Best Places To Stay In Lagos Portugal – When I think of Portugal’s most perfect beach destination, the first name that always comes to mind is undoubtedly Lagos. Located in the southern Algarve region of Portugal, this magical gem is a particularly popular beach spot for visitors looking for sun and sand.
Given its proximity to beautiful beaches, the sparkling white historic city center, and the ideal location for exploring the rest of the Algarve, it’s no surprise that many travelers fall in love with Lagos. But despite its popularity, Lagos has somehow managed to maintain an authentic Portuguese atmosphere and lifestyle.
Best Places To Stay In Lagos Portugal
I personally love Lagos and have returned many times, discovering new things to see and do each visit. Whether you’re a beach lover or just want to explore the Algarve region, there’s plenty to keep you busy – Lagos is perfect.
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In this guide, you’ll find my list of the top 5 things to do in Lagos and all the information you’ll need to plan your trip to this perfect Portuguese beach town.
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Lagos is located in the western Algarve region, about 186 miles (300 km) south of Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. Fortunately, traveling from Lisbon to Lagos by car, bus or even train is easy.
Whenever I visit Lagos, I choose to travel by car. As I mentioned before, you can travel by bus or train, but you won’t have the same freedom to explore the many beaches of the Algarve and the hidden gems beyond Lagos. And driving through the Algarve region is one of the best road trips in Portugal. Therefore, it is highly recommended to have a car.
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The trip from Lisbon to Lagos will take about 3 hours via the A2 highway. This wonderful highway is in excellent condition and an enjoyable journey. One warning though, most national roads in Portugal have a toll and this should be taken into account when planning your travel budget.
If you plan to rent a car and drive on toll roads, consider the electronic tag service that most car rental companies offer (for an additional fee). It allows you to link your credit card to an electronic tag that will automatically charge your card as you pass through various toll booths and highways.
I always found it worth it, even if I paid a little more for the convenience of not having to worry about when and where to pay the toll.
Portugal is part of the Schengen area, so US citizens and travelers from other countries will not need a visa to visit. You just need to make sure your trip is less than 90 days.
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You should know. However, the European Union is in the process of launching a new electronic travel authorization system called ETIAS (EU Travel Information and Authorization System). It is expected to be implemented by the end of 2022.
Anyone who has ever visited the Algarve knows that this place is unlike any other beach destination in the world. The rugged golden cliffs and rock formations lining the southern coast of Portugal are simply spectacular.
You will find many amazing beaches to explore in Lagos, and they are all within walking distance of the city center.
Some of my favorite Lagos beaches are the popular Praia Dona Ana with its amazing rock formations, Praia dos Estudantes and Ponta da Piedade. All these beaches are distinctly different and offer a unique beach experience.
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Even if you don’t have your own car, you can easily reach many of Lagos’ best beaches. The “A Onda” bus runs frequently every day of the week on the blue line (line 2) connecting Meia Praia, Praia Dona Ana and Praia Porto de Mos.
Tip: Note that some beaches, such as Praia Dona Ana, have all the necessary services you would expect from a public beach. Other beaches, such as Praia do Camilo and Praia dos Estudantes, are remote and unspoiled and have little or no facilities.
It’s no secret that the Algarve is all about the sun, beaches and of course water sports! Along the entire coastline of Lagos, you will have no shortage of exciting activities to enjoy on the water. In fact, the Algarve gets plenty of sunshine all year round, making it one of Europe’s top winter destinations.
The most popular excursion is a cruise to the beautiful Ponte de Piedade or the wonderful Bengil Caves. If you’re looking for something more active, consider canoeing, surfing lessons, kitesurfing or stand-up paddleboarding. Do you have a particularly special day to celebrate? Why not consider chartering a private half-day or sunset cruise to complete your stay in Lagos?
Best Nightlife Experiences In Lagos
While Portuguese wines are known around the world, most people are much more familiar with the wines produced in the Douro Valley in northern Portugal. Few visitors to Lagos realize that the Algarve is also one of Portugal’s leading wine regions.
Just a 10-minute drive from downtown Lagos, the Monte de Castella Organic Wine Farm produces a variety of wines, including whites, reds and rosés. You can choose a guided tour and wine tasting. Or better yet, make the most of your visit with an overnight stay at the hotel’s guest house!
Monte de Casteleja marks the beginning of the wine route in the Algarve. Heading east, you’ll find many other wineries located throughout the region, including Quinta Moragado da Torre, Quinta do Frances, Quinta dos Vales and Quinta de Mata Moros.
Lagos is an idyllic beach resort with a historic center that exudes Portuguese charm and character. Complete with cobbled streets, cobbled buildings and beautiful churches, Lagos has it all.
Where To Stay In Lagos, Portugal
Strolling through the streets and squares of the historic city center of Lagos is a wonderful experience in itself. The streets are full of boutiques, bars and restaurants serving fresh and delicious seafood. And you’ll no doubt come across some fun street performers performing in public squares all over the city.
If you are looking for a truly authentic Portuguese experience, head to the wonderful Alma Lusa Restaurant just outside Lagos Old Town. Dine on the best of Portuguese cuisine while listening to the magical sounds of fado, Portugal’s traditional melancholic folk music.
Although Lagos is west of the Algarve region, it is still easy to see the surrounding areas. Whenever I visit Lagos, I always head out to explore more of southern Portugal – visiting the towns of Tuira and Vilamoura and exploring other beaches including Praia da Marina, my all-time favorite Algarve beach.
Good highways make getting around the Algarve easy. Even the drive from Lagos to the eastern city of Tavira takes just over an hour. There is no excuse not to see more of this amazing area when you are in Lagos.
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If you prefer to explore beyond the main attractions of the Algarve, then consider heading west to the southernmost tip of Segres. Next, travel to the southwest coast of Portugal, also known as Costa Vicentina.
A truly stunning part of Portugal, Costa Vicentina is still quite hidden from the hoards of tourists who visit Portugal every year. The area is blessed with amazing natural beauty, amazing coastline and even more amazing beaches.
For nature lovers, southwest Portugal has hundreds of kilometers of hiking and biking trails, collectively known as the Vicentina Road. Or perhaps you prefer to explore the whitewashed villages of Aljezur, Vila Nova de Milfontes or Zambujeira do Mar.
Lagos is one of those truly special places that capture your heart at first sight. The city center is lovely, the people are warm and welcoming, and the beaches are out of this world. And with so much to see and explore in the Algarve region, Lagos really is the perfect base to enjoy your Portuguese seaside holiday!
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Confused about where to stay when visiting Lagos? Fortunately, Lagos has excellent quality accommodation options for every budget.
For good value, consider the 3-star Carvi Beach Hotel, just 100 meters from the beautiful Praia Dona Ana and about 15 minutes’ walk from the historic city centre. This particular hotel also offers a pretty impressive sea view!
As a 4-star option, the Lagos Avenida Hotel, which overlooks the marina, is an excellent choice and is only a 10-minute walk from the old town.
In terms of top 5 star hotels, I would not hesitate to recommend Casa Mãe which is centrally located, almost in the heart of central Lagos, or alternatively Cascades Wellness Resort, about 10 minutes from central Lagos, overlooking Porto de Beach. Moss and also a great view of the ocean.
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That’s it –