Discover Ponta da Piedade in Portugal, the natural jewel of the Algarve region: a magnificent coastline with arches, grottos and caves. You can discover it on foot, kayaking or via boat trips. And it is one of the best spots to watch sunset in the Algarve. Below is my guide with pictures to help you plan your visit.
Note: a lot of articles about this location have photos which are not at all of this place. All the photos in this article were taken by me at the location.
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Why visit Ponta Da Piedade, Portugal ? The coastline in pictures
As you walk outside the car you can first only see the carpark and the lighthouse, but walk to its left and behind it and you will discover one of the most stunning section of the Algarve coastline with arches, caves, pinnacles, rock pillars... which have been sculpted by erosion over the years.
The cliffs are 20 m high and mostly of Golden color.
Below is the view towards Praia da Balança, a small sandy beach just East of the Ponta da Piedade promontory. It is very difficult to access it.
Below is the view down towards the 'beach' of Ponta da Piedade:
Video of Ponta da Piedade
Now let me show you my walk at Ponta Da Piedade in video:
Planning tips - Ponta da Piedade, Algarve, Portugal
How to get to Ponta da Piedade Lagos
- In the Algarve region, Western side
- 2km South of Lagos, after the famous Dona Ana Beach and Praia do Camilo Beach
- Easy road and good signage
This location with its GPS coordinates and planning info is included in my eBooks:
Visiting Ponta Da Piedade on foot
- The carpark fills up very quickly, it is a touristy destination. Come early or late
- Café and toilets at the end of the carpark
- Wear good footing to explore the cliffs and be careful!
- Bring your binoculars to admire the birdlife
Visiting on water
You can also explore the dramatic coastline from the water:
- on boat to be able to kist relax and see the pinacles and fascinating shapes
- by kayak, to be able to explore the caves and nook
Tours mostly depart from Lagos. Check out the water tour options
Accommodations in Lagos
Lagos is a great place to stay in the Algarve, especially if you want to watch sunrise and sunset from Ponta da Piedade.
I stayed outside of the city center, just near Ponta da Piedade in the beautiful Uma Casa a Beira Sol. My parents and I loved the place where the apartments are accessed via a beautiful garden and the breakfast amazing. Check out my review on the Portugal Accommodations Article
For other options, check out the best rated accommodations in Lagos on booking.com
Access down to the beach
It is possible to get down to sea level, to the 'beach'. There is no sand beach to lie down, there is only the possibility to go exploring the rock formations at low or mid-tide.
You have first to get down the staircase. Most website say 182 stairs, but I counted 190 stairs... (Not that it matters at this point). Just remember that you will have to climb them to leave!
2/3 of the way down, you get a better view of the beautiful arches:
And once down, you discover the stunning and intricate panorama with pillars, arches, holes...
It is possible to go exploring (as you can see with the many people on my photo) but know that the last 2 meter have no steps just a rope (as it is more of a small pier for high tide).
Exploring Ponta de Piedade on foot
The first option to explore is to drive from Lagos, park near the lighthouse and explore on foot. There are no definitive paths. The cliffs are eroded in so many places that there are many views to discover.
As you can see below, you can walk all the way above the arches. However, please be careful, these are not the most stable cliffs. Erosion is powerful and rocks can easily fall.
Ponta da Piedade Boat Trips
But Ponta da Piedade is said to be better explored by water. This way you can get under the arches and explore the caves.
On the picture below, you can see 3 options: by boat, by SUP or by kayak.
Personally, I did not do a boat trip here so I can't show you pictures. That's because I opted for the Algarve cave boat tours from Benagil Beach to see the Benagil Sea Cave (East between Portimao and Albufeira). And it was amazing!
Lighthouse and other views
Farol da Ponta Da Piedade
Right in the middle of the promontory, at the end of a parking is the lighthouse. It is not open to the public.
Its yellow quadrangular tower was built between 1912 and 1913, electrified in 1952 and automated in 1983.
View towards Praia do Canavial
The views East and South of the lighthouse are the most interesting with all the work of erosion.
But if you look towards the West, you can see the impressive cliff of Praia do Canavial:
Algarve Sunset at Ponta da Piedade
With a South orientation, the Algarve region is not the best to watch sunrise and sunsets. Ponta da Piedade is the exception. As it is a promontory extending South of the surrounding coastline it offers a great view for sunrise and sunset.
You won't be alone but there is so much space that it does not matter. Below are a few shots:
Want to see more of PORTUGAL?
Don't you find this coastline mesmerizing?
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