Travel blog Lagos: the 6 best things to do in Lagos, Algarve!

Lagos is a beautiful city in the western part of the Algarve, Portugal. There is a nice relaxed atmosphere, partly because of all the surfers and hikers who visit Lagos. The city itself is not very big, but it is pretty and in the area, you will find the most beautiful beaches and other sights. In this blog, you can read everything you need to know about Lagos!

How many days do you need for Lagos and its surroundings?

After our first visit (of 4 days) to Lagos, the city and region still did not feel complete to us. And so this spring we visited the Lagos area again. It is good to know that we are traveling with our son, and traveling with children through Portugal (or any other country) just takes more time. If you are traveling without children, we recommend at least four full days. With children, we would recommend that you stay in this area for at least a week.

The 6 best things to do in Lagos and the surrounding area!

Below we describe what we thought were the best things to do in Lagos. With tips for when you travel through Portugal with children!

1. Discover the beautiful center of Lagos

The old center of Lagos is located on the water. If you walk along the boulevard you will arrive at the harbour. This is not the most beautiful part of the city, so we prefer to spend most time in the old center itself, where narrow streets lined with pastel-colored houses that lead you to several beautiful squares. The streets are nice and busy (sometimes a bit too busy with tourists in high season) with beautiful shops, terraces of restaurants and cafes and you always hear a street musician playing a nice fado song. Be sure to walk along the old city wall with various gates.

In addition to shopping, the beautiful buildings are also worth a visit. Some have beautiful Portuguese tiles on the facade, others are cheerfully colored. And finally, there is also more than enough street art on the buildings of Lagos. From graphic drawings with graffiti to portraits full of detail that appear to have been made with pencil. Do you spot the most beautiful art?

Lagos tip: are you not staying in the center? Then park your car here for free and walk into the center within a few minutes.

2. Visit the cliffs of Ponta da Piedade and walk the boardwalk

We think the most fun thing to do in Lagos is to visit the beautiful cliffs just outside the center. You walk over those cliffs and see the hidden bays and the azure blue sea deep below you. Orange limestone rocks rise tens of meters from the water. In other places, the waves crash furiously against the cliffs and you see swirling water running away through holes in the cliffs.

The best way to visit the cliffs is to walk the boardwalk from Praia Dona Ana all the way to Ponta da Piedade. This walk is very well maintained with beautiful viewpoints in various places. It is not stroller/wheelchair-proof everywhere, so if stairs are inconvenient for you, we recommend that you start the walk a little further on, namely at this point. Then you hardly have any stairs.

Portugal Lagos 4

Tip: you can also visit the cliffs and bays along Ponta da Piedade by boat. Click here for different options!

Extra Lagos tip: a nice and spacious family beach between the cliffs is Praia de Porto Mos. No exciting descents here, but you walk straight from the parking lot onto the beach. Click here for the location of this beautiful family beach.

Lagos Praia de Porto Mos, Surfbeach, Portugal 3

3. Relax on the extensive beach of Meia Praia

Just outside the center of Lagos is the largest beach in the area, Meia Praia. This lovely sandy beach is over 4 kilometers long, so you really have more than enough space. There are restaurants and bars in various places and plenty of other facilities. So sunbathe, take a surfing lesson or have drinks.

Here too, a beautiful boardwalk has been constructed that runs from the beginning to the end. Are you looking for more nice beaches near Lagos? Read our blog with the 6 best beaches of Lagos

Be sure to read our blog with the 6 most beautiful beaches at the Costa Vicentina! There you will find extensive tips per beach.

4. Restaurants & hotspots in Lagos: Enjoy Portuguese cuisine!

There are really many restaurants in and around the center of Lagos. Okay, we admit it, there are plenty of tourist traps too, but there are also more than enough nice restaurants in Lagos.

Our favorite restaurants & hotspots in Lagos

Below are two hotspots in Lagos where we ate something ourselves, followed by recommendations we received from other travelers.

Travia: Natural Wines & Food

Just like in the Netherlands, also in Portugal natural wines are a hype and very popular. To be completely honest, I am not a big fan of natural wine, but at this restaurant in the old center of Lagos, I did drink some very nice wines. Portuguese tapas were served with a special twist. I really liked the crispy kale! Click here for the location of this hotspot in Lagos.

Pomò – La pasta italiana

After a week of Portuguese food, we were really craving some good pasta. And this you find at restaurant Pomò. Large portions, lots of taste and a cozy terrace outside. Oh and very child-friendly! Click here for the location of this restaurant in Lagos.

