I’d seen my fair share of pictures of Ponta da Piedade on social media, and I couldn’t wait to visit it.
As luck would have it, the opportunity presented itself when we visited Portugal this Christmas.
Ponta da Piedade, which translates to ‘Pity Point’ in English, is a headland made up of rock formations lining the coastline of Lagos town in the Algarve region. It’s one of the most popular and attractive features in the region.
As we were driving there from Faro, we started our journey just before noon and arrived there at about 1.30 pm. The weather in Lagos is rather dull at this time of the year. Nevertheless, we experienced bursts of sunshine now and then.
There’s a lighthouse and a car park at the headland, and a sign that gives visitors an indication of where the footpaths are and where they can get boat tours of the area. Boat tours cost between €20-25, depending on how long the tour is. The boats used are former fishing boats that easily navigate between the cliffs. There’s also the option to tour Ponta using kayaks or by stand-up paddleboarding. These options cost €30 and €35 respectively.
Alternatively, visitors to Ponta can explore it by foot using one of the footpaths in the area. This is the most convenient way to tour it if you’re visiting with children or have any mobility issues. You’ll also find shaded seating areas along the footpaths, in case you need to take a break every once in a while, as well as viewing points from where you can admire these one-of-a-kind rock formations.
As we were pressed for time, we just walked around and enjoyed the views from above, then descended the 180 steps to the beautiful cove. Even in this dull weather, it was worth seeing up close.
Next to the lighthouse, you’ll also find gift shops, where you can buy souvenirs of Ponta da Piedade. You’ll also find Sol Nascente restaurant, where you can buy drinks and other refreshments.
Getting to Ponta Piedade is quite a challenge, depending on where you’re coming from. If you’re visiting from out of Lagos, I’d highly suggest driving there or getting a taxi. But if you’re visiting from central Lagos and don’t mind the exercise, you can walk to Ponta da Piedade from there, which should take you about half an hour.
There’s also a train that goes to Ponta from Lagos. Between July and September, it runs every 55 minutes from 9.45 am to 10.00 pm; and for the rest of the year, it only runs until 7.00 pm.
You can find out more details about the train here: http://touristtrainlagos.com/en/
P.S. If you're planning to visit Algarve and any of its attractions in the summer, don't forget to carry your sunscreen, as it gets really hot.