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WorldNorth AtlanticPortugalLagos
Port of Entry
37°05.8′N, 08°39.9′W Chart icon.png
The entrance channel to Lagos

Lagos on the Algarve coast of Portugal is a port steeped in over 2,000 years of history. Originally a Carthaginian settlement, it was seized by Rome during the Second Punic War (218 BC - 201), becoming part of the Roman province of Lusitania. The town passed through the hands of the Visigoths after the fall of Rome and later the Byzantines. In the 8th century the Moors arrived and Lagos became part of the administrative region of al-Gharb (from which the term Algarve derives). It was not until 1249 that the region became part of the Portuguese kingdom under King Alfonso III. However, it was towards the end of the 15th century that Lagos established itself as a centre of world exploration with the start of the Voyages of Discovery, most of which departed from the harbour. Prince Henry the Navigator, the prime mover behind the voyages, spent most of his time here in Lagos, directing expeditions to the north and west coasts of Africa in a revolutionary new design of sailing ship, the caravel, a lateen-rigged vessel with excellent seafaring capabilities. Much of the beautiful old town of Lagos dating from this period was destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami of 1755. However, the town still retains some impressive walls from the 16th century, a 17th century governor's castle, and the site of what was reputedly the first black slave market in Europe (the Mercado de Escravos, opened in 1444). For the yachtsman, the excellent marina at Lagos offers a convenient stopping point between Cape St Vincent and the ports of southern Spain and Gibraltar and a good place to gather strength for a passage down to Madeira or the Canary Islands.


British Admiralty


Give local weather conditions or refer to another page (a region or island group) that covers these conditions.

Sources for Weather forecasts:

  • Marina reception and on VHF channel 12 during high season (10.00 and 16.00)
  • See also Portugal.


See Portugal.


  • Lagos Navigators, based in Lagos Marina operate a VHF Net on Ch09, Monday and Friday mornings at 09:30am from September to June.

Also see World Cruiser's Nets.


The lifting bridge at the marina entrance

The entrance to Lagos is 1.5 miles north of Ponta da Piedade, a headland distinguished by remarkable jagged rock formations and marked with a conspicuous squat yellow lighthouse tower with a red top. Vessels enter Lagos up a narrow channel between two moles identifiable by port and starboard tower markers. The channel is dredged to a minimum depth of 3.0 metres. Proceed up the channel and berth at the 80 metre marina reception pontoon to starboard just before the lifting bridge. This pontoon also serves as the fuel station. More detailed information available on the Lagos Navigators website.


Lagos iis a port of entry/exit to Portugal.

Please submit details about facilities for checking-in, location of immigration & customs, etc.


Marinas & Yacht Clubs

  • Marina de Lagos has a total of 462 berths on finger pontoons for yachts of up to 30 metres and draft of up to 3.0 metres. Click on link for separate Wiki entry.


There are numerous sandy bays between Lagos entrance and the headland of Ponta da Piedade at the southern end of bay which could provide anchorages in settled weather. However, all are open to winds with anything east in them. Portimao, Ferragudo, 12 miles to the east, is a large sheltered anchorage.

The inlet of Alvor/wiki/Lagos#.5B.5BAlvor.5D.5DAnchorage icon Alvor [[Lagos#Alvor|Alvor]] 37°7.78′N, 08°35.91′W three miles east of Lagos is another possibility, but the entrance is shallow (barely 2.0 metres) and the sandbanks in the channel up to the anchorage off the town are difficult to spot. There is however a pool to anchor in just inside Alvor entrance. I have spent the night there, alternating with spending the day anchored to the east of Lagos breakwater. This works well in settled weather, avoiding having to go up to Lagos marina, past the swing bridge. Take the dinghy into the caravel harbour and climb the stainless ladder. The fishing/boatyard harbour is not available to yachts anymore.

Details of other anchorages can be found here.

Yacht Repairs and Services

Marine Stores

For a list of marine/boat related trades, services and contacts with phone numbers please visit this page at Lagos Navigators website


Sopromar Boat Yard is situated to the rear of the marina and can undertake virtually all repairs. Contact details:

Telephone: +351 282 763 889
Fax: +351 282 792 135

Fuel, Water, & Electricity

Fuel station next to the marina reception pontoon. Contact marina reception or call on VHF channel 09. Water and electricity on all marina pontoons.

Things to do Ashore


Although busy with tourists during high season, Lagos is an attractive town and its partially preserved old town walls are very photogenic. The richly decorated interior of the 17th century Santo Antonio church is worth exploring. Down at the waterfront near the harbour entrance, the 17th century Ponta da Bandeira fort is accessed via a drawbridge and has great views over the harbour entrance and the beach beyond. The walk south to Ponta da Piedade is rewarded with views of some of the Algarve’s most iconic beaches.

Old town walls, Lagos
Beaches of Ponta da Piedade
The Portuguese sail training ship Sagres

Grocery & Supply Stores

Excellent Pingo Doce supermarket north of the marina (open seven days a week). Every conceivable shop in Lagos town. Chandleries behind the marina.


Restaurants and bars in the marina. Numerous others in the town.


Yes. In the marina office and on the pontoons.


In the marina.

Motorbike & Car Rentals

Several outlets in the town.

Garbage Disposal

Bins to rear of marina office.


List transportation (local and/or international.)


Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)



See Portugal.


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

  • We kept our boat here from November 2009 to May 2010. The marina is very well protected from the elements and with good security. Marina staff are helpful and there is a good atmosphere. The marina is centrally placed in the town, so all facilities are readily available. A number of bars and restaurants are placed around the marina. There is a fully equipped boatyard very close by, which has a good reputation among yachtsmen. The Algarve has a favourable climate and we are looking forward to a return visit. This is one of the best all-round marinas we have been to in many years of cruising. (sv Wild Heron)

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This is a usable page of the cruising guide. However, please contribute if you can to help it grow further. Click on Comments to add your personal notes on this page or to discuss its contents. Alternatively, if you feel confident to edit the page, click on the edit tab at the top and enter your changes directly.

SailorSmiley.gifContributors to this page

Names: Lighthouse, Wild Heron, Athene of Lymington

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