lagos coastline rock formations and sea

Spectacular 2 Days In Lagos Itinerary (2023)

Are you looking for the best Lagos itinerary for 2 days in Lagos, Portugal? You came to the right place!

Lagos was one of the places I knew I needed to visit when backpacking the Algarve. The breathtaking cliffs of Ponta de Piedade rock formations were on my European bucket list for a long time. 

Usually, I stay away from resort type of destinations, and the historic town of Lagos is one of the most visited places in Portugal. However, it has preserved the authentic Portuguese culture blended perfectly with the backpacking scene.

In recent years, Lagos became a backpackers’ hub of the Algarve, as it is ideally situated for day trips, with stunning landscapes, lively Old Town and affordable accommodation. 

If you are ready to start planning your backpacking Lagos itinerary, here are the best things to do in 2 days in Lagos. 

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. I hope you find the information here helpful!

praia de dona ana lagos - sandy beach and scenic rock formations

Best Things to do in 2 Days in Lagos Itinerary

  1. Explore Lagos city centre
  2. Admire the stunning interior of Igreja de Santo Antônio
  3. Learn about the dark history of Lagos in the Mercado de Escravos
  4. See the medieval Lagos Castle and the city walls
  5. Visit the seafront Ponta da Bandeira Fort
  6. Spend the afternoon on one of Lagos’ stunning beaches
  7. Grab a drink in the Old Town and enjoy Lagos nightlife
  8. Hike the Lagos Coastal Walk
  9. Go for a kayak tour of the Lagos sea caves
  10. Watch the sunset in Sagres

Most Lagos itineraries I looked at before coming here suggest different day trips in Algarve.

In this article, I want to show you Lagos landmarks and the best things to do in Lagos with a day trip option on day 2 if you want to leave the city.

Read next: Lagos vs Albufeira: Which one should you visit?

Day 1: Lagos Itinerary

houses in the city centre of lagos
girl in front of a tiled building in lagos portugal

Explore Lagos city centre

Start your trip to Lagos with a stroll through the Old Town. Lagos has a charming, cobblestoned Old Town with many traditional, tiled houses to admire.

Some of the most “instagrammable spots” in Lagos city centre are the green tiled house on Square Luís de Camões and Plaza Infante Dom Henrique.

Another thing to look out for as you stroll the city centre is the incredible street art! One to look out for is the snail graffiti on R. Lançarote de Freitas.

Admire the stunning interior of Igreja de Santo Antônio

As you walk around the city centre, you’ll come across the Igreja de Santo Antônio. While this church might not look like much from the outside, you have to check out the stunning interior.

Learn about the dark history of Lagos in the Mercado de Escravos – an ancient Slave Market

Did you know that Lagos is home to the first European slave market of the modern era? In 1444, a boat from Africa returned with 235 slaves to be sold to the wealthiest Portugese families.

If you want to know more, you can visit the Slave Market building and learn about the dark history of Lagos in the Slave Market Museum.

See the medieval Lagos Castle and the city wall

Did you know that Lagos was a walled medieval city and had an important role in the region’s history? 

You can still see the defensive wall that used to surround the whole city, and today it marks the borders of the historical centre. 

photo of lagos castle  and a palm tree in front of it
Ponta da Bandeira Fort on the seaside in Lagos

Visit the seafront Ponta da Bandeira Fort

This fort was built in the 17th century to complement the defensive system of Lagos. You can visit the Fort and climb the roof for a panoramic view of the city. It will cost you around 2€. 

Spend the afternoon on one of Lagos’ stunning beaches

Once you’re done with sightseeing, and after grabbing lunch, spend the rest of the day soaking in the sun and swimming in the crystal clear ocean on one of Lagos beaches!

You don’t need to go far, as some of the best beaches in Lagos are within walking distance from the city centre – and you don’t want to ruin the surprise as you’ll be hiking to Ponta de Piaded tomorrow!

praia de dona ana lagos

Best Beaches In Lagos Ranked by Distance From the City

  1. Praia de Batata – if you don’t want to walk far, this beach is right next to the Ponta da Bandeira 
  2. Praia dos Estudantes –  beach with a photogenic tunnel between the rocks
  3. Praia do Pinhão – one of the first beaches along the boardwalk
  4. Praia Dona Ana – probably the most beautiful out of all Lagos beaches
  5. Praia do Camilo – a smaller scenic beach along the Ponta da Piedade coastline
  6. Meia Praia – long, sandy beach on the eastern coast of Lagos. The sun stays the longest on this beach!

