Within the remnants of 16th-century ramparts is a labyrinth of narrow cobbled streets and small attractive squares. Opulent churches and fine buildings are testament to Lagos' glorious past. The old town oozes charm, with treasures waiting for discovery around every corner. In the Rua de São Gonçalo and Rua 5 de Outubro, the houses preserve their original stonework around windows and doors, with wrought-iron balconies where flowers, fig trees and vines grow. In and around the Praça Gil Eanes, tiles adorning the external walls have a 19th century influence and are in the Art nouveau style.
The walls that face the estuary stand on Carthaginian or Roman foundations. Along this stretch of walls, you'll encounter the well preserved Porta de São Gonçalo (St. Gonçalo’s gate) protected by two mighty defensive towers. Originally, the gateway was the entrance to a castle of Arab construction, the Governors Castle. During the 16th and 17th centuries, it was the residence of the Governors, Captains-General of the Algarve. On the façade, there's an ornate window in the Manueline style.
The church had to be rebuilt following the earthquake of 1755 and served as the chapel for the Lagos Infantry Regiment. The church is probably one of the finest examples of Baroque in the Algarve. The church's exuberant interior warranted a National Monument classification.
Inside, there are six paintings that illustrate the life of St Anthony, complete with descriptions in English and Portuguese. A dado of traditional azulejo tiles adorn the walls. Above the tiles, walls are lavishly covered in gold-gilded wood carvings. The gold finds its way onto the high altar at the end of the single aisle and holds a statue of St Anthony holding the infant Jesus. The Lagos Infantry Regiment carried this effigy into battle during the Napoleonic Wars. Beneath the choir, a carved panel representing the Three Virtues (faith, hope and charity), can be found. The church also houses a rare statue of St. Elói - the patron saint of goldsmiths. The distinctive feature of the churches' baroque façade are the two bell towers of different heights. Access to the church is via the Museum Municipal, with a small entrance fee.
Igreja de Santo António, Rua General Alberto da Silveira, Lagos 8600-594, Portugal.
37° 05' 58.4" N | 08° 40' 17.2" W
Attached to the Church of Santo António (St. Anthony) is the municipal museum, exhibiting a broad collection of religious art and statues from the 17th and 18th centuries. There is an archaeology collection celebrating the prehistoric heritage of the area, with examples of decorated menhirs (4,000 - 3,000 BC). Here too, there are items from the Roman and Arabic eras.
Museum & Church: Tuesday - Sunday: 10h00 - 12h30/14h00 – 17h00, Monday: CLOSED | €3.00
R. Gen. 1 Alberto da Silveira, 8600-594 Lagos, Portugal.
37° 05' 57.9" N | 08° 40' 16.8" W
Close to the Igreja de Santo António and the municipal museum, is another museum focusing on the darker side of Portuguese history. Located in the Praça do Infante D. Henrique is Europe's first slave market. The Slave Market Museum records the abhorrent history of slavery in Lagos and the Algarve from arrival of the first slaves in the mid-15th century. Slaves were the most profitable commodity to come from Africa. The profiteers even tried to justify their actions by claiming they were saving the souls of their poor captives.
Tuesday - Sunday: 10h00 - 12h30/14h00 – 17h30, Monday: CLOSED | €4.00
Praça do Infante Dom Henrique, Lagos 8600-525, Portugal.
37° 06' 02.3" N | 08° 40' 16.0" W
Located on the Avenida dos Descobrimentos, the municipal market is an insight into local life. Spread over three floors, this market sells wonderfully fresh produce from 33 individual vendors. The ground floor is the fish market where the daily catch is sold. The first floor is where you will find the fruit and vegetables. There are also a great collection of souvenirs, if you're looking to take something home. There's a restaurant on the second floor where you can enjoy a meal on a terrace whilst admiring views over the marina.
Monday - Saturday: 08h00 - 14h00, Sunday: CLOSED
Avenida dos Descobrimentos, 8600-668 Lagos Portugal. | 37° 06' 15.0" N | 08° 40' 23.0" W
This family attraction focuses on interactive and fun ways to pass on to kids of all ages science and technology. The main attraction lies within an old 18th century manor house, and there's also a science garden and outdoor patios with panoramic views. The exhibits are all hands-on and there's also simple lessons and debates to encourage the little ones to explore new themes.
