Praia do Camilo – Picture Perfect Beach in Lagos

Praia do Camilo is one of our favorite beaches in Lagos, located close to the old town between two other highlights of the Algarve, Praia Dona Ana and Ponta da Piedade. Camilo Beach is a small sandy beach surrounded by spectacular overhanging cliffs. With crystal clear water, spectacular rock formations and some beautiful little caves it is a very popular spot on Instagram. One of the beaches with the nicest soft sand around Ponta Piedade in Lagos. There is a long set of stairs with beautiful views leading to the secluded Camilo Beach.

Praia do Camilo view and stairs
The fantastic view of Praia do Camilo coming down the infamous long staircase!

Surrounded by ochre colored cliffs, rock pillars, cutouts, caves, a tunnel through the rock, a long set of stairs and two small beaches connected through a little cave are some of the features that make Praia do Camilo a photographer’s dream.

A small beach, awesome scenery for taking photos, excellent for swimming and sunbathing, spectacular rock formations to explore, great for snorkeling. The beach is popular and small, so it can get very busy in summer.

Praia do Camilo – All About the Beach, Caves and Rock Structures

Praia da Camilo is a small picturesque beach with soft sand and crystal clear water on most days. There are some “hidden” beaches that can be accessed from the main beach by a cave/tunnel to the left hand side connecting the two beaches. You can also swim around the arch structure on the beach. It is possible to swim around the next set of rock formations again to yet another little beach. Be aware of where the on duty lifeguard is and do not attempt risky swims!

Camilo Beach
Camilo Beach with the famous arch and rock tunnel, the beach is small at high tide.

Praia do Camilo is one of the best beaches in Lagos. It is very popular and it gets extremely busy in summer. To find a nice spot on the sand in season it is recommended to go early! In summer time the beach can be packed by 10am!

The little ‘secret’ beach that can be reached through the tunnel usually has fewer visitors.

Camilo beach is located in a classic Algarve cove between between the town of Lagos and the famous Ponta da Piedade. The location on the eastern side of Ponta da Piedade shelters the spot from the wind but it does get a lot of sun. It can get very hot here in summer when temperatures climb over 30C.

Ponta da Piedade also protect the beach from waves from the southwest and the sea here is very calm on most days.

The rock formations at the beach are stunning- perfect for photos. You will find quite a few people posing in front of them.

Praia do Camilo has a lifeguard on duty in season.

tunnel at Praia do Camilo
The little tunnel leading from Praia do Camilo main beach to the little ‘secret’ second beach.

Praia do Camilo Facilities

  • Parking – yes
  • Dogs – not allowed
  • Restaurant: yes
  • Toilet: yes
  • Shower: yes
  • Sunbeds: no
  • Lifeguards: yes

The beach is located at the bottom of a cliff with some amazing views of this spectacular part of the Algarve coastline. Praia do Camilo is known for the long set of stairs leading down to the beach, the 220 or so steps actually make some visitors reconsider visiting this stunning beach!

Facilities are located at the restaurant at the top of the stairs with toilets and a shower, there are no facilities down stairs at Camilo Beach itself. Take some drinks and snacks down with you that you do not have to go up and down again! There is a lifeguard present in season. There are no sunbeds, so it is recommended to take a beach umbrella and towels to sit on.

The little ‘secret’ beach reached through the tunnel is usually more quiet, but has no facilities.

secret beach Praia do Camilo
Praia do Camilo, the second little secret beach when you walk through the tunnel.

Camilo Beach Parking

There is a small parking area at the top of the stairs leading down to Camilo Beach. Turn off to the parking is marked just before Ponte Piedade. Just follow this Google Maps Pin for Camilo Beach on your phone. This gets filled up quickly in summer. Parking close to the stairs can sometimes be difficult, it is possible to park in the surrounding streets.

