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Should you move to Lagos, Portugal?

If you have ever researched moving to Portugal in any way, you have probably read or heard about the Algarve and Lagos somewhere. In fact, the Algarve region is extremely popular amongst foreigners and has been for years, with Lagos being one of the most preferred cities in the region. But what makes it so sought-after? Would it be the right choice for you in Portugal? Let’s find out with this guide made especially for expats!

Frederik Pohl
Frederik Pohl, CEO
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Where is Lagos, Portugal?

Lagos is located in the Algarve, in the Faro district, at the very south of Portugal, with a coast full of beautiful beaches and rock formations.

Why is Lagos so popular?

Well, there is the obvious answer: the year-round sunny skies and comfortable temperatures of the Algarve, plus its many fine sand; warm, calm water beaches. For these reasons, Lagos has been a sought-after tourist destination for many, many years – even within the Portuguese, for whom vacationing in the Algarve in the summer is tradition.

Lagos beaches
Praia da Luz

Located in the village of the same name (Luz), Praia da Luz is a small, discreet beach ideal for those looking for peace and quiet. It is known for the small “pools” that form between its rocks – perfect for children to play in safely.

Praia Dona Ana

Praia Dona Ana is famous for its interesting rock formations, which form an incredibly unique landscape. In 2013, the Spanish magazine Condé Nast Traveller considered Praia Dona Ana to be the best beach in the world and the most beautiful in Portugal, an opinion shared by TripAdvisor in 2015!

Praia do Camilo

You may have seen this one already, even if you aren’t aware of it. Due to its beauty, Praia do Camilo often features in websites and Portugal / Algarve postcards! Matter of fact, it is one of the most stunning beaches in the whole of Europe. The turquoise blue of the sea and the whiteness of its sands will make anyone agree!

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Historical town centre in Lagos


And, of course, there is also the amazing food. According to “Turismo de Lagos”, the pleasure of the table here tastes like the sea. Because it’s from the sea that the delicious langueirão, shellfish and fish soups come, the fragrant açorda (typical southern Portuguese dish) accompanied by mussels, cockles, clams and shellfish, and the main dishes that delight those who love fish and seafood. The always appetising clams in a cataplana, the “feijoada de buzinas”, so typical of fishermen, and the squid stuffed with ham and chorizo and lots of condiments, are joined by the fed horse mackerel, monkfish stew and tuna steak.


Lagos is a bit of a dichotomy – on one hand there are a lot of retirees, looking for peace, sun and quiet, and on the other hand are the young people, looking to drink and party all night long. The whole of Algarve is known for its many parties and nightclubs and Lagos is one of the biggest hubs. And even if clubbing is not too much your thing, there’s plenty of bars on the calmer side, where you can enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine after dinner or in the late afternoon. 

History & Architecture

Lagos is a very old town, believed to have been first founded in 2000 b.C, having been under the domination of the Carthaginians, Romans and Moors. After the reconquest, it played a leading role in the Portuguese ‘Descobrimentos’, becoming the capital of the Algarve during that time. This reflects heavily on the buildings and the architecture of the city, which have clear influences from different times. 

lagos portugal

Who lives in Lagos?

Due to its growing popularity, Lagos’ population has been growing consistently, reaching 33 494 habitants in 2021, of which 30% are foreigners. And many of these are English-speaking – from the UK, United States and Canada, plus other countries where English is common, such as Sweden and the Netherlands. So, if you decide to move to Lagos, there won’t be any problem with a language barrier, presumably. But, of course, if you plan to mingle with the locals and get absorbed in the culture, you should try to learn a bit of Portuguese.

Cost of Living in Lagos, Portugal

A lot of towns in the Algarve are known for being rather exclusive destinations, very oriented towards foreigners and tourism. Although Lagos could be considered one of them, the cost of living here might surprise you. This is, more or less, the cost of living per month in Lagos for a couple:

ItemCost in EUR
Rent for two-bedroom furnished apartment €1000
Utilities (Electricity and water) €110
Public transport (monthly pass)€22
Internet/2 Phone plan €50
Gym (per person)€40
Groceries €400
Transportation: Mass transit/Tank of gas €100
Dining out 5x/month €200
lagos portugal
Praia do Camilo, Lagos

Buying a house in the Algarve – Lagos

If you’re sure that Lagos is for you, then buying a house here is your best option! And even if you can’t or don’t want to move to the city yet, you can rent it out or even put it up for Alojamento Local (short-term tourism renting). But how do you go about it? That’s what Pearls of Portugal is here for! 

Through our Buyer’s Agent Service, we take care of every step of your journey – from getting a NIF, to a Visa, choosing a place, finding a house, visiting the properties, taking care of the contract and helping you with all after-sales enquiries, like setting up utilities. Come work with us!

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