Tuesay – Sunday: 10:00h – 13:30h/14:30h – 18:00h, Monday: CLOSED | €5.00
34 Rua Doutor Faria e Silva, 8600-734,Lagos, Portugal. | 37° 06' 14.0" N | 08° 40' 23.5" W
+351 282 770 000 | firstname.lastname@example.org | Website
The well-preserved Fortress of Nossa Senhora da Penha de França (more commonly known as the Ponta da Bandeira Fort) stands guard on the bank of the river Bensafrim, protecting the harbour. It was built between 1679 and 1690 to protect Lagos from raiding pirates and privateers. The Ponta da Bandeira Fort continued its military role into the 20th century. The fort was restored in the 1960s and opened to the public. A drawbridge over a moat allows you entrance. Inside there's a chapel dedicated to Saint Barbara, the patron saint of armourers, artillerymen and miners. The walls are adorned with 18th-century azulejo tiles. Inside there is also a small museum dedicated to the Portuguese Discoveries with additional exhibition space displaying works by local artists. A walk around its ramparts will provide amazing panoramic views over Lagos, the marina, the ocean and the Praia da Batata beach.
Tuesday to Sunday 09h30 – 12h30/14h00 – 17h00, Monday: CLOSED | €1.50
Cais da Solaria, 8600-563 Lagos, Portugal. | 37° 05' 56.3" N | 08° 40' 06.2" W
+351 282 761 410
Situated on the opposite bank of the river Bensafrim from the old town and over a drawbridge is the Lagos marina, which opened in 1994. The marina has a capacity for 462 vessels up to 30 metres long. It is from here many day excursions depart and many tour agencies have their offices. They all compete for your custom and offer activities such as kayaking, dolphin-watching, fishing and mini-cruises. There are also several cafes, bars and restaurants for your convenience. There's also excellent accommodation located here, from four-star hotels to swish apartments. Alongside the marina is the train station, the last stop on the Linha do Algarve.
Lagos – Vila Real de Santo António: Timetable | Website
On the northern end of the marina is this entertaining museum, which first opened to the public in 2014. The museum documents the part Lagos took during Portugal's great age of discovery. It was from here the early navigators set sail to find a navigable route around the Horn of Africa to the rich spice trading routes of Asia. Famous historical explorers are represented in wax, such as Henry the Navigator, Vasco da Gama, Gil Eanes, Bartolomeu Dias, Luís de Camões, Pope Alexander VI, Fernão Mendes Pinto and Ferdinand Magellan. Descriptions of each exhibit are in Portuguese and English.
Tuesay – Sunday: 10:00h – 18:00h, Monday: CLOSED
Adult: €10.00, Concessionary: €8.00, Child: €7.00, 0-6 Yrs: FREE
Urbanização Marina da Lagos, 8600-315 Lagos, Portugal. | 37° 06' 42.3" N | 08° 40' 31.3" W
+351 964 351 802 | email@example.com | Website
Just east of Lagos is a four-kilometre (2.5 miles) stretch of fine golden sands and one of the Algarve's finest beaches, the Meia Praia. This broad beach is backed by low-lying grassy dunes, offering some shelter on windy days. The western end of the beach is known locally as the Praia de São Roque, and is within an easy walk through the Lagos marina. Its easy accessibility makes this section of Meia Praia, by far, the most popular and where you'll find most hotels, amenities, cafes, bars and restaurants. Locals and families favour Praia de São Roque. Lifeguards patrol Meia Praia during the summer season. Sun loungers, windbreaks and parasols can be hired. Even during peak season, the beach never feels crowded. The further you travel away from Lagos the quieter the beach becomes and less developed. For that reason, the eastern end is where those who enjoy water sports prefer. There are many activities available here; including surfing, beach volleyball, para-gliding, sailing, windsurfing, jet skiing, kayaking, paddle boarding and kite-surfing. Rental companies are at hand to provide you with the appropriate equipment. At the far end, the beach finally ends at the Ribeira de Odiáxere estuary and is referred to as the Praia do Vale da Lama. Halfway along is the Meia Praia train station and a small fishing village. On the beach there is a dilapidated 17th-century fort. Across the breadth of the beach, there are cycle paths, footpaths, and boardwalks that traverse the dunes. There's a coastal road dotted with ample parking spaces. The #2 bus service also runs along the road, starting at the bus station in Lagos and outside the train station. Timetable
Praia da Batata is the town's beach situated a short distance from Lagos's old town, located between the fortress of Ponta da Bandeira and Praia dos Estudantes. The sea has shaped the sandstone cliffs into small sheltered inlets and beautiful rock formations. The beach is only 160 metres long and can get busy during peak season. It is very convenient and popular with locals and visitors alike. The waters here are crystal clear and calm, ideal for paddling toddlers and swimmers.
As well as families and those seeking to top up their tan Praia da Batata attract those who like more active pursuits. You can rent a kayak and head off to Ponta da Piedade from here. [Book Online ►] There's also stand up paddleboard (SUP) available and diving facilities. The Batata beach bar serves simple dishes and refreshing cold drinks. On the clifftop above is the Mar Restaurant, which delivers a more sophisticated option. At the far end of the beach, an opening in the rocks allows access to Praia dos Estudantes.
