The most effective issues to do in Lagos with youngsters


Wherever you go to on Portugal’s Algarve, you’ll discover family-friendly sights and boat journeys galore – however in the event you’re visiting the quieter western finish on a household vacation, save a while to discover Lagos with youngsters.

My daughter looks down to boats on the sea from the cliff path near Ponta da Piedade, an easy trip from Lagos with kids
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One of many largest cities within the Western Algarve – though it’s definitely not big – it’s not arduous to fill a day or extra. A brief drive from well-liked vacationer resorts like Praia da Luz, in the event you’re taking a ship tour to Ponta da Piedade or a dolphin watching cruise, you’ll in all probability end up ranging from Lagos anyway.

So whether or not you’re basing your self within the city or trying to fill the remainder of your day round a ship journey, listed here are among the finest issues to do in Lagos with youngsters.

For those who’re on the lookout for issues to do in Lagos, Nigeria with youngsters, I’m afraid this isn’t the submit for you – all my suggestions are about Lagos, Portugal with youngsters

The most effective seashores close to Lagos with youngsters

Like the remainder of the Algarve, you’ll discover loads of locations to paddle and sunbathe, with a string of larger seashores, in addition to smaller coves round Lagos.

Meia Praia seashore stretches for a few miles from Lagos in the event you’re on the lookout for golden sands, plus there’s browsing right here. Praia de Alvor continues alongside the coast east, however keep in mind that in the event you’re heading right here from Lagos, you do should detour inland to achieve it because the stretch of water between the 2 is impassable.

On the stretch of coast main from the fortress, Praia da Batata can also be in strolling distance of the city centre. It’s small so can get busy, and isn’t the prettiest seashore although. Close by Praia dos Estudantes is equally small however has the quirky bonus that you just enter by means of a tunnel, and at low tide you may stroll by means of a rock arch to the following cove over.

View of the cliffs at Dona Ana Beach near Lagos, with people on the sandy cove just seen next to the turquoise water - one of the best beaches near Lagos with older kids

For those who’ve obtained a automotive, it’s value heading a bit additional to Praia Dona Ana with these typical Algarve golden cliffs and golden sand, whereas Praia do Camilo, a little bit means on, can also be beautiful – typically fairly quiet, with picket steps main down from its cliffs to the seashore.

It may be value heading a little bit means out of Lagos to discover a family-friendly seashore. Praia da Luz has a carpark close to the seashore and is barely a 10-minute drive, with sunloungers to hire (count on to pay from 17 Euros for a pair with parasol for the day), watersports and a string of eating places and cafes lining the seashore.

View along Praia da Luz beach with the black rock cliffs in the background - one of the best beaches near Lagos with kids

Head to the western finish of Luz, and there’s one other small seashore simply past the outdated fortress – the sandy space is lined with big rocks and there are not any loungers however it may be quieter. Strolling distance from the Ice Cream Manufacturing unit, it’s value queueing for his or her mixture of flavours and taking a cone right down to the sand with you.

For surfers and wannabe surfers, Praia Porto do Mos is one other big open stretch of sand with some nice waves – equally good for letting youngsters burn off some power and fly kites although too.

View of the sea from the cliff path near Ponta da Piedade, an easy trip from Lagos with kids

Praia do Canavial subsequent door is smaller and likewise good for browsing, however could be quieter. Carry your personal parasol and attempt to keep away from excessive tide although because the seashore shrinks dramatically because the waves are available in.

The clifftop boardwalk path to Ponta de Piedade begins simply above the seashore, so it’s simple to mix a stroll to the lighthouse with a while on the sand.

For extra improbable seashores and nice issues to do within the Algarve with youngsters, try my high picks

Take a ship tour

A household vacation within the Algarve isn’t full with out no less than one boat journey – and there are many differing kinds which go away from Lagos for households, so that you’ll be tempted to decide on multiple.

Small white boat seen on the water behind a Portuguese flag, with kayaks in the distance near the cliffs - there's a huge choice of boat trips from Lagos for families

You may simply flip as much as the marina, the place you’ll see an entire string of stalls and kiosks (and one other set in entrance of the Mercado Municipal), attempting to influence you to purchase tickets to their explicit tour – it’s value wanting on-line upfront although, as some do promote out shortly, whereas others haven’t any shade on the boat so aren’t all the time ideally suited for teenagers.

