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Lagos, Portugal. An adorable little town located in the Algarve region of Portugal, Lagos is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited, filled with epic vistas and breathtaking limestone cliffs. So, I’ve compiled a list on the 10 most spectacular beaches of Lagos, Portugal.
With sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean, majestic coastlines, towering cliffs, and an abundance of adventurous water-based tours, travelers flock to the pristine Lagos beaches year-round; it’s truly one of the best and most popular Portugal landmarks.
And whether you’re hoping to do some exhilarating water sports (from kayaking to hidden coves, surfing gnarly waves, touring the Lagos Portugal caves, and more!), or simply want to laze around on a dreamy European beach, Lagos is the place to go.
More than that, Lagos is a charming seaside town filled with delicious eateries, lovely boutiques, and a vast and fascinating history, making it the best place to stay in Algarve.
So without further ado, let’s begin: these are the 10 best beaches in Lagos.
Quick Summary of the Best Beaches of Lagos, Portugal
- Ponta da Piedade: Chosen by Huffington Post as the most beautiful beach in the world, this stunning beach showcases Lagos’ striking scenery, with towering ochre cliffs and dramatic rock formations.
- Meia Praia: Lagos’ largest beach, this spacious stretch of sand lacks Algarve’s typical sandstone cliffs, but offers tons of room and is perfect for water sports.
- Praia da Batata: Located the closest to Lagos Portugal, this beach attracts quite a few visitors, but also offers great infrastructure and awesome views of a 17th century fortress.
- Praia dos Estudantes: One of the most popular photography spots in Lagos, this beach offers magical views of a Roman style bridge connecting two towering rock formations.
- Praia do Pinhão: A gorgeous and secluded beach, this is a great choice for those seeking space but still wish to remain close to Lagos.
- Praia Dona Ana: The best place to collect unique and colorful sea shells, Praia Dona Ana is one of the most beautiful Lagos Portugal beaches, showcasing the classic and breathtaking Algarvian scenery.
- Praia do Camilo: A small and popular beach enclosed by towering sandstone cliffs, this picturesque spot is great for swimmers!
- Praia do Barranco do Martinho: Huddled near Ponta da Piedade, this beach is a bit of a challenge to get to, making it more secluded and spacious!
- Praia do Canavial: Located near Ponta da Piedade, this beach has little protection from the Atlantic’s powerful winds, making it great for surfing (one of the best things to do in Algarve!).
- Praia de Porto de Mós: The second largest beach on this list, this spacious stretch of sand offers tons of amenities, and is another great place for surfing Lagos Portugal.
The 10 Best Beaches of Lagos, Portugal
Before I list the 10 most spectacular beaches of Lagos, Portugal, I just want to note that disregarding the first two on the list (Ponta da Piedade and Meia Praia), this list follows a trail that goes from the beaches closest to Lagos to the furthest.
So if you want to spend a whole day checking out all of Lagos’ best beaches, you can easily walk to all of them in order from 3 to 10 (which is great for budget backpackers!). I definitely recommend visiting a handful of them; they’re some of the most beautiful places in Portugal, essential for any Portugal itinerary.
Ponta da Piedade
First, let’s start our list with one of the most popular and majestic Lagos Portugal beaches: Ponta da Piedade (Point of Mercy).
Designated by Huffington Post as the most beautiful beach in the world, Ponta da Piedade, located 1.8 miles (3 km) from Lagos’ city center, is an essential stop on your trip to Lagos (and the reason I decided to visit Lagos on my backpacking Europe trip in the first place!).
An enchanting little beach enclosed by striking sandstone cliffs, Ponta da Piedade offers panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, wonderful hidden caves, and dramatic rock formations jutting out from the shallow, emerald waters. Quite simply, Ponta da Piedade is breathtaking.