Restaurants at Praia do Camilo

There is only one restaurant at Camilo Beach, located at the top of the stairs. The Camilo Restaurant has great views over the ocean and serves fantastic seafood and a variety of fresh fish every day, open between 12:00 – 21:30. This is an upmarket restaurant where it is recommended to make a booking. Go for a pizza at Italian family run pizzeria Gato Pardo nearby at Dona Ana beach.

Camilo Restaurante
Camilo Restaurante at the top of the stairs.

Things to do at Praia do Camilo

Swimming at Camilo Beach

The water at Camilo beach is crystal clear and calm on most days, perfect for swimming. The water can however be quite chilly any time of the year, varying between 15 and 20C, better for a refreshing dip than a long swim. In summer the water is flat and calm on most days, but with the right swell direction some waves and chop do enter this beach from time to time. In summer there is a lifeguard on duty.

crystal clear water praia do camilo
Beautiful view of the crystal clear water at Praia do Camilo from the top of the stairs. Perfect for snorkeling, swimming, kayaking or SUP from Camilo Beach.

Sunbathing on Praia do Camilo

Praio do Camilo is a very good beach for sunbathing with nice soft sand and clear water. The beach gets very busy and because it is small space is limited if you arrive late in season. Take your own towel and beach umbrella, no sunbeds or shade to rent. The incoming tide makes the beach a lot smaller, so check the tide table and come around low tide to experience a much larger beach. Bring drinks and snacks along there is no café at the bottom of the stairs.

Snorkeling at Camilo Beach

Praia do Camilo is a good spot for snorkeling with calm, clear water a lot of the time. There are some rocky reef to explore with interesting marine life to see including; anemones, octopuses, gorgonians, sea stars and a variety of fish. I will recommend to wear a wetsuit if you are going to snorkel for long, the water is cold. Always stay close to the rocks and use a surface marker buoy, there is a lot of boat traffic in the area, so be careful for boats and kayaks.

Getting to Praia do Camilo

Walking

Being located only about 2.5 km from the old town, Camilo beach can easily be reached on foot, it is around a 30 minute walk. Walk along the main road coming from the Marina. There are several nice spots to stop for photo oportunities. Walk past the harbor (Avenida dos Descobrimentos), walk up the hill, check out Praia De Batata. Turn left at the fire station. You can turn off to take photos of Praia Dona Ana. There is a footpath along the cliffs that goes from Praia do Penhao to Praia Dona Ana. At the Praia Dona Ana turn off keep going until you reach the turn off to Praia do Camilo. From the beach you an continue walking along the spectacular cliffs to the lighthouse at Ponta da Piedade.

Driving

There is a small parking close to the stairs and you can park in the surrounding streets. Driving directions similar to walking or just follow your GPS to Camilo Beach. In season this parking area gets full quickly on a nice day. There are plenty of Ubers in Lagos, since Lagos is a small town this is a quick, cheap and easy way to get to Praia do Camilo.

The Lagos Tourist Train or Bus

You can go to Praia Dona Ana with either the Lagos Tourist Train or Line 2 Bus from the old town and walk 1 km (10 min) to Praia do Camilo.

Top Activities in Lagos

  • Ponta Piedade Boat Trip – Go on a boat cruise from Lagos and see Ponte Piadade, Dona Ana Beach and Camilo Beach from the sea.
  • Benagil Caves .Trip– Explore the sea caves by boat from Lagos on a 2hr cruise past the beautiful beaches of Lagos. See how to visit the caves by kayak or SUP.
  • Dolphin watching tour – search for dolphins on this boat trip guided by a marine biologist, 1.5 hour trip from Lagos.
  • All about Surfing in Lagos.

More Amazing Beaches in Lagos

  • The longest beach in the Lagos area, Meia Praia is a beautiful 4.5 km stretch of sand, great for walk, runs, surfing and swimming.
  • Praia Porto de Mos  the most consistent surf beach in Lagos with great facilities and good for long walks and playing in the waves.

Accommodation Around Praia do Camilo

Budget

Mid Range

Fabulous

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