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10 Best Day Trips from Lagos, Portugal

Guide to the best Lagos, Portugal excursions and day trips to see the best of the Algarve and nearby

Lagos is an immensely popular town in the Algarve, with stunning architecture and a buzzing nightlife.

However, it is small, with a population of just over 30,000, so most travelers look to day trips from Lagos, Portugal, to ensure they always have plenty to do.

Being located in the far south of the nation, popular cities such as Lisbon and Porto are much too far away to make for good excursions from Lagos, Portugal.

This article helps by introducing you to the scores of options for Lagos day trips so you can have the best trip possible while you travel Portugal.

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Overview: Top 3 Day Trips from Lagos Portugal

  • Faro
  • Benagil Cave
  • Praia da Rocha

1. Benagil Cave

tours from Lagos to Benagil Cave, View from inside cave with small sandy area sitting next to the white surf of the ocean with a large rock formation above with a circular hole through which can be seen the sky

Just 40 minutes away, Benagil Cave is one of my essential day trips from Lagos, Portugal, and one of the best places in Algarve.

This 20 million-year-old sea cave sits on Benagil Beach, formed out of sandstone through seawater erosion.

As the tide comes in, a calm pool of water fills inside the cave, turning it into a truly unique place to swim.

The cave is always stunningly beautiful because of the large hole in the ceiling, which allows plenty of natural light in.

If this unique geological phenomenon appeals to you, why not go on a Benagil Cave tour from Lagos?

This five-star adventure is a two-hour boat tour from Lagos directly to the caves and is one of the best day tours from Lagos, Portugal available.

Book a tour from Lagos to Benagil Cave

2. Sagres

day trips in Algarve Portugal, Rocky cliffs on the shores of the ocean with old fortifications and a more modern lighthouse resting on the edge lit by the orange rays of the setting sun under a clear dusk sky

Another of the best day trips from Lagos, Portugal, is Sagres, the most south-western point in Europe.

This makes for one of the most exciting excursions Lagos, Portugal, can offer because you will feel like you are at the end of the world.

Surfers from all over the world love to come to Sagres because it is known for its choppy seas.

The cliffs of Sagres are epic, and I think it is one of Portugal’s most impressive places to watch surfing, which is one of the best things to do in Sagres.

Sagres also deserves its place on my list of day trips from Lagos, Portugal, because of its cultural significance.

In the 14th century, Europeans hadn’t explored much beyond the continent. Many Iberians believed that this was the true end of the world.

Book the best tours to and around Sagres

3. Silves

excursions from Lagos Portugal, ruins of the castle of silves in distance behind homes and greenery
Castle of Silves

Next on my list of the best day trips from Lagos, Portugal, is another location with ancient significance.

Silves, located 35 minutes away, is the ancient capital of Algarve, which rose to prominence as a trade hub and defensive stronghold.

The stunning red Castel de Silves is the best reason to come to Silves and one of the top things to do in Algarve.

The Moors occupied this iconic fortress from North Africa between the 8th and 13th centuries, making it one of the best things to do in Silves for history buffs.

The best way to visit Silves is to join a day tour, taking in the town and Monchique, featuring a wine tasting where you can enjoy local drinks.

This tour will last for the whole day and features free hotel pick-up and drop-off. Alternatively, you can take a 35-minute train, which costs just 3 euros.

For history enthusiasts, this is one of those day trips from Lagos, Portugal you don’t want to miss out on.

Book the best tours to and around Silves

4. Portimão

day trips in Portugal from Lagos, View of Portimão looking across the rooftops of many apartment buildings and churches clustered together under a blazing yellow sky at sunset

Visiting the Algarve isn’t just about experiencing ancient cultures. Modern towns like Portimão are just as amazing for Lagos, Portugal, day trips.

This modern city is one of the Algarve’s largest, with a population of 50,000. It is buzzing with life, perfect for shopping or a night out during a warm summer evening.

After a long day shopping and eating at the great range of cafes, you will be ready to relax in a spa, one of the best things to do in Portimao.

Luckily, Portimão is blessed with a scenic waterfront that extends for 800 meters. I can’t think of a better location near Lagos to relax and watch the sunset.

Book the best tours to and around Portimão

5. Praia da Rocha

Top Lagos day trips, View of sandy beach at sunset with people walking amongst beach umbrellas and rows of sun loungers surrounded by tall rock formations sitting on the edge of the ocean with more coastline visible behind

The whole Iberian Peninsula is known for its seaside resort towns with long golden beaches and bright blue seas.

If you love relaxing on the beach with a cocktail or Super Bock beer, Praia da Rocha is one of the essential day trips in Portugal.

The beach is certainly the main attraction of this resort town, which makes sense as it’s one of the best beaches in Algarve.

It is long and wide enough that it never feels crowded, and there are plenty of bars and restaurants available.

If you want a more secluded trip, visit the smaller beaches which can be found on the west side of town.

Many Lagos, Portugal day trips also come with surfing opportunities, but some locations, such as Sagres, have seas that are too rough for beginners.

The calm waters at Praia da Rocha are the perfect place to learn, and this group surfing lesson lasts 90 minutes and is the ideal place to start.

Although this beach is right next to Portimão, each deserves its own separate trip as they offer such different experiences.

Book the best vacation rentals in Lagos, Portugal

6. Albufeira

best Lagos Portugal excursions, , view out onto courtyard with trees and white stone tiles surrounded by white buildings with terracotta rooftops under a blue sky with clouds

I couldn’t talk about ocean resort towns on this list of trips from Lagos, Portugal, without talking about the iconic Albufeira, the Algarve’s answer to the Las Vegas strip.

