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Best Day Trips From Lagos, Portugal in 2023

Lagos is one of the Algarve’s most popular towns but did you know that there’s many other beautiful towns close by that make the perfect day trip?

It’s hard to know which one to choose so I’ve done all the hard work for you and summarized them all below.

In this post, I’ll cover the 11 best day trips from Lagos including why you should visit, how to get there and the top things to do.

1. Benagil Cave

Key things to know about Bengail Cave.
Key things to know about Bengail Cave.

Benagil Cave is a natural sea cave located in the small fishing town of Benagil, right next to Benagil Beach.

This cave developed naturally around 20 million years ago due to erosion from the sea. It has a characteristic hole in the ceiling which you can look through from above.

The only way to get inside the cave is by sea. You can join a boat tour from Lagos to see the cave as well as the Algarve’s impressive coastline.

Alternatively, if you want to relax in the cave for a few hours and take a dip in the water, you can join a swim and chill tour instead.

Things To Do

The best thing to do here is simply head inside the cave! It’s a pretty impressive sight and with the hole in the roof, the sunlight shines through illuminating the whole cave.

You could sit inside the cave for hours on the sand, relaxing, playing games or reading a book.

Many people also choose to join a kayaking tour which allows you to explore the cave by yourself.

The inside of the cave is very idyllic and peaceful but it does get very busy and crowded, especially during the peak summer months of July, August and September.

I mean, it’s a pretty famous cave and it’s fairly small so naturally it gets quite full but it’s definitely still worth a visit.

How To Get There

Map showing the route from Lagos to Benagil Cave.
Map showing the route from Lagos to Benagil Cave.

I’m not gonna lie, getting from Lagos to Benagil Cave is kind of a nightmare on your own.

There’s no direct trains or buses and taking a taxi is pretty expensive (€80+).

The easiest way to get there is by joining a boat tour from Lagos which includes round-trip transportation as well as a tour of the cave and the Algarve’s coastline.

If you do decide to make your own way there then remember that you can’t get into the cave by land so you’ll still have to join some sort of tour to get inside.

Kayaking tours are the most popular and they give you a lot of freedom to explore the cave by yourself.

2. Sagres

Key things to know about Sagres.
Key things to know about Sagres.

Sagres, which sits at the most south-western point of Europe, is the perfect place to go for dramatic views, jagged cliffs and epic hiking trails.

It’s also a pretty famous surfing destination as the strong winds here provide some really great waves.

People that have visited Sagres often say that it feels like you’re stood at the end of the world and, to be honest, I have to agree.

You can easily visit Sagres by joining a day tour from Lagos.

Things To Do

As I mentioned, Sagres is a popular surfing destination so it attracts a ton of surfers to its choppy seas pretty much every day. 

If you’re an experienced surfer then you can hire a surfboard and hit the waves and if you’ve never surfed before, then head over to one of the surfing schools to learn.

One thing that you really need to see in Sagres is Cabo de São Vicente. This is the headland area that sits on the most south-westerly point of mainland Europe.

In fact, until the end of the 14th century, most people in Europe actually believed that this spot was the end of the world! Pretty cool, right?!

It features a bright lighthouse that’s perched on top of the cliff tops overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. 

Sagres also has a ton of amazing hiking trails that are perfect for every type of hiker. You can explore the cliff tops for as long as you want.

And finally, when you’re ready for a rest you can head over to one of the 4 beaches located in Sagres. 

Luckily, due to the presence of the cliffs, the beaches are sheltered from the wind so they’re actually pretty calm and peaceful. My favorite one is Praia da Mareta.

How To Get There

Map showing the route from Lagos to Sagres.
Map showing the route from Lagos to Sagres.

The easiest way to get there is by joining a tour from Lagos.

This one includes pick-up and drop-off from your hotel, an air-conditioned minivan and it includes all of your entrance fees.

Your knowledgeable guide will take you around Sagres showing you an ancient fortress, the pretty villages and, of course, Cabo de São Vicente.

Alternatively you can get there by car or bus. Taxis cost around €50 each way or you could hire a car for much less.

There is a direct bus service run by EVA that goes from Lagos to Sagres. You can view the bus schedule here.

The bus takes just over an hour and costs between €3 – €5.

3. Silves

Key things to know about Silves.
Key things to know about Silves.

Silves is the perfect place for anyone interested in history as it is actually the ancient capital of the Algarve. This town was once an important defensive stronghold and trade hub.

