best things to do in Lagos,

The 10 best things to do in Lagos Portugal

The 10 best things to do in Lagos, Portugal

If you are going on holidays in Lagos Portugal, you will have many fun and cheap things to do. Lagos is a beautiful holiday destination if you are flying to Faro airport. The local people are very tourist-friendly, it’s a great destination for young to older people. For the younger generation, Lagos is a very cool place to go out and get drunk. The beach parties are definitely a must do for this generation. 10 best things to do in Portugal

For families, it also a great destination, as you have many beautiful beaches where you can relax, swim & play in or out the water. All beaches have lifeguards, and criminality is almost inexistent. For the older generation, September & October are the recommended months, there is less tourism and the city is emptier so you can walk around, without worrying.

10 best Things to do in Lagos Portugal

1.       Go to the most beautiful beaches of Europe

In Lagos, there is a beautiful place called Ponta da Piedade. At Ponta da Piedade, you can find the most amazing and stunning beaches of Europe. Go to Praia D. Ana, Praia do Camilo e Praia do Pinhão. Or have a better look at Ponta da Piedade, by boat;

Things to do in Lagos, Boat trips Algarve - Ponta da Piedade - Lagos - Boat trips from Lagos- Lagos, Portugal

The 10 best things to do in Lagos Portugal

2.       Discover the historical center of Lagos

Lagos is known for the discoveries, thus you should check the slave market and the 16thcentury city walls. In Lagos you will definitely feel some of its history;

Best things to do in Lagos city center lagos

Lagos – The 10 best things to do in Lagos Portugal

3.       Do a grotto boat trip to Ponta da Piedade

One of the best things to do in Lagos are definitely the grotto boat trips from Lagos. On this boat trips, you will be able to go inside all of the caves in Lagos on a small boat.
This boats, normally take about 10 persons. Book in advance to avoid disappointments. This boat trip from Lagos is suitable for all ages;

grotto tours lagos things to do in lagos

Ponta da Piedade – The 10 best things to do in Lagos Portugal

4.       Do a dolphin watching trip from Lagos

In the Algarve, there are many species of dolphins and other wildlife. It’s definitely an ultimate experience, a must do of the things to do in Lagos. When choosing the company with who you are going, take into account, that only on the Rigid inflatable passenger boats you are almost able to touch them. The dolphins are never guaranteed, because they life in total freedom and are not fed.

Dolphin watching Lagos - SeaLife - Enjoy the Algarve, Portugal!

Dolphin watching – The 10 best things to do in Lagos Portugal

5.       Go horseback riding in Lagos

In Bensafrim, just about 10 min. from the center of Lagos, you have amazing spots to go horseback riding. Have a look at Quinta do Paraíso Alto, the most trusted British riding school in Lagos;

Best things to do in Lagos - Horse Riding

Horse riding – The 10 best things to do in Lagos Portugal

6.       Go to a traditional farmers market

Every week, on Saturday morning there’s a traditional farmers market opposite the Marina footbridge, and near the bus station. Here you can find many traditional and local quality food.

Best things to do in Lagos Portugal - farmer market

Market – The 10 best things to do in Lagos Portugal

7.       Go Snorkeling or Scuba Diving

In Lagos, you have a great scuba diving school, who can take you out for snorkeling along the beautiful Ponta da Piedade or take you on a boat dive to the most amazing underwater cliffs and wrecks. 10 best things to do in Portugal

diving tours Lagos - best things to do in Lagos

The 10 best things to do in Lagos Portugal – Diving

8.       Eat the best fish in Lagos

If you are looking for a typical fish restaurant, o “Bar da Lota” is the place to go. You can find it next to train station and fish auction buildings in Lagos.

