The epic Ponta da Piedade hike, the map and info about how to get to Ponta da Piedade, the best sunset spots, and more info about the sea cliffs in Lagos in Portugal’s Algarve region. 

If you are a frequent reader of my travel blog, then you know by now how much I love viewpoints. Wherever I visit, I don’t actually research much about things to do but I do my homework about viewpoints. And if it is a good one, then I visit it more than once.

One of the hiking viewpoints after Camilo Beach, Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

One of the hiking viewpoints near Ponta da Piedade, Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

I was in Lagos for 7 days last summer and went to Ponta da Piedade every single day for 7 days, and I want to share information with you. By the way, you can read my super-detailed Lagos travel guide here.

What is Ponta da Piedade all about?

So what’s the deal about Ponta da Piedade? Let me share some info with you.

A group of insanely beautiful rock formations along the coast in Lagos with a sheer drop of around 20 meters above the water – that’s Ponta da Piedade. These cliffs are yellow-orange in color but they glow when at sunrise and sunset time.These rock formations are special and have been formed by the erosion of wind and water over centuries!

the Arch at Ponta da Piedade, Lagos, Algarve

the Arch at Ponta da Piedade, Lagos, Algarve

The Algarve region in Portugal is famous for its rock formations but things get a little crazier in Lagos because of Ponta da Piedade. Not just in the Algarve but Ponta da Piedade is famous in all of Portugal and people come here to Lagos to see the beauty.

The rocks at Ponta da Piedade create several arches, caves, a hidden beach, and some unusual shapes that can be enjoyed from up above because there are many different viewpoints.

If this sounds interesting, then I have to tell you that there is a similar hiking train in the Algarve called the Seven Hanging Valleys Hike that starts from Carvoeiro and has a place with a heart-shaped hole in the rock too.

The view at Ponta da Piedade, Lagos, Portugal

The view at Ponta da Piedade, Lagos, Portugal

Along with different rock formations, arches, caves, and viewpoints – this entire point has so much to see that you can’t cover everything in just one visit. It is unbelievable that there’s so much to see in such a small spot.

Ponta da Piedade Meaning

Ponta da Piedade is a Portuguese name and the exact translation of it in English is “Point of Pity”, or “Point of Mercy”.

Once you’re in Lagos, there are a few ways of getting to Ponta da Piedade. The easiest is by driving and walking very little, the most fun way is hiking from beach to beach and exploring all the viewpoints on the way and the last is by walking on the road and from there getting on the hiking path.

The viewpoint at Ponta da Piedade, Lagos, Portugal

The viewpoint at Ponta da Piedade, Lagos, Portugal

Exploring the Algarve by car makes a lot of sense

A fourth way is by kayaking, but that takes you to the caves and arches under the viewpoint, but not actually the top. If you aren’t into kayaking then you can go on a boat too. I will mention all of them in detail below

Reaching Ponta da Piedade Lighthouse by Car

The easiest and quickest way to reach Ponta da Piedade is by car to the nearest point. It makes sense to do this when you are running late and you would love to catch the sunset here but a hike or a walk to this point will take you too long.

If you’re traveling in Portugal, then renting a car makes a lot of sense. I also have a post about exploring Algarve on a road trip, check it out.

Farol da Ponta da Piedade Lagos - the lighthouse, Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

Farol da Ponta da Piedade Lagos – the lighthouse, Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

If you do have a car then you can park it near the lighthouse, it is called Farol da Ponta da Piedade Lagos.

Click here for the exact location of the lighthouse, you can add it on your Google Maps app for parking spot directions. The walk from the lighthouse to the Ponta da Piedade viewpoints is barely a minute. 

Nearest Bus Stop to Ponta da Piedade

Bus ride in Lagos, Portugal

Bus ride in Lagos, Portugal

If you are in Lagos town, you can take a bus to one of the below-mentioned bus stops. There are bus stops all over Lagos town and you can use Google Maps to find the nearest bus stop that can take you to any of the below-mentioned bus stops that are near Ponta da Piedade:

  • Estrada Ponta da Piedade
  • Rossio da Trindade
  • Torraltinha

These bus stops aren’t exactly very close to Ponta da Piedade because you will still need to walk for 20-25 minutes to get there. Look for buses 1, 2, 4, or 9.

