The port town of Lagos is located 187 miles (301 km) from Portugal's capital city of Lisbon. There are multiple ways to get between the cities, and each takes approximately four hours.
The most convenient and scenic option is via private transfer or a rental car. However, there is also a direct bus route. The train is also comfortable, but you'll have to transfer at Tunes.
Although you can take a direct flight from Lisbon to Faro, you'll still have to catch an additional bus to Lagos, which ends up adding far more time than the other travel options.
If you're interested in a 10-day tour that begins in Lisbon and takes you through the fairy-tale town of Sintra before whisking you away to the picturesque coastal Algarve Region, then consider this itinerary. For a unique Portuguese experience, consider joining this four-day sailing itinerary after you arrive in Lagos to see the Ria Formosa lagoon, Culatra Island, Albufeira, and more.
By Private Transfer or Rental Car
Duration: 3.75 hours
Private transfers can be easily booked for a trip from Lisbon to Lagos, or you can rent a car from one of the major rental companies in Lisbon.
Taking the A2 to the A22 highway is the most direct route from Lisbon to Lagos, and it will save you an hour on your journey, but you will have to pay tolls. The A2 is a standard toll road, with toll booths that accept cash or credit card, but the A22 uses a complex electronic toll system, and it is not the best route for out-of-town travelers.
If you decide to take the A2 to A22, ask your rental car company how they manage tolls, specifically the electronic toll system you'll encounter on A22.
To avoid the complex toll electronic systems, take the N120 out of Lisbon and down the coast to Lagos, which also happens to be a more scenic drive.
If you'd like to take a quick detour, you can stop at the Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park, which covers 120 km of cliff-dotted, rugged coastline. The park begins near the halfway point of the drive, making it a great spot to pull over for lunch or just to take in the views.
You can also make stops at the villages of Melides, Vila Nova de Milfontes, Zambujeira do Mar, or Praia de Almograve to experience their unspoiled beaches before you arrive in Lagos.
Duration: 3.75 hours
Buses operated by Rede Expressos leave the Sete Rios Station in Lisbon for the centrally located Lagos Terminal Rodoviário every hour from early morning to late evening.
Booking in advance is recommended, which you can do on the Rede Expressos website (the English setting can be found in the top right corner) or in advance at the Sete Rios station. Most buses are equipped with wifi and charging ports.
Duration: 4.25 hours
You can purchase your tickets online ahead of time, or you can buy them at the station. Comboios de Portugal trains leave five times a day for Tunes from Lisbon's Entrecampos station. There are trains from Tunes to Lagos every three hours during the day.
By Plane and Bus
Duration: 4.5 hours, more with transfers
It is possible to take a 45-minute flight from Lisbon to Faro, then catch a bus from Faro to Lagos, but with transportation to the airport, security lines, and the transfer to a bus, which only runs five times a day, it's not worth the time or hassle.