Lagos is located in one of the most beautiful areas in the Algarve region of Portugal. It’s also one of the few towns that truly has everything in one place: a charming and lively old town, gorgeous scenery, a wide variety of beaches, and lots to see and do in all seasons.
All this makes Lagos one of the absolute best places to stay in Algarve.
However, planning your first holiday in Lagos might look a bit overwhelming because the town is quite stretched out and has several very different areas. There is not one straightforward answer on which area is the best to stay in. So much depends on the trip duration, the season when you are visiting, and also on your interests…
Probably the most important factor in deciding where to stay in Lagos is what kind of a trip you are planning: a relaxing beach holiday, a sightseeing vacation with one ‘home base’ in the Algarve, or a road trip where Lagos is just a short stop for a night or two (in that case, be sure that your hotel has parking!).
Good to know: We travel to Algarve multiple times per year and absolutely love Lagos. In this guide, we share our ‘insider’ tips on the very best areas and hotels in Lagos to help you plan a perfect trip to this beautiful region. Find out!
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE TO READ: Top Sights & Best Things to Do in Lagos
These are the VERY BEST areas to stay in Lagos:
1. West of Lagos Marina
CENTRAL LOCATION – PERFECT FOR SIGHTSEEING, EXCURSIONS, SHOPPING & DINING.
The old town area opposite the bridge from Lagos Marina is one of the absolute best places to stay in Lagos. This is basically the area north of the Municipal Market and west of Lagos Marina.
Staying here has many advantages and the location couldn’t be more central. It’s just 5-10 minutes walk from the hustle and bustle of the old town, and just across the bridge from Lagos Marina and the railway station.
Whether you are interested in sightseeing, shopping, dining, want to explore the old town of Lagos, or take a boat tour to Ponta da Piedade or Benagil Caves, everything is within easy reach from here.
Good to know: The proximity to the railway station makes it really simple to get to/from your accommodation without having to worry about transportation (and the 5-minute walk is mostly flat). If you are traveling by car and your accommodation doesn’t have parking, you can simply use one of the big (and – for now – free) car parks near the station.
While the location is not ideal for the beaches in the sense that they are not right in front of the hotel, you can easily walk to several different beaches in about 15-20 minutes (e.g. Praia de São Roque or Praia da Batata/ Praia dos Estudantes).
Here are the best hotels in this area:
- €€€€ Lagos Avenida Hotel (most beautiful).
- €€€ Hotel Marina Rio (best value).
- €€ Tivoli Lagos (most popular).
2. Lagos Old Town
If you rather stay right in the middle of all the action, then the old town of Lagos might be just what you are looking for. There are tons of shops and restaurants right at your doorstep and you can walk to most sights and points of interest in Lagos in 5-25 minutes.
The main advantage of staying here is that the accommodation prices are quite a lot lower than in the other parts of town.
There are just a few hotels in the heart of the old town, but you can also find some guesthouses, B&Bs, and privately rented apartments.
Good to know: Lagos Marina and the railway station are about 15-20 minutes walk away from here. In the high season, there is a small ‘ferry’ service that drops you off at the other side of the river from where you can walk to Praia de São Roque in less than 5 minutes. Praia da Batata and Praia dos Estudantes are also just 5-10 minutes walk from the heart of the old town.
Please also note that most accommodations in the old town are rather simple and don’t have a swimming pool or parking. You may also want to know that some parts of the old town are hilly, so pay attention to what other people say in the reviews when deciding on where to stay in Lagos old town!
Here are the best hotels and hostels in the heart of Lagos old town:
- €€+ Hotel Mar Azul.
- €€ Hotel Lagosmar.
- € Topcity Hostel & Suites (this hostel has a rooftop pool).
- € Olive Hostel (best-rated hostel).
3. Praia Dona Ana
MOST SCENIC COASTLINES.
Many people decide to stay in Lagos after seeing the stunning images of Lagos coastline around Ponta da Piedade, Praia Dona Ana, and Praia do Camilo.
If you are also looking for a nice place to stay close to the scenic coastline and most beautiful beaches of Lagos, you should know that there are hardly any hotels in this area, let alone really nice resorts like the ones you find around Albufeira… There are even fewer places from where you can enjoy the best views straight from your accommodation…
So if the views are what you are after, you’ll have very limited choices (see below). Of course, you can just as well stay anywhere else and come here for sightseeing. But if you want to be as close to the most beautiful beaches of Lagos as possible, then there are several options.
Good to know: Accessibility and distances to town and beaches highly depend on the accommodation that you choose. So be sure to read reviews so that you know exactly what to expect.
Here are some of the best-located hotels in the area close to Praia Dona Ana:
- €€€ Costa d’Oiro Ambiance Village (best rated). No views, but just 10 minutes walk to either Praia Dona Ana or Praia do Camilo, 15 minutes walk to Ponta da Piedade lighthouse, and 20 minutes from the old town.