Best fish reataurant in Lagos best things to do in Lagos

Sardines – The 10 best things to do in Lagos Portugal

9.       Eat the best shrimps ever

In Lagos, you can find a very long white beach, it’s called Meia Praia. At Bar Quim, at Meia Praia, you can enjoy the best shrimps you have ever tried before. Ah, and don’t forget the amazing beach view. 10 best things to do in Portugal

shrimps - best things to eat in Lagos Portugal

Shrimps – The 10 best things to do in Lagos Portugal

10.   Book your activities early

In Lagos, you can do many activities, from boat trips, parasailing,  kayak tours, SUP or Surf, there is always something to do for the whole family. In June, July and August, expect many tourists, thus don’t forget to book your things to do in Lagos early. Avoid disappointments on your family holidays in Lagos.

Enjoy your things to do in Lagos! 🙂

P.S. If you are going to stay in Albufeira, check out the best trips & tours.

We tried out our new dolphin watching tour in Lagos!

By Nathalie, content and translations at SeaBookings, who’d like to share her experience on a dolphin watching tour in Lagos.

When I heard that we had a new operator offering dolphin watching in Lagos, of course, I took the opportunity to try out this new experience myself. I have already been dolphin watching before, but every tour is special and seeing dolphins in their natural habitat is an amazing experience – over and over again! 

So me and my friend went to the Marina in Lagos to try out our newest dolphin watching tour in Lagos. The tour is run by a local group of family and friends, who are all from Lagos. Thus, they are real locals and know all about the region.

You can get really close to the dolphins

The skippers already have a lot of experience in boat tours in Lagos, and especially with finding wild dolphins. So they are the perfect crew to take you out on a dolphin watching tour in Lagos since they love what they do and also love to share their knowledge about the sea and dolphins with you.

The boat is a very modern RIB! It has a lot of power and can go really fast, yet at the same time, it’s surprisingly stable and very comfortable. You can tell it was chosen with much love and to provide clients with a safe and enjoyable dolphin watching trip!

Taking pictures of the dolphins is not easy, but you may be lucky!

We took our seats on the boat and off we went to look for dolphins in Lagos. Once we passed the Marina of Lagos, the boat took up the speed and we raced over the sea. It was a day with perfect conditions: no wind, no waves and a really glassy sea! 

Finding the wild dolphins

Thanks to the experienced crew, it didn’t take long until we found our first group of dolphins. It was a rather small one, about 10 dolphins. However, there were a few baby dolphins!

One of them, so we were told, must’ve been born no longer than 2 or 3 days ago, as it was still really tiny! It was the smallest baby dolphin I have ever seen, and surely a lovely sight.

The ride itself is a true adventure!

Our skippers slowed down the boat so we could stand up to get a better look at the dolphins.

The dolphins would swim underneath our boat and jump up next to it, so we could observe them really closely. We had some questions about how dolphins bread, and the skippers were happy to provide us with all the answers! 

We stayed for a while with this small pod of dolphins, enjoying the view of them swimming and jumping around in freedom.

While they continued their journey, so did we. The skippers decided to go a bit further west to look for a bigger pod of dolphins.

The water was very calm!

And a bigger pod we did find! While the first group was already very beautiful and special, this group of about 50 dolphins was simply huge.

They were all around, wherever you looked you could see fins coming out of the water and dolphins jumping around! 

The dolphins of this pod seemed even more adventurous than the first one! About 10 of them even surfed the waves behind our boat.

We didn’t even know where to look, as there were so many dolphins in every direction! It was simply impressive and definitely my most adventurous encounter with dolphins in Lagos

We stayed for a while, with dolphins jumping up really close to our boat. It seemed like they were doing a show for us and they enjoyed it a lot showing us how high they could jump.

It was really special seeing so many dolphins together, swimming in the sea and just enjoying their life! 

After this magical encounter, it was time to return back to Lagos. We were west from Lagos, so on the way back we actually drove past some of the main attractions of the coast, like Praia da Luz, Praia Porto de Mós and of course the famous Ponta da Piedade. Our skipper also decided to show us how much power the boat really had!

He went full-speed in front of the beautiful beaches of Lagos, doing steep curves and slides that made us scream with excitement!

It actually felt like riding on a rollercoaster and was definitely a fun ending to this incredible dolphin watching tour in Lagos!

