The Algarve Coast in Portugal is known for its breathtaking cliffs, golden beaches, picturesque villages and hidden caves, and offers a wealth of photo spots. From the vibrant town of Lagos to the picturesque village of Burgau and the mesmerizing Benagil Cave, each destination on the Algarve Coast has its unique charm. In this blog post, we’ve listed the most Instagrammable places on the Algarve Coast, including links to their exact locations.
The coastal town of Lagos offers amazing cliffs and rock formations, lots of beaches and a charming historic town center. The most Instagrammable places can be found along the cliffs.
Ponta da Piedade
All the way south of the town is Ponta da Piedade. From the top of the cliffs at Ponta da Piedade, you’ll look out on incredible rock formations in the sea. In our opinion, the rock formations here are the most captivating ones in the region. There’s a small, but sketchy path that you can take to get closer to the edge of the cliffs. Be very careful though when taking this path. It can be very crowded during the high season and somehow everyone wants to get as close as possible to the edge of the cliffs, seemingly not realizing how dangerous it can be. You definitely don’t need to get to the very end of the sketchy path to take photos with the cliffs in the background.
From the top of the cliffs there are stairs that take you down all the way to the water. We’d recommend getting down these stairs even if it’s for the views along the way. All the way down, you can watch the rock formations from a lower point of view. This is also the place where you can embark on boat tours that sail past (and through) the grottos near Ponta da Piedade. If you want to take photos here, we’d recommend getting there early in the morning. We got there at around 09:00 and we’re one of the first people down the stairs, but the crowds came rushing in soon. As there isn’t a lot of space down the stairs, it’s almost impossible to take photos when it’s crowded. We have to admit that the view from on top of the cliffs is better than all the way down the stairs.
Lagos Cliff Walk
From Ponta da Piedade, there’s a coastal path that takes you all the way back to the town. In one direction, the coastal walk is around 3 km long. Large parts of the path consist of wooden walkways that don’t go near the cliffs. Whenever you see a beautiful sight, you can get off the wooden trail and walk towards the edge of the cliff (but not too close).
We decided to fly the drone too to capture the rock formations from an aerial point of view. However, our drone constantly almost got attacked by a flock of seagulls, so we just quickly took a photo and, luckily, safely landed the drone. We don’t know whether the aggressive seagulls are a seasonal thing (we were in Lagos at the beginning of July) or a year-round thing, but be cautious when flying a drone.
Lagos is home to some stunning beaches and the trail of the Lagos Cliff Walk goes past all of them. Although we didn’t do the entire Lagos Cliff Walk and stopped right before Praia do Camilo, this didn’t stop us from visiting Praia do Camilo and the other beaches. Even better, we visited these beaches during the most beautiful time of the day: sunset. None of the beaches have a direct view of the sunset, but you can watch the colors of the sky. The beaches have direct sunrise views, so if you’re an early riser that might be beautiful to see too.
Praia do Camilo
Praia do Camilo is a stretch of beach and is mostly recognizable by the stairs that head down to the beach. From the stairs you have a beautiful view of the rock formations in the sea and, if you’re there during sunset, the beautiful sunset colors of the sky.
Praia Dona Ana
Praia Dona Ana is one of the biggest beaches in Lagos making it look like a nice beach for sunbathing during the day. However, we wouldn’t recommend taking photos here during the day, as it will be packed (at least in summer). When you’re down at the beach, there’s plenty of spots to take photos from. We choose a spot on the sound end of the beach with the most rock formations in the background. By taking photos from down at the beach you can really tell how tall the rock formations are.
Praia dos Estudantes
Praia dos Estudantes is one of the most beautiful beaches in Lagos because of its unique feature: the Roman style bridge connecting two rock formations. The bridge is a remnant of the fortress of Pinhão. The bridge and the rock formations aren’t accessible, so you can only admire it from the beach. Praia dos Estudantes actually consists of two small beaches, connected to each other by a tunnel. The Roman style bridge is on the southern part of the beach, so you have to walk through the tunnel to get there. Be aware that there can be a bit of water inside the tunnel during high tide. You can access the northern part of Praia dos Estudantes by the stairs next to Mar Restaurant on top of the cliffs or from the tunnel on the southern end of Praia da Batata.
Praia da Batata
Praia da Batata is the beach that is closest to the city center of Lagos. It’s a large beach, but due to the proximity to the city center, it’s very crowded on beach days. The walkway next to the road offers a beautiful view of the beach and, during sunset, the colors of the sky. It’s a nice area to go for a walk when visiting Lagos.