A lot of its ancient history can still be explored today including the ancient red castle that was occupied by the Moors between the 8th and 13th centuries.

As well as exploring history, the town of Silves is also incredibly scenic as it’s set alongside a river and is surrounded by luscious looking hills.

The easiest way to get there is by joining a day tour from Lagos.

Things To Do

The top thing to do in Silves is visit the impressive Castelo de Silves which is an ancient castle made of red sandstone from which the Moors ruled over the whole Algarve.

You can also walk along the Arade River that runs through the center of Silves, crossing at the Ponte Romana Bridge or you can get on the river itself and take a boat ride along it.

Another fun activity is just wandering around the town as it has a very distinct Portuguese vibe. 

You’ll probably come across Praça do Município which is the main square in Silves. It’s surrounded by lots of pretty looking buildings.

If you like wine then you can join a wine tasting tour where you’ll get to visit a rural winery, taste several delicious wines and you’ll get to explore Silves too.

How To Get There

Map showing the route from Lagos to Silves.
Map showing the route from Lagos to Silves.

The easiest way to get to Silves is by joining a day tour from Lagos

This one includes round-trip transportation from your hotel, small group sizes and a tour of not only Silves but nearby Monchique as well.

It’s very reasonably priced and makes the day so easy and convenient.

If you want to make your own way there then you can go by train or car. Unfortunately there isn’t a direct bus route from Lagos to Silves.

The train takes just 35 minutes and only costs €3 each way. I’d recommend booking your ticket on Omio as it’s super easy to use and they offer the best prices.

Example train ticket from Lagos to Silves.
Example train ticket from Lagos to Silves.

The train is direct but the station is 2 km out from the center, you can either walk which takes around 25 minutes or grab a taxi for a couple of euros.

If you go by taxi from Lagos to Silves, it’ll cost around €33 each way and also takes 35 minutes. Alternatively, you can save a bit if you hire a car instead.

4. Portimão

Key things to know about Portimão.
Key things to know about Portimão.

Portimão is one of the largest cities in the Algarve so it’s got a really busy, bustling atmosphere.

I actually did this day trip when I visited Lagos and really enjoyed it. My favorite area was by the waterfront as it was really peaceful and beautiful.

Portimão riverfront.
Portimão riverfront.

Portimão is perfect if you like shopping as they have a large mall and several charming shopping streets. You’ll also find a huge selection of restaurants, cafes and bars.

To be honest, one of the best things to do in Portimão is just get lost! Wandering around the streets with no plan is the best way to see it.

Things To Do

Portimão is kinda known to be a shoppers paradise as the city has plenty of pretty streets filled with shops to suit everyone. 

You’ll find that most of these streets are pedestrianized meaning it’s super easy to get around. You can also visit Centro Comercial Aqua Portimão which is a large shopping mall. 

After you’re done shopping, take a walk along the scenic waterfront that stretches on for around 800 meters. 

Take a leisurely walk by the riverside (known as ‘ribeirinha’) where you’ll be able to see the marina, docks and tons of boats.

In the city itself, you can discover more about the history of this old fishing town at the Museu de Portimão. 

Finally, make a stop at the Igreja do Colégio which is actually the largest church in the whole Algarve. It’s a stunning white and gold building that shouldn’t be missed.

One of the best ways to explore Portimão is by segway! Join a segway tour like this one for a really memorable day out (kids absolutely love it!).

How To Get There

Map showing the route from Lagos to Portimão.
Map showing the route from Lagos to Portimão.

You can get to Portimão from Lagos by either car, bus or train. Portimão is a well connected city so it has great transport links.

I personally traveled there by train when I visited as I think it’s the easiest option. The train takes just 20 minutes from Lagos and costs just €3 each way.

Example train ticket from Lagos to Portimão.
Example train ticket from Lagos to Portimão.

You can book your train ticket on Omio as it’s really easy to use and offers great prices. I’ve used it several times for booking travel across Portugal and can’t recommend it enough.

You can also take a bus to Portimão and it costs similar to the train. EVA operates a bus service that departs from the main bus station in Lagos.

Alternatively you can take a taxi which will cost around €21 each way. The journey by car takes around 30 minutes. 

5. Praia da Rocha

Key things to know about Praia da Rocha.
Key things to know about Praia da Rocha.

Praia da Rocha is a lively resort town that features one of the Algarve’s best beaches.