Wild dolphins in the middle of the sea…

Shortly before we reached the entrance to the Marina, the boat slowed down and we were back to “reality”.

After coming off the boat, it actually felt like we had been in a different place for the duration of the tour and were now landing in real life again.

This dolphin watching tour in Lagos was definitely a highlight for me and my friend. The sheer amount of wild dolphins we found and the fun rollercoaster boat ride on the way back in front of the fascinating coastline of Lagos was an unforgettable experience. If you’re on holidays in Lagos, make sure you don’t miss our on this unique boat trip!

SUP in Lagos

We went to do SUP in Lagos

During our SeaBookings team meeting in May, we decided to try out our famous caves tour to Ponta da Piedade by SUP in Lagos. SUP means stand-up paddle boarding. You’ve probably already seen people doing this sport. They stand on a large and stable board and move forward using a paddle.

This excursion SUP in Lagos was great fun. For Fábio and Femke it was the first time they tried SUP. Lianne and Bo already did it a few times before.

SUP is a fun team building experience

SUP is a fun team building experience

Here’s our personal testimony about doing SUP in Lagos

Lianne’s experience:

Rise and shine early birds! At 8am we were ready to try some stand-up paddle boarding in Lagos. The meeting point was at Praia da Batata and it immediately felt like a vacation in beautiful Lagos. It was actually really special to be the first ones on the beach, what a privilege!

The sun was already nice and warm, and everyone was preparing to get ready. Carrying our boards and paddles to the beach and putting on sunscreen. Most of the people of our group never did stand-up paddle boarding before, so we got a very clear safety briefing before entering the water.

A beach-class is given before we get into the water

A beach-class is given before we get into the water

Two friendly instructors guided us along the way and showed us some nice and hidden beaches and caves. There was always one guide in front of the group and the other one behind us, which gave me a very safe feeling.

Luckily we were able to take some amazing pictures and videos with our own GoPro, but no worries if you don’t have a waterproof camera, because the guides took some great snapshots as well!

The scenery is unique

The scenery is unique

Everyone could paddle at their own pace and enjoy the scenery from a unique perspective… but we had to watch out because the sea was not super calm. Instead, there were some small waves and now and then people fell off their board into the water.

Luckily, I managed to stay on my board until just before arriving back at Praia da Batata. Yes, indeed, just before arriving back, a wave caught me as well and I fell in the water! 😉 but there are worse things a refreshing dive in the sea, right?

We event ventured into some caves

We event ventured into some caves

Bo’s experience:

I confess I’m not a morning person but waking up a bit earlier than usual for this unique experience SUP in Lagos was surely worth it! SUP in Lagos was a great team building event for the SeaBookings’ team. It was nice to see how all of us enjoyed despite some having done it before and others not.

We did not have the best conditions as the sea was a bit choppy and on some parts, we faced some Northern wind, also known as “Nortada”. However, this was actually fun as it gave another twist of a challenge to the SUP tour to Ponta da Piedade. Along the way we saw some beautiful rock formations and secret beaches like Praia de Dona Ana, Praia do Camilo and Praia do Pinhão.

And of course, a group photo!

And of course, a group photo!

If you like being active and being close to nature, I strongly recommend a SUP tour if you’re in Lagos and would like to explore the famous rock formations of Ponta da Piedade. Doing the tour so early in the morning really makes sense to avoid the crowds that start around 10AM. Oh, and another advantage of a SUP tour is that you leave no trace 😉

At SeaBookings, we can say we all love SUP. It’s surely one of our favourite ways to explore the coastline and your fitness level doesn’t matter. If you’d like to know more about stand-up paddle, about different tours in Lagos or any other tour in the Algarve, feel free to contact us any time.

grotto trips in Lagos

Grotto trips in Lagos can be done all year round

Bo, co-founder of SeaBookings, went on a grotto boat tour in Lagos and shares her experience:

It was late February when we went to Lagos, Algarve, to visit my parents who live there. As my boyfriend had never seen the famous rock formations of Ponta da Piedade, we decided to join a grotto trip. The grotto trips in Lagos run all year round. In fact, each time has a year is special and unique as the light varies along the seasons.