37° 06' 15.0" N | 08° 40' 23.0" W
Nestled amongst rock formations, this small sandy beach is accessed through a tunnel hewn into the headland separating Praia dos Estudantes from Praia da Batata. The beach is famed for its Roman-style bridge linking the mainland to a tall islet. You will find this on the southern side of the beach, through a second tunnel. The short distance from Lagos old town Praia dos Estudantes makes it very convenient, yet receives fewer visitors that the Praia da Batata. The sea here is clear and tame, ideal for bathing. The high cliffs provide excellent protection from sea breezes. 37° 05' 47.5" N | 08° 40' 03.5" W
Praia do Pinhão is a small beach between Praia dos Estudantes and Praia Dona Ana beaches. The colours at Pinhão are intense, the aqua turquoise of the sea and the ochre coloured rock formations sculpted by nature. A walk along the clifftop will take you there and a long staircase guides you down to the sands. The area below the staircase becomes submerged during high tide. A tunnel through a rock formation gives you access to a larger part of the beach, but this tunnel sits below the waterline when the tide is in. Praia do Pinhão is one of the quietest in the area. The waters here are placid and are favoured by snorkelers.
37° 05' 39.2 "N | 08° 40' 04.6" W
Heading west out of Lagos is the attractive beach of Praia Dona Ana that sits at the feet of 93 step staircase. Nature has worked her magic here. The beach's rock formations, grottos and caves make the Praia Dona Ana beach one of the most photographed in the Algarve. The waters here are calm and crystalline - ideal for snorkelling. On top of the cliff, there is a trail leading to Praia do Pinhão beach. Praia Dona Ana is about 160 metres long and frequented by the guests of the hotels situated on top of the cliff. The #2 bus stops at the top by the car park. A footpath from here leads towards Praia do Pinhão. | 2
37° 05' 30.7" N | 08° 40' 08.3" W
Praia do Camilo is accessed through a great rocky staircase. The top of the staircase has great panoramic views of the coastline between Lagos and Albufeira. The beach is divided by a vast rock formation and can be traversed through a tunnel. 37° 05' 14.5" N | 08° 40' 06.2" W
With this entrance ticket you can gain entry to the Lagos Zoo at your leisure. Buy online before you arrive to avoid queues and have the convenience of the e-ticket on your phone. Book with confidence with FREE CANCELLATION.
Lagos Zoo (Zoo de Lagos) is a wonderful day out located just outside Lagos and has more than 140 species from across five continents and hundreds of botanical species. Lagos Zoo is all about the animals – their well-being, conservation and protection. It's a great option if you're looking for things to do in the Algarve and it's suitable for all ages.
Daily: 10h00 - 19h00
Adult: €18.00, Child: €14.00, OAP: €16.00, Child 0-3: FREE
Quinta Figueiras, Sitio de Medronhal, Lagos, 8600 - 013, Portugal. | 37° 08' 43.7" N | 08° 45' 59.2" W
Ponta da Piedade is a headland with some of the most iconic views in the Algarve. Over aeons, nature has sculptured this coastline into dramatic limestone stacks, islets, grottos, small coves and caves. A coastal path behind the Farol da Ponta da Piedade Lagos lighthouse will lead you to the top of a staircase of 182 steps that will take you down into a bay in the centre of the sight. Admire the contrast between the yellow, ochre and red colours found in the stratum of the rock structures against the green and turquoise of the water.
The best way to experience the Ponta da Piedade is to get up close in a boat or kayak. By kayak, it's possible to visit grottos and secluded beaches that are otherwise inaccessible. In many cases, you can see fossils in the rock-faces. You can rent a kayak on Praia da Batata, which is only a short walk from the centre of Lagos. We recommend going kayaking with a guide. [Book Online ►]
Once a fishing village, Praia da Luz is now a popular holiday resort that retains much of its original charm. The town is far from being overdeveloped; the skyline remains low and subtle. The area has been inhabited for thousands of years. There's evidence of Roman occupation here. There are ruins of a Roman villa dating back to the 3rd century AD. It was partially excavated in the 19th century by Estacio da Veiga. Records exist of a group of salting tanks (cetareas) used for preparing fish, an aqueduct and a bathhouse. Nearby, at Cerro de Lorvão, there is a Roman cemetery. The main church has medieval origins. Its chancel has a Gothic vault and triumphal arch. The altarpiece of the main altar is decorated with gilded carvings in the Baroque style.