Praia da Marinha
Praia da Marinha is known as one of the most beautiful beaches on the Algarve Coast, and we can see why. When walking to the beach from the top of the cliffs, you’re already greeted with panoramic views of the dramatic coastal landscape and the unique rock formations. Once down at the beach, the rock formations look even more impressive. The rock formations on the western end of the beach are especially mesmerizing to look at. We’d recommend simply strolling around the beach and looking for a nice spot to take a photo with the rock formations in the background. If the weather allows it, Praia da Marinha is great for a beach day too.
Praia da Marinha - Benagil coastal walk
There’s a coastal walk between Praia da Marinha and Benagil with amazing views along the way. The cliff walk between Praia da Marinha and Benagil is part of a longer 12 km long trail called the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail. The walk from Praia da Marinha to Benagil is just 2 km long and takes less than 30 minutes. Keep your eyes peeled for some great photo spots, as there are plenty with the beautiful views from the cliffs. We loved the views from the top of Praia da Marinha.
Bring plenty of water and snacks if you’re doing this cliff walk in summer to make it more enjoyable. If you can, we’d recommend doing the walk in the morning or in the late afternoon. We did the cliff walk on a very hot day right past after noon and only brought half a liter of water for the both of us, and it was the worst.
Benagil is the most famous for its unique cave, the Benagil Cave or Algar de Benagil. Benagil Cave is unique for its hole in the ceiling that lets the sunlight stream in, creating a unique effect inside the cave. The cave is located just around the corner from the beach. The only way to access the cave is by kayak, SUP board or boat. If you’re going on a boat tour, you can’t get out of the boat inside the cave, as boats aren’t allowed to embark. Therefore, if you want to take photos inside Benagil Cave, your only options are getting there by kayak or SUP board. You can either opt for a kayak or SUP tour, or you can rent a kayak or SUP board and get there individually. We rented a kayak for the two of us and paddled along the coast by ourselves, without a tour. We really liked this as we could go at our own pace. There are moments that it’s more crowded in the Benagil Cave when a tour arrives, however, we didn’t feel it was too crowded to take photos. We made a reservation online for a kayak at the first possible time slot of 09:30 at Taruga Benagil Tours (LINK) https://www.tarugabenagiltours.pt/ and picked our kayak up at Benagil Beach. We were in the cave a little after 09:30 in the morning.
From Benagil, you can easily kayak all the way to Praia da Marinha. It’s actually way closer than we thought and we got there in a breeze. It’s amazing to be so close to the rock formations in the water. You can even paddle through the rock formations with holes.
Burgau is our favorite village on the Algarve Coast and is absolutely worth visiting. It’s a tiny but quaint village, filled with the most charming buildings and most of them are adorned with bright pink bougainvilleas. We would highly recommend strolling through the streets of the village and soaking it all in. Our favorite photo spots were the houses with bougainvilleas.
Another charming village on the Algarve Coast is Ferragudo. We can highly recommend meandering through the streets and keeping your eyes peeled for beautiful photo spots. With the pretty houses and bougainvilleas, there are plentyis isn’t hard.
When you’re done with strolling through the streets of Ferragudao, make sure you cross the bridge and head towards the fishing boats that are scattered around a stretch of beach. While this beach isn’t suitable for sunbathing, it’s a perfect spot to take a photo with the fishing boats and the white houses of Ferragudo in the background.
If you’re heading to Sagres by car, make sure to stop at Ceramica Paraiso in Vila do Bispo. This ceramics store is only 10-minutes away from Sagres and is absolutely worth a visitstopping by. The outer walls of the store are decorated with all kinds of different and colorful plates, making it a perfect backdrop for a photo. We visited in the middle of the day and it wasn’t crowded at all with people wanting to take photos here. When you’re done taking photos, head inside the store for souvenir shopping. They offer a huge collection of ceramics for very reasonable prices. Don’t forget to bring cash as you can’t pay by card.
There’s also a ceramics store in Sagres with similar ceramics on the outer walls as Ceramica Paraiso. We believe that this store is smaller and therefore we opted for Ceramica Paraiso as we wanted to do some ceramics shopping. If you just want to take photos of the walls with colorful plates, the store in Sagres might be a good option too.
Praia da Mareta
Sagres is a lovely town to stroll around. When in Sagres make sure to check out Praia da Mareta, which is a large beautiful beach in Sagres and is great for surfing. West to the beach, you can walk on top of the cliffs to the Sagres Fortress. This walk offers great views of Praia da Mareta, the rugged coastline and the Atlantic Ocean in the background, making it a beautiful photo spot.
From the captivating cliffs and beaches of Lagos and Sagres to the charming villages of Burgau and Ferragudo, the Algarve Coast offers endless Insta-worthy photo spots that will take your feed to the next level. We hope this blog post with the most Instagrammable places along the Algarve Coast has inspired you to plan a trip to this beautiful region in Portugal.
Have you been to the Algarve Coast or is it still on your travel bucket list? Let us know in the comments below!
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