Lagos is one of the most beautiful places to spend time in the Algarve and perhaps even in Portugal. There is so much to do and see that you can easily fill your ijtd for a few days or even weeks. Lagos really should not be missed when visiting the Algarve. This region is known for its golden beaches, countless hotspots, delicious kilmaat, perfect surf conditions and the most beautiful coastlines. We stayed there for almost a week and for good reason. We couldn’t get enough of this city and if you read this travel guide you’ll immediately know why.
Lagos counts about 30,000 inhabitants and is found in the southernmost part of the Algarve. From backpackers to families, Lagos is the ideal vacation destination for everyone. THE city is also the perfect base to explore other cities and beautiful bays.
In this article
- To do in Lagos
- The best hotspots
- Travel time
- Practical information
- The nicest accommodations
- How do I get there?
- Further travel to
- Our opinion
Other travel guides and posts you might like:
- Everything you need to know for your Portugal road trip
- Sagres Travel Guide
- Ericeira Travel Guide
- Lisbon Travel Guide
What to do in Lagos
You can stay for days in Lagos. There is so much to see and do.
- Take a walk along the beautiful Lagos coastline
- Visit the most beautiful beaches in Lagos
- Go surfing: in town you will find several surf schools, also suitable for beginners.
- Stroll through the lively center of Lagos
- Enjoy sunset or sunrise at Ponte da Piedade
- Go kayaking or supping along the shoreline
- Take a day trip to the caves of Benagil (not accessible by bus or motorhome)
- Book a food tour and discover Lagos’ cuisine and best hotspots
- Visit the Lagos Ciência Viva Science Centre
- Visit the Slave Market Museum
Take a walk along the coastline
Walk from Praia dos Estudantes to Ponta da Piedade and enjoy the most spectacular beaches and views. Don’t forget your rug and some goodies, as you’ll have plenty of options for the most beautiful picnic moments along the way.
Visit the most beautiful beaches in Lagos
Lagos is blessed with perhaps the most beautiful beaches in Lagos. Some of our favorite beaches:
- Praia dos Estudantes
- Praia do Camilo
- Praia de Dona Ana
- Praia da Boneca
- Praia da Balança
Although the west coast of Portugal is mostly known for the best surf spots, you can also surf very well in Lagos on good days. Consequently, in the city you will find several surf schools where you can book a lesson or rent a board. THE lessons in Lagos we found quite pricey. You pay about 60 euros for 2.5 hours. In Peniche (further north) this is only 25 euros.
Drink your way through Lagos
The center of Lagos is cozy, charming and packed with fun hotspots. You can stroll around downtown all day and fill your day with drinks, food and drinks. It has a romantic atmosphere with all kinds of colorful houses.
Take a boat tour
All over the city you will find small tourist offices where you can book tour. A bit touristy but secretly very nice. WIe found a super nice tour at restaurant CAIS J CAFÉ. You pay 15 euros p.p. for an hour (young kids are free) or 120 euros for a private tour. You sail past all kinds of impressive beaches and caves.
Transportation in Lagos
Lagos is not very big so you can do a lot with your own transportation. Own transportation is handy to see some more of the area, but it is also possible to rent bicycles or scooters in the city. In addition, there are many cabs. Buses also run to popular attractions and other cities, but this often takes some extra travel time.
Bus – a day ticket costs about 3.6
Bicycle – it is possible to rent a bicycle. You pay about 15 euros per day
Cab – Taxis are not very expensive in Portugal. You can use Uber in many places. For a ride of about 10 minutes, you pay about 3 -5 euros.
Rent a car – if you want to rent a car you will spend about 25 euros per day
Which budget do i need in Lagos?
The south of Portugal is a little more expensive than the rest of Portugal, but still very affordable.For a beer you pay about 2 euros and for hip meal about 10 euros. If you choose traditional restaurants, you will be a lot cheaper. A small overview of costs.