It’s also got a great nightlife scene and is filled with fun bars, restaurants, cafes and shops.

The town’s main attraction is its long, wide sandy beach. It’s the perfect place to relax, sunbather or take a dip in the ocean. 

On one end of the beach, you’ll even find an impressive 17th century fortress that overlooks the town.

The area is really stunning and it looks very similar to Lagos with jagged cliffs running along the coastline. You’ll find tons of scenic hiking trails and fun little coves to explore.

Things To Do

As I said, the beach is definitely the main attraction here as it stretches along the entire length of the town and is really spacious so it rarely feels overcrowded.

It’s really stunning as it’s surrounded by jagged sandstone cliffs and the old fortress.

You’ll also find a few smaller, more secluded beaches on the west side of town.

One of Praia da Rocha’s most popular activities on the beaches is surfing. If you’ve never surfed before then you can book a beginner’s surfing lesson. I did this recently and really enjoyed it!

Afterwards you can take a walk along Tomás Cabreira which is the main street in the town that’s filled with tons of fun themed bars, restaurants and more. 

It’s the perfect place to grab yourself a well deserved cocktail.

Kids absolutely love Praia da Rocha because it’s located near to the waterpark, Slide and Splash, that features impressive slides, fun pools and tropical bird & reptile shows!

How To Get There

Map showing the route from Lagos to Praia da Rocha.
Map showing the route from Lagos to Praia da Rocha.

The only way to get to Praia da Rocha from Lagos is by car or bus as there isn’t a train station in Praia da Rocha.

EVA runs a bus that takes you directly from Lagos to Praia da Rocha. It costs just a few euros. You can check the bus timetable here.

Alternatively you can take a taxi which will cost around €26 each way and takes 35 minutes. Hiring a car will save you a bit of money.

6. Albufeira

Key things to know about Albufeira.
Key things to know about Albufeira.

Albufeira is the Algarve’s largest resort town and one of the most popular vacation destinations in Portugal.

In fact, many people actually have a hard time choosing between Lagos and Albufeira.

One of the main reasons why Albufeira is so popular is because there is just so much to do including water sports, golf courses, water parks and stunning beaches.

It also has a pretty legendary nightlife scene with ‘The Strip’ being like a mini Las Vegas.

My favorite thing about Albufeira is the charming old town which is filled with cobbled streets, white-washed houses and authentic-looking Portuguese restaurants.

To be honest, there isn’t much that Albufeira doesn’t have so it makes a great day trip from Lagos.

Things To Do

Albufeira has its fair share of stunning beaches with many being within close walking distance to the main town.

My favorite beach is Praia da Falésia which is an impressive 6 km long meaning it pretty much never feels busy. It’s perfect for long beach walks, sunbathing and water sports.

There are so many activities you can take part in in Albufeira. I can personally recommend this dolphin watching excursion where you have the chance to see dolphins out in their natural habitat.

You may also enjoy this kayaking tour where you’ll journey around Albufeira’s coast exploring various sea caves and secret beaches (some of which aren’t accessible by land!).

No trip to Albufeira is complete without taking a wander around the old town. These historic streets have hundreds of different restaurants, chilled out bars and cafes to choose from.

If you don’t mind staying out late then head out to The Strip after dark for a drink or 5. This long street is filled with tons of themed bars and nightclubs. 

It gets very lively after dark making it perfect for anyone who wants to dance the night away until the early hours.

How To Get There

Map showing route from Lagos to Albufeira.
Map showing route from Lagos to Albufeira.

The only way to get to Albufeira from Lagos is by car or bus.

The bus is kinda long as it takes an hour but it’s much cheaper than a taxi.

The bus costs €15 each way and is run by a company called Alsa. You can book your ticket on Omio as they offer the best prices and it’s really easy to use.

Example bus ticket from Lagos to Albufeira.
Example bus ticket from Lagos to Albufeira.

If you want to take a taxi then it’ll take around 45 minutes and costs around €55 each way so it’s pretty pricey. You’ll save a bit if you rent a car instead.

7. Praia da Luz

Key things to know about Praia da Luz.
Key things to know about Praia da Luz.

Praia da Luz, also known as just Luz, is a calm resort town located really close to Lagos. It’s a great place to escape for a day if you’re looking for some peace and quiet.

This resort town is popular with families as it features a long sandy beach and plenty of family friendly restaurants, hotels and cafes.

The little town has an impressive backdrop – a colossal black cliff top that was created millions of years ago due to volcanic activity.

