Best Day Trips From Lagos, Portugal

Lagos is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the beautiful Algarve region of Portugal.

There are many interesting towns close by that make a perfect day trip from Lagos.

This post gives details on the 11 best day trips from Lagos including some key information, how long it takes to get there and why you should visit.

Want more information on Lagos? Check out my ultimate Lagos guide which includes tips on where to stay, where to eat and things to do!

Sagres

Photo by Reiseuhu on Unsplash

Distance From Lagos: 30 minutes by car, 1 hour by bus.

Sagres is primarily a surfing destination and is located at the most south-western point of Europe! It also has excellent hiking trails and sheltered beaches that are perfect for relaxing.

Things To Do:

  • Surfing: Sagres is a popular surfing destination, attracting many surfers to it’s choppy seas. You can hire equipment in Sagres and there are also swim schools so you can learn to surf if you’ve never done it before.

  • Cabo de São Vicente: this headland is the most south-westerly point of mainland Europe. Until the end of the 14th century, people believed that this spot was the end of the world! It features a bright lighthouse perched upon the cliff tops overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. 

  • Hiking: Sagres has many cliff-top trails to explore, both short and long distance. Walkers love Sagres!

  • Beaches: there are 4 beaches in Sagres that are sheltered from the wind and have wide, sandy stretches of sand. The most popular is Praia da Mareta.

Atmosphere: laidback and relaxed.

How To Get There

Bus or car. Direct bus services run from Lagos to Sagres. The bus takes just over an hour and costs between €3 – €5.

Silves

Distance From Lagos: 30 minutes by car, 35 minutes by train.

The ancient capital of the Algarve, Silves, has a lot of history to explore. It was once an important defensive stronghold and much of it’s history still remains including a ancient red castle.

Things To Do:

  • Castelo de Silves: an ancient castle made of red sandstone from which the North African Moors ruled over the whole Algarve from the 9th to the 12th century. 

  • Arade River: the main river that runs through Silves, you can walk alongside it, crossing at the Ponte Romana bridge or you can get on the river itself and take a boat ride!

  • Praça do Município: the main plaza in Silves, surrounded by the town hall and the Portas da Cidade de Silves.

Atmosphere: peaceful, relaxing and has a real Portuguese vibe.

How To Get There

Train or car. There is no direct bus route. The train is direct but the station is 2km out from the city, you can either walk or grab a taxi to the city centre. A single ticket on the train costs €2.90.

Praia da Luz

Photo by Magnus Engø on Unsplash

Distance From Lagos: 15 minutes by car, 20 minutes by bus.

A calm and welcoming town perfect for families. Featuring a long sandy beach and plenty of family friendly restaurants, hotels and cafes. There are lots of fun things to see and do.

Things To Do:

  • Beach: the town has one long, golden sandy beach with crystal clear waters. It is close by to many appealing restaurants and cafes so you can easily grab something to eat or drink. The waters here are really calm – perfect for young children.

  • Rocha Negra: this is a headland featuring distinctive black cliffs created millions of years ago. You can climb along the top of these cliffs, giving an incredible view. There are some fun hiking trails leading up to the viewpoint. 

  • Igreja da Luz de Lagos: a gothic style chapel in the main town.

Atmosphere: relaxing, calm and family friendly.

How To Get There

Car or bus. Eva operates an hourly bus from Lagos to Praia da Luz which costs a few euros.

Portimão

Photo by Tania Mousinho on Unsplash

Distance From Lagos: 30 minutes by car, 20 minutes by train, 25 minutes by bus.

This is the largest city in the western Algarve attracting tourists from all over due to it’s fantastic range of shopping opportunities, restaurants, cafes, bars and more. Whilst it doesn’t have beaches, it has a stunning waterfront. 

Things To Do:

  • Shopping: the city has plenty of pretty streets filled with shops to suit everyone. Most of these streets are pedestrianised. You can also visit Centro Comercial Aqua Portimão which is a shopping mall. 

  • Promenade: a scenic waterfront that stretches for around 800 metres. You can take a leisurely walk by the riverside (ribeirinha) where you’ll see marinas, docks and many boats.