For extra concepts of the finest Algarve boat excursions with youngsters, try my high picks

Boat excursions to Ponta de Piedade

The rock formations and caves simply down the coast from Lagos are one of many largest sights and also you received’t be in need of alternative for a ship journey taking you right here.

Some journey in small boats from Lagos marina, whereas others take you down the coast in a bigger boat earlier than heading into the caves and coves in a smaller boat, corresponding to this two-hour cruise with Boat Journeys – the choice we selected, which had an awesome guided tour from the smaller boat.

By the way, a whole lot of boat excursions – together with ours – embody time to swim and snorkel. It’s value figuring out that there’s little or no to see underwater round this space, as the ocean is just too cloudy, and even in peak summer season, the water of the Atlantic are nonetheless on the chilly aspect!

For a shorter tour, you may velocity down the coast from Lagos in smaller boats to go straight into the caves – Days of Journey, Boat Journeys and Lagos Grotto Journeys are a couple of of the most effective.

Or journey in fashion with a crusing boat tour to Ponta de Piedade – though there isn’t an enormous quantity of shade on board, you may select and earlier or later departure to keep away from the warmth of the solar in summer season.

Sailing ship on the sea not far from Lagos and the Ponta da Piedade - one of a string of boat trips from Lagos for families

For those who actually need to rise up near the rock formations, you may kayak alongside the shoreline, though if that feels a bit extra effort than you need on vacation, there are kayaking boat excursions the place you cruise alongside the coast earlier than heading out in a kayak – Days of Journey and Precise Boat Journeys are two of the businesses providing this.

Dolphin recognizing boat excursions

The western Algarve is without doubt one of the finest locations to see dolphins when you’re on this a part of Portugal, so there are a string of boat excursions leaving from Lagos.

This 90-minute catamaran cruise with Days of Journey was an awesome possibility: in addition to maintaining a respectful distance from the dolphins, there’s a viewing platform across the entrance and shade over the catamaran’s seats for the journey to and from Lagos.

Two issues value figuring out: if you wish to get an excellent sight from the viewing platform, head there early – on our cruise, individuals moved up entrance early on so it wasn’t simple to search out house later for an excellent view (and there isn’t room for everybody to suit on). Secondly, you’ll nearly definitely get moist from the spray on the experience again!

There are a number of journeys led by marine biologists too – this 90-minute marine safari from SeaLife Dolphin Watching Algarve (a part of Bom Dia) is nice for older youngsters, or an excellent possibility in the event you’re visiting exterior peak summer season as there’s no shade on the boat.

For an extended journey, this half-day catamaran cruise contains dolphin recognizing and time to swim and sunbathe aboard.

Dolphin just seen in the waves on a boat trip from Lagos with kids

For sure, no operator will assure dolphin sightings – they’re wild animals in spite of everything, and it does rely upon the day and the climate. Most will provide a voucher for an additional journey in the event you don’t although.

Throughout our cruise, the dolphins had been searching within the waters round Ponta da Piedade, so we hardly needed to journey to search out the pod, whereas the day earlier than, the boat needed to head 20km out to sea. However both means you’ve obtained an excellent likelihood of recognizing them first time.

Velocity boat tour from Lagos

If you wish to get your coronary heart racing in addition to seeing a couple of views of the shoreline, there are additionally speedboat excursions from Lagos.

This Jetboat tour is for age 8+ and also you’ll spend 45 minutes hurtling alongside the shoreline.

Benagil Caves

Whereas a whole lot of boat excursions to Benagil go away from Portimao, round half-hour’ drive down the coast, you too can discover excursions leaving from Lagos.

To whisk you alongside the coast, this speedboat tour to Benagil is appropriate for aged 8+, or for a barely extra relaxed possibility in a RIB boat, Lagos Grotto Journeys has this two-hour Benagil and Carvoeiro cruise, for age 6+.

For a family-friendly possibility, in the event you’re travelling with youthful youngsters, this 2 1/2 hour catamaran cruise from Lagos visits Benagil, in addition to time to swim.