Walking to Ponta da Piedade from Lagos Town

You don’t have to force yourself to hike on the cliffs if you aren’t comfortable, or if you don’t have the right shoes. You can actually walk from Lagos city center to Ponta da Piedade lighthouse and do just a few hundred meters of the hike at the end on the cliffs.

I did take this option too a few times and enjoyed it because I loved seeing the beautiful residential complexes on the way and sometimes bigger villas with elaborate gardens. You can also stop for a snack and a drink because there are so many shops (but not towards the end).

Cactus Flowers on the hike to Ponta da Piedade

Cactus Flowers on the hike to Ponta da Piedade, Lagos, Portugal

This walk isn’t just about the cliffs or the viewpoints. One can also see some interesting things along the way like massive cacti and most were blooming in June when I visited.

Just put Farol da Ponta da Piedade Lagos on your Google Maps app for walking directions and start.

Ponta da Piedade Hike Route

Now let’s talk about the most fun way of reaching Ponta da Piedade – it’s by hiking! Lagos is not only an amazing beach destination but also a hiking destination. My mind was blown when I realized that!

I did mention this self-guided walking path in my 3 days in Lagos itinerary, where I split it into three parts so you do a part of it every day and take it easy.

The wooden boardwalk hiking path near Ponta da Piedade, Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

The wooden boardwalk hiking path near Ponta da Piedade, Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

I was insanely excited when I realized that I could hike the entire coast of Lagos from the first beach to the last.

The best time to do this entire hike is at sunrise time because after that it gets hot. If you aren’t a morning person, then you don’t have to do the full hike in one day and you can split it into different sections.

Where to start the Ponta da Piedade Hike?

Ponta da Piedade, Lagos, Portugal

On the right is Ponta da Piedade and on the left is Praia Santa Maria, Lagos, Portugal

Since all the beaches of Lagos are more or less connected via a hiking trail, you can actually start this hike ANYWHERE and arrive at Ponta da Piedade. If you want to cover all the beaches of Lagos, you will be pleased to know that there are many beaches before you reach Ponta da Piedade but also many after.

If you like to hike and have a little time to enjoy Lagos’ beauty then I suggest you start from Praia do Pinhão. From Pinhão, go over to Praia Dona Ana, then hike over to Camilo, then over Praia Santa Maria to Praia da Balança, and then to Ponta da Piedade.

By all means you can actually start this hike even earlier – from Praia da Batata and go over Beach Estudantes but I wouldn’t do this.

Ponta da Piedade Hike Map & Route

Ponta da Piedade Hike, Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

Ponta da Piedade Hike, Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

I made a map for you using Google Maps of the unmissable viewpoints for your Ponta da Piedade hike. As I mentioned, you can start this hike at Pinhão Beach, which is right before Dona Ana. The views of both Pinhão and Dona Ana are splendid.

You don’t have to actually go down to each beach, in fact, you can’t go down to some of them like Praia da Balança.

The view of Dona Ana beach at night, Lagos, Algarve

The view of Dona Ana beach at night, Lagos, Algarve

From Camilo Beach to Ponta da Piedade and further, there’s a wooden boardwalk hiking trail, which is so much easier! Actually, I think this is the best part of the hike because the views are unmatched.

If you want to do a shorter version of this hike, then you can start after Camilo Beach, or at this point called Miradouro São Gonçalo de Lagos that I have marked on Google Maps for you.

Your hike won’t end in Ponta da Piedade, you can hike further to Praia do Canavial and to Porto Mós beach. From Porto Mós, you can take a bus back to Dona Ana to get back close to Lagos city center.

Ponta da Piedade Hike route, Lagos, Portugal

Ponta da Piedade Hike route, Lagos, Portugal

The hike can take a very long time if you like to stop for photos and trust me there are MANY viewpoints. So for that sake, I suggest you split the hike like this:

  • Hike from Pinhão Beach to Dona Ana. Take a break here and swim. Relax on Dona Ana beach.
  • Hike from Dona Ana to Ponta da Piedade directly to watch the sunset and come back home after the sunset.
  • Spend your day at Camilo Beach and Hike from Camilo to Ponta da Piedade for sunset. The hike from Camilo Beach to Ponta da Piedade lighthouse and onwards is a wooden walking path which is very easy. From Camilo Beach to Ponta da Piedade lighthouse is the best section of this hike because of the viewpoints.
  • Reach Ponta da Piedade for sunrise and then hike from there to find the hidden beach Praia do Canavial. I talk more about this in my top beaches of Lagos post.