Things To Do

The main thing to do in Praia da Luz is visit its golden sandy beach that goes by the same name as the town. 

It’s close to all of the town’s restaurants so you can easily grab something to eat if you choose to spend your day there. You’ll often find many families enjoying the beach.

It’s perfect for young children as the waters here are really calm.

A must see on any trip to Praia da Luz is Rocha Negra which serves as the backdrop to the town.

Not only does it tower over the town, it’s also completely black meaning it is really unique and interesting.

You can actually climb along the tops of these cliffs which provides an incredible view of the town below. There are several hiking trails that lead up to the viewpoint. 

Finally, make sure you also check out the Igreja da Luz de Lagos which is a gothic style chapel located in the main town area.

How To Get There

Map showing route from Lagos to Praia da Luz.
Map showing route from Lagos to Praia da Luz.

The only way to get to Praia da Luz from Lagos is by car or bus as there is no train.

The bus company EVA runs a bus from Lagos to Praia da Luz with various departures each day and it only costs a few euros. You can check the bus schedule here.

You can also get there by taxi and it should cost around €8 each way. It only takes 15 minutes by car making it one of the closest day trips from Lagos.

8. Burgau

Key things to know about Burgau.
Key things to know about Burgau.

Burgau is a tiny little fishing village located along the coast between Lagos and Sagres.

Not many tourists know about this place so it’s much less commercialized compared to other Algarve towns meaning it gives visitors an authentic Portuguese experience.

You’ll find a very beautiful beach here that sits in a cove as well as a charming town that really does feel very Portuguese.

The whole place feels super relaxing and laid back so it makes a nice break from Lagos just for the day.

Things To Do

The best thing to do in Burgau is visit its stunning beach, Praia do Burgau. It features a wide stretch of golden sand that is surrounded by impressive cliffs on either side. 

It’s lined with beachfront restaurants and cafes which are perfect for grabbing something to eat after a long day of sunbathing. 

Plus, there are tons of little rock pools by the shore where you can often find various sea creatures. These are great for kids in particular.

The other great thing to do in Burgau is to simply walk around. The main town area is filled with cobbled streets and lined with those classic Portuguese-style whitewashed houses.

There are also tons of cliff top paths and trails that connect this village to neighboring towns.

How To Get There

Map showing route from Lagos to Burgau.
Map showing route from Lagos to Burgau.

The only ways to get to Burgau from Lagos is by car or bus.

The bus company EVA runs a bus between Lagos and Burgau that offers various departures each day. You can check the bus schedule here. The bus takes around 50 – 60 minutes.

It’s a lot quicker to go by car as it will only take you 20 minutes. A taxi from Lagos to Burgau would cost around €13 each way.

9. Ferragudo

Key things to know about Ferragudo.
Key things to know about Ferragudo.

Ferragudo is a really pretty little fishing village located just across the water from Praia da Rocha and Portimão. 

This charming little town, which sits on the banks of a river, is much more quiet and less touristy than other towns in the Algarve so it feels a lot more authentic.

You’ll find a charming old town here which is the perfect place to grab some traditional Portuguese food as well as a wide beach with a clifftop castle towering over it.

Things To Do

By far the most exciting thing to do in Ferragudo is visit the 16th century Castelo de São João de Arade

This impressive castle, which sits on top of a hill overlooking the beach, was originally built to defend against pirates. It’s pretty impressive!

Ferragudo actually has several beaches with Praia Grande being the biggest (if you couldn’t tell by the name). This beach is really spacious so it pretty much never feels busy.

After you’re done at the beach, head over to Praça Rainha Dona Leonor which is the main square in the town.

It’s lined with charming little cafes that look out onto the river making it a great place to watch the fishermen going about their daily business. 

After that you can take a walk along the palm-tree lined waterfront giving you a great view of both the town and the ocean.

How To Get There

Map showing the route from Lagos to Ferragudo.
Map showing the route from Lagos to Ferragudo.

The easiest and fastest way to get to Ferragudo from Lagos is by train. It takes just 23 minutes and costs €2.20 each way.

Tickets are available on the Comboios de Portugal website which is the main train company in Portugal.

There’s no direct bus to Ferragudo so if you want to go by bus, you’ll need to take the EVA bus to Portimão then get a second bus over to Ferragudo.

You can also go by taxi but it takes much longer than the train, around 40 minutes. Expect to pay around €29 each way.

