Hello fellow Portugal lovers! Here is a perfect list of the best things to do in Lagos Portugal for you to plan out your Algarve trip!

Lagos Portugal is so much more than a beach town. The history here dates back to the at least Roman Empire. They were also very involved in Portugal’s discovery period back in the 15 and 16th centuries. The town is wrapped perfectly in high castle walls and there is an old-world charm around every corner.

Now, with that being said Lagos is very modern and there is plenty going on. You cannot walk down the street without admiring the chic cafes, beautiful architecture, and seaside restaurants. There are super cute boutique hotels, plenty of Airbnbs, and big beach hotels too.

For the must-do, Lagos activities use this and other blogs I put together for you from my time in Portugal!

one of the most famous beaches in the algarve is one of the best things to do in Lagos Portugal

Things to do in Lagos Portugal – Lagos Portugal Activities

Visit Praia Dona Ana The Most Popular Beach in Lagos

Some of the very best beaches in the Algarve are in Lagos, Portugal. And the beautiful Praia Dona Ana is always at the top of the list. The golden sand is soft and comfy to lay on. There are plenty of pretty shells near the water to see.

Once you are on the beach there is a restaurant with a view with rental chairs and umbrellas. If you wanted to stroll along the boardwalk the beaches are always free to enter in Portugal. After arriving in Lagos, you have to go check out Praia Dona Ana it is one of the many free things to do in Lagos Portugal.

Explore the Historic Old Town of Lagos

There is some serious site seeing to be done in Old Town Lagos. You will want to plan to spend at least one afternoon walking around here on your trip to Lagos. Touring churches and museums is always one of the top things to do in Lagos Portugal when it rains.

  • The Castle Walls Around Lagos
  • The Fresh Fish Market
  • São Gonçalo Gate
  • Ponta da Bandeira Fort
  • The Church of Santa Maria
  • The Church of San Antonio
  • The Church of Sao Sebastiao
  • Dom Henrique Square
  • Gil Eanes Square
  • The Science Museum
  • The Green House
the old town of Lagos Portugal with white and black cobble stones

Enjoy the Nightlife in the City Center

Next up are the best things to do in Lagos Portugal at night. You will have plenty of options for an amazing night out on the town. Try the old town for a romantic walk along the cobblestone roads and grab a bite to eat at one of the amazing restaurants in Lagos with a view.

If you are looking for more of a party scene check out Seven, Tok’yo Bar, and Roof Bar Club. You can pretty much find live music any night of the week too. The Lagos Cultural Center Jazz club has amazing options. Or head to stripe to find modern and rock cover bands playing.

And you cannot visit Portugal and not try the local wine. There are plenty of places in Lagos for wine, and they have their own special blends. They make both red and white wines. The whitish-green blend is extra special and is only made in Lagos, Portugal.

a colorful sunset in lagos Portugal is one of the best things to do in Lagos Portugal

Take a Boat Tour of the Algarve Coastline

Boat Cruise to Ponta da Piedade– Starting in Lagos you will be taken to admire the famous rock formations of Ponta da Piedade and cruise by Camilo, Barranco Martinho, Batata, and Pinhão, Canavial Beach, and end at the Ponta da Piedade Lighthouse.

Choose between a private experience or securing a seat on the cushioned boat with fellow Algarve lovers on a shared tour.  

Check your dates! GetYourGuide.com.

the pretty view of a beach in Lagos Portugal

Take a Surfing Lesson in Lagos

You cannot go to the Algarve and not try a Surf Lesson in Lagos. Okay, you definitely can, but if have been wanting to try surfing Lagos is the perfect place to do it. The instructors are so kind and perfectly explain the basics of surfing. They kept it light and fun the entire time and you will forget that you keep busting your bum.

The waves are nice and calm and you are almost guaranteed to have a great time. Book your spot today and cross-learning to surf off your bucket list!

Book your spot in the waves! GetYourGuide.com

Walk along the Cliffs at Ponta da Piedade to See the Heart Cliff

Ponda da Piedade may be one of the prettiest and most popular hikes in the Algarve. To get there head a short 3 km (1.8 miles) outside of Lagos until you reach the parking lot. Find the lighthouse and head to the left for the best side of the hike. Head down the stairs and you will be at one of the prettiest coves in all of the Algarve.

You can also navigate your way along the seaside cliffs along the wooden boardwalk all the way to Cascade Wilderness point. You can stop along the way to enjoy some of the best Lagos Portugal sightseeing.

There are also plenty of tours that you can book for kayaking and paddle boarding to explore the coves and caves at the Ponda da Piedade.

