos

Shopping Streets

Don't miss the ceramics stores in Lagos - it's a local specialty. The Rua 25 de Abril is a great place to hunt for distinctive pottery gifts.

Groceries and Other

Supermarkets include Pingo Doce and Intermarché. As an indicator, expect 12 eggs to cost around EUR1.60.

Cheap meal
$9.57
A pair of jeans
$74.45
Single public transport ticket
$1.49
Cappuccino
$1.35