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The Marina de Lagos – your comprehensive guide

The Lagos Marina is situated in the Bay of Lagos, at the Ribeira de Bensafrim, Algarve region, Portugal. The Marina was opened in 1994. Since then more than 40 000 boats have visited this beautiful harbour in Lagos. The Marina de Lagos is a popular tourist attraction with a picturesque promenade, and many restaurants and bars. It’s one of our favourite areas in Lagos to come for drinks or coffee.

What to do in the Marina de Lagos?

Dining is probably the main activity in the Marina de Lagos. You can come here at any time of the day for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and find delicious food, impressive views, and a great vibe. More about dining options in the Marina you can find below.

Walking on the Passeio dos Descobrimentos enjoying beautiful views of the harbour. Evenings are our favourite time to come to the Marina for a stroll and a drink. The harbour looks amazing at sunset. The best views you get from the restaurants on the top floor of the main building. If you want to explore the Marna in tranquillity without tourist crowds then come here early in the morning before 9 am.

Doing a boat tour to some local attractions such as Ponta da Piedade or Benagil Cave is one of the not-to-miss activities in Lagos. The majority of boat and kayak tours leave from the Marina de Lagos. Even if you buy a tour somewhere in the town you’ll get on a boat at the Marina. There are many stands on the south side of the Marina that sell boat tours.

Strolling on the new boardwalk along Meia Praia Beach. The boardwalk is about 700 m from the Marina at the beach. It’s a 3-kilometer long walkway that offers spectacular views of the beach and the sea. It’s an easy walk with plenty of restaurants to stop for coffee, food, or drinks.

Campbell holding Summer on a boat in the harbour of Lagos
Campbell and Summer at Lagos Marina ready for a boat tour

Suggested boat tours from the Marina

During the season there is a small amusement park at the south end of the Marina. Most rides are for children. The fair wheel ride at sunset is great the views of the Marina and the town are spectacular.

How far is the nearest beach?

The nearest beach Sao Roque/Meia Praia is about 800 m away from the Lagos Marina. During the season from June to September the beach has umbrellas and beach chairs for rent. The beach has wheelchair access. Sao Roque and Meia Praia form one long sandy beach even during the busiest months of the year there is plenty of space. The beach is nice for swimming and tanning. It’s one of the two beaches for surfing in Lagos. Many Lagos surf schools come here to teach students. It’s one of the best beaches in Lagos for walking or running. We love coming here with our daughter for a walk at sunset. There are three restaurants at the access point to Sao Roque Beach. 

The north end of the Marina de Lagos in the morning
Early morning at the Marina is the best time for a walk

Where to eat in Lagos Marina?

There are plenty of restaurants and bars at the Marina. We often come here for breakfast, lunch, dinner or just a drink. Most places open after 9 am. Earlier, even during the peak season, the Marina is quite empty. To go out in the evening the Lagos Marina is a great place. It’s lively and busy. If you’re looking for a party vibe and a youngish crowd rather go to one of the bars in the Old Town of Lagos

Most restaurants are situated in the main two-storey building. That part of the Marina is always busy with many tourists. Usually, at lunchtime and at sundowns all tables at the restaurants on the bottom floor are occupied.

Artesão is our favourite cafe in the Marina to come for breakfast and coffee. They have a diverse breakfast and lunch menu including toasts, eggs, granola bowls, pancakes, wraps and vegan-friendly dishes. We love their coffee. It’s the only place in the Marina that serves Lavazza coffee. Our favourite dishes here are a beetroot hummus toast, a granola bowl with acai and berries, and a chicken wrap. The only drawback of Artesão is the waiting time. If you’re in a hurry it’s not the ideal place.

Granola bowl with açaí and berries for breakfast at the Marina de Lagos
Açaí and granola bowl with berries at Artesão cafe in the Marina de Lagos

Quay Restaurant is the place where we usually come for a sundown drink and sometimes for dinner. The menu here has many English dishes e.g. English breakfast, fish and chips, homemade pies as well as many other dishes, sandwiches, dessert, and smoothies. If you want to sit at one of the windows tables, I recommend booking it in advance. 

Lazy Jacks bar has live music on weekends. It’s always busy and fun but they cater more for people over 50. 

The Lighthouse Bar on the top floor is great for watching sports games they broadcast football, rugby, cricket, formula 1, etc. They often have live music on weekends. They serve English breakfast until 5 pm. The menu includes fish and meat mains, tapas, burgers, and pizzas.

