It may be one of most historic and prettiest towns in the Algarve, but there’s plenty more to Lagos than its narrow cobbled streets, 16th century walls and ornate churches. With some of the region’s best beaches nearby and an impressive coastline to explore, holidays to Lagos Portugal have something for everyone. Head to the long sweep of sand in Meia Praia, or visit Praia de Dona Ana and Porto de Mós for its secluded coves and caves. Holidays here are jam-packed with things to do; from boat trips along the coast and water sports on the beach to teeing off on a golf course’s rolling fairway. The fun doesn’t stop when the sun sets either, as it pumping nightlife has some serious appeal for all-night party lovers.
You can expect it in July to reach the highest temperatures; it’s best to book your holiday here in August.
2 hours 45 minutes
90km east of Lagos is Faro Airport (FAO), also known as Algarve Airport.
Lagos holidays have every activity under the sun on offer. Relax on the soft golden sands of Meia Praia beach with a good book, before tucking into some great Portuguese food at one of the seafood restaurants lining the modern, yacht-filled marina. See the iconic Ponta da Piedade by boat; its dramatic sandstone cliffs, lighthouse and orchid-filled surroundings are not to be missed. Spend some time at Lagos Zoo. This is the perfect family day trip and the kids will love seeing all the animals.
With holidays to Lagos, you’ll get multiple sandy beaches to choose from. One of the Algarve’s most famous beaches, Meia Praia golden sand stretches over 4km. When it comes to picturesque beaches, Praia da Dona Ana is hard to beat. Surrounded by steep cliffs with crystal-clear waters, this breathtaking beach is only a walk away from the centre. Even closer is Batata beach, you’ll find sailing regattas, volleyball competition and the annual Banho 29 sea dip. Around the other side of Ponta da Piedade is the windsurfing haven of Porto de Mós. Have a wander up to the cliffs for some fantastic views across the sea.
Kids will love a visit to Lagos Zoo. With over 120 different species, you’ll see everything from exotic birds swooping through the 60m Flight Tunnel, to baboons swinging around their enclosure at Monkey Island. There’s lots to keep the kids busy on the beaches too. From cruising around the sea trying to spot dolphins in their natural habitat, to surf lessons and paddling kayaks across the water. Explore the National Forest of Barão de São João just 9km away, or look for pink flamingos in the wetlands of the Alvor Estuary.
Despite its cool bars, great restaurants and modern souvenir shops, there’s many historical sites to see on Lagos holidays. Most of its buildings were built from the 15th century onwards, when the town was a busy trading port and used as a departure point for explorer’s during Portugal’s golden Age of Discoveries. Take a stroll around the well-preserved town walls and moated Ponta da Bandeira Fort, before you head to the Lagos Museum for its wide range of artefacts.
Golfers: Tee off on the three championship golf courses at Quinta do Lago golf club.
Families: Build sand castles on the beach or go dolphin spotting in the Atlantic.
History buffs: There’s lots to explore in this historical town, from 18th century walls and ornate churches to a castle and a fortress.
Language: Portuguese is the language spoken here.
Currency: Your spending money needs to be in Euros (€).
Local time: Lagos is the same time as GMT/UK time.
Fly to: Faro Airport. The transfer time to Lagos is around 1.5 hours.
Flight time from UK: The flight time to Lagos is 2 hours and 45 minutes.
Tourist information: Further tourist information can be found at www.visitportugal.com.
Visa & health: Before you travel, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/portugal for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday.
Temperature: Visit between May and October and enjoy average highs of 20-26 (°C).
Best time to visit: It’s the warmest in August.
Like other resorts in the Algarve, it does tend to get quite windy. But with temperatures in the 20 (°C) during the summer and an average of 11 hours of sunshine a day from June to August, the weather here is beautiful. December is the wettest month and the coldest is January, when the temperature drops to 11 (°C).
By mini-train: Hop on the mini-train which runs along the seafront to easily see the marina, Ponta de Piedade and all the beaches in between. It usually costs around €2.50 for a single ticket to and from Lagos.
By bus: There’s a great network of bus routes that are cheap and reliable, such as the Rede Expressos and EVA. These both run services to other beach resorts and inland towns.
By train: To visit all the important sights along the Algarve line, simply board a train at the station near the marina.
By car: Rent a car and see all the sights of the western Algarve at your own pace. Pick up your hire car from Faro Airport, or from somewhere closer to your hotel.
Sail away: Some of the most prestigious events on the sailing calendar often visit Lagos, and there are smaller regattas here too.
Golf tournaments: Quinta do Lago golf club frequently hosts big contests, such as the Portuguese Open Championship.
All that jazz: August brings the annual Lagos Jazz Festival, with concerts, workshops and jam sessions.
Bath time: If you’re in Lagos at the end of August, don’t miss Banho 29, a time-honoured mass dip in the sea. Many locals even wear old-fashioned bathing suits.
Traditional fair: The Age of Discovery is celebrated every October/November with a 16th-century fair.