The best independent guide to Lagos
The best independent guide to Lagos
Lagos is one of the finest holiday destinations of the Algarve and is surrounded by a coastline of many beautiful beaches.
This varied coastline of Lagos has something for everyone. There are picturesque beaches nestled at the base of cliffs, surfing beaches exposed to huge Atlantic waves, or vast stretches of golden sands that are perfect for relaxing on.
If you’re in the early stages of planning your holiday to Lagos and want to know if there are fantastic sandy beaches here, then the answer is simple - yes!
Extending for 3km to the east of Lagos is the huge Meia Praia beach, while to the south of the city is a limestone headland that conceals many scenic and sheltered beaches, such as the Camilo and Praia don Ana.
Beyond the Ponta da Piedade headland, the coastline faces the mighty Atlantic Ocean. The beaches here, including the Praia de Porto de Mos, offer huge waves that make them an ideal choice for surfing. Slightly further from Lagos are the charming villages of Praia da Luz and Burgau, each boasting its own beautiful beach.
This article will detail the best beaches of Lagos and help you choose the most suitable destination for your day trip.
Related articles: Introduction to Lagos – 1 week in Lagos – Sights and activities
The sheltered beaches to the south of Lagos, such as the Praia do Camilo
The swathes of golden sands of the Meia Praia
The best beaches within walking distance of Lagos are:
1) Praia do Camilo – A picturesque and secluded beach nestled between towering cliffs.
2) Meia Praia – An endless expanse of golden sands, with surfing waves and a beautiful natural setting.
3) Praia don Ana – One of the finest beaches of the Algarve, with soft sands surrounded by golden limestone cliffs.
4) Praia de Porto de Mos – A popular surfing beach with a large sandy shoreline
5) Praia da Batata – The closest sandy beach to Lagos, ideal for families but will be busy in the summer.
The best beach towns and villages near Lagos
If you are considering a beach-focused day trip from Lagos, then these are the locations you should consider:
Praia da Luz (8km) – Relaxed and personable resort town set around a beautiful beach.
Burgau (14km) - Delightful fishing village that exudes Portuguese charm and has been barely touched by tourism.
Alvor (20km driving) – A favourite with retirees and families, on the opposite side of the Meia Praia beach.
Sagres (55km) – Towering cliffs and raging seas that offer some of the best surfing in Portugal.
Below is an interactive map displaying the location of Lagos’s beaches. The beaches of Lagos are marked in yellow, while the best beaches of the western Algarve are marked in green (Note: zoom out to see them)
Lagos beaches (yellow): 1) Praia de Porto de Mós 2) Praia do Camilo 3) Praia de Dona Ana 4) Praia do Pinhão 5) Praia da Batata 6) Meia Praia
The best beaches of the western Algarve (green): 7) Praia da Luz 8) Praia do Burgau 9) Praia da Salema 10) Praia da Ingrina 11) Praia do Martinhal 12) Praia da Mareta 13) Praia do Beliche 14) Praia de Alvor
Burgau is a delightful fishing village with a fantastic beach
We have worked with Getyourguide.com over the last five years, and a selection of their best tours from Lagos includes:
The weather is suitable for spending time on the beach from May until the end of September, with the beaches being at their busiest in August. As the coastline faces the Atlantic Ocean, the temperature of the sea waters is surprisingly chilly, only reaching 21C in the summer.
Lagos beaches are ideal for families, as they are supervised by lifeguards during the peak season. In addition, the beaches to the south of the city are sheltered from the strong Atlantic waves and currents.
The beaches of the Ponta da Piedade headland (Camilo, Ana and Pinhão) all sit at the base of tall cliffs and are reached via wooden staircases.
The beautiful Praia de Dona Ana beach is reached via a staircase
This section will detail provide more detail for the beaches that are close to Lagos.