Italian restaurant Portofinos on the second floor is the best pizza place in the Marina. On a nice evening, it’s nice to sit on the terrace with a drink enjoying the sunset over the harbour. It’s probably one of the best places for a romantic dinner in the Marina. The menu has a wide range of pizzas and pasta dishes.

There are more places including Southeast Bistro, Lazy Jack, Amuras Bar, and Pizza Hut but we haven’t really eaten at any of these. I don’t have first-hand experience.

At the south corner next to the pedestrian bridge, there is a food trailer/bar called Pearl. It’s a wonderful place to come for fresh seafood. They often have live music at sunset. 

The northern part of the Lagos Marina is less busy. There are 4 restaurants there: Iwashi sushi, Sunset Restaurant and Bar, Marina Bar and Waterfront Bar & Bistro. We used to come to Marina Bar for their English breakfast but they stopped serving it. Their burgers are quite good. At the Waterfront Bar, we sometimes stop for a drink. They have tapas. Sunset Restaurant is a relatively new place that we haven’t visited yet but based on the reviews they have excellent seafood and fish dishes. Iwashi is a modern sushi restaurant with very good quality food. I’d say they have the best sushi in Lagos. 

The main building with restaurants and bars in Lagos Marina
Restaurants and cafes along the promenade in the Marina de Lagos

Lagos Marina amenities

  • The Marina has all the necessary amenities. If you decide to stay in the Marina you’ll have all you need close to you.
  • Restaurants, many restaurants and coffee shops with diverse menus 
  • Supermarket, a big Pingo Doce is situated across the road from the Marina. A big liquor store Garcias and a pet shop can be found across the road from Pingo Doce.
  • Tour agencies – offices and stands selling tours. 
  • Rental apartments, most of the apartments in the Marina are for short-term rent 
  • Zany, a day childcare centre is at the north end of the Lagos Marina. They open 7 days a week from 9 am to 6 pm. We haven’t used them yet but have friends who bring their kids there regularly and they love it. 
  • A playground, one playground with soft ground, a slide and a couple of swings in the northern end of the Marina, behind Marina Bar.
  • Free toilets, there are several free toilets throughout the Marina
  • Meia Praia Beach is 800 m from the Marina.
  • The train station is located 50m from the Marina de Lagos. 
  • Bus stops, bus #2 connects the Marina de Lagos with the bus terminal, beaches, and the Old Town.
Fishermen's boats at the harbour in Lagos
Fishermen’s boats anchored at the south end of the Marina

How to get to the Marina?

You can walk to the Marina from the Old Town, it’s about 900 m away. Lagos bus station is 400 m away across the pedestrian bridge. If you arrive from Lisbon to Lagos by bus and don’t have a lot of luggage you can just walk there.

Lagos train station is at the Marina which is very convenient if you arrive in Lagos from Faro (or any other town) by train. There are plenty of things to do in Portimão, this is a nice day trip from Lagos and is only a quick train ride away.

Bus #2 runs between the bus terminal, Porto de Mos Beach (a beach on the west end of Lagos), the Marina de Lagos and Meia Praia.

The small tourist train stops at the Marina and drives past the Old Town all the way to Ponta da Piedade.

Arriving by boat 

The Marina de Lagos is one of the most popular sailing harbours in this part of Europe. The entrance to the harbour is between Sao Roque Beach and the Fortress of Lagos. There are two moles marking the entrance to the Marina. From the entrance go up the Bensafrim river till you reach the harbour. You can berth your yacht at the Marina for a couple of days or even months if you want to spend some time on the land. Find out more about services and tariffs on the official website.

Places to stay in the Marina

The Marina is an excellent place to stay if you want to stay outside the Old Town which can get a bit cramped during the season. Lagos Marina has all you need for a holiday stay in Lagos.

Where to park?

There are two spacious free parking lots at the Marina de Lagos. One big gravel parking lot is at the south end of the Marina on the right-hand side of the train station (facing the train station). It gets reduced quite a bit when a temporary amusement park is set on a part of it. The second parking lot is even more spacious and paved. It’s located on the left-hand side of the train station across a small bride. We often park our car there we come to the Marina. Even during the peak season you can find a spot here.

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Lana Martin

Thursday 30th of June 2022

Looking forward to staying at the marina Is it deep enough to get a 54 foot yacht in? Can the dock be accessed from the side or do we have to go in bow first ? I’m concerned about the height of the yacht in relation to the dock and whether you have portable steps etc for disembarkation Thanking you Lana

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