9 Amazing beaches in Lagos, Portugal

Despite the small size of the town, there are many beautiful beaches in Lagos. From small secluded beaches hidden between the cliffs to spacious stretches of sand perfect for morning running or walking at the sunset. Most Lagos beaches can be accessed by a short walk from the historical centre. The beauty and accessibility of the local beaches make Lagos one of the top summer tourist destination in the Algarve. Visiting the beaches is one of the main things to do in Lagos.

Water temperature in Lagos, in general, varies from 20°C in the summer to 16°C in the winter. Currents and wind play an important role as well one day the water is nice, clear, and warmish and the next day it’s murky and chilly even in the summer. Most people just run for a quick dip to cool down and get out in a minute. 

Doing a boat tour or a kayak trip to Ponta de Piedade is the best way to see some of the most beautiful beaches in Lagos.

If you’re planning to travel to Lagos from overseas we have detailed posts on how to get from Lisbon to Lagos? and how to get from Faro to Lagos?

Our favourite beaches in Lagos

  • Praia de Porto de Mos – best beach for surfing in Lagos
  • Praia Dona Ana – great for tanning, swimming
  • Meia Praia and Praia de São Roque – perfect for running and walking

Here is a list of the best beaches in Lagos from east to west starting with Meia Praia.

Meia Praia

Meia Praia is a long sandy beach at the west end of Lagos. Quite far from the centre of the town, most people who come here are staying at one of the many hotels/rental apartments nearby. Despite its seeming isolation, it gets quite busy in the peak season. Off-season there is almost nobody here.

There is a train station Meia Praia next to the beach that connects it with Portimao and Faro. It’s easy to get here from other towns west of Lagos. There are Forte Meia Paria ruins near the train station, not an attraction worth visiting on its own but if you’re curious you can just stop by there on the way to the beach.

At the end of Meia Praia, there is a small beach called Praia do Vale de Lama. It’s quite empty even in the peak season because it’s a walk away from the nearest parking. The beach is close to the lagoon where people practice kite and windsurfing. 

  • Parking – yes, at the train station, 100 m from the beach
  • Facilities – restaurants, beach chairs with parasols to rental, toilets

São Roque Beach

It’s difficult to say where exactly Meia Praia Beach ends and São Roque Beach starts. These two beaches create a long uninterrupted stretch of sand. It’s about 5 km to walk all the way from the west to the east end of it. 10 kilometres return – a perfect distance for running or walking. The beach is wide, long and spacious. Most people concentrate in the areas with rental beach chairs. If you want to have more privacy you can just walk away from those areas.

This beach is not nice to come to on a windy day. It’s completely open with no cliffs or rocks to hide behind. The east side of the beach is a popular surfing spot. Many surf schools come here with their students.

Lagos train station is 800 m away from the beach, Lagos Marina is 900 m away. There are many rental apartments at the Marina and around São Roque Beach.

  • Parking – there are several parking spots close to the beach. The nearest two are at Linda Beach Bar and São Roque Restaurant. If these two are full you can park your car down the road or at the train station.
  • Facilities – restaurants
  • Accessibility – wheelchair accessible

Best places to stay at Meia Praia and São Roque Beach

The following 4 beaches (Praia de Batata, Praia Dos Estudantes, Praia do Piñao, Praia Dona Ana) form a chain of beaches attached to one another. Despite them being next to each other it’s possible to walk between them only at the low tide. Otherwise, in order to get to the next beach, you have to walk back to the road first. The walk from Praia de Batata to Praia Dona Ana is beautiful through the tunnels in the cliffs, past bizarre rock formations. Evening low tide is the best time for walking there and taking photos.

Praia da Batata

To be honest it’s our least favourite beach in Lagos. There is nothing wrong with it, it’s just not as impressive as the nearby beaches and not as big and wide as the beaches on the extreme east and west of Lagos. Praia da Batata is the closest to the historical centre beach, about 500 m away. It’s situated next to the Forte da Ponte da Bandeira and the Old Town of Lagos. Despite being the closest to the town beach, it’s not very busy; most people prefer going to other beaches in Lagos. 

  • Facilities – restaurants, toilets, kayak and sup rental

Praia Dos Estudantes

Beautiful beach close to the Old Town of Lagos surrounded by limestone cliffs. The beach is well-protected from the wind on a windy day. It might be the best one in Lagos to come. The beach is connected with Praia de Batata. If you don’t walk up and down the stairs to get to the beach from the road you can get here through Praia De Batata. 

There are a couple of tunnels carved through the cliffs that connect it with nearby beaches. From Praia dos Estudantes you can see Puerto Romano, a small old bridge that connects two rocky cliffs. You can’t access the bridge, it’s private property. You can see it from the beach or from the cliffs??. 

  • Parking – a paid parking on the top but it’s often full, it’s 1 euro for 1 hour. Rather walk to the beach from the town or look for alternative parking.
  • Facilities – restaurants, 
  • Accessibility – no wheelchair access

Places to stay near Praia de Batata and Praia dos Estudantes

There are many amazing place to visit in the Algarve besides the beaches. Bengail Cave is one of the highlights of the region. This impressive cave with a small beach inside is situated from Lagos. You can do a boat tour to Benagil Cave from Lagos Marina.

Praia do Piñao 

Another beautiful beach surrounded by limestone cliffs with bizarre rock formations and turquoise water. This beach sits between Praia dos Estudantes and Praia Dona Ana. There are some caves and tunnels to explore around. 

To access the beach you have to go down the stairs. It’s an old stone staircase with some broken stairs, not the best place to go down for people with children. It’s possible to access the beach from Praia dos Estudantes or Dona Ana at the low tide. During the high tide, most of the beach is underwater. 

