Miles of craggy shoreline, hidden coves, sculpted cliffs, and dramatic ocean panoramas are the best reasons to visit Ponta da Piedade. The Ponta da Piedade features gold-dusted limestone rock formations that jut out into the turquoise tones of the Atlantic Ocean.
Located in the Algarve region of Portugal, Ponta da Piedade is one of the most beautiful beach destinations in the world. This stunning headland has rock formations of up to 65 feet in height with caves, grottoes, and sea arches to kayak through and around.
For those not up on geology 101, a headland is a narrow strip of high land (like a rock formation or cliff of sorts) that extends from the land into the water. You could also use the word promontory to describe this movingly-beautiful geologic feature.
From the top of the headland, you’ll be able to walk along the edge of the rugged cliffs or walk down a stairway (it’s only 187 steps) to the water below. You can enjoy sandy coves, caves, and beaches like Batata Beach, Camilo Beach, Praia da Boneca, or Praia da Balança (also known as Praia Grande Beach).
You can also book a boat tour to avoid those 187 stairs!
How to Get to Ponta da Piedade: Lagos, Portugal
Well known for its immense natural beauty, the Algarve region of Ponta da Piedade is located near the town of Lagos along Portugal’s southern coast. Faro Airport (FAO) is the closest major airport to Lagos.
Getting Around Ponta da Piedade
The Ponta de Piedade headland can be accessed by boat or on foot along coastal trails and stairways leading down to the beach. To reach Ponta da Piedade by car, you’ll need to rent a vehicle or take a taxi. There’s a car park near the lighthouse.
You could also walk to Ponta da Piedade from Lagos. It’s about a 30-minute walk from the city center along a scenic coastal path.
During the high season (the busy summer months), there’s a tourist train that provides rides to and from Ponta da Piedade and Lagos (at an extra cost, of course). Tourist Train Lagos is a super fun and unique way to see the region. It doesn’t run in the shoulder seasons.
Attractions and Activities near Ponta da Piedade
Boat Trips and Kayak Tours
As gorgeous as the Ponta da Piedade area is when viewed from above, the best way to see it is from the water, guided by a friendly local. The people who live in the Algarve and make their living from the sea and their boats have been here for generations.
Local Algarve guides know every nook and cranny of this intriguing landscape, the nearby beaches, hidden caves, and golden cliffs. They can also help you find the best snorkeling stops along the magnificent coastline.
Enjoy Ponta da Piedade boat tours or a kayak tour around the coast, exploring the many caverns and cave beaches, and hearing the stories behind the caves and the romantic and intriguing names of the stunning rock formations, including the Chimney, the Kitchen, the Kissing Couple, the General de Gaulle, the Belas-Artes (fine arts), Camel Head, the Phantom, the Balance, and the Grotto of Love.
Praia da Balança is a nice beach to visit by kayak – and much easier than walking down the stairway from the top of Ponta da Piedade!
From Lagos, you can take SUP tours or a boat tour to Ponta da Piedade. This half-day boat excursion takes you snorkeling, swimming, and sightseeing spots along this southwestern tip of Europe, near Burgau and Ponta de Piedade.
Soak up the sun, take in the sights, and enjoy lunch on board as you sail through this beautiful region of the Algarve by boat or kayak. Boat tours depart from the Marina de Lagos on excursions to Ponta da Piedade.
Ponta da Piedade Boardwalk
The Ponta da Piedade Boardwalk leads you along the western side of the headland and offers a beautiful walk with terrific Algarve coastal and sunset views.
The wooden boardwalk is wheelchair-accessible and a safe option for families with children as it’s not near the edge of the unstable cliffs of Ponta da Piedade.
Two beaches at Lagos Ponta da Piedade include Praia do Camilo (with a perfect layer of golden sand at the end of a staircase) and the more secluded Praia de Dona Ana (which can be accessed by a long wooden stairway). Canavial Beach is to the west of the Ponta da Piedade Lagos cliffs.
Looking for a beach that’s close to town? Praia da Batata is an excellent Algarve coast beach to spend the summer months in Lagos, Portugal.
Ponta da Piedade Lighthouse
Made of stone, the Ponta da Piedade Lighthouse was constructed in 1913 and sits 167 feet above sea level on the cliffs of the Ponta da Piedade. The lighthouse has an attached keeper’s house and an automated light.
The Ponta da Piedade Lighthouse is closed to the public, but it makes a nice Algarve photo op and offers nearby views of the Bay of Lagos and, of course, the sea, cliffs, sunset, and coastline of Lagos, Portugal.
Not interested in a kayak or boat tour? If you have nature enthusiasts and bird buffs in your travel crew, be sure to bring binoculars and walking shoes.
Ponta da Piedade is home to numerous swifts, jackdaws, falcons, and seasonal nesting egrets. The cliffs and caves of the Algarve are also filled with wildlife and plants and flowers such as orchids, agave, and wild figs.
As you explore Ponta da Piedade, you’re bound to start seeking snacks at some point. The restaurant at the top of the cliffs, Bar Sol Nascent, makes a nice spot to enjoy the view, catch a sunset photo, and have a drink or bite to eat.
It’s just a short walk from the parking area.
Igreja de Santo Antonio Church
Looking for history and culture to go with the sand, sun, and cliffs of Ponta da Piedade? Igreja de Santo Antonio is an 18th Century church, originally built in 1707, but destroyed and then rebuilt in 1769.
It features stunning Baroque gilded woodwork, classic blue and white azulejo tiles, and a wooden vaulted ceiling with intricately drawn illustrations. There’s also a statue of S. Eloi, the patron saint of goldsmiths.
Castle of Lagos
Visit the Medieval Castle of Lagos and its stone walls that surrounded the city. The castle was built to protect the town of Lagos and the Algarve region.
