Ponta da Piedade

Coast with Steep Cliffs in the Algarve

Ponta da Piedade is one of the absolute must-sees of the Algarve. It is an extreme coastal strip with steep rocks and cliffs in Portugal. You can walk down a long staircase, that brings you almost to the sea. It is also the departure point for the well-known boat trips along the Algarve coast. You can also hike well here. These are the best tips for visiting Ponta da Piedade near the town of Lagos, in any season.

The Algarve coastline offers countless steep cliffs, beaches and vistas. Yet Ponta da Piedade is different. It is not a beach, but you can walk almost to the sea. And enjoy the yellow rock formations, the striking blue water and the often beautiful weather.

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The Highlights of Ponta da Piedade?

Ponta da Piedade is best known for its steep cliffs, which you can view from above as well as from the water's surface. There are also several caves that you can explore by boat. In good weather, you can see many boats bobbing on the water. Making this place perfect for photos and videos.

The Staircase with 182 Steps

The stairs down have no less than 182 steps. Where you swing downwards. Only halfway through you see the end point, a somewhat strange concrete plateau. This has been constructed so that the boats can moor, but also functions as a lookout point. Keep in mind that you also have to climb the 182 steps again

Ponta de Piedade in winter. ©Corno van den Berg

Boat Trips from Ponta da Piedade

A popular excursion is a boat trip from the pier at the bottom of the stairs. I did the excursion and can highly recommend it. You sail along the steep rocks and you get explanations from the captain along the way. The boats are often small, which makes the experience extra special. Arrange your excursion in advance so that you are not disappointed. The best time to go is early in the morning when it is often still quiet.

Kayaking around Ponta da Piedade

In summer you will see many people kayaking around Ponta da Piedade. When the water is calm, this is a wonderful excursion. You can enjoy the landscape at your leisure. It is best to go when the waves are minimal.

Hiking around the Lighthouse

You can easily hike along the surrounding coast. Take a leisurely stroll along the abyss and see how beautiful the landscape is. You can go past the lighthouse for more views of the rugged coastline of the Algarve. Keep in mind the wind on some days, so don't walk too close to the edge.

Best Time for Ponta da Piedade

You can visit this place all year round. I have been there once in both summer and winter. Both were completely different experiences.

In the summer there is often no wind and this natural attraction resembles an idyllic spot. The temperature is pleasant, the colours are exuberant. Think bright blue waters, yellow rocks and (usually) a blue sky with sun. 

The beauty of Ponta da Piedade in winter. ©Corno van den Berg

Keep in mind that in winter it is often much rougher with waves. As a result, the boats no longer sail, but it is extremely beautiful. As you can see in the video above.

Avoid the Crowds

It can get very busy here on weekends and during school holidays. Which makes you go down the stairs in a long line, and back again. The platform below is very small, it is quickly overrun. 

It is therefore smart to go early in the morning. Then you also have the best chance of beautiful sunlight, because Ponta de Piedade is located on the east. In the afternoon everything is in the shade and it is less beautiful.

Combine Your Visit with Praia do Camilo

The beach Praia do Camilo is less than 500 meters away. This beach is also only accessible via a long staircase. You can easily visit both if you are near Lagos. Keep in mind that you have to go up and down both stairs.

Read my tips for Praia do Camilo

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