Beaches in Lagos, Portugal: 7 Must-See + A Secret One

Lagos is one of the most visited cities in the Algarve due to its stunning and world-famous beaches, incredible rock formations, great variety of hotels, bars, restaurants and spirited summer nightlife.

Lagos beaches are extraordinarily surrounded by red-orange-and-yellow cliffs with crystal-clear water and figure among not only the best beaches in the Algarve but in the whole world.

Another great thing about Lagos is that some of its best beaches are very close to each other, so you can take in a few in one go.

You can walk from Praia da Batata to Dona Ana, only at the low tide though, and with the brand-new Ponta da Piedade boardwalk opened last April, you can stroll from Praia da Dona Ana to Praia do Canavial.

I’ve visited the city several times and it’s the reason I decided to write this post about the best beaches in Lagos. When you plan your Algarve itinerary, make sure to include some of them.

A man walking on Praia Dona Ana, Lagos, with massive yellow cliffs with low vegetation on the top of it in the background
Praia de Dona Ana was once considered the most beautiful beach in the world.

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Some of the most popular tours in Lagos:

7 Best Beaches in Lagos Portugal

1 – Ponta da Piedade

Ponta da Piedade (Mercy Point) is one of those places that is hard to believe exist!

Located around 3 Km from Lago’s city centre, it’s probably the most incredible shoreline in the world and according to the Huffington Post, the most beautiful beach in the world.

Featuring a stunning combination of majestic rock formations, sea arches, caves, ochre cliffs and crystal-clear green water, Ponta da Piedade will certainly take your breath away.

I’ve been to the Algarve often but even I was completely in awe the first time I saw Ponta da Piedade. OMG!

beaches in lagos
Ponta da Piedade and all its splendor!

To get there you can walk on the Ponta da Piedade boardwalk, or drive through “Estrada da Ponta da Piedade”. At the end of the road, there’s a parking lot, public restrooms a restaurant, souvenir shops, and a lighthouse (closed to the public).

Then, you find a cliff-top path to access the beach.

From the 20m (65ft) height cliffs you can take in all of Ponta da Piedade’s beauty, but you should definitely take the 182 steps down the ravine and get near the water to have another view of it.

Four boats sailing on the unbelievable crystal-clear green water of Ponta da Piedade surrounded by uneven beige cliffs
The unbelievable crystal-clear green water of Ponta da Piedade.

Ponta da Piedade is the most beautiful beach in the Algarve and you just can’t miss it!

Smart Tips:

Please be careful when you climb the cliffs and the steep stairway to take pictures because in some parts there isn’t a hand- or guardrail.

If you don’t want to make your way to Ponta da Piedade, you can take a boat trip. If you’re an adventurer, like me, kayaking on the sea to the stacks and grottoes can be much more fun.

2 – Praia do Camilo

Praia do Camilo is a very scenic beach framed by impressive limestone rocks and one of my favourite Lagos beaches.

The tiny beach surrounded by orange, yellow and red cliffs, has crystalline green-blue water, and amber sand and is accessed by a long wooden staircase.

Praia do Camilo, Lagos, enveloped by orange, yellow and red cliffs, with many umbrellas on the amber sand, boats and kayaks sailing on the crystalline green-blue water, and a long wooden staircase.
Praia do Camilo during the peak season.

What I like most about Praia do Camilo is that it’s so picturesque, whether you see it from the cliffs, the stairway, the sand or even from the water.

The infrastructure is very basic. There’s only one restaurant on the top of the cliff close to the stairway with public toilets, lifeguards on duty and a kiosk selling snacks and beverages.

This beach has two sections and at high tide, you need to use a hand-dug tunnel to access the second part.

Praia do Camilo gets very crowded in the summer, especially in August, and finding a free spot to lay your towel can be challenging.

Even though, I still think that the visit it’s worthwhile visiting Camilo as it’s an awe-inspiring beach!

Quick Tips:

If your consumption at the kiosk is€ 10, you can get an umbrella to use during your stay. If it’s over€ 30, you can hire a SUP for free for one hour and explore the nearby caves and grottoes.

If you’re on a budget, bring a cooler with water, booze and snacks. Don’t forget also to bring a towel.

3 – Praia da Dona Ana

Once you arrive at Praia da Dona Ana, you understand why it was considered the most beautiful beach in the world by Condé Nast Traveller Magazine in 2013.

At one side, a long and uneven wall, formed by ravishing orange cliffs covered in low vegetation, merges with the azure water and disappears in front of your eyes.