- Camping: for a camper spot you pay about 15 euros in low season and 20 euros in high season
- Hostels: for hostel you pay about 15 to 30 euros per night
- For hotels, you pay about 60 to 120 euros per night
- For a budget dinner for two and some drinks, you pay about 10 – 15 euros per person.
- For a 3-course dinner with some drinks, you pay about 20 – 35 euros p.p.
- BIer costs about 2 euros and for a normal coffee you often pay 1.50
- Groceries are slightly cheaper than in the Netherlands
Cost overview Lagos
With a budget of 20 euros per person per day, you can get around Lagos just fine with a van. We ate out a lot in the 6 days each and left little. In total, we spent 5 nights, 6 days in Lagos and made 332 euros.
DIt is a daily budget of 55 euros for 2 people.
Practical information about Lagos
- Surf lessons in Sagres are quite expensive. If you do want to try a surf lesson, the best place to drive to is Aljezur. Here the cost is a lot lower.
- Wild camping has not been allowed in Portugal for some time. In the north this is still possible in some places, but in the Algarve it is strictly controlled. The fine is about 120 euros.
- Want to go surfing. Buy a surfboard and wetsuit in advance. After all, you’ll soon have the cost of renting it out. After all, a beginner’s board does not have to be so expensive.
- Try to avoid toll roads as much as possible. The toll in Portugal is huge. We paid about 30 euros for an hour’s drive. You also miss the most beautiful spots this way.
- You have electronic Tolls in Portugal. You can arrange this in advance by purchasing a toll card or you can buy a prepaid card at the gas station. The electric toll roads are not very clearly marked, so pay attention!
- Use the app park4night or camper contact to find the nicest RV sites and campgrounds
- Looking for a free overnight stay? Through TrustedHousesitters, you can babysit other people’s homes and pets for free.
- We have already had 2x per breakdown on the road and were very happy with the ANWB then. This year we even opted for the complete package, since last year we got stuck in Germany for 8 days and only spent 80 euros per day on accommodation
- Download the foreign affairs app and stay up to date with the latest travel advice
- Attention Orange Travel Advisory. Also, if you travel through an orange area, your insurance can deny charges. If there is an orange travel advisory regarding Corona, the insurance will only not cover costs related to Corona (please check, because this is not the case everywhere).
- Refueling is cheaper in villages. So never fill up your tank on the highway. Should you enter Portugal via Spain, fill up your car with gasoline, as gasoline prices are very favorable in Spain.
- If you want to withdraw money in Europe, you often have to pay a small fee to your bank. We recently switched to Knab, which does not charge additional fees. We are very happy with it + you now receive €50 gift when you use Knab’s Switch Service!
- A credit card is really handy to have with you. For example, purchases are extra insured and in some places you can only pay by credit card.
What are nice places to stay in Lagos?
If you are with your camper, tent or caravan then we have good news for you. In fact, in Lagos, within walking distance of the center, you have a simple campsite where you can camp for about 15 euros a night inc. electricity and a hot shower. The campground is very simple and super unsociable, but you’re on the beach in 5 minutes and downtown in 10 minutes, so who cares.
If you prefer to spend the night in a fine hotel in Lagps or hip hotstel, the selection is also huge.
How to get to Lagos?
Portugal is vanlife heaven. If you have a camper or van, then we definitely recommend that you quickly throw your stuff in the back and leave for sunny and oh so beautiful Portugal. In Portugal, we took a road trip from North to South in 2 months (shorter is also possible) and found it to be one of the most enjoyable road trip routes in Europe so far.
If you go by plane, Faro is the closest airport, about 1 hour away. You can rent a car at the airport, arrange an uber or travel to Lagos by public transportation.
It is also possible to fly to Lisbon. From Lisbon, it is about 2 hours and 45 minutes away. A little further, but you can add additional destination to your route, such as Sagres and Ericeira. In addition, Lisbon is a tremendously cool city to visit.