5 ways to discover Ponta da Piedade – Lagos
If you’ve heard about Lagos, Portugal, before, you’ve probably also heard about Ponta da Piedade and its famous golden coastline.
When visiting Lagos, you should go to Ponta da Piedade. This is not actually a beach in the sense that there’s no sand to lay on.
It’s a place where the high golden cliffs tops– 20m – almost touch the blue, blue sky while reaching out to the blue, blue ocean.
Ponta de Piedade is an idyllic setting of brown-shaded rock formations that meet the greenish-blue waters of the Atlantic below, being one of the main attractions of Lagos.
Here there are lots of caves, grottoes and arches to go into, as you enjoy one of the boat trips, row in your kayak or paddle on your stand-up paddle surfboard over the crystal-clear water.
The combination of the light brown mysterious cliffs and several shades of green and blue from the ocean and the sky truly enchant the eyes.
Located 2km from the city centre of Lagos, this place provides a magnificent view of the Atlantic and the shapes of cliffs carved by the ocean and wind.
How to get to Ponta da Piedade?
There are several ways to explore this mecca of grottos, unknown bays and quiet beaches. You can reach this amazing area by car, foot or by the sea – by boat, kayak or SUP.
In our opinion, Ponta de Piedade is particularly captivating when viewed from the sea.
Near the car park on the cliff tops, you will find long, narrow stairs leading you down to a small cove where you will see cute small fisher boats.
Over time, local fishermen have named some of these misshapen rocks. The most popular ones are the General De Gaulle, Chaminé (chimney), Catedral (cathedral), Belas-Artes (fine arts), Museu (museum), Submarino (submarine), Camelo (camel), Cozinha (kitchen), and Gruta do Amor (grotto of love).
For nature lovers, this natural paradise is also interesting due to the many bird species that make it their habitat.
Besides the cave tours, you can also find dolphin-watching tours. SeaBookings was founded in Lagos, thus we can surely help you out finding the best boat tour here.
If you are interested in knowing more about the history of Ponta da Piedade. This was the place to control and defend the city many years ago.
A few meters away from the coastline, there are several rock formations on which it is common to see nests of migrating falcons, jackdaws, alpine swifts, pallid swifts, and ravens, as well as groups of egrets and cattle egrets.
This is a must place to go for nature lovers and also photographers since the beautiful colours of the setting make a perfect postcard portrait.
For the most sporty ones and if you dare climb up 182 steps to the top of the lighthouse, you will have a view over the amazing city and coastline, which marks the limit between land and sea. This lighthouse can also be reached by car or foot.
Discover by car
Ponta de Piedade is located out of the city centre. If for some reason, you prefer not to walk 20 minutes and if you have a car, the best way is to park your car near the lighthouse. Parking here is free.
From the parking lot, you can appreciate the views over the Atlantic or if you prefer and dare, you can go down the stairs (bear in mind it is over 180 steps) closer to the Ocean.
In our opinion, going by car should be your last choice since there are more creative ways that allow a deeper enjoyment of this amazing creation of Nature.
Discover Ponta da Piedade by foot
From the city centre of Lagos to the lighthouse (farol) it’s a 2km walk, but a beautiful one. You’ll pass along the coastline of Lagos and come along some very nice beaches.
First, you’ll pass by Praia da Batata – Lagos’ city beach, very popular among the youth.
After Praia da Batata, you’ll pass by some very pretty beached hidden in between the amazing rock formations: Praia dos Estudantes, Praia do Pinhão, Praia D. Ana ( Dona Ana beach) and Praia do Camilo ( Camilo beach).
At Praia do Camilo, you can have great meals of freshly caught fish, grilled at the moment and a special selection of Portuguese wines.
On the west side of Ponta da Piedade, you can find one of the less visited beaches, because of it’s difficult access: Praia do Canavial (Canavial beach).
Amazing views over the colourful cliffs are guaranteed, but be aware that, especially after rain the cliffs might be unstable, so respect the signs and do not approach the end of the cliffs too much.
Be mindful with children, as this walk goes very close to the edge of the cliffs.
Another thing to bear in mind is that this 2km walk is quite hard because it has got some hills and can become hot, so bring some water, sunscreen and a hat.
Once you arrived at the lighthouse of Ponta da Piedade, and if you’ve still got some energy left, you can go down the stairs (bear in mind it is over 180 steps) closer to the Ocean.
Ponta da Piedade boat tours
Boat trips are probably the most popular way to visit this gem in Lagos.
The cave tours are the most popular tours in Lagos and depart from several places, from some beaches and the Marina of Lagos.
In addition, boat trips are an inexpensive and nice way to enjoy the amazing caves and coastline of Lagos with your family and friends. Prices per person start at only 20€.
On these cave boat tours, experienced fishermen wind their way through the colossal rock sculptures whilst telling their names and secrets.
Over time, local fishermen have named some of these rock formations. The most popular ones are Chaminé (chimney), Catedral (cathedral), and Gruta dos Amores (grotto of love). The fishermen on your boat will be happy to tell you all of them.
On SeaBookings.com, you can find the best online prices and several options:
- One hour tour – with departure from the Marina of Lagos, this tour is best if you’re travelling on a tight budget or time frame. There is no need to change boats, you’ll stay on the same boat from the beginning until the end of the tour. This tour is perfect for any age.
- Two hour tour – this tour is a more complete experience. It also starts from the Marina in Lagos and involves two boats. Firstly, you will sail along the coastline on a very pretty typical sailboat and will then anchor and step over to a smaller boat to enter the caves. It’s up to you which boat trips you prefer.
Discover by kayak
For the most sporty couples or families, kayaking is the ideal way to explore the magical setting of caves.
The Lagos kayak tours to Ponta da Piedade depart from Praia da Batata ( Batata beach), the “urban” beach of Lagos, only a five minutes walk from the city centre.
Kayaking to Ponta da Piedade has several advantages when compared to the traditional boats:
- Working out while enjoying the beautiful coastline in Lagos;
- You’ll not be polluting using an engine;
- No noisy engine of a boat;
- You’ll be more flexible and agile to be able to enter the smallest caves of Ponta da Piedade and access the most inaccessible beaches.
Snorkel equipment will also be provided on the kayak tours, so if you’re up to exploring the underwater world of Ponta da Piedade too, you’re welcome to do so.
Taking this, you won’t regret it as Ponta da Piedade is one of the best places in the Algarve region to go snorkelling.
SUP tours to the caves
An alternative for the sportiest travellers is Stand Up Paddle (SUP). This is the ideal way to discover the famous grottoes for board lovers.
SUP consists of standing on a large surfboard and moving forward using a specially designed paddle. This sport is easy to learn.
Thus we’re sure this is the most amazing and fun activity to do while exploring the caves. In fact, SUP has the same advantages as kayaking, as mentioned before.
If you like what you are reading, come and learn the ancient Polynesian art of Paddleboarding. SUP is the world’s fastest-growing sport that anyone can partake in.
In fact, SUP is suitable for all ages and levels of experience.
If you’ve got other ideas or suggestions to explore Ponta da Piedade, feel free to contact us.
In case of any doubts or if you’d like to book any of the ocean activities mentioned, we’re happy to assist you.