Discover Ponta da Piedade in Portugal, the natural jewel of the Algarve region.
It is a magnificent coastline with lighthouse, cliffs, arches, beach and caves. You can discover it on foot, kayaking or via boat tours.
Below is my guide with pictures to help you plan your visit with map, tips and photos.
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Why visit Ponta Da Piedade, Portugal ?
Is Ponta da Piedade worth visiting?
Absolutely. It is worth of the most beautiful cliff areas in the Algarve.
Even if you are not able to walk down, yo can still admire the work of erosion from the top of the 20m high golden cliffs.
This little piece of the coastline has arches, caves, pinnacles, rock pillars, caves... which have been sculpted by erosion over the years.
Ponta da Piedade facts
- It is a headland with 20m high cliffs
- The lighthouse dates back to 1913
- In Portuguese the name "Ponta da Piedade" means "Point of Mercy"
Video - Virtual visit
Below is a short video to give you a snapshot of a walk at Ponta Da Piedade :
More photos after the planning tips.
Planning tips & Map - Ponta da Piedade, Algarve, Portugal
Where is Ponta da Piedade located? Map
This location is included (with GPS coordinates, map of location and planning info) in my travel guide eBook that helps you easily plan your Portugal road trip:
How to get to Ponta da Piedade Lagos
- 3km from the center of Lagos
- By car or on foot from Lagos
- Take the bus (line 2) to Dona Ana and finish on foot
- In Summer, there is also a touristic train - learn more
- In summer, the carpark would get full quickly (very limited spaces).
- Easy road and good signage
- If you don't want to drive you can book a private tour combining other destinations - see options
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Parking at Ponta da Piedade
There is a lot of parking space around the lighthouse.
Generally, it is not too difficult to find a space, unless visiting at peak hour in the afternoon in Summer.
Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the carpark.
Best time to visit Ponta da Piedade
- If you want to be able to explore at the bottom, visit at low to mid tide
- As, I just wrote, you should avoid the middle of the day
- Visit early to avoid the crowds or late evening to combine with a beautiful sunset
- It is free and open to access all year round
Visit tips - on foot
- 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 (see my buying guide)
- The lighthouse is closed to the public
Visit tips - by boat tour
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
What is best - hike or boat tour?
I think both are worth it. The perspectives are different and will bring a lot of enjoyment.
Ponta da Piedade Restaurant
There is one restaurant at the top of the cliffs called Sol Nascente.
It offers beautiful views of the area.
Otherwise you need to go to Camilo beach or to Dona Ana beach or the center of Lagos.
Accommodations in Lagos - hotels and villas
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.
See more photos and availability
For other options, check out the best rated accommodations in Lagos.
Looking for the best place to stay in the Algarve?
Hiking at the top of the Ponta da Piedade cliffs
Walking at the top of the cliffs
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.
As you explore around, you can enjoy a variety of views.
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:
Access down to Ponta da Piedade beach
It is possible to get down to sea level, to what is called the Ponta da Piedade '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:
Ponta da Piedade beach
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).
Ponta da Piedade boat tours & cave experiences
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.
Check out the water tour options
Option 1 - Motor boat tour at Ponta da Piedade
The easiest options that will allow to cover a good stretch of the coastline it is speed boat.
They can enter many of the caves. It really feels like an exploration.
Option 2 - Ponta da Piedade Kayak
Another great option is to Kayak. Some tours depart from Praia do Camilo for example.
This allows for a more peaceful and adventurous adventure
See Kayaking options
Option 3 - Ponta da Piedade SUP
Cabo da Ponta da Piedade caves
When visiting by water, you can discover some of the caves around the promontory.
There are not as Many as near Benagil but it is still nice.
I have purchased this aerial photo of Ponta da Piedade for you to realise what the coast of the promontory look like, and all there is to see:
Ponta da Piedade Lighthouse and other views
You can also walk around the lighthouse and enjoy more coastal views.
Faro 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:
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Answers to FAQs
By boat - Ponta da Piedade vs Benagil
If you are limited in time or budget, you may be wondering which tour to choose.
I think in terms of caves, Benagil as the best - however in terms of scenery during the entire boat tour, Ponta da Piedade is the best option.
On foot - Marinha beach vs Ponta da Piedade
Benagil does have a magnificent cave but not many sea stacks and arches. Those are at Marinha beach.
You can also enjoy them from the top of the cliffs and walk down to the beach.
Between Marinha and Ponta da Piedade, it is close to a tie, but do have a slight preference for Ponta da Piedade.
See many photos on my article about Praia da Marinha.
Can you swim at Ponta da Piedade?
The bottom area is called the beach, but it is not a good place to swim.
There are strong current in the area.
But you can swim at the nearby beaches.
Want to see more of the Algarve and Portugal?
- 30 Most beautiful landscapes in Portugal - read article
- Best things to do in Portugal - read article
- The best beaches in Portugal - read article
- The best things to do in the Algarve region - read article
- Benagil cave and Algarve boat tours - read article
- The famous Marinha beach - read article
- The unique Tres Irmaos beach - read article
- The magnificent orange cliffs of Praia da Falesia - read article
Planning a trip to Portugal?
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