Ponta da Piedade can be accessed by water (either by taking a cruise, boat tour, or kayak) or by foot. And both options offer stunning and dramatic views of Lagos’ rugged coastline! However, be careful climbing down the path down to Ponta da Piedade, as the stairs are steep.
Additionally, do note that during peak season, you aren’t able to swim at Ponta da Piedade due to the huge influx of boats. But you may be able to swim if you visit early in the morning or later in the evening, after all the tours are over.
With a parking lot, restaurant, gift shop, public restrooms, and a lighthouse (closed to the public), there are many facilities offered at Ponta da Piedade; you can easily spend hours at this magical Lagos beach! It is truly one of the best places to visit in Portugal, and an essential for any Algarve itinerary.
Next on the list is Lagos’ largest beach: Meia Praia.
With the western end (closest to Lagos) referred to as the Praia de São Roque, the vast Meia Praia is one of the best beaches of Lagos, Portugal, especially for those who want to avoid large crowds!
2.5 miles (4 km) long, Meia Praia is unlike every other beach on this list. Ditching the majestic sandstone cliffs, Meia Praia is a flat beach sandwiched between Lagos and the mouth of the Odiáxere River, and backed by pristine sand dunes. While it lacks the epic scenery of the other beaches, it makes up for it with its other amenities!
Due to its lack of cliffs, Meia Praia enjoys lots of wind, making it perfect for water and aerial sports. From kite-surfing, paragliding, sailing, kayaking, surfing, paddle-boarding, windsurfing, and more, there are an abundance of exciting activities to do. Meia Praia is definitely one of the most fun places in Lagos!
Meia Praia is also perfect for families and those with accessibility issues, as it offers lifeguards, calm waters, and a sandy, rock-less seabed. There are also many restaurants and snack bars available (some of the best restaurants in Lagos!), and it’s one of the best areas to stay in Lagos, so you can easily spend all day relaxing at Meia Praia.
And since Meia Praia is so vast, it is easy to find spaces all to yourself. Even during peak season, you can avoid the crowds by walking east, away from the area closest to Lagos.
Praia da Batata
Next on our list is the charming Praia da Batata (Potato Beach). Conveniently close to Lagos, Praia da Batata is a wheelchair-accessible and family-friendly beach offering calm waves and a 17th century fortress!
Due to its close proximity to Lagos, Praia da Batata can get quite crowded. However, this also means it has great infrastructure, offering public bathrooms and showers, restaurants, beach bars, a lifeguard, and chairs.
And since Praia da Batata is sheltered from the Atlantic Ocean’s westerly winds and powerful waves, the beach is perfect for several water activities, including swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and stand-up paddle-boarding.
Additionally, Praia da Batata offers delightful views, from the historic 1690 fortress Ponta da Bandeira to the classic Algarvian scenery, complete with rocky ochre cliffs and sweeping ocean views.
While the other beaches on this list offer even more rugged and breathtaking landscapes, you can’t beat Praia da Batata’s convenient proximity to one of the best cities in Portugal!
Praia dos Estudantes
Next, one of the most photogenic Lagos Portugal beaches is the gorgeous Praia dos Estudantes (Students’ Beach).
Surrounded by Algarve’s typical landscapes, with towering ochre cliffs and sweeping Atlantic views, Praia dos Estudantes is a small but stunning beach with perfect waters for swimming.
But what makes Praia dos Estudantes unique is its striking Roman style stone bridge, connecting two elevated rock formations. One of the most popular pictures of Lagos Portugal, the bridge was once part of the Pinhão Fortress. However, the bridge is now the fortress’ final, ancient remains, after the rest of the fortress was destroyed by an earthquake and following tsunami in 1755.
While the beach is pretty close to Lagos’ city center, it doesn’t offer any amenities like lifeguards or public restrooms, making it a more quiet and secluded Lagos beach.
The beach can be accessed through a man-made northern tunnel connecting to Praia da Batata, or through a small staircase. There’s also a tunnel leading to the southern end of the beach, but you’ll have to keep an eye out on the tide!