View across the beach inside the Benagil cave to the hole in its rocky roof - one of the most popular boat trips in the Algarve with kids

Or mix dolphin watching with a cruise to Benagil with this two and a half hour boat journey.

For those who’re planning to go to Portimao, you too can discover loads of different boat excursions to Benagil – we tried this two-hour RIB tour from Atlantis Boat excursions which was nice, nevertheless it’s in all probability not value travelling there only for the boat tour given the alternate options leaving from Lagos.

Pirate ship cruise

If it’s the cruise experiences relatively than the vacation spot that tops your checklist, it’s arduous to beat a pirate ship cruise.

Probably the most enjoyable issues to do within the Algarve with youngsters, crusing alongside the shoreline in the hunt for hidden bays and coves (and possibly even buried treasure), there are a number of totally different choices to attempt – however sadly none depart from Lagos.

The closest possibility leaves from Portimao, aboard the Santa Bernarda – in all probability the Algarve’s most well-known pirate ship, there are each half-day and full-day choices. Round half-hour from Lagos by automotive, it’s simple to do for a day journey.

The Leaozinho additionally departs from Albufeira, however that’s over 45 minutes away, so not your best option in the event you’re basing your self in Lagos with youngsters, except you’re already planning a time out round Albufeira.

Strive some watersports

With its lengthy stretch of shoreline and pristine waters, the Algarve is the best spot to check out a string of watersports, particularly in the event you’re visiting with older youngsters and teenagers.

Browsing is without doubt one of the hottest water sports activities within the Algarve. There are many locations for youthful ones to provide browsing a go too, whether or not it’s their first time or they’re already a professional.

And Lagos (in addition to Sagres additional to the west of the Algarve) are the most effective spots within the area to search out youngsters’ surf colleges and surf rent.

View from Sagres fort down onto one of the town's beaches with huge waves crashing towards the sand - perfect for surfers, it's an easy day trip from Lagos with kids

TSE Surf College has places in each Lagos and Luz with group classes for inexperienced persons, intermediate and superior, in addition to non-public classes.

There’s additionally a youngsters and household surf college in the event you’re travelling with youthful youngsters, with most group sizes of 4 to every teacher, with morning or afternoon periods beginning on the household surf college base in Luz.

Aside from browsing, you’ll discover loads of different methods to take to the Algarve waters. You may attempt rise up paddleboarding – normally for older tweens and teenagers solely, though this SUP tour to the Ponta da Piedade caves is appropriate for 12+.

Try corporations like Kite College Portugal which additionally has SUP rent and classes in Lagos, plus there’s bodyboarding, kayaking, canoeing, and crusing – whether or not you need to study to sail in close by Portimao or choose a skipper to take you out.

Go to Lagos Zoo

Lagos Zoo is one other of the preferred Algarve household sights, particularly for animal lovers.

The small zoo is dwelling to over 140 totally different animal species, together with many unique birds and primates however there’s additionally a petting zoo the place youngsters can work together with pleasant goats, donkeys, rabbits, and guinea pigs – excellent in the event you’re visiting Lagos with toddlers and youthful youngsters.

Ring-tailed lemur - one of the animals you can spot in Lagos zoo with kids

The zoo focuses on conservation, so there are many alternatives for youngsters to study concerning the animals and the work being carried out to guard them. Don’t miss feeding instances and the common keeper talks.

Lagos Zoo is extraordinarily accessible in the event you’re visiting the Algarve with toddlers, and it’s simple to navigate the complete park with pushchairs (in addition to wheelchairs).

It’s value figuring out that the zoo isn’t in Lagos itself, however close to Bensafrim, so round a 15-minute drive away.

Centro de Ciencia Viva (Science Museum)

If you wish to uncover extra concerning the pure world – from the ocean to house – there are a number of branches of the Centro de Ciencia Viva museums throughout the Algarve.

In addition to one simply exterior Faro, which focuses on the ocean, in addition to in Tavira within the japanese Algarve, there’s additionally a science museum in Lagos, not removed from the Mercado Municipal.

The exhibitions right here concentrate on navigation and discovery – lots of Portugal’s well-known explorers left from this a part of the Algarve, and in addition to telling a few of their tales, it seems on the science concerned of their voyages.