On the other side, the cliffs shelter the beach and form a bay that is perfect for swimming in its tranquil waters.

Praia da Dona Ana, Lagos, Portugal
I love this view of Praia da Dona Ana

It’s accessed by stairways and there’s a parking lot, wooden boardwalks, beach amenities, a restaurant and a masseur and lifeguards on duty.

Praia de Dona Ana is very popular among tourists and locals and it has been enlarged to better attend everyone.

Even though the beach can get very crowded during the summer, it’s totally worthwhile a visit.

You must see Praia de Dona Ana as it’s one of the most famous and best beaches in Lagos Portugal.

Praia da Dona Ana after the extension with a large beach backed up by yellow cliffs
Praia da Dona Ana after the extension.
  • Praia da Dona Ana amenities prices: 2 Chairs and an umbrella for €10. SUP: 20 €/h.

4 – Praia da Luz

Located 6Km west of Lagos city centre, Praia da Luz (Beach of Light), is another famous Lagos beach that you’ll love.

This stretch of sand is sheltered by the imposing Rocha Negra, a basalt headland, and the landscape is very different from the part of the Algarve coast between Albufeira and Lagos, but equally fascinating.

As soon as I arrived at Praia da Luz I was mesmerized by its dazzling blue water!

It features soft sand, stunning crystalline water, and some rocks forming natural pools that are perfect for relaxing.

Luz is a large Blue Flag beach, and you can expect all kinds of facilities, such as wooden boardwalks, toilets, umbrellas and chairs for hire, lifeguards on duty, wheelchair access, etc.

You can spend the entire day sunbathing, swimming, and lounging on the beach.

Pericles Rosa wearing blue shorts in the crystalline waters of Praia da Luz, Lagos, Portugal
It’s totally worth leaving Lago’s city centre and heading to the famous Praia da Luz

5 – Praia dos Estudantes

Students’ Beaches probably has the most interesting history of all the Lagos beaches because there’s a small bridge that was part of a fortress.

The tiny sandy beach is nestled among rock formations that extend into the sea, making the water very calm and perfect for swimming!

It’s accessed through a small staircase or a handmade tunnel that connects Praia dos Estudantes with Praia da Batata.

There’s also a second hand-dug tunnel from where you can go to another nearby beach, only at low tide.

part of Praia dos Estudantes, Lagos, with a beach enclosed by cliffs, people sunbathing on the ochre sand and others in the water
Because of the cliffs, the water in Praia do Estudante is very calm.

The second area of Praia dos Estudantes is very photogenic because there’s a charming bridge linking a cliff to the mainland.

This bridge was part of the Pinhão Fortress which was almost completely destroyed by a tsunami following an earthquake in 1755.

Praia dos Estudantes is mostly frequented by younger people and is very quiet compared to the other beaches in the city.

There aren’t amenities or lifeguards, but it’s located very close to the city centre so you can reach bars, restaurants and supermarkets easily from there.

6 – Praia do Pinhão

Located between Praia dos Estudantes and Dona Ana, Pinhão is another gorgeous beach with crystal-clear azure water, yellow and orange towering cliffs and amber sand.

aerial view of Praia do Pinhão with many people sunbathing, others swimming in the crystalline green-blueish water some yellow cliffs
Praia do Pinhão at the end of the afternoon.

It’s accessed by a steep stone stairway and also via Praia dos Estudantes at low tide.

the huge yellow cliffs of Praia do Pinhão, Lagos, and a man wearing pink short walking on the shore
You can walk from Praia do Estudante to Praia do Pinhão at low tide.

Praia do Pinhão is frequented by families and young people and the second part, closer to Dona Ana Beach, is much larger and usually busier than the first one.

The nicest thing about Pinhão is that it’s secluded and untouched.

It isn’t busy as the other beaches in the city and is perfect for swimming.

But, be prepared to bring towels, umbrellas and a thermal bag with drinks because there aren’t amenities here.

7 – Praia da Batata

The closest beach to the city centre, “Potato Beach” has an excellent infrastructure with public bathrooms, showers, restaurants, lifeguards, chairs, umbrellas and SUP for hire and is one of only four wheelchair-accessible beaches in the city.

Praia da Batata, Lagos, Portugal
The first part of Praia da Batata

At the entrance, you can see the historic beachfront fortress Ponta da Bandeira which was completed in 1690, the Cais da Solaria, a breakwater that protects the mouth of the River Bensafrim, and Lagos’ marina and harbour.

