The Algarve is in my opinion one of the most underrated coastlines in Europe. If you have a few days to fill when visiting Portugal I would definitely recommend adding Lagos to your itinerary. Lagos is the perfect place to base yourself on the Algarve to explore the best beaches in the region. What I loved most about this coastline was the unique rock formations. It is a really spectacular area to wander and an ideal weekend escape.
How to get to Lagos from Lisbon
It is very simple to get to the Algarve coast, especially from Lisbon. There is a regular and affordable bus services provided by EVA and Network Express that will get you to Lagos in just under 3 hours. To book these buses in advance visit Rede Expressos. In summer it is advisable to purchase tickets in advance. If you are unsure of your desired dates you can buy these tickets in person at the station.
Rede Expressos has a translate option for their website but do note that Lisbon in Portuguese is ‘Lisboa’ when looking for signage on buses.
Where to stay in Lagos
While in Lagos I stayed at LC’s Guesthouse. This was not only one of the cheapest accommodation options in Lagos but it had all the perks of a hotel – aircon, private room, private bathroom and kitchen facilities.
The owner was really helpful and the free wifi was fast and reliable. It was only a short stroll to the grocery store and about a 10 minute walk to Lagos Old Town.
Where to eat in Lagos
Because Lagos is a very touristy town in summer the Old Town is absolutely filled with restaurant options. While I do usually try to eat authentic local cuisines, I was on a budget and there was some awesome backpacker friendly establishments. I can say after trying and testing that Beats and Burritos and Osaka Restaurant Japanese were great cheap eats.
What to do in Lagos
1. Praia do Pinhao
The closest beach to Lagos is Praia do Pinhao. This is the second busiest beach due to it being conveniently located. It is a relatively small beach but has some cool rock formations that you can walk through and around.
2. Praia Dona Ana
Priaia Don Ana is considered by locals as the most beautiful beach in Portugal. It is the largest beach in the Lagos area and has a combination of rock formations on the beach and out in the ocean. This is the perfect place to take some food and drink to have a picnic lunch.
3. Praia do Camilo
Praia do Camilo was my favourite beach because it felt like a secret hideaway. There are steep steps down to the beach and we had it entirely to ourselves. Make sure to walk through the cave as this leads to another ‘secret beach’ that is less visible from up on the cliffs.
4. Farol da Ponta da Piedade
Farol da Ponta da Piedade is the last stop along the coastline and out of all the beaches this has the most elaborate rock formations. This is where you will get your ‘postcard shots’ of the Algarve Coast. Just as a note, it was very doable to do all of these beaches in one day as all you need to do is follow the path along the coastline to get to each one.
5. Lagos Old Town
As mentioned before, Lagos Old Town is filled with restaurants and bars. While it was relatively quiet when I visited in November (during low season), it was clear that this town is absolutely full of life during summer.
Despite Lisbon being an amazing city, Lagos stole the show when it came to my favourite place in Portugal. I spent two days in Lisbon and two days in Lagos before flying back to London and while I would have loved to spend longer in Portugal, if you are short for time this was an ideal time frame to get the highlights of each area done.
If you have any questions or queries feel free to comment below 🙂
Suitcase And I was not commissioned to write this article and as always, the opinions in this review are my own.