The above are just some of the ways I split up this hike. I often spent my day on the beach and then ate a nice seafood early dinner and then went for a sunset hike.

An arch at Ponta da Piedade, Lagos, Portugal

An arch at Ponta da Piedade, Lagos, Portugal

On some days I hiked twice a day but seriously the viewpoints look so much better without the harsh daylight but with a softer golden light during sunset time.

Want to know about the best sunset spots? There’s an entire section dedicated to it below because that’s totally MY thing. 

Reaching Ponta da Piedade Caves with 190 Steps

The steps leading to the Grottos of Ponta da Piedade, Lagos

The steps leading to the Grottos of Ponta da Piedade, Lagos via Unsplash

You can climb down 190 steps that are very steep to see the grottos (caves) of Ponta da Piedade. These steps lead you to water but watch out for high tide.

The spot at the bottom of the cliffs that leads to the water is also called “Ponta da Piedade” beach. At the time I visited, it was very rocky and was hardly a beach.

Some websites have put misleading pictures to show a sandy beach where the pictures clearly are from the stairs that lead to Camilo Beach. It is very obvious that some of those website owners have not visited because the stairs to Camillo have wooden arm railing and the one to Ponta da Piedade caves have a stone wall railing.

Ponta da Piedade caves - Lagos, Portugal

Ponta da Piedade caves – Lagos, Portugal via Pixabay

This is where a lot of kayaking tours start. I will talk more about those tours at the end but here are some that I have handpicked for you:

  • Kayaking and Boat Cave Explorer Tour: This 2-hour kayaking tour covers the sea caves of Ponta da Piedade. The tour actually starts from Lagos Marina and costs EUR 40 per person.
  • Guided Kayak Tour: This tour duration is 2.5 hours and it starts from Batata Beach, which is super close to the city center. This tour costs EUR 35 per person.
  • Ponta da Piedade Kayak Tour: This tour duration is 2 hours and it costs EUR 40. This tour is rated very high. It starts off in a catamaran from Lagos Marina and then the participants move to kayaks to see Ponta da Piedade caves.

Don’t want to do Kayaking? I have shortlisted two more tours that you can do alone or in a group.

  • Ponta da Piedade Cave and Coastal Tour (Includes Snorkeling): If I visit Portugal with my toddler, I would probably pick a tour like this because it is on a comfortable boat. The boat is small so one can also enjoy the caves of Ponta da Piedade. It also includes a snorkeling/swimming break. It costs EUR 30 per person.
  • Boat Cruise to Ponta da Piedade: I personally saw this tour company’s small boats when I was hiking and I was jealous of them because they managed to visit one of the small beaches where I couldn’t reach by hiking. So, this isn’t a kayaking tour but is done on smaller boats and it costs EUR 20 per person.

Remember, you may just visit Lagos just once, so why not explore the caves on a kayak or a boat and see them properly?

Ponta da Piedade Sunset Spots

Ponta da Piedade Sunset, Lagos, Algarve

Ponta da Piedade Sunset, Lagos, Algarve

Ponta da Piedade has a bunch of different viewpoints, but what’s the best place to see the sunset in Lagos? Well, you would want to see the sunset at a spot where you can actually see the sun going down.

Cliffs are everywhere in Ponta da Piedade and some parts face West. Of course, a little bit of view of the beach below and the sea will make the experience more magical. 

Sunset at Ponta da Piedade, Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

Sunset at Ponta da Piedade, Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

Most of the rocks that are along the sea in Ponta da Piedade face east, so are perfect for watching the sunrise, but I did find ONE particular spot that has it all for a magical sunset experience.

Get to the viewpoint that overlooks Praia do Barranco do Martinho. It is a small hidden beach that’s surrounded by cliffs almost on all sides. It is one kilometer away from the Ponta da Piedade lighthouse.

There is a wooden gazebo at this viewpoint from where you can see this a bit but if you want to see it a little better, then you have to get out of the gazebo and go near the edge of the cliffs, but PLEASE be careful. 