  • Museu de Portimão: Portimão historically was a fishing town and this museum allows you to explore the city’s impressive past.

  • Igreja do Colégio: this church is actually the largest in the whole Algarve! It’s a stunning white and gold building. 

Atmosphere: relaxed city vibes.

How To Get There

Car, bus or train. Portimão is a well connected city so it has great transport links. You can get a bus from the bus station in Lagos operated by Eva or a train from the train station which is located close to the marina.

Benagil Cave

Distance From Lagos: 40 minutes by car, 1 hour 50 minutes by bus.

This cave is a natural wonder of the world located in the small fishing town of Benagil. It is located right next to Benagil Beach.

Things To Do:

  • Cave: the inside of the cave is incredible with sunlight streaming through the hole in the roof, illuminating the golden sand and crystal clear waters.

Atmosphere: idyllic and impressive but often busy/crowded.

How To Get There

I have a complete guide on how to get to Benagil Cave from Lagos for detailed step-by-step information.

You can take a car or bus. The bus is quite long (1hr 50 mins) as you need to take the bus from Lagos to Benagil and change in Lagoa. When you arrive in Benagil, to get to the cave itself you can rent a kayak, paddleboard or take a boat tour to see. You can also take a boat tour from Lagos to the cave.

Praia da Rocha

Distance From Lagos: 30 minutes by car, 35 minutes by bus.

Praia da Rocha is a fantastic holiday destination with a buzzing atmosphere. It is super lively filled with fun bars, restaurants and cafes. It’s main feature is a long golden beach.

Things To Do:

  • Beaches: the main beach, which stretches along the length of the town, has a wide golden beach with clear waters surrounded by stunning sandstone cliffs. More beautiful beaches can be found on the west side of the town – these tend to be smaller and more secluded. 

  • Tomás Cabreira: this is the main street filled with tons of themed bars, fun restaurants and more. 

  • Waterparks: Praia da Rocha is close to the waterpark Slide and Splash (17 minute drive). This is great for kids and teenagers featuring impressive slides, pools as well as tropical bird and reptile shows!

Atmosphere: lively, buzzing and vibrant.

How To Get There

Car or bus. There is a bus that will take you directly from Lagos bus station to Praia da Rocha. Trains are not an option as the closest train station is in Portimão.

Albufeira

Photo by Dahee Son on Unsplash

Distance From Lagos: 40 minutes by car, 1 hour 15 minutes by bus.

Albufeira is one of the Algarve’s most popular holiday destinations as it has tons of fun activities, water-sports, beautiful beaches and a lively nightlife. It is also the largest resort town in the Algarve.

Related Post: Lagos vs Albufeira – Which One Should You Visit?

Things To Do:

  • Beaches: there are many stunning beaches in Albufeira which are within close walking distance to the main town. This includes Praia da Falésia – Albufeira’s longest beach at 6km. This beach is perfect for long beach walks, sunbathing and water-sports.

  • Old Town: these historic streets offer hundreds of international restaurants, chilled out bars and cafes. 

  • The Strip: this is a long street in Albufeira filled with themed bars and clubs. This street gets very lively after dark, it is perfect for those who want to spend the whole night partying and drinking until the early hours.

Atmosphere: lively and energetic.

How To Get There

Car or bus. The bus does take a lot longer than going by car (1 hour 15 minutes) but it is much cheaper. You can take a bus from the bus station in Lagos directly to Albufeira.

Burgau

Photo by Nathalie Ehrnleitner on Unsplash

Distance From Lagos: 20 minutes by car, 45 minutes by bus.

A small fishing village located between Lagos and Sagres. It still remains largely undiscovered by the tourist industry so it gives visitors an authentic Portuguese experience.

Things To Do:

  • Beach: the beach in Burgau is a beautiful, wide stretch of golden sand surrounded by impressive cliffs on either side. It is lined with beachfront restaurants and cafes which are perfect for grabbing something to eat after a long day of sunbathing!

  • Walking: Burgau is a great place for walking as it has plenty of cobbled streets leading towards the beach, lined with Portuguese style whitewashed houses. Additionally, walkers can explore the cliff top paths and trails that connect the village to neighbouring towns.