The Strip is also lively after dark, with scores of nightclubs and bars playing a great range of music, and one of the best things to do in Albufeira.

I can’t think of anywhere better near Lagos where you can dance the night away.

The other great reason to come to Albufeira is its stunning beaches. At 6 KM long, getting bored at Praia da Falésia is impossible.

Plenty of watersports are available here if you are looking for adrenaline, or you can enjoy a relaxing walk or sunbathe on the beach.

You might even be lucky enough to spot dolphins on this amazing day trip!

If you decide to stay longer, check out some of these great hotels in Albufeira to ensure an amazing stay.

Book the best tours to and around Albufeira

7. Praia da Luz

day trips from Algarve Portugal, View of curved sandy beach with small collection of buildings next to larger rolling hills covered in green shrubs all under a clear blue sky

Plenty of day trips from Lagos, Portugal, give you the opportunity to party for hours. However, locations like Praia da Luz, just 15 minutes from Lagos, are ideal for families.

Luz, as locals refer to it affectionately, is a peaceful resort town very close to Lagos.

It is known for its long sandy beach, family-friendly restaurants and cafes, and huge black cliffs formed by millions of years of volcanic activity.

There is no train to Luz, but you can get there easily by bus. This will cost just a few euros, and several departures run throughout the day.

If you miss the bus, you can take a taxi for the short journey, which should take around 15 minutes.

Enjoy the best water sports in the Algarve

8. Burgau

where to go on a day trip from Lagos Portugal, View from underneath a large green tree of a golden sandy beach with the white surf of small waves lapping at the shore next to a small white building and rocky hills running along the coast all under a blue sky with dense white clouds

Algarve has had a bustling tourism industry for decades and is now highly commercialized.

Some travelers might be disappointed that most day trips from Algarve, Portugal, don’t give them particularly authentic experiences.

This is not the case for Burgau, which remains authentically Portuguese.

Located between Lagos and Sagres, this is a charming fishing village sitting in a cove that sees few tourists on its small Praia do Burgau.

Despite not being popular amongst tourists, there is still plenty to do, including great restaurants and cafes.

You also can’t miss the main town area, which has cobbled streets and traditional whitewashed houses.

Book a tour from Lagos to Burgau

9. Faro

top tours from Lagos, View down a narrow cobbled street lined with white buildings with gold and blue painted trim on a bright sunny day

To many travelers, the Algarve Faro is simply the airport, and the town itself is often missed.

However, as the capital of the Algarve region, there is a huge amount to do, and it is a mistake to miss out.

Moreover, it is feasible for day trips from Lagos, Portugal at an hour’s drive.

This city has some of the most exciting culture in the Algarve, and its history will be instantly recognizable from its ancient city walls, cathedral, and chapel made from bones.

You will find most of the history and culture in the Cidade Velha. In this historical center, you will be hemmed in by the ancient walls.

You can spend hours wandering through the cobbled streets and visiting the many palaces inside the old town or the infamous Gothic cathedral.

Even the entrance to the old town, the ancient Arco do Repouso gateway, will take your breath away.

If you are visiting during winter in Algarve, Faro is one of my favorite spots to visit.

Book the best tours to and around Faro

10. Carvoeiro

best beach towns in Algarve for a day trip, Aerial view of small sandy beach next to the turquoise sea surrounded by densely built up urban area full of buildings with terracotta rooftops

Far from the bustle of Faro is the scenic seaside town of Carvoeiro.

This small town less than 40 minutes from Lagos deserves its place as one of the best day trips in Algarve, Portugal, because of its stunning beach and magical historical center.

If you are looking for an adventure, you can’t miss walking on the Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos, one of the top things to do in Carvoeiro.

This 11.5km hiking route takes you over rugged cliffs along the Algarve coastline and is one of the best Algarve hikes.

You can join the trail at Carvoeiro if you only fancy taking on part of this challenging trail.

You will also find that this is one of the best day trips from Lagos, Portugal, at the beach because of how geologically impressive the coastline is in Carvoeiro.

Nearby, you can even enjoy stunning caves and arches rivaling Benagil Cave’s splendor.

Book the best tours to and around Carvoeiro

Many visitors to Lagos are drawn to a Lagos to Benagil Cave trip. However, as demonstrated in this post, there are actually dozens of trips from Lagos, Portugal, which you should not miss.

This includes trips to fantastic beaches, resorts, and old towns. In fact, there are so many great tours from Lagos that you won’t be able to fit all of them into your trip.

Make sure to plan your trip with my list of day trips Lagos, Portugal can offer so that you don’t miss the perfect day trips for you.

Short FAQ About Day Trips from Lagos, Portugal

What are the best day trips from Lagos, Portugal?

There are a range of day trips from Lagos to enjoy, including beachy days out and cultural outings. A few of my favorites are Benagil Cave, Praia da Rocha, and Faro.

Can you visit Benagil Cave from Lagos?

Yes, Lagos to Benagil Cave is an easy day excursion and one of the best boat tours from Lagos.

How many days do you need in Lagos, Portugal?

If you only plan to visit Lagos, 2-4 days is more than enough to enjoy the city and the beach. Buf you want to enjoy a few day trips with Lagos as a base, then 5-6 days is better.

Before You Go: Top Tips for your Trip