View of the Boa Esperanca replica caravel moored on one of the docks near Lagos marina - the replica of the historic ship is now a museum to visit in Lagos with kids

The museum additionally arranges visits to the Caravel Boa Esperanca, a duplicate of the sixteenth century crusing ships which performed such a giant half within the Age of Discoveries – docked not removed from the passenger footbridge over to Lagos marina, sadly it was closed throughout our latest go to, though you may see if from the surface.

Slave museum (Mercado de Escravos)

Not removed from the stays of Lagos fortress, a small new museum shares the darker aspect of the Age of Discoveries. As Portuguese explorers had been venturing additional and discovering new routes to Africa and Asia, it additionally signalled the beginnings of the European slave commerce.

In 1444, after Henry the Navigator arrange a buying and selling submit off the coast of Mauritania in west Africa, a slave market was erected within the centre of Lagos, with Portuguese ships bringing enslaved Africans again right here to be offered.

In the present day the Mercado de Escravos goals to commemorate those that had been ripped from their properties and offered on this website, in addition to giving guests a small style of their tradition and heritage.

The museum itself is small with only some rooms, though tablets assist deliver shows to life with interactive AR know-how, in addition to extra element concerning the handful of artefacts on present, so it’s nicely value visiting. You received’t want lengthy to wander round (we spent round half an hour) and it’s not too graphic for teenagers.

Castelo de Lagos

Little stays of the fortress which as soon as stood on the waterfront at Lagos, though you may nonetheless see a few of its partitions, which as soon as surrounded the entire city.

A lot of the fort was destroyed within the earthquake of 1755 which levelled most of Lisbon, nevertheless it’s believed among the fortifications dated again to the thirteenth century, earlier than a fortress within the form of a pentagon was constructed within the seventeenth century.

Over the centuries, the fortress noticed loads of motion, from its earliest days defending in opposition to the Moors (who as soon as dominated this a part of Portugal) and later defeating Sir Francis Drake when he attacked the coast – he sailed additional on to attempt once more at Sagres, with relatively extra success.

The fortress would even have supported the voyages of the Age of Discoveries, because of its place close to Sagres the place Henry the Navigator (or Infante Dom Henrique to provide him his right Portuguese title) was based mostly. Many caravels had been additionally in-built Lagos, whereas some voyages departed from right here, together with that of Gil Eanes in 1434, the primary to cross Cape Bojador on the West African coast.

A statue of Eanes nonetheless stands close to the stays of the fortress, though realistically you’ll have to make use of your creativeness to image it because it as soon as should have been.

Forte Ponta da Bandeira

The Ponta da Bandeira Fort was constructed within the late seventeenth century to bolster Lagos’s fortifications and it’s higher preserved than the fortress.

View of the Ponta da Bandeira Fort on the waterfront in Lagos - one of the historic sights to see in Lagos with kids

Formally the Fortress of Nossa Senhora da Penha de França, there’s a drawbridge over a small moat to get in, and it nonetheless sits proper on the waterfront – in the event you take any of the boat excursions from Lagos with youngsters, you’ll get an excellent view as you depart the marina alongside the Bensafrim river.

Today it hosts artwork exhibitions – though it was closed throughout our latest go to – and there’s a restaurant inside in addition to the outdated tiled chapel, however you will get some nice views when it’s open to the general public.

Go to the Mercado Municipal

The grand market constructing on the waterfront was constructed in 1924, and it nonetheless operates as a market at the moment.

View of the white Mercado Municipal building, dating from 1924, seen from the water through palm trees - one of the more unusual places to visit in Lagos with kids

Even in the event you simply make a brief go to, it’s enjoyable to wander inside and see all of the fish on sale on the bottom flooring, from small silver sardines proper as much as a lot greater catches, octopus, lobsters and extra – too many types to call.

The primary flooring has a couple of memento stalls and a few fruit and veg, plus there’s a restaurant on the roof terrace with some nice views.

Trip the vacationer prepare

Excellent for maintaining little ones entertained, you’ll discover the little vacationer trains in cities across the Algarve, together with the Lagos Vacationer Prepare.

The attention-catching trains aren’t solely a enjoyable option to sightsee however are a straightforward option to get round in the event you’re trying to save little legs, particularly in the summertime months.