  • Parking – you can park your car at the small street leading to the beach but I’ve read several comments of people about car break-ins. Rather walk here or park your car at a different spot. 
  • Facilities – restaurants
  • Accessibility – long staircase leading to the beach, not wheelchair or stroller friendly
Piñao Beach in the morning, Lagos, Algarve
Praia do Piñao, a nice sandy beach surrounded by the cliffs near the centre of Lagos

Dona Ana Beach

A beautiful wide sandy beach; it’s quite bigger than the nearby beaches. There are several picturesque pinnacles sticking out of the water around the beach. From the surrounding cliffs, you can take stunning photos. Iconic views of the Algarve with sandy beaches, rugged cliffs, turquoise water, and limestone pinnacles. 

Praia Dona Ana is about 1,5 km from Old Town on the road. There is a footpath along the cliffs that goes from Praia do Penhao to Praia Dona Ana. At low tide, you can walk between two beaches they are separated by a groyne (a small rocky wall). At low tide, you can see many beautiful seashells here. 

  • Facilities – restaurants, toilets?, shops
  • Accessibility – wheelchair access down to the beach no boardwalk or path to get closer to the water though
Dona Ana Beach, one of the most popular beaches in Lagos
Dona Ana Beach from the cliffs, one of the best beaches in Lagos

Praia do Camilo

This “secret” beach (though during the season it doesn’t look that secret) is amazing. Praia do Camilo is a picturesque small sandy beach squeezed between the cliffs with calm turquoise waters great for swimming. High tide significantly reduces the size of the beach it’s better to come here in the low tide. From the main beach, you can get to a smaller beach through a “tunnel” in the cliffs. The second beach is tiny and it doesn’t get much sun from the afternoon on. In order to get to the beach, you have to walk down the wooden stairs (quite a lot of stairs). The stairs are new, wide with rails it’s safe to walk up and down. The views of the beach, the cliffs, and the sea from the look-out points and the stairs are stunning. 

Praia do Camilo is 1 km west of Praia Dona Ana and about 2 km from Old Town.

  • Parking – yes, better to come early to get a spot. 
  • Caravan overnight parking – allowed
  • Facilities – a restaurant, a toilet at the restaurant  
  • Accessibility – not for wheelchairs or strollers, many wooden stairs leading down to the beach
Camilo Beach, a picturesque beach in Lagos
Praia do Camilo, a small secluded beach in Lagos

Places to stay near Dona Ana and Praia do Camilo Beaches

There are two more beaches between Praia do Camilo and Ponta da Piedade: Praia dos Pinheiros and Praia da Balança. We don’t really recommend them as they’re difficult to access you basically have to climb down the cliffs to get there. It’s worth going there only for the sake of getting there. Both beaches are small and completely covered by water at the high tide. We have never been there (first I was far pregnant and now we have a small baby) but did see people tanning there from the cliffs. Naturists (nudists) favor these beaches. Despite its difficult access, both beaches see quite a lot of people because some kayak tours from Lagos stop there. You can see both beaches walking along the cliffs from Praia do Camilo to Ponta da Piedade.

Praia do Canavial

A secluded beach on the west side of Lagos. Praia do Canavial is probably the least crowded beach in the area. It’s not easy to access it – a long way down following the narrow rock stairs. The beach is beautiful but rocky at the high tide water completely covers its sandy part leaving only the rocky part at the back. Naturists choose this beach because of its isolated location. The beach used to be connected with Praia de Porto Mos but after a cliff erosion, two beaches are separated. It’s not the kind of beach to come with family for the day but a great place if you want to escape the crowds and are ready to sacrifice comfort. 

  • Facilities – no 
  • Accessibility – not wheelchair accessible
Praia do Canavial, one of the less crowded beaches in Lagos
Canavial Beach, Lagos. A view from a boardwalk at Ponta de Piedade

Praia de Porto de Mos

Porto de Mos Beach is one of our favourite beaches in Lagos. It’s situated on the other side of the Ponta da Piedade cape. It’s a combination of the long sandy beaches on the east side of Lagos and cliffy beaches in the centre of the town. Porto de Mos is a long beach surrounded by high yellow cliffs. Often if it’s windy on the east-end beaches there is not much wind here.

Porto de Mos Beach is one of the best surfing beaches in Lagos. On a nice day especially in the season, there will be many people surfing here. Tip! If you want to skip the crowds come here very early in the morning at the sunrise there will be very few people in the water.

  • Parking – yes, big parking space 50 m from the beach
  • Caravan overnight parking – not allowed
  • Facilities – restaurants, public toilets
  • Accessibility – wheelchair accessible
  • Dogs – not allowed
Praia de Porto de Mos, an amazing beach in the west of Lagos
Porto de Mos Beach, one of our favorite beaches in Lagos

Places to stay near Porto de Mos Beach

In general, dogs are not allowed on the beaches in Lagos at least not during the season, most tourist beaches have no dogs signs. During the off-season, the rules are less strict. We often see people with dogs walking on some beaches early in the morning or late in the evening. We don’t mind dogs back home we used to take our dog to the beach every day but dog owners should clean after their dogs. If you want to visit one of the Lagos beaches with your four-leg friend, keep it clean. On this website you can find more information about traveling in Portugal with a dog.

2 comments

  1. Fantastic information.
    Thank you.
    We’re going to lagos in July, never been there before.
    We are so excited.
    Suzie

    1. Hello, Suzie. Thank you for the comment. We live in Lagos when you’re here let us know if you want to meet up for coffee or drinks.
      Cheers

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