When you walk towards the beach’s southern end with the familiar ochre Algarvian cliffs, Praia da Batata gets much more beautiful, quieter and nicer.

some people reading and sunbathing on Praia da Batata and some of its yellow cliffs
Perfect for relaxing and reading a book.

For me, Batata isn’t as good as the others, but because of its convenient location, it’s perfect for combining with a visit to the historic centre, and for those who don’t have much time in the city but wanted to take a quick dip.

  • Praia da Batata amenities prices: 2 Chairs and an umbrella for €15, Kayak €10/h, SUP €15/h.

These are the 7 Lagos best beaches that I believe you must not miss when you’re in the city. You can visit all of them in three or even two days.

But if you want to visit a much quieter beach that isn’t on the tourist radar, here is my suggestion.

A Secret Lagos Beach, Portugal

Praia Grande

If you’re looking for an extra dose of adventure with the reward of a peaceful and striking spot, Praia Grande is your beach.

Access to this beach is challenging because you need to go down on the cliffs holding on to a rope, and then squeeze yourself between the cliff walls.

No worries though, because it isn’t actually rock climbing and doesn’t take more than 10min to get there.

Access to Praia Grande with two people holding up a rope between orange sea cliffs, kayaks and people on the sand, boats and some people and kayaks sailing on the water
Access to Praia Grande can be scary but it isn’t that hard.

Praia Grande is surrounded by tall orange-yellow cliffs, has light golden sand, grottoes and caves begging to be explored and incredible crystal-clear turquoise water.

Despite its name “Big Beach”, Praia Grande is relatively small and only a few people would venture to visit it.

In fact, most of the visitors come by kayak and boat as it’s a popular spot for taking a break during kayak excursions.

But even so, the beach is quiet and the water is perfect for snorkelling due to the many coral reefs.

Aerial view of Praia Grande with a beige-orangeish cliff, people laying down on towels on the sand near yellow kayaks, the crystalline water with some coral reefs and some green kayaks sailing on the water
Praia Grande is one of the most secluded public beaches in Lagos, Portugal

Quick tip: If you don’t want to go to Praia Grande but still want to visit a beach away from the crowds, there is a clothing-optional beach nearby with easier access, called Praia dos Pinheiros.

Safe travels and enjoy Lagos 😉

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Visiting Lagos, Portugal

Where’s Lagos?

Lagos is a coastal town in southern Portugal’s Algarve region (check the map here).

How to get there?

There’s an international airport in Faro, but the most popular is the one in Lisbon.

From Lisbon, you can take a bus or a train to Lagos. The prices are basically the same and they take around 3h30min to get there.

Some of the companies that fly to Faro are: Easyjet, British Airways, Ryanair and TAP.

You can book your flights with Skyscanner, which is the website that I use and trust.

Best time to visit Lagos

The best time to visit the Algarve is late May, June, September or early October. During the peak if the summer, it gets too hot and crowded.

Where to stay in Lagos?

Budget: Guest House Casa Sousa, Olive Hostel Lagos and Camone Hostel.

Great Value for Money: Lagos Uptown Bed & Breakfast, Don Manuel I Charming Residence, Baluarte Da Vila Apartments and Aldeia Azul Resort.

Luxury: Villas Don Dinis, Cascade Wellness & Lifestyle Resort and Belmar Spa & Beach Resort

How to get around?

If you’re only staying in Lagos you don’t need a car because you can walk to all those beaches. You need just to book a transfer from Faro’s airport and you can do it here.

If you want to visit other cities in the Algarve, you must rent a car because the public transportation in the Algarve isn’t good.

You can rent a car with Rental Cars or Discover Cars here at no extra cost to you.

Extra Tips for Visiting Lagos Beaches

  • You can walk from Praia da Batata to Pinhão following the trails atop the cliffs, or passing through the beach tunnels at low tide, which is much quicker and more delightful.
  • Be careful when you’re visiting those beaches, especially when taking pictures because the cliffs are unstable and there is a risk of falling rocks.
  • Don’t forget to bring sunscreen, hats, towels and plenty of water.
  • The sea is in general very calm but sometimes the water isn’t as clear as you see in this post.
  • Don’t expect warm water because it’s not warm at all.

Lagos Tours that I recommend

Travel Planning Resources For every booking made through my site I donate US$ 1 for a charitable organization.Safe travels ☺

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