We’ve stayed almost 3 months in Lagos because we like the location and the numerous things to do at our fingertips. Today I want to show you the best walks and walking trails in and close to Lagos. These reach from short walks of 30 minutes to official walking trails up to several hours.
Overview of all walking trails in and close to Lagos
- Walks in Lagos
- Walks close to Lagos
Walks in Lagos
Walk along Meia Praia
Lagos has one of the longest beaches in Algarve, Meia Praia. It’s a 4 kilometer long stretch of sandy beach without cliffs, but dunes. And the great thing about it is that the more towards East you walk, the fewer people you will meet. In winter you might be all along during the last 2 kilometers. The closer to Lagos town you get, the more people will be there.
It’s great for a long walk and you can easily spend 2 hours or more there. There is a great restaurant at the beach called, Restaurante Gaivota Branca with a little terrace with sea view, great fish dishes above average and just a great sunny place to hang out.
If you just fancy a coffee you will find a great option set a bit back in the dunes called Bar-berlim, located more or less in the middle of Meia Praia.
Where to park at Meia Praia?
There is a big parking lot at the Restaurant Gaivota Branca.
Walk along Praia Porto Mos
The second option for a beach walk is Praia Porto Mos, that is located on the other side of Lagos, in the West. It is not as long as Meia Praia but sufficient for an half-an-hour walk. This is a beach with very high and stunning cliffs. Porto Mos is a popular beach for surfers and it’s fun watching them. There is also a restaurant and a café at Porto Mos, that both invite to hang out there.
A great thing to do at Porto Mos besides having a walk is watching the sunset. Somehow the sunsets there are always stunning. You can watch it from the beach or go from the parking lot on top of the cliffs and watch it from there. This is not an official path, therefore be careful at the edge of the cliffs as these are porous.
Where to park at Porto Mos?
There is a parking lot at the beginning of the beach. You can’t miss it.
Walking trail Ponta de Piedade
The most popular walking trail in Lagos is Ponta de Piedade. It’s a beautiful walking trail on top of the cliffs with great views on the most stunning rock formations of Lagos. Nowadays there is an official wooden boardwalk and a broad way that makes it accessible for baby carts or wheel chairs. But there are also many little trails apart from the oficial boardwalk. And like always – please be careful and don’t walk too close to the edge of the cliffs.
From the parking lot the boardwalks start on the right side of the light house. But there are also some more little paths on the left side of the parking. If you follow the official board walk the walk will take you around 45 minutes when walking to all viewpoints. It’s a very scenic and short walk.
There is no restaurant at Ponta de Piedade, but just few hundred meters before at Praia do Camilo. This is by the way also a very stunning beach. Make sure to go down there. It’s just some hundreds of stairs, but I promise it will be worth it.
Where to park at Ponta de Piedade?
There is a big parking at the lighthouse.
Walk through the Harbour and Old quarter of Lagos
Lagos itself is a cute little town and my personal favorite town at Algarve. It has a small but very lovely old quarter with little alleys, small shops, and street restaurants, cafés, and bars. What I especially like about Lagos is that it kept its small-town charm and has a historic past. It didn’t grow into a big touristic city, like Portimao or Albufeira.
Therefore a walk through the Old Quarter and along the harbor is a great alternative to beach and cliff walks. Park your car at the market hall „Mercado Municipal de Lagos“, then walk along the riverside promenade. You will pass the Medieval castle of Lagos. Always follow the street that leads uphill now till the viewpoint Miradouro Praia da Batata and enjoy the stunning view. You can also walk down to Praia da Batata and Praia dos Estudantes. To get to the old quarter you need to go down the hill again and enter the old Quarter via the gate in the ancient city wall, called Arco / Porta de São Gonçalo. Then head into R. Gen. Alberto da Silveira and to have a short stop at the beautiful church Igreja de Santo António. Now just keep heading straight till you arrive in the street Rua 25 de Abril that has a lot of restaurants and bar for your choice. Walking further down to the street will bring you to the main square with its beautiful fountains and paving and some more cafés and an ice cream parlor that invite you for another stop. You parked your car just around the corner on the riverside promenade.
Where to park to get to the old quarter of Lagos?
The closest parking is along the Riverside Promenade, the N125 at the height of the market hall Mercado Municipal de Lagos.
