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What to bring to a picnic in the Algarve?

A new month has begun, and soon we will be in the holiday season and family holidays to welcome Christmas and New Year's Eve in a cosy environment. Before these events, we still have two months of inviting climate for outdoor activities. Since picnics are not only on the agenda in summer, take advantage of your holiday in the Algarve to spread out a blanket and enjoy the best of nature and the landscapes of this region. Do you know the best places to spend time with your family? Discover some parks and gardens in Lagos and neighbouring towns and get some good ideas for your picnic.

In contrast to the popular belief that the Algarve is all about the beach and the sea, we'd like to recommend a new low-season activity: a picnic! Something so simple but so much fun that the whole family will take part. Since it requires some planning, let everyone in the family get involved in the preparations, such as choosing the location, shopping list for snacks and preparing them. Are you ready for a great family afternoon?

1. Lagos City Park

This wooded park is located just a few minutes from the Jardim da Meia Praia and right in the city centre, with a privileged view of the Lagos city walls. The public city park has a large area of grass and several trees of regional flora, such as the almond tree, which blooms in spring with white flowers. Shade is guaranteed, and there is no shortage of fun either, as there is a space nearby with fitness equipment for all ages. There is a playground for the younger ones to play with other children and a skate park for the teens who love adrenaline. You could stop here, and the day would be full of surprises already, but nothing beats a round of golf with the family to round out the day. What is a challenge for golfers can also be a pleasure for everyone else. Book this mini golf course in Lagos to take a few swings.

What should you bring for the picnic in Lagos City Park?

  • A thick blanket to lay out on the grass;
  • A cooler;
  • Snacks such as Fruit, sandwiches, water, juices and desserts;
  • Skateboard;
  • Comfortable clothes for playing golf.

Photo by Lagos City Hall

2. The Barão de São João National Forest

This location has more to offer than the landscape and natural beauty that is expected. The Barão de São João National Forest is a protected natural area with several pine forests, picnic tables, communal barbecues and a public toilet. So, you have everything to spend not just an afternoon, but a whole day with your family. The forest contains several themed trails, including the "Poets' Trail", the "Walk by the Sea", and the "Figures' Trail". On the first path, find the stones along the way and read the poems carved into them. The second path, as the name suggests, leads along the cliffs overlooking the sea. Finally, on the “Figures' Trail”, art can be found in every nook and cranny with statues by local artist Deodato.

What should you bring for the picnic in the Barão de São João National Forest?

  • A hammock to hang from the trunks of the pine trees;
  • Comfortable walking shoes;
  • Bicycles for mountain biking;
  • Charcoal for the barbecue;
  • A cooler with meat, fish and snacks for the whole day.

3. Meia Praia

Our Meia Praia must not be missing from this list, as it is very close to the resort, and you can have one of the most fantastic experiences ever there. Organize a picnic on the beach at sunset as a couple or with the whole family. Watch as the last surfers leave the water, the seagulls take over the beach and finally, the sun disappears to make way for a spectacular orange sky spectacle. The evening may already be chilly, but it makes up for it, and a good jacket will solve that little problem.

What should you bring for the sunset picnic on Meia Praia beach?

  • Warm jacket in case it gets cold
  • Picnic blanket
  • Wine and two glasses to toast the sunset with
  • Portuguese canned fish (you can buy these products in the Mar d'Estórias Portuguese store)
  • Camera to capture the moment.

4. The Barranco dos Pisões Picnic Park

Another special place that you should visit. To get there, you have to go over the Monchique Mountains and down to the foot of the mountain, and you will see that every effort is worth it. But do not worry, you can also arrive by car and park very close to your next picnic in the Algarve. This green area has a stream that crosses the picnic table area, the communal barbecues, the fountain and finally, the water mill at the end of the park. The picnic tables and barbecue area are located right at the beginning of the picnic park in the shade of a huge plane tree, 35 metres high and over a hundred years old. If you decide to visit this place in the heart of the Algarve during the weekend, you can meet other families enjoying nature.

What should you bring for the picnic at Barranco dos Pisões Picnic Park?

  • Picnic table or blanket (for busier days);
  • Picnic benches;
  • Charcoal for the communal barbecue;
  • A cooler with meat, fish, and salads for the whole day;
  • Typical Monchique ham sandwiches (buy them here, before you arrive at the picnic site);
  • Bolo de tacho (another delicacy, a traditional cake of this municipality, which you can buy in the same shop);
  • Wellington boots for the walk along the stream.


Spend different moments as a family or couple during your holiday in the Algarve. It's a great pastime, especially in the autumn, when the Algarve landscapes are even more inviting for a picnic. Discover these and other parks and gardens in the region. If you need more suggestions, we will be happy to share them with you at our reception.