Departure point of grotto trips in Lagos

Most grotto trips in Lagos depart from the modern Marina de Lagos. There are also grotto trips departing from Ponta da Piedade itself and from other locations, such as Praia da Luz. Personally, I really like departing from Marina de Lagos. Here, you have the chance to use the bathroom before and after the boat tour and also grab a coffee with a nice view.

grotto trips Lagos

We went on a boat with 4 other people and Joaquim, the skipper

When to do a grotto tour in Lagos

If you ask me what the best time of the day is to see the rock formations, it’s hard to answer. Some of the rocks are more illuminated by the sun in the morning, while others in the afternoon. I’d say going around midday is perfect, as the sun hits the water from above, creating a beautiful effect on the different shades of blue of the sea. However, if you’re planning to do this boat tour during the hot Summer months, you might prefer to do an early-morning trip (when there’s usually less wind), or enjoy a sunset boat tour.

Regarding the time of the year, I’d say these grotto trips in Lagos are marvellous at any season. In the summer it’s nice because the chances of a bright sun are higher. And also, if you choose the longer coastal trip, in Summer, you can enjoy a refreshing dip in the sea. On the other hand, in the low season, from October to April, these grotto trips are more special as the coastline of Lagos is less crowded with other boats and stand-up paddle and kayak tours. In February, we enjoyed a boat tour with virtually no other boats around, giving a more peaceful experience. The downside of the low season is surely the unstable weather and sea conditions. For the grotto trips in Lagos, the sea should be extremely calm, otherwise, it’s simply too dangerous to cruise so close to the rocks and in the caves.

We went on a regular cave tour from the Marina to Ponta da Piedade which takes about 1h15. The boats are guided by one skipper and have 9 places. We were lucky to be skippered by Joaquim, o young local entrepreneur who, together with his dad, owns several boats to take people out and enjoy the gorgeous coastline of Lagos. After a quick safety briefing and explanation of what to expect on this boat tour, we were ready to leave the Marina.

Joaquim explained all points of interest where we cruised by and enthusiastically replied to all questions we and the other participants had. It was impressive how Joaquim managed to manoeuvre the small boat in between narrow alleys created by the unique rock formations around Ponta da Piedade. He knows these rocks and caves like no other and, according to the tides and sea conditions, he decided in which caves we could enter. Everybody on board was astonished by the beautiful colors of the red cliffs and the turquoise waters of Ponta da Piedade.

Most tours are circular, so the start and end point are the same

Most tours are circular, so the start and end point are the same

We highly recommend the grotto trips in Lagos to everybody visiting the Algarve. The tours are rather affordable and give us unique views over the characteristic coastline of Lagos. These boat tours are suitable for all ages, from 0 to 100, and given the comfortable boarding conditions, even people with less mobility are welcome!

Wave is the Algarve. By João Coelho

What to do when there are waves in the Algarve

The Algarve is one of our favourite destinations in Portugal, and also one where we have a lot of different awesome boat tours for you! The caves and grottos around Ponta da Piedade in Lagos are very impressive and definitely worth a visit, as well as the most famous and beautiful caves of Benagil.

However, every now and then all these amazing tours become the victim of a higher force – the sea! Usually, the Algarvian coast in the South of Portugal is blessed with calm waters, allowing all our amazing boat tours to take you along for a relaxed and calm ride. But from time to time we get a South swell, the so-called “Levante” or “Sueste, that brings a lot of waves in the Algarve.

Private sunset tour to Benagil

Even the smallest waves can be enough to cancel the tours, especially the kayak and SUP ones.

With waves in the Algarve, crashing on the cliffs and caves, it’s neither safe nor a lot of fun to go for a boat tour. So when that happens, unfortunately, there is not much we can do to be able to still provide you with the fun boat tours we all love so much. But that’s no reason to get upset, as there are still many things you can do in the Algarve even when there are waves! In this post, we want to give you just some ideas about what to do instead of boat tours when there are waves in the Algarve!

