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One day trip: Top things to do in Lagos

We all know that the Algarve is a bustling summertime hot spot, especially for ocean lovers and night owls. But not all are aware that the town of Lagos is the perfect town to base yourself on the Algarve Coast.

Located in the heart of the sunny Algarve and about 1 hour by car from Faro’s International airport and approximately 2 hours and a half from Lisbon, Lagos is among the most sought-after destinations in the Algarve region and attracts tourists and expats from many walks of life, simply because it seems to have all the things that people love about the region.

With over 2000 years of history, under Roman and Moorish reign until the 13th century, crusades, slave trade, pirates, explorers, naval battles, earthquakes, and tsunamis, Lagos has it all.

From magnificent beaches of all descriptions, from long sandy bays to tiny coves, to some of the best coastal hikes in Portugal, a relaxed atmosphere, and some historic charm, Lagos is the perfect spot for some incredible holidays or for a one-day trip.

Adding to that and most importantly due to the actual pandemic, Lagos is ranking 5th on the Top 10 of safest cities to visit post-lockdown in 2021 by the European Best Destinations.

While we hope you get to spend more time in Lagos, we share with you our top things to do in Lagos, our very best itinerary for a day trip in Lagos.






Stay at Dom Pedro Lagos hotel and go for a walk at Meia Praia beach

But first things first, start your day by fuelling yourself with our continental breakfast at Dom Pedro Lagos whilst enjoying some of the best views of Meia Praia beach.

If you are planning to get spoiled during your stay in Lagos, Dom Pedro Lagos is the place for you. This family friendly complex of 75 self-catering apartments sits on some of the best beach views in Lagos with 2 pools, garden and leisure areas.

Meia Praia beach is only 3 minutes away and it is a miles-long sandy beach stretching all the way to Alvor, which makes it ideal for long beach walks.

Get lost in Lagos old town

Head to the center of Lagos and explore the old town. Lagos old town is an exploring paradise, with Portuguese pavement in lovely patterns on its streets, mosaic-tiled streets and sights that transport you to the Age of Discovery when explorers set sail from the port.

The historic core of Lagos has whitewashed houses on a warren of patterned streets. The first protective walls were first built by the Romans and the current walls date back to the 16th century.

Walk inside the old city walls and get lost in the narrow back streets and explore the charming buildings, such as Igreja de Santo António and the Slaves Market.

Although, the city’s best-kept secret is the street art found all over the city. Lagos city council created a unique initiative called ARTURb, where Portuguese and international artists from the street art scene come together to create street art. Have some fun spotting all the street art, while exploring the city.

Visit the Lagos Fish Market

If you want to have a truly typical Portuguese experience head to Lagos’ Market and walk through the many stalls filled with fresh products such as fish and seafood, fruits and vegetables, along with the best products of the region, such as olive oil, dry fruits and nuts and some tasty homemade Portuguese sauces and jams.

Eat the fresh catch of the day

Lagos is a fishing town, so it seems obvious to eat fish, as chances to get a super fresh and well cooked fish are extremely high. Lagos has a wide range of restaurants, so you can’t go wrong.

The city has also a number of its own specialties such as poached mackerel, deep fried squid, octopus rice and cataplana. You can expect some fresh and delicious food.

Explore the breathtaking coastline

Now that you are fueled up, it is time to explore the coastline that makes Lagos so famous.

If you walk from the old town towards the waterfront you will first find The Forte da Ponta da Bandeira. The Forte was strategically built around the 18th Century to protect Lagos from pirates and later on was restored in the 1960’s. Take some time to explore the fort and then you can begin the walk along the cliffs past dozens of beautiful beaches.

Keep in mind that the walk will take you on several different pathways, sidewalks and trails. All equally beautiful and worthy. Also all along you will have a stunning full panoramic view of the sea and the best hidden beaches below.

If you keep walking and follow the path along the cliffs and beaches, you will walk past these beautiful sites such as Praia da Batata, Praia dos Estudantes, Praia do Pinhão and Praia Dona Ana.

Take a boat tour

Lago’s coastline is truly mesmerizing and should be seen from the ocean too. And the best way to do it is by taking a boat trip to explore the surrounding cliffs and natural caves.

Boat tours last a bit longer than an hour and may include a stop to a private beach or two, in addition to cruising through the caves. Make sure to ask about visiting the Elephant Cave, one of the most beautiful caves in the Algarve.

Catch the sunset at Ponta da Piedade

Ponta da Piedade is simply one of the most extraordinary places in the Algarve. The rock formations are mesmerizing and the postcard of the Algarve region. Rocks carved by the wind and tides for thousands of years where the bluffs and obelisks are riddled with caves and arches. Here the sea is crystal clear and the ravishing cliffs make the landscape a true wonder of nature.

For the best view, do it around sunset. The cliffs are a rich gold in the lowering sun, and the shimmering ocean amongst the grottos is truly picturesque, and you can end the walk at this beautiful lighthouse.

Close to the lighthouse you can take the large stairs down to the main bay of Ponta da Piedade. At the bottom, there is a peer for boats which on low tide can also get you to a small beach.

Whether you are visiting Lagos for a day or you are lucky enough to stay longer, Lagos is a must-see stop to include on any Algarve itinerary. There are so many unique and fun things to do in Lagos, but mainly make sure to enjoy its chill atmosphere, picturesque beaches, and nice and fresh gastronomy.