The Meia Praia Beach
The Meia Praia is the largest beach within the Lagos region, extending for almost 5km from the mouth of the Lagos estuary around the bay to the Odiáxere river. Meia Praia is a wonderful beach, with soft sands, clean waters and a pristine setting, surrounded by low-rise sand dunes. This is the beach where most visitors will spend the majority of their time.
The western side of the beach is sheltered and suitable for families, while on blustery days, the Meia Praia is a favourite location for kite surfers and surfers. The sandy bay on which the Meia Praia is situated continues for 8.5km all the way to Alvor, but this stretch of sand is divided into two by the Odiáxere river; this dividing also gives the Meia Praia its name (half beach).
Meia Praia beach is popular during the summer, but its huge size means there is always lots of space
The Praia de Porto de Mos beach
The Praia de Porto de Mós is the second largest sandy beach of the Lagos region, which lies on the south-western side of the city.
The Porto de Mós is a beautiful beach that is exposed to the powerful Atlantic waves, making it a popular location for surfing. While the beach is exposed to the large waves, the steep cliffs provide shelter from any prevailing winds.
If you are on holiday in the Porto de Mós district of Lagos, this will be your main beach.
The Porto de Mós beach is 3.5km from central Lagos, and the beach is connected to the city by the ‘A Onda’ local bus (Linha 2 route, €1.60 single, departure every 55min): http://aonda.pt/
Inside info: The Linha 2 bus is useful for a beach holiday to Lagos, as it connects the city to the Meia Praia, the Praia de Porto de Mós and the Praia de Dona Ana beaches.
Insider tip: There is a scenic and challenging coastal hiking path from Porto de Mos to Praia de Luz.
The Porto de Mos lies to the west of the Ponta da Piedade headland
Porto de Mos is a wonderful beach
The Praia da Batata
The Praia da Batata is the closest beach to the historic centre of Lagos, lying just to the south of the Ponta da Bandeira fort. This attractive beach is surrounded by the golden-coloured cliffs of the Ponta da Piedade headland.
The cliffs shelter the beach from the powerful waves and sea breezes, with this peaceful, natural setting making it ideal for families and swimming. The only downside to the beach is its proximity to the city, which means that it can be very busy in the summer.
The Praia da Batata sits at the mouth of Lagos harbour
The Praia don Ana
The Praia Dona Ana beach is one of the most visually stunning beaches of the entire Algarve coastline. Golden limestone cliffs surround the beach, with calm, turquoise seawaters lapping the golden sands. The Praia Dona Ana is a wonderful location for a relaxing day, and is equally suited for families. The calm waters also make the beach a great place for snorkelling.
From central Lagos, it is a 30-minute walk to the Praia Dona Ana, but the beach is served but the ‘Linha 2’ bus route and a mini road train.
Related articles: Praia Dona Ana beach guide
The Praia Dona Ana is nestled between golden cliffs
The Praia do Camilo
The Praia do Camilo is very similar to the Praia Dona Ana. The beach has an idyllic appearance, set amidst the golden cliffs of the Ponta da Piedade headland and overlooking the beautiful, turquoise sea. There is no public transport to Camilo beach, and it is a 40-minute walk from central Lagos.
Insight: At the top of the cliffs is the popular seafood restaurant ‘O Camilo’.
Praia do Canavial
The Praia do Canavial is a nudist beach located to the east of Porto de Mos. The beach is surrounded by orange sandstone cliffs, and this is one of the most inaccessible beaches of the region. To reach it, never scramble down the cliffs - as this is extremely dangerous. There is a footpath from the cliff-top boardwalk, or at low tide, it is possible to walk from Porto de Mos beach around the headland. This is the beach to visit if you want to escape the summertime crowds.
The cliffs behind Praia do Canavial are incredibly fragile
Praia do Pinhão
The Praia do Pinhão is a small beach nestled at the base of the Ponta da Piedade cliffs, part-way between the Praia Dona Ana and Praia da Batata. The beach is reached via a set of stone stairs.