Things to do when there are waves in the Algarve

Our surf lessons are a lot of fun!

Our surf lessons are a lot of fun!

  1. Go surfing in the Algarve!

While all the skippers and boat tour operators start panicking and get annoyed by the South swell, all the surf schools around the Algarve are more than happy! Why? Because south swell means waves in Lagos and the surrounding beaches! Also, Armação de Pêra is good for surfing! This means that you don’t have to drive much more than 10 minutes to find great waves to go surfing. And it gets better – since the swell comes from the south, the water around Lagos gets much warmer!

So if you see that the boat tours are all cancelled due to the waves in the Algarve, just go ahead and try out surfing! These days are the best days, as the waves around Lagos are usually very easy to learn surfing. And a lot of times you can even go surfing only in a bikini or with your boardshorts! This is heaven, don’t you think!? Use those waves and have the most fun surfing in Lagos! Kitesurfing can also be a great idea with the Southern winds and waves! Check out the piture of this post by João Coelho.

We admit we prefer the sea, but this lake is also great if you want to do some SUP ;)

We admit we prefer the sea, but this lake is also great if you want to do some SUP 😉

  1. Go for a SUP tour on the lake

Our SUP tour in Lagos usually goes to the impressive caves and grottos around Ponta da Piedade. However, when there are waves in the Algarve, this just gets too dangerous (and too difficult to stay on the board!). But again this is no need to worry, only an opportunity to visit yet another amazing place in the Algarve!

On wavy days, our instructors will take you out to a lake about 20 minutes away from Lagos, called Barragem da Bravura. This lake is in the middle of a forest, with nothing around you but nature. Even in high season, you will see almost no people around this hidden gem of the Algarve. A SUP tour on the lake is great because of the warm and sweet water. Since the water there is super calm, you are assured to have a lot of fun, even without any previous experience SUPping.

In the Algarve. there are even mountains for hiking lovers

In the Algarve. there are even mountains for hiking lovers

  1. Go on a Jeep Safari

If you just decide to stay away from the water during the wavy days, there’s still some stuff you can do! Have you already heard of Monchique? This area not far away from Lagos is very beautiful and almost magical with the dense forest. Here you can even find some waterfalls!

From Lagos you have the option to go for Jeep Safaris in Monchique or other places like Sagres or Praia do Amado! The west end of the Algarve is very different and definitely worth a visit to admire the wild and untouched nature!

The Ria Formosa is an amazing surrounding for boat tours

The Ria Formosa is an amazing surrounding for boat tours

  1. Go on a boat tour in Ria Formosa

If you’re staying further east, closer to Faro, you should definitely use those wavy days to go on a boat tour in Ria Formosa. This natural reserve is blessed with unique flora and fauna and is a very special place in the Algarve! And since it’s a river mouth, it does not get affected by the waves!

Join us on one of our tours to Ria Formosa to explore the beautiful islands of the reserve, like Ilha Deserta, Ilha do Farol, Ilha da Culatra and Ilha da Armona. If you enjoy nature you will love Ria Formosa. There are even some bird species that can only be found in Ria Formosa, and you can also go for a seahorse observation here!

Best things to do in Lagos, city center lagos

Wandering around Lagos is always nice!

  1. Stroll around the town of Lagos

For all those who just want to take it slow, why don’t just enjoy and explore the cute town of Lagos a little bit more? Lagos has so much to offer, and even just walking through the little streets and admiring the colorful houses is already quite a lot of fun! And it makes for some pretty good photographs as well.

Also, there are more and more great coffee shops popping up all around Lagos. Take Café Goldig for example – here you get everything from delicious Banana Bread over daily changing lunch menus and really good coffee and juices!

As you can see, even when there are waves in the Algarve you still have loads of options to enjoy your holidays in the Algarve to the fullest. So don’t miss out on the fun options of things to do when there are waves in the Algarve!