There are 9 hop-on hop-off stops round Lagos, beginning by Lagos marina, travelling alongside the Avenida dos Descobrimentos, right down to the Ponta da Piedade lighthouse and heading to the seashore.

Youngsters underneath 4 are free, in any other case it’s 4 euros per individual for a single experience, 5.50 Euros for a day ticket.

The gold and white tourist train of Lagos, a fun way to sightsee in Lagos with toddlers and younger kids

Lagos Journey Park (Parque Aventura)

In case your youngsters are on the lookout for extra thrills, the Lagos Journey Park close to Meia Praia seashore is a superb different to speedboat journeys and water parks.

The treetop adventures embody excessive ropes challenges and zip wires, plus there are actions for 3 totally different ranges – Curious, Adventurous and Fearless, so youthful youngsters can begin slowly in the event that they’re nervous whereas teenagers can bounce straight in on the courageous finish.

The minimal peak is 1m for Curious degree, whereas it’s a must to be 1.2m for Adventurous and 1.4m for fearless (if you wish to tackle the toughest black course, there’s a minimal peak of 1.5m)

There’s additionally a paintball subject in order for you one other problem, all set inside a 2,500m sq. house inside a forest – make your well beyond pure and synthetic obstacles as you battle your loved ones – minuimum age 10.

Discoveries Wax Museum

The Wax Museum of the Portuguese Discoveries is quickly closed with no confirmed reopening date

For an additional take a look at Portugal’s historical past, this wax museum brings the Age of Discoveries alive, with 16 separate scenes targeted on a selected occasion or journey.

There are battles, discoveries, and even a marriage – of Joao I and Philippa of Lancaster, mom to Henry the Navigator – in addition to among the most well-known explorers, corresponding to Vasco da Gama.

Entry prices 10 Euros, or 7 Euros for teenagers (underneath sixes enter free), and it’s very near Lagos Marina.

For extra suggestions and inspiration, try my information to Portugal with youngsters

Extra issues to do close to Lagos with youngsters

Sand metropolis, Lagoa

Maybe essentially the most uncommon time out within the Algarve with youngsters, the sand sculptures at Sand Metropolis are distinctly spectacular – I visited anticipating to possibly whereas away an hour with my daughter and got here away marvelling on the element.

Divided into sections impressed by the totally different continents, there are different areas themed by delusion, the ocean and characters from movie and TV – together with Harry Potter, the Marvel universe and Paddington!

Recreation of Cambodian temple including huge heads wrapped in trees and monkeys at Sand City Lagoa - one of my top things to do near Lagos with kids

Count on to identify every thing from the Queen to Yoda, the temples of the Mayans, Ta Prohm in Cambodia, the Wild West, Historical Egyptian god Anubis, a herd of elephants and an enormous octopus.

All of that are, after all, comprised of sand. There’s even an space with some buckets and rakes the place you could be impressed to make your personal. An excellent possibility for a cloudy day within the Algarve however in the event you go to in midsummer, head there early or late as there’s no shade.

Slide & Splash water park

For extra water-based enjoyable within the Algarve with youngsters, the area has some improbable waterparks – the closest to Lagos is Slide & Splash. The large family-friendly waterpark, is near Portimão and Alvor, round half-hour from Lagos.

Older youngsters and teenagers can get their adrenaline pumping on the corkscrew and kamikaze, whereas little ones can benefit from the froth slides and tropical paradise. There’s additionally a kids’s play space, and the Fast River.

The water park is normally open from early April to late October or very early November, nevertheless it’s value checking the opening dates and instances earlier than your go to, particularly in the event you’re travelling out of peak season.

The chunky red battlements of Silves castle still tower over the picturesque city, once an important Moorish trading centre - an easy day trip from Lagos with kids in the western Algarve

Silves Citadel

Silves itself was as soon as a mighty Moorish capital referred to as Xelb (or Shelb), rivalling Lisbon in affect, and its fortress remains to be the most effective preserved on the Algarve at the moment.

With some elements courting from the eighth century, Silves Citadel nonetheless towers above the city, with its fairly twisting streets and cathedral – it’s largely the partitions and fortifications which stay, so be ready to make use of your creativeness, nevertheless it’s an enchanting distinction to the coast.

