Lagos is one of the most famed cities of the Algarve. It played an crucial role during the Portuguese Discoveries as it was the home of Prince Henry the Navegator and the harbour from where many of the Portuguese expeditions departed during the 15th and 16th centuries. Lagos is also famed for its beaches such as Meia Praia, Camilo Beach or Dona Ana. Lagos is composed basically out of terrain houses, light coloured, where numerous shops, galleries and other hotel establishments are held.
The main elements regarding its heritage are the ruins of Laccobriga (Lagos), the Parish Church of Santa Maria de Lagos, the Santo António Church (Museum Municipal), the Governor’s Castle (Castelo dos Governadores) and the Ponta da Bandeira Fortress. On the other hand, its most unique beaches are the Porto de Mós Beach, the Meia Praia, the Camilo Beach and the fine Dona Ana beach.
Also worth visiting the natural monument of the Ponta da Piedade and Lagos Zoo (Zoo de Lagos). Due to its coast and natural beauty, Lagos depends on tourism, nevertheless, this is a city that never lost its identity, its symbols, traditions and culture. Discover the best beaches in Lagos, Algarve, south of Portugal.
1. Praia do Camilo
Praia do Camilo Beach is a beautiful beach in the municipality of Lagos (Algarve). The beach can be accessed through a great rocky staircase. The cliff surrounding the beach offers a great panoramic view of the coastal line between Lagos and Albufeira.
The sandy area of this beach is divided by a vast rock formation that can be crossed through a tunnel excavated through it. While crossing the tunnel, pay attention and you will see a vast amount of seashells encrusted in the rock. In the cliff area, it’s common to spot birds such as the european shags and the common and black-headed seagulls.
2. Praia Dona Ana
The access to Praia Dona Ana beach ends in a small overlook from which you can see the interesting rocky formation. These have been sculpted by the fresh and sea waters for centuries, creating a vast array of grots, cliffs, caves, etc. The sandy area offers concavities next to the cliffs perfect for hiding from the winds and enjoying an intimate spot.
This beach is perfect for diving: it’s possible to see anemone, starfish, sea urchins, prawns, and banks of small fish next to the vast rock formations. On top of the cliff, there is a trail that leads to Praia do Pinhão beach.
3. Praia da Luz
Praia da Luz beach is located in the small and cosmopolite touristic town of Luz. A stone paved walk and flanked by great palm trees is here the perfect setting for your walk. Prefer looking at the sea or enjoying some drinks in the lively and sunny terrazas? Luz has that and more too. On one side of the beach, there is a rocky platform with reddish hues very much sculpted by the sea.
If you are close enough to it, it’s possible to see marine fossils and the fauna of the intertidal line. Towards the east of the beach rises a grey and eroded cliff known as Rocha Negra: a volcanic seam of Sierra de Monchique which extended towards the sea. This quiet-water bay is ideal for practicing different water sports such as windsurfing, kitesurfing, sailing, or diving.
4. Praia do Pinhão
To reach Praia do Pinhão beach, you can walk along a pedestrian trail along the top of the cliff from the famous Praia Dona Ana beach, also in Lagos, Algarve, Portugal. The sandy area is small and nestled among high cliffs of warm and intense hues. The eastern part of the beach creates a small natural arch.
On the other side, a scenic viewpoint has been built with an stair that descends into the sea, allowing people to swim without having to cross the sand. Once in the water, there is an extensive area of rocky formation that are truly appealing for divers. Despite being a small beach and close to Lagos, it’s a relatively quiet beach.
5. Meia Praia
Meia Praia beach features a sandy area that surrounded the vast bay of Lagos. The beach begins next to the dock of the vicinity of Ribeira de Bensafrim and extends for more than four kilometres until it reaches the sandy barrier of Ría de Alvor, in Algarve, Portugal.
This beach features an exotic dunar field and offers a beautiful panoramic view: low dunes and rolling and green hills, framed by the city of Lagos to the west and the rocky formations in the sea. In the beach there is a network of lifted platforms that run all along the sandy area allowing for the preservation of the dune vegetation.
6. Praia da Batata
Praia da Batata is a urban beach located between Praia dos Estudantes and the western dock of Ribeira de Bensafrim, few meters away from the historical centre of Lagos, the Algarve. Behind the sandy area appears a cliff with a stately stone-paved square, traversed with a beautiful seaside walk, offering several leisure activities.
After the dock, you will find a small and lesser known sandy area. This part is Solaria and the Fortaleza da Ponta da Bandeira, nowadays closed to the public. The sandy area features many concavities and sheltered areas due to the rocky formations and the cliffs. This is a very lively beach, since it is located as a continuation of the great Litoral Highway of Lagos.
7. Praia dos Estudantes
The Praia dos Estudantes beach offers a small sandy area nestled among rocky formations that extend into the sea and allow for a quiet water perfect for swimming! This beach in Lagos, Algarve, is surrounded by cliffs, in which two tunnels have been excavated: one to the west, giving access to a tiny beach.
There you can see a beautiful manmade arch to link one of the rocks with the mainland. The other tunnel links Praia dos Estudiantes with Praia da Batata beach. The western tunnel is slightly worn down by the erosion of the sea and its possible to see organisms from the intertidal space, such as mussels, limpets, balanus, shrimp, and algae.
8. Praia do Canavial
The name of Praia do Canavial beach derives from the vast reedbed extending around the torrential water that runs in a waterfall during the rain season. This beach can be accessed through a network of pedestrian trails on top of the cliffs, where lots of local vegetation from the Algarve can be seen.
The final part of the trails goes through a sinuous and narrow path descending on stairs sculpted in the same rock of the cliff. The rock here is characterized by ochre and red tones. The sandy area is kind of narrow and hugged by the cliffs, creating the sensation of it being an isolated and quiet place.
9. Praia de Porto de Mós
Porto de Mós is a beach known for its wide sand extension sided by two high cliffs. At the top of one of the cliffs you’ll see a viewpoint with a unique landscape where you can see the whole coastline till Sagres.
At the cliffs you’ll see different kinds of plants and vegetable species, some with medicinal properties. Even though this beach is located near Lagos it still maintains its natural characteristics as well as its original environment.