Overall, Praia dos Estudantes is an enchanting little beach offering sheltered waters perfect for swimming, smaller crowds, and the remains of an ancient fortress bridge. Visiting Praia dos Estudantes was definitely one of my Portugal highlights!
Praia do Pinhão
Wedged between Praia dos Estudantes and Praia Dona Ana, Praia do Pinhao is a gorgeous, secluded beach, more untouched than the other beaches of Lagos, Portugal.
Since it’s more of a hidden gem (for Lagos’ standards), there are not many amenities offered at Praia do Pinhão. So make sure you bring your own towels, umbrellas, drinks, food, etc.
But with its lack of commercialization comes great advantages; Praia do Pinhão is one of the best beaches for peace and solitude! With a stunning seashore, pristine sand, and looming sandstone cliffs, it’s the ideal spot to sit back and relax.
Praia do Pinhão can be accessed via the cliffs (by climbing down the steep stairs), or through man-made tunnels connecting Praia dos Estudantes (but these tunnels are only accessible at low tide).
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Praia Dona Ana
If you’re on the hunt for some colorful sea shells, then the fantastic Praia Dona Ana is the place to go.
With an abundance of beautiful shells, glittering crystal waters, golden sand, and soaring limestone cliffs, Praia Dona Ana is one of the best places to visit in Lagos (especially for some great Lagos travel photos!).
With the imposing sandstone cliffs sheltering the beach from the wind, this 525 ft (160 m) long beach offers tranquil waters, great for swimming, snorkeling, and diving.
Additionally, the imposing orange cliffs cast enough shadows to offer some cool spots on hot days (but there’s still plenty of sun-filled spots for sunbathing!). With dramatic rock formations and azure waters, Praia Dona Ana is breathtaking; it is definitely one of the best places in Portugal.
A popular spot for tourists and locals alike, the beach offers great infrastructure, including a parking lot, wooden boardwalks, restaurants, and lifeguards, making it perfect for families. It is accessible via a long wooden staircase, and by boat.
Overall, Praia Dona Ana is one of the most beautiful beaches in Algarve, and a worthwhile visit while you’re in Lagos, Portugal!
Praia do Camilo
Next on our list is the awe-inspiring Praia do Camilo.
With jagged rocks bursting through the blue-green ocean, this cove of amber sand is small but intimate. However, due to its small size, Praia do Camilo does get pretty crowded in the summer (with tons of people taking holidays to Lagos Portugal). This makes it difficult to find a free spot, so I recommend getting there early!
Encased in picturesque golden cliffs, Praia do Camilo is another Lagos beach protected from the Atlantic’s harsh winds and aggressive ocean waves. This makes it great for water activities, offering tranquil waters perfect for swimming, snorkeling, deep diving, and kayaking.
The beach is divided into two sections; at high tide, the second section of the beach can only be accessed through a hand-made tunnel. Praia do Camilo also offers some amenities, including lifeguards and one restaurant, and is accessed through winding wooden stairs.
Praia do Barranco do Martinho
For a secluded beach nestled near Ponta da Piedade, visit Praia do Barranco do Martinho.
While this beach is a bit more challenging to access, with a few climbing spots (bring an extra pair of shoes that aren’t flip-flops!), this means you’ll mostly get the beach to yourself.
And with breathtaking views, clear azure waters, and Algarve’s typical ochre cliffs, Praia do Barranco do Martinho has a magical quality to it. While there’s no lifeguards or amenities, the waters are calm, making it a great beach for swimming (which is one of my favorite things to do in Lagos Portugal!).
Overall, if you want the perfect isolated beach in southern Portugal (and don’t mind the challenge of accessing it), visit Praia do Barranco do Martinho.
Praia do Canavial
Next on our list on the most fabulous beaches of Lagos, Portugal is the stunning Praia do Canavial.
