Found in the Barlavento region of the Algarve, southern Portugal, Lagos is one of the most visited towns in the region. This is largely thanks to a large number of tourist friendly beaches and vibrant summer nights. However, these days a large part of the appeal is the availability of world class Lagos surfing holidays.
Despite an ancient maritime history dating back 2,000 years, it’s another kind of life on the waves that is putting the town on the map. With a range of beaches and breaks to choose from combined with a lively nightlife, Lagos surfing holidays are well suited to surfers of any level.
The Lagos beaches
The Meia Praia is one of the largest open bays in Europe, and renowned for its soft white sands and calm seas. Popular with tourists and with calmer waters, it’s not always ideal for serious surfing but for beginners and those finding their feet it’s got ideal conditions and a perfect location.
Surfers gather at the Praia de Porto do Mos in the early evenings when conditions are usually best. There’s also good access and a car park. The Praia do Canavial can be tricky to find but that means it’s quieter and the waves less busy. All around the Lagos area there are smaller beaches and sandy coves to discover including Camilo, Dona Ana and Pinhão amongst others.
Most Algarve beaches experience a large tidal range so knowing when to surf is almost as important as knowing where on Lagos surfing holidays. Conditions are best a couple of hours either side of high tide, which might explain how a flat empty beach can be transformed into a thriving surf spot with beautiful peaks in a matter of hours.
In the summer Lagos can get busy, but this creates a great atmosphere and a legendary nightlife. Even in the summer behind the main drag are a series of charming cobbled streets and bars. Outside of the peak summer months it is a more relaxed town, although still lively at night but with a high portion of the visitors being surfers.
Locals are really friendly, as they are all over Portugal. Out on the waves if you show a bit of respect and follow normal surf etiquette you won’t have any problems with local surfers.