10. Faro

Key things to know about Faro.
Key things to know about Faro.

Faro is the capital city of the Algarve region meaning there’s a lot to see and do here.

It’s a pretty significant place historically and a lot of its history can still be explored today including the ancient city walls, the cathedral and a chapel made from bones.

You’ve probably heard of Faro as it’s home to the main airport in the Algarve so unless you came from Porto or Lisbon by train, you probably flew into Faro when you arrived.

Although the airport is pretty handy, there’s so much more to Faro than just that and I think it would make a perfect day trip from Lagos.

If you’re flying into/out of Faro then why not attach the day trip to the start or end of your trip – that way you don’t have to travel to and from Faro too many times. 

You can actually pre-book your transfer here to/from Faro making the journey super easy and comfortable.

Things To Do

My favorite thing to do in Faro is explore the old town which is known as ‘Cidade Velha’. 

This is the historic center of Faro and is completely surrounded by ancient city walls. Within the walls, you’ll find a gothic cathedral, several palaces and old-style cobbled streets.

Also keep an eye out for the Arco do Repouso which is an ancient gateway that leads into the old town.

Surrounding the old town’s city walls, you’ll find a complete contrast. This is where the modern city is located, filled with shopping streets, malls, restaurants, cafes, bars and more.

A must see on any day trip to Faro is the Bone Chapel (or ‘Capela dos Ossos’) which is located in the new town area. This creepy little chapel is lined with the bones of over 1,000 monks!

For epic views of Faro and the nearby ocean, head over to the gothic-style Sé Cathedral which dates back to the 1200s.

Finally, head over to Jardim Manuel Bivar which is a really lovely garden/square that offers plenty of seating, green areas and has views overlooking the fishing harbor.

How To Get There

Map showing the route from Lagos to Faro.
Map showing the route from Lagos to Faro.

Taking a taxi is the easiest, quickest and most comfortable way to get to Faro. I’d recommend pre-booking a transfer in advance as you tend to get a better price than booking last minute.

By car, it takes around an hour to get there.

You can also get to Faro from Lagos by train or bus.

The bus takes 2 hours and costs €15 each way. The train takes 1 hour and 50 minutes and costs €8 each way.

Example train ticket from Lagos to Faro.
Example train ticket from Lagos to Faro.

You can book both the train and bus tickets to Faro on Omio. It’s super easy to use and offers great prices (I’ve used it several times).

As you can see, taking a taxi is so much faster than the bus or train but it is more expensive.

11. Carvoeiro

Key things to know about Carvoeiro.
Key things to know about Carvoeiro.

Another one of the best day trips from Lagos is Carvoeiro which is a picturesque coastal town known for its idyllic unspoiled beaches.

This little town also has a historic center that’s fun to explore and, as it’s surrounded by jagged cliffs, it also has some really exciting hiking trails.

This day trip is really relaxing as the town is fairly quiet but offers an authentic Portuguese experience.

Things To Do

The best thing to do in Carvoeiro is to spend as much time as you can on its beaches, which are really some of the most beautiful in the whole region.

The main beach, Praia de Carvoeiro, is surrounded by impressive cliffs topped with traditional whitewashed houses so it really is a very beautiful sight.

Carvoeiro also offers many exciting hiking trails where you can walk along the cliff tops, following along the coastline enjoying the mesmerizing views. 

The town actually forms part of the famous hiking route, Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos, which is a challenging hike of 11.5km that runs along part of the Algarve coastline.

For something a bit less strenuous, you can head out on a boat tour to explore the coastline by sea and see the many hidden caves and arches which have formed naturally over thousands of years.

How To Get There

Map showing the route from Lagos to Carvoeiro.
Map showing the route from Lagos to Carvoeiro.

You can get to Carvoeiro by either car or bus.

The fastest and easiest way to get there is by car as it takes just 37 minutes. If you go by taxi, expect to pay around €39 each way. It’ll be a bit cheaper if you rent a car instead.

There aren’t any direct buses from Lagos to Carvoeiro unfortunately.

If you want to go by public transport then you’ll have to take a bus to either Lagoa or Portimão and then take a second bus to Carvoeiro from there.


And that’s it!

Thanks for reading this post on the best day trips from Lagos, Portugal. I’ve tried to include as many options as possible for all types of travelers.

Whilst doing a day trip is super fun, don’t forget that there are so many amazing things to do in Lagos itself from ancient rock formations to stunning beaches and a lot of history.

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