Other hotspots in Lagos:

  • Twin Fin: a nice breakfast or brunch restaurant. Click here for the location of this hotspot in Lagos.
  • Goji Lounge Cafe: on a cute square you will find this restaurant with a healthy menu. Click here for the location of this restaurant in Lagos.
  • Coffee & Waves: the best coffee in Lagos can be found here.
  • Casinha do Petisco: the best traditional Portuguese dishes can be found in this cozy restaurant in Lagos. Click here for the location.

Portugal Lagos 2

5. Take a trip to the lovely coastal town of Burgau

About a 20-minute drive from Lagos, you will find the beautiful coastal town of Burgau, not yet been discovered by the masses. This small fishing village is located by the sea and is also called the Santorini of Portugal. The reason for this: the white houses that stand out brightly against the dark rocks. There is a nice but small beach, perfect for families and small children.

Tip: definitely have something to eat at Miam Burgau, a French restaurant with delicious fish and lemon meringue tarts.Praia de Burgau, Portugal 2

Is your next destination in the Algarve the beautiful village of Tavira? Then read our Tavira travel blog full of tips! Or read here about the six most beautiful beaches around Tavira and Faro!

6. Visit the beautiful town of Carvoeiro

Another beautiful place that you should not miss when visiting the Lagos area is the small town of Carvoeiro. Carvoerio is also located on the coast with a nice (family) beach, but it is larger than Burgau. And unfortunately also a bit more famous and popular, so it can get quite busy here.

After a few hours at the beach, we enjoyed a nice lunch at Levels restaurant (reservations required) and then walked part of the boardwalk. Because yes, here too, a well-maintained boardwalk has been created along the art over the high cliffs of the Algarve. Along the way you will pass the famous Algar Seco rock formation.

On the other side of the bay you will find the Alto da Praia do Carvoeiro viewpoint from where you have a beautiful view of the entire bay.

Finally, Carvoeiro has some nice shops and, above all, a friendly atmosphere! Fun for half a day!

Tip: for our road trips through the Algarve we always rent a car through Sunny Cars. This means we are fully insured, we can change everything right in advance and we have 24/7 support. Click here for more information about renting a car in Portugal.

Other fun things in the Lagos area that we didn’t do

Even though we visited Lagos twice, there are still things we didn’t do in the area around this nice city. Especially, because they are a bit more difficult with children.

But one day we definitely want to do the following things (and we don’t want to withhold them from you):

Hike part of the Fisherman’s Trail: this is a beautiful hiking trail along the Atlantic coast of Portugal, over 230 kilometers long.  From Lagos, you can walk the last part, for example from Luz to Lagos. This way you will pass all the beautiful beaches west of Lagos.

Visit the Benagil cave by boat: The Benagil Cave is a famous cave because of the large hole in the roof. This allows beautiful light to enter. You can visit the cave by boat (click here for an overview of tours), or you can view the cave from above (during the Seven Hanging Valleys walk, see next point).

Walk the Seven Hanging Valleys trail: During the 6 km long (single-sided) route you walk from Praia da Marinha to Praia de Vale Centeanes, along the rugged cliffs and coastline. Along the way you will pass the Benagil cave (from above) and the Alfanzina lighthouse.Lagos Praia de Porto Mos, Surfbeach, Portugal 2

And what we did do: Costa Vicentina, Sagres & Aljezur

We absolutely recommend that you visit Costa Vicentina & Aljezur in addition to Lagos. This beautiful area west of Lagos really has many beautiful and undiscovered places. Here you will find rugged cliffs, quiet bays and cute towns with far fewer tourists. We wrote an extensive blog: everything about Southwest Alentejo, Costa Vincentina & Aljezur!

Monte Clerigo, Portugal 1

The nicest accommodation in Lagos & surroundings

Are you looking for nice locations to stay in Lagos? Below we describe three good hotels in different budget classes. Including a tip for when you travel through Portugal with children. An overview of all hotels in Lagos can be found here.

Olive hostel €

Olive hostel lagos

This cozy hostel is located right in the center of Lagos. There is a shared kitchen where you can cook and a cozy courtyard. You can stay here in a dormitory, but there are also private rooms (with shared bathroom) available from 70 euros per night.

Book now

Fazenda Viegas €€

fazenda viegas

This nice mini resort is located just outside the center of Lagos. There are several swimming pools, a playground, and a large lawn, perfect for children. We stayed in a beautiful duplex vila, but there are many options. From 119 euros including breakfast.

Book now

Casa Mãe €€€

Casa Mãe

This beautiful boutique hotel is located in the center of Lagos. The rooms are luxuriously furnished. There is a swimming pool and a spa. Associated restaurant Orta makes the tastiest dishes. From €200 (during the low season) including brunch.

Book now

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