- €€ Carvi Beach Hotel (best views). This hotel overlooks Praia Dona Ana and has the most scenic location in Lagos.
- €+ Iberlagos (budget-friendly). Nice views, near the beach, and about 15 minutes walk from the old town.
READ ALSO: Most Beautiful Beaches in Algarve
4. Praia de Porto Mós
SCENIC LOCATION, SUNSETS & NICE RESORTS – PERFECT FOR A RELAXING VACATION.
Praia de Porto Mós is another nice beach in Lagos. It’s located to the west of town and is a bit of a mixture between the scenic beaches like Dona Ana or Camilo, and the flat long beach like Meia Praia (see below).
This beach is surrounded by steep cliffs but also has a rather long stretch of sand. You can also reach it by car and there are just a few stairs to go down (not comparable to the steep staircase at Praia do Camilo).
The nice thing about staying here is that you have easy access to some of the most beautiful scenery around Lagos, including the best westward-facing view for sunsets in the area. In addition, this area has several very good lodging options in the mid-to-upper price range.
The old town is about half an hour’s (hilly) walk from here, but you can easily take a taxi to the center.
Good to know: Please note that accessibility, views, or walking distances highly vary depening on the exact location of the accommodation that you ultimately choose.
Here are the best-rated hotels in this area:
- €€€€€ Boutique Hotel Vivenda Miranda (most luxurious).
- €€€€ Cascade Wellness Resort (huge resort with hotel, villas, apartments, several pools, etc.).
- €€€+ Clube Porto Mos (closest to the beach, but usually has a 3-night minimum stay requirement).
- €€€+ Lagos Atlantic Hotel (best rated).
- €€€ Belmar Spa & Beach Resort (most popular).
5. Meia Praia
LONG FLAT BEACH – PERFECT FOR BEACH VACATIONS.
Meia Praia is a long white sand beach to the east of Lagos. Its total length is about 4-5 kilometers, stretching all the way toward Alvor.
This is the same beach that you can walk to from Lagos Marina or get to by ferry from the old town. But – as it’s quite common in the Algarve – the beach has several different names. So the part closer to the old town is called Praia de São Roque and the beach further east is Meia Praia, but it’s basically the same beach.
Anyway, if you are looking for the best area for a relaxing vacation or a longer beach holiday in Lagos, then this is the place to be. While the most scenic beaches of Lagos are small, busy, and not easy to access, Meia Praia is large and flat making it a perfect option for family vacations, watersports, or long walks.
The area has many boardwalks making it really easy to cover bigger distances on the beach and is also very convenient for families with younger kids in a stroller.
There are several very nice resorts in this area and you can easily walk to the beach from them. Depending on the accommodation that you choose, you might be within walking distance of the old town (e.g. 30 minutes walk from Vila Gale). But if you don’t need to be in the city center very often (or don’t mind taking a taxi or a bus), then the location of some of these hotels is perfect for a relaxing beach vacation.
Here are the best resorts in this area:
- €€€€€ Iberostar Selection Lagos (the most luxurious).
- €€€€+ Palmares Beach House Hotel (adults only).
- €€€ Vila Gale (best value and closest to town).
READ ALSO: Algarve Travel Tips & Useful Info
Conclusion & Accommodation Map
So, this is our guide to some of the best areas and hotels in Lagos. I hope that it gives you a better idea of what to expect.
To summarize – where to stay in Lagos:
- If you are looking for a beach holiday, opt for Praia de Porto Mós, Meia Praia, or the area around Praia Dona Ana.
- If you are mostly interested in sightseeing, stay close to Lagos Marina. This area is also great for everything that the old town has to offer, plus, you can walk to some nice beaches if you want to.
- If you are traveling on a lower budget or want to be in the center of all the action, stay in the heart of the old town.
TIP: Using the map below, you can compare different accommodations in Lagos. Simply insert your group size and travel dates, and you will see what’s available for your stay. Keep in mind that some hotels in Algarve have a minimum stay requirement of 2-3 nights. Also, some hotels and resorts are closed for the winter season (+-November through March).
TIP: If you are looking for more travel inspiration and information for visiting Algarve, look around on our blog. As already said, we visit the region very often and have tons of articles with more information for all the nicest places.
We highlighted some of the articles below, and you can find a complete overview on our Portugal travel page.
More travel inspiration and information for Algarve:
- Algarve Best Beaches
- Best Things to Do in Algarve
- Best Things to Do in Algarve for Families
- Best Water Parks in Algarve
- Best Towns to Visit in Algarve
- Best Things to Do in Faro
- Best Things to Do in Tavira
- Best Things to Do in Albufeira
- Best Things to Do in Sagres
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