Grab a drink in the Old Town and enjoy Lagos nightlife

Lagos nightlife is a unique blend of relaxed, locals-filled terraces and bustling, backpacker-friendly bars. 

As Lagos has recently become a backpacker’s hub of the Algarve, you can join pub crawls and enjoy many bars open until the early morning hours. 

Most Lagos bars are in the same area, around the Rua 25 de Abril. 

If you stay in a party hostel, like Rising Cock Party Hostel, you can join their free pub crawl! 

Read next: How to enjoy nightlife as a solo female traveller?

Day 2: Lagos itinerary

Hike the Lagos Coastal Walk

You will start your second day in Lagos with a sporty activity. But don’t worry, it is low intensity, in case you had a long night yesterday!

The Lagos coastal walk is a low-intensity, scenic hike along the breathtaking Lagos coastline. 

Star the hike following the coastal road from Ponta da Bandeira Fort uphill. Once you reach the fire station, follow the road to the left and the sign pointing to Praia do Pinhão – the unofficial starting point of the hike. 

Once you’re on the path there are no signs, but you will follow the trail along the coastline. You can’t go wrong!

The wooden boardwalk is a newer addition to the trail, and it starts from Praia de Dona Ana taking you straight to Ponta de Piedade!

Once you reach Ponta de Piedade, you can go back or continue the hike to Porto Mós Beach. Plan to spend at least 2 hours on this hike.

If you’re doing this hike in the summer, you’ll probably want to spend the rest of the day at the beach!

Praia do Pinhão to Ponta de Piedade: about 3.6 km
Praia do Pinhão to Porto Mós Beach: about 6 km 

girl on the wooden boardwalk in lagos
beach lagos itinerary

Go on a Kayak tour of the Lagos sea caves

The best way to discover the scenic Lagos coastline and sea caves is from the sea! The sea caves are an integral element of Lagos’s landscape, and you can only reach them by boat or kayak.

If you want to sit down, relax and enjoy the scenery – You can book a boat tour to Ponta de Piedade. This guided boat tour takes you into the caves along the coastline while teaching you more about the formation of this unique landscape.

For a more active experience, go for a kayak or SUP tour to the Lagos sea caves.

SUP-ing for 4 hours is not really my thing. Granted, I only tried it once and spent more time trying not to be taken to the open sea by the currents than actually moving towards a specific destination. 

However, people seem to love paddleboarding. If you are one of them, book your SUP here!

In my opinion, the best way to discover the sea caves of Lagos is by kayak.

This 2-hour Kayak Tour takes you to Ponta de Piedade, where you will explore and swim in the sea caves! There are many daily departures, so you can pick the time that works best for you!

Watch the sunset in Sagres

Sagres is the westernmost town in the Algarve and where you will see the most stunning sunsets in Portugal!

If you visit Lagos in the off-season, you will have more free time as you won’t be swimming. Therefore, adding a day trip to your Algarve itinerary is an excellent idea! 

I picked Sagres as I wanted to see the westernmost point of continental Europe – Cabo Sao Vicente. 

lighthouse in sagres for sunset - a day trip from lagos

More Day trips from Lagos, Portugal

If you have 3 days in Lagos and more, or you decide to base yourself in Lagos for your Algarve holiday, you can add many fun day trips to your Lagos itinerary!

  • Sagres
  • Cabo Sao Vicente
  • Ria de Alvor Nature Reserve
  • Albufeira
  • Silves
  • Benagil Cave

Read more about all the best day trips from Lagos here!

And let me tell you, Lagos and the South of Portugal will captivate you, and you will not want to leave.

Is Lagos, Portugal worth visiting?


Lagos is one of the best cities to visit on the Algarve coast, with numerous activities to keep you busy during your trip.

Beaches in Lagos are among the most stunning beaches in Europe, and Lagos Old Town is full of picturesque corners to discover.

How many days in Lagos do you need?

If you want to discover the Old Town of Lagos and enjoy the stunning Lagos coastline, then 2 days in Lagos are the perfect time to see the best of the city. 

However, if you are coming to Lagos for a beach holiday, you could easily spend more than 5 days in Lagos, swimming on a different beach every day.

photo of rock formations along the lagos coastline

Is Lagos, Portugal expensive?

The Algarve coast is not as cheap as most people seem to think. You can expect prices similar to average european prices.

Yes, it is cheaper than Paris and London. 
No, it is not eastern Europe cheap. 

An average meal in a restaurant will cost you about 10-15€. Accommodation is around 20€ for a hostel dorm and 50€ and upwards for a private room. 

The only thing significantly cheaper is cocktails, as you can find them for 5€ compared to the 10€ you’d have to pay in most places.

