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So you’ve booked your flights, maybe you’ve got your accommodation sorted, now you want to know which are the best beaches in and around Lagos on the Algarve coast.
I only spent a weekend in Lagos but it’s one of my favourite summer trips because there are so many different beaches with amazing rock features, caves and even bridges! The coastline is stunning and there is any number of boat trips available to suit every budget. You could quite easily spend several days here and still be discovering new beaches and hidden caves.
The best beaches near Lagos
Praia da Batata
This is the closest beach to the town and very easy to access, which also makes it the most popular, especially with families or those looking to spend a whole day on the beach with access to water activities like kayaking and paddleboarding. I didn’t really spend much time here because it was too busy. If you’re looking for more unique and secluded beaches you’ll want to continue further along the coast.
Praia dos Estudantes
I loved this beach (also called Student Beach) because it’s broken into two parts by a rock face which you can walk through to access these different areas of the beach. You can access the main beach by the staircase behind the Mar restaurant on the main road along the coast (within walking distance of town). This first part of the beach is nice but small, so arrive early if you want a spot, particularly as the tide comes in quite high!
On the righthand side of this beach is a tunnel through the rocks, it’s a bit of a step up and does fill with a bit of water at high tide so again make sure you time it right, especially if you have lots to carry to the beach!
Once you’re through the tunnel, the second half of this beach is the most stunning. Here you’ll find a stone bridge built into the rock, such a unique feature and fun to explore when the tide is out as you can walk through the bridge and explore the rock formations on the other side.
Just to the right side of this bridge is a natural tunnel in the rocks which is possible to walk through when the tide is out. The tunnel is pictured below and it leads to Pinhão Beach.
Praia do Pinhão
You can access this beach two ways, either through the tunnel from Students Beach as pictured above. However if the tide is high then you won’t be able to get through so tunnel so instead you can also access the beach from the road at the top of the cliffs, just a short walk from town when you reach the curved T-junction on the N125 road take the R. José Formosinho road towards the sea. You will climb down a really unique set of steps which are built into a cliff. This beach is very long, again walk through the rocks on the right and it extends further, so there is plenty of places to hang out and spend the day. There isn’t much shade though so make sure to take a parasol and some water shoes as I managed to find the only sea urchin to stand on here!
Praia Dona Ana
Continue a little further down the N125 road until you reach Estr. da Ponta da Piedade Road on the right. All the other, slightly more secluded beaches can be accessed down this road and the first one is Praia Dona Ana. I believe there is parking here, in front of the Hotel Algarve. From the car park is a set on wooden stairs straight down to the beach.
Praia do Camilo
If you’ve seen pictures of the Algarve with the wooden steps down to a small beach, this is the beach you’ve seen. This is my favourite beach and it’s worth the walk (or drive) out of the town a bit to get here. It’s further along the same road from Praia dona Ana and it’s signposted to the left down a sandy track. There is a carpark but it gets very busy so get there early! The wooden steps lead down to the beach where there is a small shop selling drinks and snacks (very overpriced - take your own!), to the left of the beach is a small tunnel leading through to a further beach. Camilo is popular and it’s not hard to see why.
The reason why I love this beach so much is not just because it’s GORGEOUS, but it’s also a great base to do some coastal walks from if you’re looking for a bit more activity on your trip. From Camilo car park walk down to the cliff top and turn right, there are paths among the rocks and shrubbery. Take water and wear good shoes - it gets hot! You can walk all the way to Ponta Da Piedade from here.
Ponta Da Piedade
Now, technically, this isn’t a beach BUT it is an iconic part of the Algarve Coast and it is stunning. If you need a reason to go here then there are boat tours that leave from here and tour around the coastal grottos, but honestly, i just went for the views and the beautiful blue water and famous rock arches. From the top there are some great viewpoints, then head down the stairs to get a closer look at the grotto.
For photographs, light is definitely better early or later in the day, high sun makes it difficult to photograph.
And further afield…
Of course, if you have a car (or boat!) then your options on the Algarve coast are endless! Here are other top beaches to visit:
Praia da Prainha
Praia dos Caneiros
Praia de Benagil - you can get to the Benagil Sea Cave from here. Or do what I did and take a boat from Lagos to the caves - details can be found here.
Praia da Marinha
Flights: I use Expedia to find great flights and the best deals all over the world, they have regular sales and offers so I always check their website. I also check CheapOair to find cheap deals on round trip flights.
Car Rental: I love the customer service I've always gotten and the variety of options with Rental Cars. But for short notice rentals, I've been using Expedia for the last year, they always seem to have great one-day rates or last-minute rates from the main rental companies.
Accommodation: I prefer the flexibility of booking accommodation with Booking.com so I can cancel or change my reservation without a fee or only pay on arrival for most properties. For longer or more unique stays I prefer AirBnB because you can get the long stay discount, you can also find more unique properties and book experiences with talented locals and businesses. For my budget trips, I always stay in hostels and book through Hostelworld because they have great guarantees if anything does go wrong. If you arrive and your booking is not at the property, they refund the full deposit AND give you $50 extra credit.
Tours and organised trips Although I don’t use tours that often, I do like to book local experiences or day trips once I reach my destination. For that I use GetYourGuide because it has the biggest selection and variety of tour and experience options.
Travel Insurance: I currently use SafetyWing Nomad Insurance. Which allows me to pay a rolling monthly fee to cover my long term travels.
My camera gear and equipment: I use a Canon 77D with an 18-135mm lens or a 50mm lens. And a DJI Mavic Mini Drone. For all my gear including laptops, tripods and more camera accessories read my travel photography gear guide.