A great destination if you’re planning on surfing Lagos, Portugal, the Praia do Canavial is located west of Ponta da Piedade, and lacks its iconic dramatic rock formations.
And while Praia do Canavial still offers imposing ochre cliffs, they don’t shelter the beach from the Atlantic Ocean’s strong winds and waves, making it perfect for surfing and body-boarding.
While Praia do Canavial is a bit small, there’s still plenty of space along its long shoreline (especially since there are fewer visitors, due to its distance from Lagos). However, you do have to visit Praia do Canavial during low tide, as this narrow beach disappears in high tide!
Praia do Canavial can be accessed through a slightly challenging wooden staircase and dirt trail.
Overall, Praia do Canavial is an amazing and remote beach, perfect for relaxing and surfing. While it lacks the dramatic arches and jagged rock formations of Ponta da Piedade, Praia do Canavial still holds an enchanting quality that you can’t miss!
Want to start hiking? If so, read my article on the 15 best beginner hiking tips, so you can hit the trails confidently and safely!
Praia de Porto de Mós
Finally, the last beach on our list is the second largest, as well as the best place to go surfing in Lagos, Portugal: Praia de Porto de Mos.
Providing vast amounts of golden sand and backed by tall limestone cliffs, this is another beautiful Portugal beach with no shelter from the Atlantic Ocean’s powerful winds and big waves. While the rough seas make it harder to swim, it is great for surfing and body-boarding!
While it is a bit further from Lagos’ city center, this results in fewer visitors (so it’s one of the less crowded tourist attractions in Lagos). Adding its considerable size, it’s very easy to find spaces all to yourself! With picturesque views of the Portugal‘s southern shoreline and crystalline waters, this is a great beach to relax and sunbathe.
Additionally, Praia de Porto de Mos offers tons of amenities, from beachfront cafés to delicious eateries. Overall, this spacious beach offers the conveniences of the beaches closer to Lagos (as well as premium surfing spots), while remaining uncrowded!
Extra Tips for Visiting the Beaches of Lagos, Portugal
- Be careful of falling rocks near the cliffs, especially while exploring the caves in Lagos, Portugal! Additionally, while sunbathing, find a sandy beach spot away from the precarious cliffs.
- Don’t forget to bring plenty of sunscreen, water, snacks, and towels! Especially since some of these beaches don’t offer certain amenities—it’s best to be prepared.
- While the waters of these Lagos beaches are typically calm, still be careful (especially if you’re not the best swimmer, or there are no lifeguards on duty).
- The waters are not as warm as they appear to be, even during the best time to visit Portugal (summer). And while you can still go swimming in the winter (as Portugal is one of the top warm winter destinations in Europe), I would recommend swimming in a wet suit!
- Be aware of the tides, as the man-made tunnels connecting the beaches flood in high tide.
- Some of the trails connecting the beaches or descending to the beaches aren’t the safest, so be careful. It is also a good idea to wear solid shoes.
And That’s It for the Best Beaches of Lagos, Portugal!
I hope you enjoyed this list on the best beaches of Lagos, Portugal. Alternatively, this can serve as a list of the best things to do in Lagos, Algarve, as every single beach on this list is worth visiting (and easy to access)!
Overall, I hoped I convinced you that Lagos is one of the best cities in Portugal to visit, and you’ll consider stopping by while backpacking in Portugal! Have fun, and happy travels.
Thanks for reading the article! If you have any questions, feel free to comment down below, and if you want to see more travel and hike-related content, make sure to check out my other articles.
Photos by Mia and Pixabay.
About to embark on a trip around Europe? Here are some helpful articles to make your trip as awesome and stress-free as possible:
- How to Travel Around Europe
- How to Travel Without Breaking the Bank
- 15 Things to Do Before a Trip
- My 5-Week Europe Itinerary
- The Minimalist Europe Fall Packing List for Women
- How to Start Hiking: 15 Beginner Hiking Tips
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- Click here for more posts on Europe
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