Ponta da Piedade Viewpoints

View of the Camilo Beach, Algarve

View of the Camilo Beach a little before Ponta da Piedade, Lagos, Algarve

The word for viewpoint in Portuguese is Miradouro and there are MANY of them near Ponta da Piedade, but I’d like to recommend 4 of them to you. The walking trail here is a wooden boardwalk and there are wooden gazebos at different viewpoints. 

The easiest way to find all the viewpoints when you reach Ponta da Piedade is to look around for gazebos. They all offer something special, and in many cases, you can walk out of the gazebo and go a little further to see the view better.

I did go off the wooden path every single time and I did realize that the view is not necessarily better out of the marked trail. So, if you want to stay safe and stick to the wooden walking path, you wouldn’t really miss out on anything.

Below are some of the viewpoints that I recommend you don’t miss:

1) Miradouro da Ponta da Piedade

Ponta da Piedade viewpoint Lagos, Portugal

Ponta da Piedade viewpoint Lagos, Portugal

This is the main viewpoint that’s close to the lighthouse. There are many different kinds of views on all sides because the rocks don’t just make one edge but many.

You will see arches and different shapes that the cliffs make – they all are very impressive and they glow in the golden light as the sun rises and sets. Although I did mention that there’s a spot that overlooks Praia do Barranco do Martinho is the best one for sunset, but the sunset views at this particular spot are also amazing.

There is a spot from where you can see the cliffs, the arches, and the ocean – this part faces west and you can watch the beauty of the sunset here.

2) Miradouro Praia do Barranco do Martinho

Miradouro Praia do Barranco do Martinho, Lagos, Portugal

Miradouro Praia do Barranco do Martinho, Lagos, Portugal

This is the second viewpoint which is after the Ponta da Piedade lighthouse. This is the one that’s perfect for watching the sunset.

I have talked so much about this spot up ahead where I talk about the sunset spot, so I 

3) Miradouro da Praia do Canavial

Miradouro da Praia do Canavial with also a view of Miradouro da Praia do Canavial, near Ponta da Piedade, Lagos

Miradouro da Praia do Canavial with also a view of Miradouro da Praia do Canavial, near Ponta da Piedade, Lagos

I love this viewpoint because you can see both the Canavial and also Porto Mós beaches up ahead. Both the beaches together in one viewpoint make this a unique spot. Also, this spot faces the west, so is a good place to see the sunset.

This is a little further ahead of Ponta da Piedade and the walk will take you around 15 minutes. You can walk on the wooden boardwalk or take the other path that Google Maps suggests – I tried them both and they took me to the same viewpoint.

I did get out of the gazebo here and walked on the cliffs, which was dangerous but I later realized that the gazebo was built in the spot that had the best view.

4) Miradouro Lagos – São Gonçalo de Lagos, Portugalia

Miradouro Lagos - São Gonçalo de Lagos, Portugalia - viewpoint near Ponta da Piedade, Lagos, Portugal

Miradouro Lagos – São Gonçalo de Lagos, Portugalia – viewpoint near Ponta da Piedade, Lagos, Portugal

This viewpoint is between Ponta da Piedade and Praia do Camilo. There are stunning views in all directions. On the right side, you can see Praia da Balança.

There is a viewpoint from where you can see Praia da Balança and then Ponta da Piedade lighthouse just behind it – look at the picture below to see what I’m talking about.

Praia da Balança in Lagos, Portugal

Praia da Balança in Lagos, Portugal (in the background is Ponta da Piedade lighthouse)

I was so jealous when I looked at this beach for a long time and tried to find a way to it, but then I saw a few kayaks pull up here. So the only easy way to get to the stunning Praia da Balança beach is on a kayak.

On the other side of this viewpoint, you will see interesting rock formations and a little beach – Praia Santa Maria. Praia Santa Maria is a nudist beach that isn’t an easy beach to get to. It was completely empty when I saw it.

Praia Santa Maria near Ponta da Piedade, Lagos

Praia Santa Maria near Ponta da Piedade, Lagos

I did write a post about the best beaches of Lagos, but I didn’t mention Praia Santa Maria because it is a nudist beach and it looked like a perfect hidden gem, so I didn’t want to publicize it.

Ponta da Piedade Kayaking

When I sat on top of the rocks to admire the view below, I noticed the rocks formed many arches, caves, and several interesting shapes. You can’t experience them fully from the top but you can try to get to the part below by getting on a boat.

