Portugal - Lagos to Burgau

Lagos to Burgau via the coastal path, the walk heading westwards along the coast - By Alan Garner

This walk starts in the centre of Lagos, and make your way to the Ponta da Piedade- a 6 km walk. - initially walking along the road through apartment blocks and hotels, but eventually reaching paths that take you to see the series of beautiful sandstone cliffs, that are considered as the finest natural feature of the western Algarve. This headland to the south of Lagos has been eroded over the millennia by powerful winter storms to form unique cliff formations, which include sea arches, grottos and smugglers caves.

The Ponta da Piedade can be explored from the pathways that cross and climb the cliffs, eventually reaching the lighthouse at the end of the road and the beginning of turning right along the Western Algarve coast.

Take the path just to the right of the lighthouse, follow it along the coast- there may be diversions to avoid rock falls – eventually after diverting to go through houses and apartments reach the beach of Porto de Mos. Refreshments here as well, coffee, beer or lunch.

Take the path opposite where you arrived at the bay, climbing away from Porto de Mos eventually flattening out as it heads with magnificent sea views to Praia da Luz. You are crossing the 120metre high basalt headland of Rocha Negra

In front of you is the monument which you skirt round it and look for path downwards that takes you to the beach. It has many bends but is easier than some other paths that descend more precipitously.

Once at the beach there are opportunities for refreshments again, and a few nice shops to peruse, as well as the medieval church of Nossa Senhora da Luz - dedicated to “Our Lady of Light”- from the beach at Porto de Mos to Praia da Luz is 3.5 km.

Praia da Luz is a small and personable resort town situated on the stunning western Algarve coastline. Luz sits around a glorious sandy bay, and combines a wonderful climate, delicious food and a welcoming ambience, to create the perfect destination for a relaxing beach-based holiday. Praia da Luz was originally a fishing village, being sheltered from the Atlantic’s ferocity by the towering, Rocha Negra basalt headland. Today, tourism has replaced fishing, but fortunately this transformation has not lessened the charm of Luz. The sprawling tourist developments that extend up the hills are stylish and in-keeping, while the restaurants remain family owned and specialise in delicious regional dishes.

Wind your way through the streets keeping left and westwards, passing several pubs and the Irish bar. In front of you and elevated are the cliffs that separate Luz from Burgau, so climb gently upwards on clear and wide paths, though there are many other side paths that take you very close to the sea edge.
Eventually, you reach a higher cliff- keep to the right if you don’t want to climb it, or straight on over the top and down the other side. A short climb but magnificent views at the top towards Sagres and the Western Algarve coast

You are now on the cliff path to Burgau- flowers abound in spring, the path is fairly level and you reach the outskirts of Burgau, turn right downhill into the village. Here there a several refreshments stops by the beach, and a few interesting narrow streets down to the harbour and beach.

Situated on the coast between Lagos and Sagres is the fishing village of Burgau. Like much of the western Algarve the little fishing village was largely undiscovered by the tourism industry until relatively recently meaning it has largely escaped the unsympathetic development which blights much of the central coast. The village has somewhat spread out from the old centre, but the new holiday accommodation is mostly low rise and inoffensive, if a little lacking in charm.

As you head down towards the beach at Burgau the streets become cobbled and you soon find yourself among the jumble of whitewashed fishermen's cottages that make up the old village. You'll know when you are almost on the beach as you will find little fishing boats pulled up, lining the steeply sloped streets which double as slipways and a harbour.

Buses operate back to Lagos centre from Burgau- the bus stop is located at the top of the village.

From Praia da Luz to Burgau is 6 km.

The whole walk is 16 km, allow 5 hours walking time as there is much to see, and add on refreshment stops- you won’t be able to resist a beer, ice cream or coffee as you go.

Lunch is easy to find at Praia da Luz and Burgau, where cafes are open all day for snacks.