Lagos is a small town in the littoral Algarve region.
Being a part of a stunning sea-fringed area, it boasts beautiful Atlantic beaches.
Replete with water sports, flanking rocky cliffs, and hidden coves, the beaches in Lagos make dreamy destinations for a seaside vacation.
Whether you are a thalassophile looking to enjoy the serenity of a cliff-enclosed beach or an adventurer chasing extreme water sports, there’s a perfect beach for you.
However, each one of these beaches is teeming with picture-perfect landscapes. Dip your feet deep into the pristine sand and wade into the clear turquoise water to make a day of it.
There is a really good chance that this post contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission (for which we are deeply grateful) at no extra cost to you.
In the Algarve, you really need a rental car for sightseeing. We booked with Sixt since they were a lot cheaper than their competitors. The easiest way to find the best rate for your rental car is Rentalcars.com.
One of the best activities you can do in the Algarve is a boat trip to the impressive Benagil caves. Another exquisite tour is a boat cruise to Ponta da Piedade.
Best beaches in Lagos, Portugal
Here is a list of 10 best beaches of Lagos Portugal that are sure to inspire you to take a trip to the town.
The list is ripe with beaches popular among locals, tourists, and even those that are unfrequented by both.
Praia Dona Ana
Praia Dona Ana is the most photographed Algarve beach and for the right reasons.
Lorded by rugged rock formations, this 160-meter long sandy stretch boasts a dramatic, photogenic character perfect for Instagram.
These high cliffs cast large shadows on the beach, offering cool corners on a really hot day.
They also keep the shore calm by protecting it against big, aggressive waves, making Dona Ana one of the best beaches in Algarve to go snorkeling and deep diving.
Take advantage and dive deep to explore the reefs and swim alongside a variety of fishes.
However, do not get too excited to splash into the calm Atlantic Ocean.
Even in summer, the water can be quite cold. Take time to ensure you enjoy more than you shiver!
A distinct character than makes Praia Dona Ana popular among hedonists and nature lovers is its abundance of shells.
If you are into collecting unique-looking, colorful shells, then Dona Ana is the beach to be.
As the sun begins to set, climb the cliffs surrounding the beach to get a panoramic view of the gorgeous sunset.
Ponta da Piedade
Ponta da Piedade or Mercy Point is a complete show-off!
Hidden behind tall cliffs, brimming with crystal-clear water, and located in an isolated corner, the beach looks idyllic.
It’s no wonder that Huffington Post accoladed it as the most beautiful beach in the world.
With a rock arch facing towards this headland, the entrance to the beach becomes as dramatic as its surreal beauty. Thrashed by savage winter storms, harsh wind, and big waves, this bleak sandy paradise shines golden under sunlight.
You can access this stunning beach by taking a cruise or by descending from the cliff-top paths.
Kayaks and boats are also available if you want to take the sea-route to this awe-inspiring beach in Algarve.
You can spend time strolling or swimming on the beach.
There is also a restaurant and a gift shop on the headland.
Note that if you visit Ponta da Piedade during peak season in summer, you may not get a chance to swim due to heavy sea traffic.
Cruise tours are also available that will take you on an exciting 75-minute excursion through the grottoes, hidden caves, and rock formations.
Praia do Pinhão
Nature lovers who are longing to become one will not be able to resist the beautiful shoreline of the Praia do Pinhão.
Read also: The most beautiful places in Portugal.
It is one of the most gorgeous and best places to visit in Algarve.
Cupped between Praia dos Estudante and Dona Ana, this beach hides behind tall ochre cliffs. Secluded and untouched by commercialism, it has no restaurants, loungers, or shops.
That is what makes it a paradise in Lagos.
You can access the beach by taking the steep stairways descending from the cliffs. It is due to this relatively difficult path and hidden location that this beach is not as crowded as its neighbors.
If you need facilities like beach bars and loungers, then skipping it would be best.
But if you are looking for the calm and bliss that comes from a quiet seashore, then Praia do Pinhão is the perfect beach for you.
Here you can take a peaceful walk, swim, or go exploring a small blowhole save that sits on the left side of the beach.
Praia do Camilo
Easily accessible through a series of wooden staircases, the Praia do Camilo is one of the iconic Algarve beaches.
The landscape here flaunts the same golden hued cliffs, dramatic grottoes, and ochre rocks as the Dona Ana beach.
And much like Dona Ana, Camilo is also protected from harsh winds and big waves by its lording cliffs.
The long shadows cast by these picturesque rocks also offer respite from the burning sun on a hot day.
What sets Camilo apart from other beaches is that it is divided into two sections. During the high tides, you will need to use a tunnel to access the other part of the beach.
Listed as the best places to visit in Algarve by the TripAdvisor community, Praia do Camilo beach is a hotspot for water activities.
Here you can do more than just wade and swim. You can snorkel, kayak, and deep dive. You can also walk through the rocky arches and cave hole tunnels that dot this pristine stretch.
Since these activities can easily make your rumble, there’s an onsite restaurant on the beach to sate your hunger.
Praia de Porto de Mos
Scenic and the second largest of all Lagos Portugal beaches, Praia de Porto de Mos is a massive swathe of soft, pristine sand.