Public transport is affordable, with an average day trip return ticket costing about 10€. 

Rental car prices are extremely seasonal, and in the off-season, you can find cars for 20€ a day, compared to an average of 80€ a day in high season. 

  • Accommodation: 20€ – 50€ per night
  • Transportation: 0€ – 10€ per day
  • Food: 15€ a day, if you prepare one meal at home
  • Drinks: from 5€ per drink
  • Attractions: 0€ – 50€ most attractions in Lagos are free, but you might want to take a kayak tour or join a pub crawl

Therefore, if you are backpacking Lagos on a budget, you should budget anywhere between 40-80€ a day with accommodation!

Where to stay in Lagos?

Lagos is not a large city, and you can’t go wrong regardless of where you choose to stay. However, be aware that it is a hilly city, and most places outside the historic centre are on a hill.

Read more about where to stay in Lagos here!

Do You Need a Car in Lagos?

No, you don’t need a car to visit Lagos. Lagos is one of the best cities in the Algarve if you don’t have a car.

I backpacked Lagos using only public transport and successfully visited everything on my list. You need to plan your itinerary, and you might have to opt for tours with transportation included. However, there are plenty, and you won’t miss out!

What Is The Best Time To Visit Lagos?

The most popular time to visit Lagos is summer, July and August. However, the city gets very busy during the peak summer months, and it reflects in the prices.

If you want to compromise and enjoy great weather and lower prices, plan your trip in the low season – May, June and September.

That being said, Lagos gets very quiet in winter. As a solo backpacker, you might want to be aware of that. When I last visited in November, we caught the last few active days before winter hibernation. 

How To Get To Lagos Portugal?

You can easily reach Lagos by bus or train from Faro if you’re flying into Faro Airport or from Lisbon if you’re coming to Lagos from Lisbon.

How to get to Lagos from Faro

The closest airport to Lagos is Faro Airport. To get to Lagos from Faro you can:

  • rent a car at Faro Airport, 
  • take a direct regional bus from Faro airport 
  • go to the city centre of Faro and take a bus or train. 

Aerobus – Direct regional bus 56 from Faro Aiport to Lagos is the cheapest option. Regional buses are not on usual ticket booking websites, and you will have to buy a ticket as you enter the bus in cash. There aren’t many daily departures, and this bus gets very packed in the summer – check the schedule here.

Alternatively, go to Faro city centre by local bus, and take a bus or a train to Lagos.  Depending on the season, you will have more options and won’t have to fight for a seat. 

I usually check the schedule and get all my train tickets on this website.

How to get to Lagos from Lisbon

The best way to get to Lagos from Lisbon is by bus. You can also take a train, but the journey takes longer and is usually more expensive. 

I compare the prices and schedules of all Lisbon to Lagos transportation (trains and buses!) on this website.

lagos coastline rock formations for sunset

How do you get around in Lagos?

Lagos Old Town is walkable, and it is possible to walk to most beaches in the city. Likely, you won’t need public transport if you stay in the city centre. 

However, you’d be glad to know there is a local bus with a regular service in case you need it!

Best Vegan Restaurants In Lagos

As a vegan travelling to Lagos, I am happy to report that you will not be hungry! There is only one fully vegan restaurant. However, most places cater to vegans and have at least one vegan option. 

As I already mentioned in my other Algarve guides, the Indian food scene is thriving in this region! I loved 7 Hills Indian Restaurant for its warming, vegan dinners.

Check the Happy Cow app for all the vegan restaurants in Lagos!

Is Lagos safe for solo female travellers?

Yes, Lagos, and Algarve in general, are safe for solo female travellers. In fact, Portugal is one of the safest countries in the world. Violent crimes are rare, and the people of the Algarve take pride in being a safe destination for tourists.

However, as a solo female traveller, you should always be alert, use common sense and avoid unnecessarily risky situations. Be aware of your surroundings if you are joining pub crawls or going out, and don’t leave your things unattended.  

Wear a life jacket on a kayak tour, and wear appropriate shoes and plenty of water if you’re hiking – there are no shops along the trails!

pinterest pin with text lagos portugal itinerary
pinterest pin with text: How to spend 2 days in Lagos, Portugal

Final thoughts on Lagos Itinerary for 2 Days In Lagos, Portugal 

And there you have it, a complete itinerary for two days in Lagos, Portugal. As you can see, your schedule will be full of amazing things to do in Lagos. 

Still, you will have enough time to relax and enjoy the stunning beaches, breathtaking landscapes and lively nightlife.

If you liked this article, let me know in the comments, and save it to consult for planning your Algarve backpacking trip!

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