The beach is quite broad, with ample amenities and activities at hand. The tame waters in the bay are ideal for practising water sports, such as windsurfing, kite surfing, sailing and diving. The beach is backed by a palm-lined promenade, where there are several cafes and restaurants. Rising above the beach is a restaurant inside a 17th-century fort. | 4
Get the celebrity treatment with world-class service at Palmares Beach House Hotel - Adults Only. The property is twelve minutes walk from the beach. The hotel features an outdoor swimming pool. The property also includes an on-site restaurant. The rooms at the Palmares Beach House Hotel - Adults Only feature a private bathroom and a flat-screen cable TV. All include a balcony and views over the Atlantic Ocean. A daily breakfast is served in the restaurant area. Guests wishing to taste Mediterranean cuisine can enjoy the on-site restaurant. The surrounding area features a variety of fresh fish and seafood restaurants, many within a short five-minute drive.
Campo de Golfe de Palmares, 8600-250 Lagos, Portugal. | 37° 07' 35.3" N | 08° 38' 30.7" W
Book Online ►
This property is six minutes walk from the beach. Situated in the historical centre of Lagos, Baluarte da Vila Apartments features a pool with views of Lagos Bay and offers self-catering accommodation. Some Baluarte da Vila's apartments and studios boast furnished balconies with views of Meia Praia. They include modern furnishings and come equipped with air conditioning and a flat-screen TV with satellite channels.
Guests can relax on a sun lounger poolside and enjoy a refreshing beverage. Several restaurants serving fresh seafood and regional cuisine are a five-minute walk from the hotel.
Largo de Santa Maria da Graça, 9, 8600-910 Lagos, Portugal. | 37° 05' 52.0" N | 08° 40' 15.8" W
This property is eight minutes walk from the beach. Set in Lagos, 800 yards from Meia Praia Beach, B28 - Stylish Typical House offers accommodation with a terrace, free WiFi and a desk. The property is close to the Santa Maria Church and Lagos Marina. The holiday home has one bedroom, a bathroom, bed linen, towels, a flat-screen TV, a dining area, a fully equipped kitchenette, and a patio with city views. A car rental service is available at the holiday home, while cycling can be enjoyed nearby.
Beco da Barreira, 8600-653 Lagos, Portugal. | 37° 06' 18.8" N | 08° 40' 32.8" W
Book Online ►
In a narrow street in Lagos town centre is this tapas restaurant which is a refreashing alternative to the regular touristy eateries. They cook authentic petiscos (small dishes) to perfection at surprisingly reasonable prices. Theres a good range of seafood to choose from amongst the wide selection of tempting dishes. Highlights include piri-piri prawns, pork cheeks, battered squid and razor clams. The establishment is small and friendly. Its rightfully popular and booking is advisable.
Tuesday - Sunday: 18h00 - 22h00, Monday: CLOSED
Rua Soeiro da Costa 40A 8600-624 Lagos, Portugal. | 37° 06' 01.6" N | 08° 40' 19.3" W
+351 910 571 011 | firstname.lastname@example.org
If you find yourself close to Dona Ana beach one evening and fancy a special dining experience then head for this hidden gem. Luca's Rooftop Restaurant is located on top of the Carvi Beach Hotel. The panaramic view from Luca's Restaurant is almost unrivalled in Lagos. On the rooftop terrace, guests will find a bar and restaurant where they can enjoy a variety of delicious meals or refreshing beverages with unobstructed views of the ocean. The main focus is fish and seafood however the non-fishy meals and vegetarian are equally delicious. Enjoy the best local dishes while listening to the best Portuguese traditional music, Fado, on select nights.
Tuesday – Sunday: 12h30 – 16h00/18h00 – 20h00, Monday: CLOSED
Praia Dona Ana, Alameda Dr. Armando Soares Ribeiro, 8600-500 Lagos, Portugal. | 37° 05' 29.4" N | 08° 40' 13.7" W
+351 282 760 993 | email@example.com | Website
Enjoy an unforgettable evening of typical Portuguese cuisine with live Fado music - Wednesdays only. Using only fresh, seasonal, locally sourced ingredients, experienced chefs have created a traditional yet contemporary menu… thich caters for all tastes! To accompany your meal, there is an extensive list of excellent local wines at very affordable prices. The bar serves an extensive range of local wines, spirits, liqueurs and the best cocktails. Why not try their delicious English or Continental breakfast? Served daily from 10h00.
Monday – Saturday: 12h30/14h30 – 18h30 – 22h00, Sunday: CLOSED
Rua Gago Coutinho 3, Lagos 8600-593 Portugal,
37° 05' 40.7" N | 08° 40' 20.1" W
+351 938 131 036 | firstname.lastname@example.org | Website
79km (49.3 miles) west of Faro Airport
GET A GREAT DEAL ON FLIGHTS:
Get on A22 from N125-10, IC4 and N125-4, follow A22 to Lagos.
GET A GREAT DEAL ON CAR HIRE:
• Eva Transportes run services across the Algarve linking the main resorts and towns, as well as a hostess service to Lisbon. Also worth considering are their tourist passes if you're planing to visit different places: Website