The city of Lagos in southern Portugal is one of the most beautiful areas in the Algarve, especially for hikers. This is the ideal sun destination in Portugal, with lovely golden beaches, a gorgeous medieval city and lots of restaurants and bars. Lagos is thus an excellent starting point for exploring the rest of the Algarve. You don’t even have to travel far for the best hiking trails in the Algarve! Lagos has some of the best walking trails in Portugal nearby, including one along the spectacular rocky coast of the Algarve to the famous Ponte de Piedade.
#1 Ponte de Piedade trail
- 10 kilometers
- from Luz along the Ponte de Piedade to Lagos
- end point in Lagos
- hiking map
The best place for walking in Lagos is near the Ponte de Piedade. There is a stunning coastal hike in this area which is one of the best hikes in the area. This Ponte de Piedade trail is the last part of the longer, multi-day Fisherman’s Trail. The Fisherman’s Trail is one of the most popular hikes in the Rota Vicentina walking network, and you’ll also see the Rota Vicentina’s green-blue signs on the Ponte de Piedade trail.
You simply can’t visit Lagos without seeing these rocks south of the city. This is a beautiful rock formation with golden yellow rocks that create lovely arches and pointed summits in an appealing blue sea. You may look down from the viewpoint, but going down the stairs gives you the best view of the Ponte da Piedade. The best way to see this icon is to go there on foot from Luz. You start in Luz and make your way to the Ponte da Piedade before continuing into Lagos’ historic core.
Take an Uber from Lagos to Luz. This is approximately € 7. Luz is a lovely little town with a fine sandy beach. From here you climb to the rock plateau Rocha Negra. It is a tough climb, but from the plateau you have a phenomenal view of the Praia da Luz and the rocky coast. The path then brings you from the Rocha Negra peak along the coast to Ponte da Piedade. You have the beautiful blue sea and orange rocky coast as a backdrop while you walk. From Ponte da Piedade, you walk along the rocky coast to the viewpoint at Praia do Camilo. Then you walk the last part to the old center.
#2 The Passadiços de Alvor near Portimão
- 4.5 kilometers
- at the beach Praia do Alvor near Portimão
- 30 minutes drive from Lagos
- hiking map
Praia do Alvor, another excellent beach in the Algarve, is an extension of Meia Preia Beach near Lagos. The mouth of the river Alvor marks the border between the Meia Preia and Praia do Alvor, where a picturesque nature reserve is located. A wide sandy beach and sand dunes protect the lagoon and wetland, which is home to many birds breeding in a saltwater marsh. Although it is not that far from Lagos as the crow flies, it still takes half an hour to drive from Lagos to this nature reserve. But the hike is all worth your effort.
The Alvor Walkways, also known as Passadiços de Alvor in Portuguese, are a series of boardwalks that run through the dunes, along the beach, and down the riverbank. This hike mainly follows the wooden boardwalks of the Passadiços de Alvor and is called ‘Ao Sabor da Maré’ (or ‘At the whim of tides’). The river here, close to the sea, is subject to the tides. We went there during low tide and were able to walk on the riverbed.
#3 The Rocha Delicada Trail
- 6.1 kilometers
- from Mexilhoeira Grande train station at Portimão
- 20 minutes drive from Lagos
- hiking map
At the mouth of the Alvor River into the sea, you’ll find a second walk in the same nature reserve called Rocha Delicada Trail. It is one of the few Algarve trails that can be done without a car and by public transport. The route begins at the Mexilhoeira Grande train station, which is near Portimao. There is an information sign on the platform with the itinerary of the trail and some information about the area. The route loops along the lagoon of the Alvor River. The section at the lagoon, roughly halfway through the journey, is gorgeous to see. You’re likely able to spot flamingos here and bird watchers should bring their binoculars since this is a popular nesting area for birds.
If you have a rental vehicle and particularly enjoy this middle section, you may also skip the remainder of the trail. You may reach the lagoon by driving all the way to it in your automobile and parking there, where you can walk the middle portion of the trail.
#4 Lilac Trail
- 6 kilometers
- at Barão de São João
- 15 minutes drive from Lagos
- hiking map
Do you want to explore a different side of the Algarve? Then depart the well-known beach route and travel a bit further inland at Lagos to walk the Lilac Trail. The starting point is Barão de São João, which is only a 15-minute drive from Lagos.
The Lilac Trail will bring you to the Barão de São João National Park and further inland in the Algarve. So don’t expect dramatic rock cliffs or big beaches on this hike, but a lovely area of forest. On hot days, this stroll around Lagos is highly suggested since a portion of it goes in the shade.
Where the route first runs along a wide road with some cars passing by, you soon enter a lush green forest with pine trees. The sculptures, which are accompanied by Portuguese poems along the trail through the forest, are a great addition to the walk. At last, you will come out from the shaded forest to an area with impressively huge windmills. The route is marked with yellow-red signs and markers, but there are more hiking trails in the area so it’s helpful to use a hiking map.
#5 More hiking trails not far from Lagos
Lagos is strategically positioned on the Algarve, making it possible to access all of the Algarve’s top hikes. We mentioned four hikes that are very close to Lagos in this blog, but you may also go to other great hiking trails in a relatively short time from Lagos.
Read more: the top 15 best hikes in the Algarve.
In 40 minutes, you’ll be in Sagres, the Algarve’s southwestern tip, and all of the villages, beaches and towns between Lagos and Faro are only a short drive away. Great hiking trails in the Algarve that are within one hour’s drive from Lagos include the following:
- The Pontal da Carrapateira hike along the impressive west coast of the Algarve (35 minutes drive from Lagos)
- The Trail of Headlands along the beautiful rocky coast from picturesque Ferragudo (38 minutes drive from Lagos)
- The Seven Hanging Valleys Trail along the most famous rock formations of the Algarve and picturesque beaches and bays (40 minutes drive from Lagos)
- The Carvoeiro Boardwalk of only 600 meters long, but with impressive descents along the rocks to great viewpoints and the Algar Seco Caves (40 minutes drive from Lagos)
- The Falésia Beach Trail near Albufeira along the white-orange rocks and one of the most beautiful beaches of the Algarve (50 minutes drive from Lagos)