Walking trails close to Lagos
Walking trail from Burgau to Salema
If you need a change of environment or fancy a more quiet place then the cliff walk from Burgau to Salema or the other way round from Salema to Burgau is a great choice.
Salema is a lovely fisherman village that has kept its original charm. It is located directly at the beach with the typical impressive orange limestone cliffs of Algarve that form a frame around the little village. Its heart lies in the middle of the beach with a tiny little promenade with few restaurants from where you can spot fishermen coming back from their tour. But that’s not all Salema has to offer: some cute alleys with little shops and cafés are worth to be discovered and lead you through the village.
Therefore I recommend doing the hike from Salema to Burgau and not the other way round. If you don’t want to to the whole cliff walk, you can just start from Salema and go as far as you like and then turn around.
The little walking trail that is not clearly signposted starts on the left or western end of the beach. You will see little dirt tracks. Always follow these in parallel to the sea. You will pass lonely beaches, Praia Santa and Praia da Figueira, pass the Boca do Rio, a small natural wetland, and the Forte de Almádena, a little ruin of an ancient castle. You will pass many more bays with stunning beaches and an impressive coastline till you arrive in Burgau.
This walking trail is around 5 kilometers long and takes 1.5 to 2 hours. You can shorten it by just turning around earlier. From your destination Burgau, there are buses that take you back to Salema. Or you just walk all the way back.
Walking trail from Carvoeiro to Benagil
Carvoeiro is another charming beach town of Algarve. However, it is more touristic than Salema. A well-maintained boardwalk leads from the center of Carvoeiro towards the South and the beginning of this walking trail is suitable for baby carts and wheelchairs. After around one kilometer the well-maintained wooden boardwalk ends but the walking trail continues as a little dirt path.
Therefore this walk can be kept short to 30 to 45 minutes just taking the boardwalk. Or can be extended to several hours if you keep walking the Seven Hanging Valley Trail to Benagil or even the full 12 kilometers Seven Hanging Valley Trail to Praia da Marinha.
I recommend doing the hike from Carvoeiro to Benagil. It has a decent length of 5 kilometers and you will leave most of the other visitors behind you after the boardwalk has ended.
In addition, most people start this walking trail in Praia da Marinha but just go 1 or 2 kilometers. By starting the walk in Carvoeiro you will avoid most of the visitors.
Now the adventure starts and after the boardwalk in Carvoeiro has ended every bay will surprise you with a more scenic coastline, with stunning rock formations, rock caves, arches, and a rough sea. The whole walking trail is extremely scenic.
You can decide individually on the length of your walk and turn around at any point of the hike and walk back. Or take the public bus back from Benagil or Praia da Marinha.
Cliff walking trail Praia da Marinha
Praia da Marinha is one of the most popular beaches in Portugal and indeed it is very impressive. In high season the walk on top of the cliffs as well as the small beach stretch is very crowded. Therefore you might consider other walking trails in high season.
The walking trail that starts in Praia da Marinha is known as the Seven Hanging Valley Trail. The complete walking trail reaches 12 kilometers to Vale Centeanes Beach in Lagoa municipality. However, only a few people take this long track. You can start off at the parking of Praia da Marinha and walk as far as you like and then just turn around and walk back to the parking. That is what most people do. The coastline of Praia da Marinha is so stunning from the parking on that even a short walk will include many breathtaking views.
This walk is not suitable for baby carts of wheel chairs.
Where to park at Praia da Marinha?
There is a parking lot available directly on top of the cliffs at Praia da Marinha. During the summer months, this fills up quickly because it is not very big. Therefore make sure to arrive early. Alternatively, you can also take the Seven Hanging Valley Trail from the other end, Vale Centeanes Beach. Way fewer people do that.
Rules for cliff walks at Algarve
There are certain rules to consider when using the walking or hiking trails of Algarve, especially when you are off the beaten track. Please stick to the following rules – for your safety and natur’s favor:
- don’t go too close to the edge of the cliffs
- don’t litter and leave your waste
- don’t leave the paths
- do not use nature as a restroom
- camping or fire is not allowed
- don’t disturb the natural living environment of animals by loud music or parties
I hope you liked my list of walking trails in and close to Lagos? Did I miss a great walk of Algarve? Then let me know in the comments!