Learn out evaluation of a day at Silves Citadel with youngsters

Cabo de Sao Vicente

The Romans believed this was the tip of the world, and that the solar dissolved into the ocean each night time – searching to the infinite sea and horizon from Cabo de Sao Vicente, you may perceive why.

Probably the most south-westerly level of mainland Europe, it’s round 900 miles to the Azores and greater than 4,500 miles to the US, which provides you some thought of how explorers should have felt as they set off into the unknown from this spot.

Even on a sunny summer season’s day, count on it to be very windy, and it’s not arduous to think about how bleak it should be in winter – underneath blue skies, it’s merely lovely although.

You may go to the lighthouse on the finish of the world. The lighthouse constructing itself is never open, although you might be able to get entry on Wednesday afternoons, however you may wander contained in the partitions and look out to that infinite blue ocean and take in the views.

There’s additionally a small fort close by, though it was closed once we visited, and you may stroll out on the headland to look over to the lighthouse and again to Sagres – with uneven floor and sheer drops, do watch the place you stroll although and watch out with youthful kids. Finest to reach early, as it could get unexpectedly busy.

Fortaleza de Sagres (Sagres Fort)

Sat on the headland at Sagres, the massive fort could be seen for miles – as you’ll know in the event you’ve visited Cabo de Sao Vicente already.

Whereas the earliest sections date from the fifteenth century, most could be unrecognisable to Henry the Navigator because it has been repeatedly rebuilt, expanded and fortified since then, with main rebuilding work carried out within the late 18th century.

Inside there’s a small lighthouse and you may climb among the fortifications, in addition to wanting right down to the mysterious markings on the bottom – a circle divided into sections, no-one is sort of positive whether or not it’s a form of compass rose, an enormous sundial or one thing else.

Do save a while to wander inside the partitions, however brace your self for sturdy winds as you do: there are extra nice views, together with again to Cabo de Sao Vicente and right down to the seashores, with boards giving particulars on among the vegetation and animals which reside right here, plus stones piled up into cairns.

The fort can get very busy, so once more it’s value arriving early. You’re additionally strolling distance from Sagres city right here – refuel with one of many nice pizzas at Arte Bianca – in addition to the city’s seashores, though these are finest for browsing than paddling with some big waves.

Statue of Prince Henry the Navigator pointing to the horizon in Sagres, one of the best day trips from Lagos with kids

Parque da Mina

The Parque da Mina is a theme park with a distinction, the place you may journey again in time to find how life was lived within the Algarve in instances passed by.

In addition to an outdated farm, the place you may feed livestock and study extra concerning the nature and wildlife of the world, there’s a museum set inside a home, furnished as it could have been within the early 1700s.

When you’ve explored these, head down into the decommissioned coal mine in addition to exploring the park, together with a bridge over a waterfall. Set round 5 miles from Portimao, it’s simple to go to on a day journey from Lagos with youngsters.

Aerial view of the forests and protected landscape of Monchique in the Algarve, a great day out from Lagos with kids if you love the outdoors

Monchique

If you wish to uncover extra of the Algarve away from the coast, there’s some nice strolling and mountain biking within the space round Monchique – the colorful city itself can also be value a go to.

The realm is known for its thermal springs, Caldas de Monchique, which the Romans valued for his or her therapeutic powers – the temperature remains to be a continuing 31C at the moment.

Or head as much as the highest of Mount Foia, the best level within the Algarve at 902m – when you can hike it, the most suitable choice with youngsters is to enterprise up by jeep except you’re skilled walkers.

Throughout the identical Serra de Monchique mountain vary, the Serra da Picota is the second highest level at 774 metres and could be quieter than Foia. It’s also possible to drive many of the means up, though it’s finest to stroll the final part.

There are additionally day excursions visiting Monchique, together with Foia, Caldas de Monchique and different elements of the Western Algarve corresponding to Sagres, or do this half-day off-road tour of Serra de Monchique.

Disclosure: This submit incorporates affiliate hyperlinks – any purchases you make are unaffected however I could obtain a small fee

Praia Dona Ana/Lemur/Monchique courtesy of Depositphotos, all different photos copyright MummyTravels

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