Atmosphere: peaceful, quiet and has an authentic Portuguese feel.

How To Get There

Car or bus. The fastest way to get to Burgau would be by car. There is also a direct bus to Burgau which departs from Portas de Portugal in Lagos – it only departs 4 times a day so check the timetable beforehand.

Ferragudo

Distance From Lagos: 40 minutes by car, 20 minutes by train.

 A small fishing village located just across the water from Praia da Rocha and Portimão. This town, which sits on the banks of a river, is much more quiet and less touristy so has retained a charming authentic feel.

Things To Do:

  • Praça Rainha Dona Leonor: this is the main square in the town which is lined with charming little cafes that have views out onto the river where you can often see fishermen going about their daily business. 

  • Waterfront: many visitors spend time walking along the palm-tree lined waterfront. From here you can head along the cobbled streets lined with whitewashed houses, that lead up into the old town. 

  • Castelo de São João de Arade: close by to the main town is this impressive castle originally built to defend against pirates.

Atmosphere: charming and authentic.

How To Get There

Car or train. The train is actually the fastest way to get there, taking just 20 minutes and arriving at the Ferragudo train station. 

Faro

Distance From Lagos: 1 hour by car, 1 hour 45 minutes by train, 2 hours by bus.

A historic and charming Portuguese city located in the Algarve. This city is mainly known for being home to the main airport in the Algarve but it also has tons of interesting history including ancient city walls, cathedrals and a chapel made from bones!

Things To Do:

  • Cidade Velha (old town): the historic centre of Faro is completely surrounded by ancient city walls and here you’ll find a gothic cathedral, palaces and old style cobbled streets as well as the Arco do Repouso – an ancient gateway leading into the old town.

  • Modern city centre: surrounding the old town’s city walls, is a modern city filled with pedestrianised shopping streets, restaurants, cafes, bars and more.

  • Bone Chapel: this chapel, officially named Capela Dos Ossos, located in the new town, is lined with the bones of over 1,000 monks.

  • Se Cathedral: this gothic cathedral offers fantastic views over the town and sea. 

  • Jardim Manuel Bivar: this plaza overlooks the fishing harbour. 

Atmosphere: modern and calm but more buzzing at night.

How To Get There

Car, train or bus. Taking a car is the fastest way but can be expensive. Faro is connected directly to Lagos by the Algarve regional railway with a single ticket costing €7.40. Alternatively, you can take the bus operated by Eva, this does take around 2 hours and is similar in price to the train.

Carvoeiro

Photo by Francois Olwage on Unsplash

Distance From Lagos: 30 minutes by car, 1 hour 10 minutes by bus.

A picturesque coastal town in the Algarve. Most people visit for it’s idyllic, unspoiled beaches but it also has a historic town centre and exciting hiking trails. Carvoeiro is very relaxing and perfect for families.

Things To Do:

  • Beaches: the beaches in Carvoeiro are absolutely beautiful and some of the best in the region. The main beach, Praia de Carvoeiro, is surrounded by impressive cliffs topped with traditional whitewashed houses. 

  • Hiking: Carvoeiro offers many exciting hiking trails where you can walk along the cliff tops following the coastline for unforgettable views. It is also part of the famous hiking route, Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos, which is a challenging hike of 11.5km that follows the stunning Algarve coastline.

  • Boat Tour: a popular activity with tourists staying in this area is a boat tour! These tours explore the beautiful coastline as well as nearby caves and arches.

Atmosphere: calm, relaxing and welcoming.

How To Get There

Car or bus. Travelling by car is the easiest and fastest way to get to Carvoeiro. There is no direct bus so you need to take the bus from Lagos and change in Lagoa to get to Carvoeiro.


Thanks for reading this post on the best day trips from Lagos, Portugal.

For more information on Lagos, check out my ultimate Lagos guide which details everything you need to know about Lagos!

There are also many things to do within Lagos itself – check out my post on the top things to do in Lagos for ideas.

I hope this post was helpful and gave you some fun day trip ideas!

Happy travels!

7 thoughts on “Best Day Trips From Lagos, Portugal

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