The beauty of beaching in Lagos is that it’s, quite frankly, an all-year-round activity.
The beaches of Lagos fit numerous vacation appetites. Like a boutique hotel’s breakfast buffet serving up a bit of every cuisine for travelers arriving from different parts of the world; there’s something for every kind of beachgoer in Lagos. For the people gawkers, crowd lovers, quiet isolationists, thrilling adventurists, active athletes, families packed with kids, or someone like me – a plain old sunbather opting away from mobs.
An even better revelation about Lagos’ beaches is that they’re equally beautiful throughout natural transcendence of seasons. Even during winter months, driving serenely up and down the coast, admiring waves thrashing against imperial cliffs drifted my thoughts to a level of introspection that a June soleil couldn’t possibly deliver. Indulge in this filtered list of the best beaches in Lagos, may you garner equal joy either sunbaked or windswept.
Ponta da Piedade
For the most dramatic and iconic photos of magnificent limestone caves, you should probably start from Ponta da Piedade, or Piety Point. Situated approximately 3 kilometers from central Lagos, Ponta da Piedade tops every list due to its incredible rock formations and natural sea arches. You can access the beach either along the cliffs by foot (182 steps down,) kayak or boat. During high tourist season, try to plan for this beach either early in the morning or later in the afternoon to avoid busy traffic on the water.
Praia do Camilo
The view of Praia do Camilo from top of the hill is arguably the most captivating image that seduces travelers to Lagos. Before descending a long wooden staircase, layers of sea arches form crystalline turquoise water into the shape of a heart. Picturesque, yet irritatingly touristic. Expect the beach to be jam-packed with gawking crowds, especially during high season. At the bottom of the staircase, Praia do Camilo’s minuscule beach is accompanied by amber and orange cliffs.
Praia Dona Ana
Equally congested with travelers is Praia da Dona Ana, which is within walking distance from Praia do Camilo. This beach has been expanded to accommodate the growing foot traffic, hence if you don’t mind the crowd, it’s a beautiful beach from both sides. On the left, stunning tangerine cliffs blend into the moving sea, while the right side of the beach contours a basin where travelers can swim in gentle waters.
Praia do Pinhão
Praia do Pinhão might just be the hidden gem fitting for those who prefer to stay away from crowds. Between Ponta da Piedade and Praia Dona Ana and Camilo, there’s an obscure area on the bottom accessible only via stairs made of stone. Since not many mainstream tourists flock to Praia do Pinhão, don’t expect any facilities, including: lounge chairs, umbrellas, restaurants or bars. Just bring your towel and a picnic basket, and you’re set!
Porto Mós Beach
The second largest beach in Lagos is also a personal favorite since the water is nicer for soaking and swimming. Praia de Porto de Mós is defined by high cliffs above soft sands and a golden shoreline. Despite its tendency for strong winds, this beach is popular for body boarding and surfing. But the best part is its tranquil atmosphere, compared to other popular beaches on the list. Porto de Mós is also considered quite family-friendly, so feel free to bring the kids and enjoy a more spacious and sandy time.
Beach Estudantes (Praia dos Estudantes)
Setting itself apart from other beaches by a Roman bridge is Praia dos Estudantes. The bridge was originally part of the Pinhão Fortress which was demolished after a devastating earthquake during the 1700s. Today, the bridge beautifully connects eroded cliffs, making Praia dos Estudantes the perfect photo op. Since it’s a smaller beach but close to Lagos Old Town, you’ll want to put this on the list since it most likely garners less beachgoers.
The largest beach in Lagos is Meia Praia, stretching over 4 kilometers from the city all the way to the mouth of Odiáxere River. Despite its size, it’s never crushed with beachgoers, or one could think that because of its size, the beach never feels crowded. The view from here is vastly different than other Lagos beaches that embody golden arches and orange cliffs. At Meia Praia, you’ll glimpse at residential buildings, beachfront hotels along the shoreline. Many will walk from Meia Praia then stroll toward Praia de São Roque since along the way, there are various restaurants, bars and cafés.
Playa de San Roque (Praia de São Roque)
If you’re short on time, and want to quickly walk to a beach near Lagos city center, then Praia de São Roque is your best bet, since it is literally a ten-minute walk from Old Town and the train station. Many argue that technically, this isn’t a proper beach since it’s often as a larger vicinity of sand which belongs to Meia Praia. But its proximity to city center and spacious nature both make Praia de São Roque a delightful place to sunbathe or play a few games of beach volleyball. It is less crowded and there’s zero hassle of waiting for an Uber whenever you feel like it’s time to leave the beach.