Long sandy beaches, a dramatic cliff-lined coast and secret coves – Lagos in the Algarve really is a beach lover’s dream come true. It's easy to see why the town's such a popular spot with travellers: its pretty old town has streets full of whitewashed houses, mosaic pavements and ancient city walls. Thanks to its former life as a capital city in the 18th century, this Portuguese town has many hidden gems, such as the extravagantly decorated Church of St Anthony. Its restaurants serve the region's famous seafood specialities, while beachside bars come to life as the sun goes down.
Most Lagos hostels are dotted around the old town or spread along the seafront. You can stay in villa-style or boutique buildings or try a Lagos hostel in one of the traditional town houses with lots of character and charm. Look out for hostels with rooftop bars and swimming pools. Surfing is popular here – many hostels in Lagos hire out boards or organise lessons. And with breakfast and Wi-Fi often included, you can save your euros for a few cold beers on the terrace. Check out the best hostels in Lagos in our guide.
Lagos is divided into a few distinctive neighbourhoods. The first is the city’s old town, where you can spend hours roaming its delightful cobbled streets. Next to this is Lagos marina, a bustling area filled with seafront restaurants. If you prefer to be by the sand, try Meia Praia – the area’s long beach. The western end (by the old town) is quite popular, while you’ll find a calmer atmosphere towards the eastern end.
Just south of Lagos is Ponta da Piedade, a headland with 20-metre cliffs overlooking a sandy shoreline with turquoise waters. Alternatively, see the coastline and explore its caves by renting a kayak. Looking to catch the waves? Try Amado beach, one of the most popular spots in the Algarve for surfing, which hosts competitions and has schools for beginners. The town itself has both history and varied nightlife, including Irish pubs, jazz clubs and seaside bars.
Faro Airport is an hour’s drive from Lagos. The easiest way to reach the town is by taxi or transfer. If you’re travelling on public transport, you’ll need to take the bus or train to Faro city centre and then get the train, taking just under two hours. In Lagos, the 'Onda' local bus network makes it easy to get around. There’s also a handy tourist train (comboio turístico), which goes from the marina and heads up the hill to Praia Dona Ana and Ponta da Piedade.