Find the Cliffs at Ponta da Piedada Lagos, Portugal.

a beautiful girl with a heart shape beach in Lagos Portugal

Visit the Forte da Ponta da Bandeira an Acient Fort

The Forte da Ponta also known as the Lagos Fort was built back in the 17th century to protect the coastal town from pirate attacks, today it is just a tourist attraction. You cannot miss it right along the Bensafrim River with bright red and white stripes. Take a self-guided tour and climb the narrow spiral staircase all the way up to the watchtower.

Take note of the many cannons on site that were added as extra security when Lagos was being attacked by the water. Visiting the Forte da Ponta da Bandeira is one of the best Lagos things to see for history and architecture lovers. It is open daily, and the tickets are very reasonably priced.

Check how far away you are from Forte da Ponta da Bandeira, 8600-563 Lagos, Portugal.

Go Kayaking in the Lagos Bay Area

There is no better way to see the sea caves and beaches of Ponta da Piedade than on a 2-hour kayak and boat tour from Lagos. See the beautiful golden sand and hidden beaches. Your tour guide will give you a little history along with your boat ride to the sea stack.  

When you arrive at the Ponta da Piedade, you will hop off the boat and onto your kayak. Your guide will take you through the beautiful caves and small beaches the area is famous for. Take a break and swim for a bit then board the boat again to be taken back to your hotel. Ponta da Piedade is one of the best places to visit in Lagos, so it does fill up fast!

Reserve your Kayak: GetYourGuide.com

one of the most famous beaches in the algarve is one of the best things to do in Lagos Portugal

Take a Dolphin-Watching Tour in Lagos

No matter how many times you have spotted a dolphin in the wild it is always a majestic seen. The 1.5-hour boat ride is led by a professional marine biologist who will guide your trip in the Atlantic to the most popular spots to watch dolphins.

You will be happy to know that on every trip these sea doctors take notes and study the wild dolphins to ensure their health and for conservation purposes. Visiting the dolphins is a must-see Lagos Portugal treasure.

Book your tour to ensure your spot: GetYourGuide.com

two dolphins swimming in the water in Lagos Portugal

Visit the Mercado Municipal de Lagos for a Local Market

If you are looking for the Lagos best things to do you should make it a point to visit the Mercado Municipal de Lagos. This has been a hotspot marketplace in Lagos for over a century and is open every day, except Sunday, from 8 am to 2 pm. Try to get there early for the freshest food and before the popular vendors sell out for the day.

Plan on spending the afternoon walking around tasting traditional Portuguese cuisine. You can try freshly-grilled sardines, pastéis de nata, and locally-made wines. The Municipal de Lagos is a wonderful place to purchase all of your favorite souvenirs from Portugal.

This historic marketplace offers a variety of fresh veggies, seafood, and cuts of meats for sale too if you like cooking while on vacation. There are clean and free bathrooms here as well.

You may be able to walk there from your Lagos Accommodation: Av. dos Descobrimentos, 8600-668 Lagos, Portugal.

a farmers market in Lagos Portugal is more than a century old

Walk along the Ribeira de Bensafrim – A Hidden Gem in Lagos

One of the least talked about things to see in Lagos Portugal is the Ribeira de Bensafrim. This beautiful river has calm waters and is often overlooked by tourists. You can plan to enjoy some water sports activities like kayaking or paddle boarding, or if you prefer to stay on land there are plenty of hiking trails along the riverside.

The most popular hike is the Igreja de Santo Antonio which is a 4.3-mile (6.9 km) loop hike. This hike will give you one of the best views of the Ribeira. Be sure to wear good shoes, and bring water, food, and sunscreen.

If you wanted a relaxing day without much activity there are plenty of spots to set up a picnic with your finds from the Mercado Municipal de Lagos. You will also see local fishermen reeling in their catch of the day.

Be sure to check out the local tides before heading out, sometimes the river can be very low without any water at all. It is still a beautiful site, but you won’t experience the real magic when the waters are low.

Find directions here – Ribeira de Bensafrim.

lovely hike in Lagos Portugal

4-Hour Guided Wine Tour in Lagos Portugal

Get out and enjoy a day out in nature with a Wine tour of Lagos. On this tour, you will be taken in a private van to visit a local award-winning winemaker. 3 tastings are included in the tour price as well as small plates with local cheese and sausages.

You will have time to purchase your favorites to enjoy there or to bring home with you. Yes, you can bring home wine from Portugal, just make sure you pack it EXTRA good. I was able to bring 4 bottles back with me.

