Where to Stay in Lagos, Portugal (Insider Tips, Map & Best Hotels)
As someone who has called Lagos home for the past five years, I can confidently say that this vibrant town nestled in the Algarve region of Portugal offers an unparalleled experience. Boasting a captivating old town, stunning landscapes, diverse beaches, and year-round activities, Lagos stands out as one of the top destinations in Algarve.
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Choosing where to stay in Lagos can be a bit daunting for first-time visitors due to its expansive layout and distinct neighborhoods. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, as the ideal area depends on factors like trip duration, the season of your visit, and your interests.
If you’re wondering about the best places to stay in Lagos, especially for a beach holiday, sightseeing adventure, or a brief stop during a road trip, this guide, based on my local insights, is here to help you plan the perfect trip to this enchanting region.
These handpicked areas offer the utmost experience in Lagos:
1. Meia Praia
EXPANSIVE SEASHORE PERFECT FOR BEACH RETREATS.
Meia Praia, situated to the east of Lagos, boasts a sprawling 4-5 kilometers of white sandy beach extending towards Alvor.
This lengthy beach, known as Praia de São Roque closer to the old town and Meia Praia further east, is an excellent choice for a tranquil vacation or an extended beach stay. Unlike the smaller, busier, and harder-to-reach scenic beaches in Lagos, Meia Praia’s expansive and flat terrain makes it ideal for family getaways, water activities, and leisurely strolls.
With numerous boardwalks facilitating easy beach access, this area is particularly convenient for families with young children in strollers.
Meia Praia offers various upscale resorts within walking distance to the beach. Depending on your accommodation, you might even be within a 30-minute walk of the old town (e.g., Vila Gale). If you prefer a more secluded location for a relaxed beach retreat and don’t mind occasional transportation to the city center, these hotels provide an ideal setting.
For a memorable stay, consider these top-rated resorts in Meia Praia:
- €€€ Vila Gale (best value and conveniently close to the town).
- €€€€+ Palmares Beach House Hotel (adults-only luxury option).
- €€€€€ Iberostar Selection Lagos (offering the utmost in luxury).
2. Praia Dona Ana
ENJOY THE MOST PICTURESQUE COASTLINES.
If you seek a stay near these scenic coastlines and beautiful beaches, note that there are limited hotels in this area, especially compared to places like Albufeira. Finding accommodations with stunning views is even rarer.
For those prioritizing breathtaking views, choices are somewhat restricted (see below). Alternatively, you can stay elsewhere and make day trips for sightseeing. Yet, if proximity to the most beautiful Lagos beaches is crucial, there are viable options.
Consider these well-situated hotels near Praia Dona Ana:
- €+ Iberlagos (budget-friendly with nice views, near the beach, and a 15-minute walk from the old town).
- €€ Carvi Beach Hotel (offers the best views, overlooking Praia Dona Ana).
- €€€ Costa d’Oiro Ambiance Village (highest rated, a 10-minute walk to Praia Dona Ana or Praia do Camilo).
Tip: Reviews are essential for understanding the accessibility and distances to town and beaches, so make sure to read them thoroughly.
3. West of Lagos Marina
CENTRAL HUB FOR SIGHTSEEING, EXPLORATION, SHOPPING & DINING.
The area opposite Lagos Marina’s bridge, north of the Municipal Market, is among the prime locations to stay in Lagos. Situated just a 5-10 minute walk from the lively old town and across the bridge from Lagos Marina and the railway station, this central spot offers numerous advantages.
Whether you’re interested in sightseeing, shopping, dining, exploring the old town, or embarking on a boat tour to Ponta da Piedade or Benagil Caves, everything is conveniently accessible from this central location.
Consider these excellent hotels in this central area:
- €€ Tivoli Lagos (highly popular).
- €€€ Hotel Marina Rio (offers great value).
- €€€€ Lagos Avenida Hotel (known for its exceptional beauty).
Tip: The convenient proximity to the railway station simplifies transportation, with a mostly flat 5-minute walk. For those traveling by car, free and large parking lots near the station are available.
While this location isn’t beachfront, you can easily stroll to various beaches within 15-20 minutes, such as Praia de São Roque or Praia da Batata/Praia dos Estudantes.
4. Lagos Old Town
AFFORDABLE AND CENTRALLY LOCATED.
If you prefer being at the heart of the action, Lagos Old Town is an ideal choice. With numerous shops and restaurants at your doorstep, you can easily walk to most attractions within 5-25 minutes.
The main advantage of staying here is the significantly lower accommodation prices compared to other parts of town.
While there are only a handful of hotels in the heart of the old town, you’ll also find guesthouses, B&Bs, and privately rented apartments, providing budget-friendly options.
Explore these outstanding hotels and hostels in the heart of Lagos old town:
- € Olive Hostel (highest-rated hostel).
- € Topcity Hostel & Suites (features a rooftop pool).
- €€ Hotel Lagosmar.
- €€+ Hotel Mar Azul.
Tip: Lagos Marina and the railway station are approximately a 15-20 minute walk away. During the high season, a small ‘ferry’ service operates, providing a quick drop-off on the other side of the river, allowing for a less than 5-minute walk to Praia de São Roque. Praia da Batata and Praia dos Estudantes are also easily reachable within 5-10 minutes from the heart of the old town.
5. Praia de Porto Mós
SCENIC BEAUTY, SUNSETS, AND LUXURIOUS ACCOMMODATIONS – IDEAL FOR A PEACEFUL GETAWAY.
Praia de Porto Mós, situated to the west of Lagos, is a captivating blend of the scenic Dona Ana or Camilo beaches and the expansive Meia Praia (see below).
Bordered by steep cliffs, this beach offers a lengthy stretch of sand with accessible car access and only a few stairs (unlike the steep staircase at Praia do Camilo).
Staying here provides convenient access to some of the most breathtaking scenery around Lagos, featuring the best westward-facing view for sunsets in the area. Additionally, this region offers several excellent accommodation options in the mid-to-upper price range.
The old town is approximately a half-hour (hilly) walk away, but taxis are readily available for easy transportation to the center.
Consider these highly-rated hotels in this area:
- €€€+ Lagos Atlantic Hotel (top-rated).
- €€€ Belmar Spa & Beach Resort (highly popular).
- €€€+ Clube Porto Mos (closest to the beach, usually with a 3-night minimum stay).
- €€€€ Cascade Wellness Resort (large resort with hotel, villas, apartments, multiple pools, etc.).
- €€€€€ Boutique Hotel Vivenda Miranda (offers ultimate luxury).
Tip: Keep in mind that factors such as accessibility, views, and walking distances vary based on the specific location of your chosen accommodation.
Conclusion & Accommodation Map
Here concludes our guide to uncovering some of the prime areas and accommodations in Lagos. I trust it provides valuable insights for your stay.
In summary, here are recommendations for where to stay in Lagos:
- If you’re on a tight budget or desire a central location, consider staying in the heart of the old town.
- If your focus is on sightseeing, opt for proximity to Lagos Marina. This area not only offers access to the attractions of the old town but also convenient walks to beautiful beaches.
- For a blissful beach holiday, choose from Praia de Porto Mós, Meia Praia, or the surroundings of Praia Dona Ana.
TIP: Explore our blog for more travel inspiration and detailed information on Algarve. Given our frequent visits to the region, we have a wealth of articles covering all the charming spots.
TIP: Utilize the map below to compare various accommodations in Lagos. Simply input your group size and travel dates to discover available options for your stay. Note that some Algarve hotels may require a minimum stay of 2-3 nights, and a few establishments close during the winter season (typically November through March).