Tucked 4km southwest from the buzzing tourist center, this beach is an excellent alternative to crowded beaches near the city.
Though nestled close to commercial centers, the beach paints the same pictorial setting framed by tall limestone cliffs, bright blue waters, and golden sand.
Read also: Why you must visit the Algarve in winter.
What distinguishes Praia de Porto de Mos from other Lagos beaches is that its cliffs do not shelter the Atlantic waves against the winds.
This causes the waves to be big, foamy, and even aggressive, making the beach a perfect location for activities like surfing and bodyboarding.
Another reason why you should visit Praia de Porto de Mos is that it is significantly quieter and less crowded.
Meia Praia is the largest of all beaches in Lagos with an impressive length of 4km.
The beach is wedged between Lagos on the west and Odiáxere River mouth on the east. The river divides the beach into two sections, thus the name Meia Praia which translates to Half Beach.
The beach ditches the cliff setting and embraces a more laid-back appeal, making it a must-visit place in Algarve for holidaymakers. The waves here enjoy protection from the wind by the cliffs of Ponta de Piedade and remain calm.
Since the water and the beach are crystal clean, you can stroll and splash barefoot. You can also plunge fearlessly because there are no rocks in the sea here.
Note that the absence of cliffs makes the beach windy and sunny.
Protect yourself by carrying a parasol.
Being windy, the beach offers a variety of water- and aerial-sports. They include kitesurfing, paragliding, sailing, windsurfing, jet skiing, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding (SUP).
Because the beach is the largest in Lagos, you don’t need to worry about the crowd even during the peak season.
There’s plenty of room for everyone and feels uncrowded all year round!
A tip to remember is to stay on the eastern end of the beach on busy days. The western side is close to the marina of Lagos and can get packed when tourists arrive.
Praia da Batata
When you talk about the most popular beaches in Lagos, Praia da Batata tops the list. Lorded by a 17th-century fortress on one edge, the beach doubles as a historic center too!
Praia da Batata is where you can meet the locals and socialize. If you want to sunbathe close to the town, then this beach is the one you head to. Cupped in a sheltered cove, it enjoys the beautiful rocky surroundings.
The cliffs here are precarious, causing the rocks to fall sometimes. Make sure to maintain a distance to protect yourself from getting hurt.
The sand is soft but is chock-a-block with shells. You can walk barefoot anyway, just be watch out for the hard seashells. Another character of the beach is that it faces east, meaning the waves here are calm and perfect for swimming, kayaking, SUP, diving, and snorkeling.
If you visit the beach during the summer, you will be entertained by thrumming music festivals, volleyball competitions, and handball games.
Since the beach is popular and close to the city, it has no dearth of lifeguards, restaurants and beach bars.
It is also among the four Lagos beaches that are wheelchair accessible.
Praia dos Estudantes
Praia dos Estudantes or Students’ Beach is famous for its landmark bridge that was once a part of a majestic fortress of Pinhão.
While the fortress does not exist anymore, the bridge continues to draw photographers from across the world.
Constructed in a fascinating Roman style, it connects two rock formations and can be accessed from the beach.
The best shot of the bridge is possible from the sea.
You can rent a kayak to take the perfect look or photo.
Another popular sight on the beach is its man-made Northern Tunnel. Crossing it will take you to another famous, aforementioned beach in Lagos, the Praia da Batata.
After discovering the stunning ancient sights of the beach, climb to the clifftop where the Mar Restaurant is located for refreshments and snacks.
You can also walk to the town center, which is just a 10-minutes-walk from the beach.
Praia do Canavial is one of the smallest and least visited beaches in the Algarve
Praia do Canavial
Small and uncrowded, Praia do Canavial is a visit- and Instagram-worthy beach.
Narrow and isolated from the city, framed by tall cliffs, this beach boasts a blissful setting.
Take the pedestrian trail that runs along the clifftop to reach the Canavial. Flourishing with fig orchards and wild flowers, the path itself enjoys a scenic setting.
Although Praia do Canavial shares the same cliffs, its landscape is different from the neighboring beaches. It is because there aren’t any rock arches or stacks on its sandy strip. Also, its cliffs do not shelter the Atlantic waves from winds, thus allowing a bit of surf.
The serene surroundings also make it a lovely spot to watch the sunset and simply enjoy the coast.
Note that the strip of sand here is narrow and can easily disappear under high tide. Therefore, visit the beach during low tides only.
The Atlantic beaches, golden-orange cliffs, and clean shorelines of Lagos have made the city so popular. It’s one of the best towns in the Algarve.
Known for the scenic beauty that is admired across the globe, these beaches offer idyllic coastal pleasures to their visitors.
Hedonists find exotic facilities and boutique hotels here.
On the other hand, the holidaymaker finds the perfect spot to get the tanned summer bod.
The intrepid traveler gets to enjoy water and aerial sports ranging from snorkeling to paragliding.
Since most beaches here are lorded and guarded by steep cliffs, they enjoy calm waters, making an apt option for those who are traveling with kids.
In short, no matter what your idea of a perfect coastal vacation is, Lagos beaches are ready to facilitate it with their unique landscapes and abundance of modern facilities.