After your wine tasting your driving will bring you to an area to view the beautiful Algarve oranges, ancient Cork trees, and small, forgotten towns in the area. With extra free time in the Moorish village of Silves. Explore the old town with cobbled streets and one of the best castles in Portugal.

This is so much more than a wine tour, it is a whole local experience. Book today! Getyourguide.com

wine tasting with 4 glasses is one of the best things to do in Lagos Portugal

Visit the Igreja de Santo Antonio Lagos a Historic Church with Baroque Architecture

Up next is another historic site and is one of the best places to visit in Lagos Portugal. The Igreja de Santo Antonio offers equally impressive artifacts in art, history, and religion. When you arrive you will be taken back by the beautiful facade and bell tower.

Once you go inside take your time with the incredible artwork and the elaborate gold carvings around. Keep your eye out for the rare copy of a 17th-century bible on display. Take a minute to relax and take in the precious surroundings. You are allowed to light a candle as a gesture of prayer or in remembrance for someone special, or heck just to celebrate that you made it on your trip to Portugal.

It is very close to the old town and you can probably walk there. Check out the Igrea de Santo Antonio today!

Go Horseback Riding at Sunset

You can take your pick from a sunrise or sunset horseback ride in Lagos. When taking this tour you will meet your guide and horse at a meeting point and head through a pine forest until you reach the beach. Depending on the time of the year you may see the local fruit coming to life, or see the flowers blooming in the forest. Any time of the year, you will be able to view the stunning coastline with rugged cliffs, sandy shores, and turquoise water.

Once you and your pony reach the water you can enjoy a bit more freedom and enjoy riding on the sand and through the water. They only allow children over 12 and you must wear closed-toe shoes. Do not be intimidated if you have never ridden before, the instructors will go over everything with you before you jump on, and you can take it as slow as you would like.

Book your horseback riding tour in paradise today, it is one of the best things to do around Lagos Portugal! GetYourGuide.com

a beautiful view of two big horses on the beach in Lagos

Explore the Lagos Marina Day or Night

You can find all the fun things to do in Lagos Portugal at the Marina. If you thinking about grabbing a drink with a view of the ocean, you can do it here. Want to rent kayaks, paddleboards, or a jet ski? You can do that at the Marina too.

There are also fishing charters available to book, which is fun for the whole family. The most commonly caught fish in the Algarve are mackerel, fountains, snappers, and many more. Your boat captain will explain their strategy and what you will be going after the day of your boat trip.

During the night the whole vibe of the busy marina switches over to party time, with live music at local bars, and upscale trendy restaurants that turn into nightclubs. No matter what time of the day it is the Marina is always a great place to visit!

Here is the Lagos Marina Address and directions from Old town! Edifício da Administração, 8600-315 Lagos, Portugal.

Visit the Lagos Science Center is Fun for the Whole Family

The Lagos Science Center is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. You can purchase tickets beforehand online, or grab one when you get there. Take your pick from the many interactive exhibits around that are both entertaining and educational. You can also sign up for a workshop where you, or your children, can get hands-on and be an experimental scientist for a few minutes.

Plan to attend a show at the Lagos Science center. You can pick between a 3D cinema experience, the planetarium, or stick around for a science show. There are also guided tours where your tour guide will explain the exhibits and the science behind them in greater detail than what is offered on display.

You can pick between Portuguese and English tour guides. Do not leave this out of your list of the Lagos Portugal things to do, it is always a hit no matter how old you are.

See how far you are away from the Lagos Science center. R. Dr. Faria e Silva 34, 8600-734 Lagos, Portugal.

Take a Trip to the nearby Sagres Point – Places to Visit near Lagos Portugal

Wild and Wonderful West Coast Full-Day Tour. Take a day trip from Lagos to the stunning western town of Aljezur. There is a majestic, historic castle to tour with a pit stop at two beaches the Montes Clérigos and Carrapateira Beach.

You will stop for lunch in a small village and then be taken to the popular picturesque town of Sagres. The last stop of the day is at Cape of St. Vincent which is not to be missed on your trip to the Algarve. 

If you are looking for a way to knock out a few towns in one day, this tour will show you plenty of the best things to do near Lagos Portugal. You will be in a minivan with AC and the tour guides really care about your experience. You will not be rushed around and can change the routes (a bit) to fit what you want to see.

Grab a spot today! Getyourguide.com

Go Snorkeling Around the Algarve

If you think the Algarve is beautiful from the land, wait until you get out on the water. You should plan to spend at least one of your days out on a boat tour of the Golden Coast. Tours are affordable and reliable, and you will gain a memory that you have forever.

