Hiking the Lagos cliffs is the perfect way to see some amazing Algarve coastline, visit some of the best beaches in Lagos, and check out the famous Ponta da Piedade. Here’s a guide on how to hike the cliffs of Lagos, Portugal.
After about a week and a half of traveling on my own in Portugal, I was joined by my good friend Madison (who I visited last summer in Colorado) for five days in Lagos, Portugal. During our first few days there, we kept hearing about this awesome hike along the cliffs, but we couldn’t find any guides online.
So finally, Madison and I decided to just wing it and, surprisingly, were somehow successful. Our hike along the Lagos cliffs was one of my favorite memories of my entire two weeks in Portugal, and I definitely suggest going on your own Lagos Cliff walk if you get the chance. Here’s how!
HIKING THE LAGOS CLIFFS // OUR EXPERIENCE
THE BEGINNING // PORTO DE MOS BEACH
To get started on our hike, we took a random guess and headed towards the nearest beach to our hostel: Porto de Mos Beach. Even just getting to the beach was a challenge (thanks Google Maps), but we eventually made it.
From what we could tell by the very limited information that we had, this beach was technically the end of the hike, but it was the easiest way for us to get going so we just decided to go for it. In the end, I think this ended up being a really good idea because it meant we were totally alone for most of the hike!
THE LAGOS CLIFF HIKE
Although we had admired the Lagos cliffs from down below already, standing on top of them and looking down was another experience entirely. And it was so freaking stunning. For almost an hour we were totally alone on the trail, stopping wherever we wanted to have full-on photoshoots or just admire the crazy rock formations that the coast of the Algarve is so well known for.
Perhaps thirty minutes into the hike we were greeted by a random, narrow staircase built into the rock that we HAD to CLIMB DOWN in order to continue the hike. I’m pretty sure we almost died, but it was fine because we survived and continued on the hike like nothing had happened.
PONTA DA PIEDADE
About halfway through our hike we reached the Ponta da Piedade, a small cove made out of those awe-inspiring rocks that is on of Lagos’ main tourist attractions. And, of course, all of a sudden the trail that had been completely devoid of people only moments before we now absolutely swarmed. It was really startling to us, and definitely ruined the experience a little bit.
Although it’s one of the most beautiful spots along the cliffs of Lagos, other places along the hike won out for us simply because we had them all to ourselves.
Still, since most people choose to reach the Ponta da Piedade by taking a boat tour, having hiked all the way there made it feel much more rewarding.
THE BEST BEACHES IN LAGOS
Some of the best beaches in Lagos, Portugal can be reached on the half of the hike between Ponte da Piedade and downtown Lagos, so after our short jaunt down to the Ponte da Piedade we turned left and continued on our hike. And yup, you guessed it: it was absolutely freaking stunning.
At the end of our hike, we stopped at the Praia de Batata (which literally translates to Potato Beach), right by downtown Lagos. I kind of regret not climbing down the rocks to some of the more secluded beaches, but it was still a fantastic place to just collapse on a beach after a long hike (and grab some gelato just across the road).
In case I haven’t convinced you to hike the Lagos cliffs yet, let me tell you one thing: it is surprisingly easy. You don’t have to be in crazy good shape to go on this hike. And for 2-3 hours of physical exertion, it is so SO worth it.
HOW TO HIKE THE LAGOS CLIFFS
If you’re starting from downtown Lagos, head to Praia da Batata and follow the road until you find the red dirt path along the cliffs (in March 2018 part of it was closed so we had to follow the road for a good while and I, unfortunately, don’t have a picture of the start of the path). The road is small and totally dirt, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled or you might miss it!
Follow the path along the cliffs and you’ll come across some of the best beaches in Lagos, Portugal. Eventually, you’ll reach Ponta da Piedade, one of the most famous spots in Lagos, so be sure to go down the staircase to take some pictures.
From Ponta da Piedade, turn right and keep going along the path all the way to Porto de Mos. You’ll know you’ve made it when you come across a little fish restaurant right on the beach and see absolutely loads of surfers out in the water.
From Porto de Mos you can take a bus or taxi to get back to downtown Lagos.
You can also hike the Lagos cliffs the other way around, starting at Porto de Mos and walking towards downtown Lagos. This is what we did and by doing the hike backwards we managed to avoid the crowds for the most part (though honestly, apart from the small section near Ponta da Piedade you’ll have the path to yourself pretty much no matter what). To do this, head just beind the fish restaurant on the beach and you’ll find a small, red dirt path.
In total, the hike takes about 2-3 hours, depending on your fitness level and how many times you stop to take pictures (probably a lot).
TIPS FOR HIKING THE LAGOS CLIFFS
When it comes to hiking, it always pays to be prepared. Here are a few tips for hiking the Lagos Cliffs.
- Wear a good pair of shoes, preferably hiking boots with ankle support. Although Madison did the hike in sneakers, I definitely had an advantage in my hiking boots!
- Even if it’s warm out, bring a warm outer layer along. It can get super windy at the edge of the cliffs.
- There are a few times when you’re really on the edge of the cliff (like that one staircase built into the rock), so please be careful.
- Pack a granola bar or two and lots of water. I suggest bringing along a reusable water bottle because they tend to be bigger than ones you can buy, you save some money that way, and it’s way more eco-friendly.
And that’s it! I hope you enjoyed this guide on how to hike the Lagos cliffs and find some of the best beaches in Lagos, Portugal. It truly was one of the most beautiful hikes I think I’ve ever done.