Kayaking with my friend to Benagil Cave, Praia da Marinha in the background - Algarve, Portugal

Kayaking with my friend to Benagil Cave, Praia da Marinha in the background – Algarve, Portugal

An interesting way to experience Ponta da Piedade’s caves is by kayaking. There are many kayaking tours and some of them will take you to the hidden beaches that can only be accessed by water (and not a bigger boat). I will be honest, I didn’t do kayaking in Lagos but in Benagil Cave

I have handpicked a few tours for you, check them out.

  • Kayaking and Boat Cave Explorer Tour: This 2-hour kayaking tour covers the sea caves of Ponta da Piedade. The tour actually starts from Lagos Marina and costs EUR 40 per person.
  • Guided Kayak Tour: This tour duration is 2.5 hours and it starts from Batata Beach, which is super close to the city center. This tour costs EUR 35 per person.
  • Ponta da Piedade Kayak Tour: This tour duration is 2 hours and it costs EUR 40. This tour is rated very high. It starts off in a catamaran from Lagos Marina and then the participants move to kayaks to see Ponta da Piedade caves.

Tips for doing the Ponta da Piedade Hike

I want to share a few tips with you about hiking to Ponta da Piedade and around.

Ponta da Piedade hike in Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

Ponta da Piedade hike in Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

I will start with the most obvious one – wear comfortable shoes. The hiking park to Ponta da Piedade isn’t slippery but if you want to get off the wooden walkway, then you will walk on some pebbles. The pebbles can sometimes roll with the momentum of steps and one can lose balance. So, wear shoes that aren’t slippery. 

I did a lot of this hike with flip-flips but they are special ones with a very good soul. On other days I wore canvas shoes. I still recommend you wear proper hiking shoes if you are carrying them with you to Portugal.

Carry a jacket. It gets super windy and it gets cold as soon as the sun sets. I’m talking about peak summertime. Even when the days were hot, the evenings were unexpectedly cool.

Not only did I carry a jacket, but also full pants to wear over my shorts after sunset. Yes, I was able to carry everything in my tiny backpack.

Places to Stay near Ponta da Piedade

Safari Beach Guest House

I stayed in a place called Safari Beach Guest House which has private rooms and dorm beds in a quiet residential area. The private rooms have a nice balcony area and this guest house has a large common sitting section that’s inside and outside. There is also a big kitchen inside with functioning appliances.

Safari Beach Guest House is close to the Torraltinha bus stop, which I mentioned in the section about reaching Ponta da Piedade by bus.

Vila Ponta da Piedade

This place gets as close to Ponta da Piedade as it can get. It is just 300 KMs away from Camilo Beach, which is the most beautiful beach in Lagos.

The Ponta da Piedade lighthouse is less than a kilometer away from Vila Ponta da Piedade. This villa is nearly constructed so the amenities are modern. There’s also an outdoor pool!

If I go back to Lagos, I will definitely book Vila Ponta da Piedade, it even has a view of the ocean from the bedroom window.

Cascade Wellness Resort

This high-end place that’s on top of the cliffs is between Ponta da Piedade and Porto de Mós Beach. The amazing hidden beach Praia do Canavial is also nearby.

Cascade Wellness Resort also offers rooms with a view of the sea.

Ponta da Piedade Hike, Lagos, Portugal – Pin it

Can you walk from Lagos to Ponta da Piedade?

Ponta da Piadade is in Lagos and is 30 minutes walk away from Lagos city center. You can walk on the main street or you can hike from beach to beach to reach Ponta da Piedade.

What does Ponta da Piedade mean?

You know by now that Ponta da Piedade is a Portuguese phrase. It translates into “Point of Pity”, or “Point of Mercy”.

How do you get to the beach in Ponta da Piedade?

You can climb down around 200 steps to reach the water and the caves of Ponta da Piedade from near the lighthouse. This isn’t exactly a beach but a spot with rocks. If you are looking for a nice beach near Ponta da Piedade, try Praia do Canavial and Praia da Balança. I talk more about them in my top beaches of Lagos post.

Can you get around Lagos Portugal without a car?

Of course, you can. I did it and so can you. Not only can you walk in Lagos but you can also travel on buses and taxis. Traveling on a bus in Lagos was so easy and I didn’t have to take a taxi except on my last day here. I also rented a bicycle but returned it after a day because it wasn’t fun riding it uphill.

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