This specific tour lasts 4 hours, starts in Lagos, and will take you around the southwestern area of the Algarve. Pit stops along the tour include the popular Ponta da Piedade coves and the black rock of Praia da Luz. Your snorkeling gear is provided and you can add on paddle board options too!

Then for lunch, your tour guide will take you to the local fishing village of Burgau. You can relax on board or go check out the town for a while. Then board your boat and relax on your way back to the Lagos Marina while keeping your eyes peeled for the majestic dolphins playing in the waves. Visiting the gold coast is a must-do in Lagos Portugal for all ages. Bring extra drinks, sun protection, and your camera.

Book your boat tour today! GetYourGuide.com.

Visit the Museu Municipal Dr. Jose Formosinho

The Museu of Dr. Jose Formosinho is located inside the center of Lagos and is named after Dr. Formosinho for his dedication to preserving the local culture of Lagos. There are permanent collections on display from both Roman and Moorish times as well as a few Medival timeframe pieces.

learn about the rich maritime history by viewing old ships and navigational instruments from the past. Tour the curated displays and check out the traditional and unique fashion that the people of Lagos have worn. This is a great way to spend a few hours in the old town if you are looking for what to do in Lagos Portugal and learn a little culture along the way.

 R. Gen. Alberto da Silveira 1, 8600-594 Lagos, Portugal

Go Hiking in the Serra de Monchique Mountains to a Spa Town or Summits

One of the best mountain ranges in Portugal is only about 30 minutes away from Lagos, the Serra de Monchqiue Mountains. You can do all types of marked hikes from short simple hikes to longer and very challenging hikes.

The Foia Trail is one of the most popular hikes in all of Portugal and will lead you to the highest point in the Algarve (902 meters, about 3000 feet). At the summit, you will have the most amazing panoramic view of the nearby town of Portimao and it is worth the hours it takes to get up there.

For an easier hike, you may want to try out the Vale da Lama. This trek will take you through a beautiful valley and you will pass a river and waterfall. Or try the Caldes de Monchique Trail for a walk through the woods which ends in the pretty spa town, of Caldas de Monchique. The history of This town dates back to Roman times for providing therapeutic treatments. The spas are open all year long and are one of the things to do in Lagos Portugal in winter.

You can also book a full-day tour, that will take you to Caldas de Monchque and other coastal towns if you are not into hiking.

Find the trailheads here from Lagos: Serra de Monchqiue Mountains

hiking in Portugal is a must do when visiting Lagos

All-Day Jeep Safari and Distillery Tour in Lagos Portugal

Get out off the main road and experience the beauty of the wild in the Algarve. On this Jeep and Distillery Tour, you will explore the off-beaten track through valleys, steams, and winding around the roads.

You will leave Lagos and venture in and out of the cutest white-washed small Portuguese towns. To quench your thirst “medronho” a local liquor is offered after your freshly made lunch. Then you will head about after your fun day out exploring your very own jeep.

Book your tour: Getyourguide.com.

taking a jeep tour on the coast

Is Lagos Portugal worth visiting?

Yes!! Visiting the Lagos Portugal attractions is always on the list of the best things to do in Portugal. You will find plenty of beaches, markets, restaurants, and bars making it the perfect place for a family or party vacation. Go to Lagos, you will not regret it.

What is Lagos Portugal best known for?

Lagos is best known for its beaches. The most popular beaches in Lagos are the as Praia do Camilo and Praia Dona Ana. They both have crystal-clear waters and stunning rock formations. You will see tourists from all over the world coming to enjoy the sandy shores of Lagos. 

Lagos is also known for its historic significance for Portugal. It was once a major port and trading center during the 15th and 16th centuries. Famous explorer Vasco da Gama set sail for India from Lagos in 1499 and today, Lagos retains much of its old-world charm.  There are plenty of other activities in Lagos Portugal besides the beaches as well.

the famous Portugal desserts

How do I spend a day in Lagos Portugal?

If you only have one day in Lagos, you will be a very busy girl (or boy). For the best things to do in Lagos Portugal, you will want to hit the Mercado Municipal de Lagos Market, at least one beach, and check out the castle walls for sure.

Is Lagos or Lisbon better?

Lagos and Lisbon are so different that it is hard to stay which one is better. There is plenty must see in Lagos Portugal, but in comparison to Lisbon, it is very small. I am a beach girl, so I would pick Lagos of Lisbon 9 out of 10 times.

sunset with purple and pink colors with a big boardwalk in the center