Museu de Lagos Dr. José Formosinho
Museu de Lagos Dr. José Formosinho is in a Baroque church and features local and regional history through archaeological displays and art, antique coins, and mineral exhibits.
Authentic Portuguese Cuisine
While in Portugal, you’ll want to try local and regional cuisine like spicy Piri Piri chicken, Arroz de marisco, cataplana, and Arroz de pato. If you’re staying in the town center of Lagos, you’ll have lots of options.
Modern in design, O Camilo overlooks the beaches of Praia Camilo and offers fresh fish, tiger prawns, and other delectable kinds of seafood.
Located along the soft sand of Meia Praia, Bar Quim also specializes in prawns. They’re served hot and sizzling with garlic, olive oil, and coriander. Enjoy a side of crunchy bread and fish soup to accompany them.
For authentic tapas, look no further than Jukebox Tapas & Meals. Piri Piri prawns, fried chorizo, and pork cheek are just a few of their mouthwatering selections.
Tasca Jota serves modern spins on traditional Portuguese cuisines such as tapas, ceviche, and pork belly. Their freshly baked homemade bread is one of its biggest draws.
For after-hours entertainment during your Ponta da Piedade vacation, be sure to check out the local music scene. Stevie Ray’s offers two levels of live music such as jazz, blues, and rock. It’s a terrific spot to unwind with a glass of Poncha, Licor de Amendoa Amarga, or Moscatel.
Bahia Beach Bar has a covered outdoor seating area and tables right on the sand at Meia Praia. Enjoy live music on weekends.
Amuras Bar overlooks the marina. Stake out the terrace for sunset views and enjoy DJs and live music by local artists most nights of the week in the summer.
Where to Stay near Ponta da Piedade
If you’re searching for accommodations and hotels near the caves of Ponta da Piedade, we’ve gathered a few selections for you to consider.
Several advantages to choosing a Ponta da Piedade area hotel include convenience and proximity to the limestone cliffs and other natural beauty and scenic attractions of Ponta da Piedade in Lagos, Portugal.
Dona Ana Garden
The pet-friendly Dona Ana Garden offers free Wi-Fi, an outdoor heated pool, tropical gardens, and a fish pond. This Algarve hotel is an excellent choice for visiting the coastline, caves, small beach, and rock pillars of Ponta da Piedade as well as any attraction in Lagos or the Benagil Cave in nearby Portimao.
Lagos Marina Guest House
The Lagos Marina Guest House is about 12 minutes from the sand and has a garden, a terrace, and free Wi-Fi. Some guest rooms at this Ponta da Piedade hotel have a kitchenette with a fridge, stovetop, and a microwave.
The Lagos Marina is about 10 minutes away, which is convenient for kayak and boat tours to the cliff tops and coastline of Ponta da Piedade in Lagos, Portugal.
Palm Villa Estudios
Palm Villa Estudios is within a private complex of 10 rooms and offers a pool with umbrellas and sun loungers. Rooms have kitchenettes, a dining area, and either a balcony or a terrace.
The Ponta da Piedade is about a 20-minute walk away.
Costa d’Oiro Ambiance Village
The Mediterranean-inspired Costa d’Oiro Ambiance Village offers a setting of villas, gardens, and terraces near Dona Ana Beach.
There’s a restaurant, a fitness center, a swimming pool, and an on-site restaurant. Some rooms have a private balcony or terrace to enjoy the breathtaking view of the Algarve’s most beautiful beaches and sunset scenes.
Villa Esmeralda Hotel
Villa Esmeralda Hotel, located next to Porto de Mos Beach, features stunning Moorish architecture overlooking the beach. There’s a pool, free Wi-fi, a terrace, and free daily breakfast for guests of this Ponta da Piedade hotel.
Carvi Beach Hotel
Carvi Beach Hotel, located on Dona Ana Beach, has a fitness center and a rooftop terrace with a swimming pool, a bar, and a restaurant. Guest rooms at this beach hotel have balconies, mini-fridges, and free Wi-Fi.
Bicycle rental is also available at this Dona Ana Beach hotel. Camilo Beach is just a quick walk further south along the Lagos, Portugal coastline.
Vila Ponta da Piedade
The spacious and contemporary Vila Ponta da Piedade has an outdoor pool, a restaurant, free Wi-Fi, a garden, and a terrace. It’s conveniently situated to take in scenes of the secluded beaches, amazing rock formations, high cliffs, and beautiful coastline of Ponta da Piedade Lagos.
The sunset probably isn’t too terrible, either.
Boutique Hotel Vivenda Miranda
Boutique Hotel Vivenda Miranda offers an outdoor pool, a spa, Mediterranean gardens, a gourmet restaurant, and views of Porto de Mos Beach. Contemporary guest rooms have a bohemian aesthetic mixed with a traditional Portuguese ambiance. Choose garden or sea views.
It’s near Praia da Canavial and Camilo Beach if you’re into beach hopping after a day of exploring the Ponta da Piedade rock formations. by boat trip.
Apartment with Magnificent Location
Searching for a convenient spot to base your boat and kayak tours to Ponta da Piedade?
This Apartment with a Magnificent Location with Sea View offers one bedroom, one bathroom, a kitchen, a dining area, and a balcony. It can accommodate two guests and features stunning views of the coastline.
A Lovely Two-Bedroom Apartment
This two-bedroom apartment can accommodate up to four people, making it a great option for couples or small families. It’s about 15 minutes from the center of Lagos and near Praia do Camilo and Praia Dona Ana beaches.
There’s a fully-equipped kitchen, a living area, and lots of entertainment options such as satellite TV, books, a DVD player, and a DVD collection. Enjoy Wi-Fi, beach gear, and a balcony overlooking a pool.