The Marina de Lagos – your comprehensive guide
Nestled in the Bay of Lagos, Portugal, the Marina de Lagos has been my cherished haven for the past five years. Since its inauguration in 1994, over 40,000 boats have graced this enchanting harbor. With a charming promenade, a myriad of restaurants, and lively bars, the Marina de Lagos remains one of my go-to spots in the heart of Lagos, perfect for a leisurely coffee or drinks with friends.
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How to get to the Marina?
Embarking on a stroll from the Old Town, the Marina is a mere 900 meters away, while the bus station stands just 400 meters across the pedestrian bridge. For those journeying from Lisbon to Lagos by bus, a pleasant walk to the Marina is a viable option, especially if you’re traveling light. Additionally, the convenience of having the train station right at the Marina is a boon for those arriving from Faro or any other town.
Bus #2 offers a convenient route, connecting the bus terminal, Porto de Mos Beach, Marina de Lagos, and Meia Praia. Meanwhile, the tourist train makes stops at the Marina, providing a scenic journey from the Old Town to Ponta da Piedade.
Lagos Marina amenities
- The Marina boasts all essential amenities, ensuring a comfortable stay for visitors.
- Explore numerous restaurants and coffee shops, each offering diverse menus.
- Across the road from the Marina, a large Pingo Doce supermarket awaits, along with a sizable liquor store, Garcias, and a pet shop.
- Discover tour agencies offering a range of exciting excursions.
- Opt for short-term rentals as most apartments in the Marina cater to this.
- Zany, a day childcare center, situated at the north end, offers a convenient service from 9 am to 6 pm, seven days a week.
- Enjoy a playground with soft ground, a slide, and swings located in the northern end behind Marina Bar.
- Access free toilets scattered throughout the Marina for your convenience.
- Meia Praia Beach is a mere 800 meters away, offering a perfect escape by the sea.
- The train station is conveniently located just 50 meters from the Marina de Lagos.
- Bus stops are easily accessible, with bus #2 connecting the Marina de Lagos to the bus terminal, beaches, and the Old Town.
What to do in the Marina de Lagos?
Embarking on a serene walk along the Passeio dos Descobrimentos, especially in the evenings, offers breathtaking views of the harbor. Sunset casts a magical glow over the Marina, with the top-floor restaurants providing the best vantage points. For a tranquil Marina experience away from the crowds, I recommend an early morning stroll before 9 am.
Dining takes center stage as the primary activity in the Marina de Lagos. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you’ll find delectable cuisine, impressive vistas, and a vibrant atmosphere. More details about dining options can be found below.
Embarking on a boat tour to local attractions like Ponta da Piedade or the Benagil Cave stands out as a must-do activity in Lagos. The Marina de Lagos serves as the departure point for the majority of boat and kayak tours. Even if you purchase a tour elsewhere in town, you’ll board the boat at the Marina. Numerous stands on the south side of the Marina offer boat tours.
Recommended boat tours from the Marina:
- Lagos: Boat Cruise to Ponta da Piedade
- From Lagos: Family-Friendly Catamaran Tour of Benagil
- Lagos: 90-Minute Dolphin Watching by Catamaran
During the season, a small amusement park graces the south end of the Marina, offering rides mostly geared toward children. The Ferris wheel ride at sunset is a particular highlight, offering spectacular views of the Marina and the town.
How far is the nearest beach?
The nearest beach, Sao Roque/Meia Praia, is approximately 800 meters from the Marina de Lagos. From June to September, the beach provides umbrella and beach chair rentals. With wheelchair access, Sao Roque and Meia Praia form a lengthy sandy stretch, ensuring ample space even during peak months. Ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing, it remains one of the best beaches in Lagos. My family enjoys evening walks here, with three restaurants conveniently located at the access point to Sao Roque Beach.
Where to park?
Marina de Lagos offers two spacious free parking lots. A large gravel parking lot at the south end, on the right side of the train station, is occasionally reduced in size during the temporary amusement park setup. The second parking lot, more expansive and paved, sits on the left side of the train station, accessible via a small bridge. Even during peak season, finding a parking spot here is generally hassle-free.
Where to eat in Lagos Marina?
Discovering an array of restaurants and bars, the Marina is our go-to spot for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a casual drink. Most places start buzzing after 9 am, and arriving earlier, especially in the morning, offers a more serene experience without the tourist crowds. For those seeking a lively atmosphere and a younger crowd, the bars in the Old Town of Lagos are a better fit.
The main two-storey building houses the majority of restaurants, attracting a steady flow of tourists. During lunch and sunset hours, securing a table on the bottom floor can be a challenge.
Artesão, our preferred cafe, is a breakfast and coffee haven with a diverse menu. While we love the beetroot hummus toast, granola bowl with acai and berries, and the chicken wrap, the waiting time can be a drawback for those in a hurry.
For sundown drinks and occasional dinners, we frequent Quay Restaurant, known for its English dishes like breakfast, fish and chips, and homemade pies. Booking a window table in advance is advisable for the best views.
Lazy Jacks offers live music on weekends, creating a lively atmosphere catering more to those over 50.
Head to the top-floor Lighthouse Bar for sports games, live music, and a menu featuring fish and meat mains, tapas, burgers, and pizzas, including English breakfast served until 5 pm.
For a romantic dinner, Portofinos on the second floor stands out as the best pizza place. The extensive menu offers a variety of pizzas and pasta dishes with a terrace providing a perfect setting for sunset views over the harbor.
Other options include Southeast Bistro, Lazy Jack, Amuras Bar, Pizza Hut, and a seafood haven called Pearl located at the south corner next to the pedestrian bridge, offering fresh seafood and live music at sunset.
The northern part of Lagos Marina is less bustling, hosting four restaurants: Iwashi sushi, Sunset Restaurant and Bar, Marina Bar, and Waterfront Bar & Bistro, each offering unique dining experiences.
Arriving by boat
As one of the sought-after sailing harbors in Europe, the Marina de Lagos welcomes seafarers through the entrance between Sao Roque Beach and the Fortress of Lagos. The entrance is marked by two moles. Navigate up the Bensafrim river to reach the harbor, where you can berth your yacht for short or extended stays. Explore services and tariffs on the official website.
Places to stay in the Marina
Choosing the Marina for your stay offers a refreshing alternative to the crowded Old Town, especially during the peak season. With all the amenities needed for a holiday, consider the following accommodation options:
- Middle price | Boutique Hotel Marina S. Roque |
- High-end | Marina Club Lagos Resort | Lagos Workation Apartment |