The best independent guide to Lagos
The Meia Praia beach is the largest beach in the Lagos region and is a great place to head to for an enjoyable day on the beach. The 4km continuous stretch of golden sand stretches from Lagos on the western side all the way to the Odiáxere River mouth on the eastern side.
Considering the extensive tourist development found elsewhere in the Algarve, the Meia Praia beach manages to maintain a very low-key atmosphere with small beach cafes and bars dotted along the edge. The main advantage of Meia Praia over the other beaches of Lagos is the size, even at the height of the tourist season there can be space found.
The Meia Praia beach is bound by wide grassed sandbanks that open onto quiet roads. These roads contain pleasant low-rise residential buildings and a smattering of hotel complexes. At the western edge of the beach is the Lagos Marina and this tends to be the busiest area due to the proximity of Lagos.
Most visitors to Meia Praia beach simply cross the Lagos harbour bridge and head to Praia de Sao Roque, the name of the beach at the western end of Meia Praia. A rental car or a long walk provides access to the entire beach and whole deserted sections of the beach can be found. The walk along the beach is a pleasant activity as along the beach are a handful of beach bars and restaurants that mostly clustered around the train station or marina.
The western end of the Meia Beach is referred to as the Praia de Sao Roque and is generally where most visitors head to first. Located on the shoreline is Linda Bar, which severs good lunchtime beach food. The western end is supervised by lifeguards during the summer but the coverage becomes more patchy as the beach becomes quieter.
Meia Beach is popular with Portuguese families as the waters tend to be calm and the water quality is clean, but the water temperature is cold all year round. Beach lounges and parasols can be hired for €10 for the day, which provides thankful shaded from the intense summer sun.
There is plenty of car parking along the beach with more space heading in an easterly direction and is the easiest of Lagos beaches to park at. Meia Praia is a popular centre for water sports including windsurfing, kite surfing and jet skiing. The equipment can be hired/rented and lessons can be provided. Meia Praia translated into English means half beach and this names originates from it being half of the long strip of sand between Lagos and Alvor that is divided into two by the Ribeira de Odiáxere river.
Meia Praia beach near Lagos
There are three forms of public transport to get to the Meia Praia beach from Lagos; walk, bus and train. The public bus service is the beach route (route 2) which starts at Mos Beach heads the Lagos bus station and ends at Meia beach. An adult single from the bus station costs €1.60 and the journey time is just over 20 minutes but there is only one service an hour and an intermittent service at the weekends.
The train connects to the quiet sections of the beach and is served by the Meia Praia train station. The train journey is only 4 minutes and the infrequent services makes rail travel impractical.