A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Ios vs. Lagos for Nightlife, Resorts, Beaches, and Families

Should you visit Ios or Lagos?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Ios or Lagos? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Ios

Ios is a striking, touristy, and backpacker-friendly island. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It's also known for beaches, hiking, and shopping.

Lagos

Lagos is a beautiful, scenic, and adventure-filled resort town. You'll find world class beauty here as well. And you can't forget about the hiking, shopping, and nightlife.

Ios and Lagos: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Less family-friendly
Pros
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable


How is Ios different from Lagos?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Lagos and Ios. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Ios or Lagos Better for Food?

Ios
Lagos

Both Ios and Lagos offer good local cuisine and restaurants.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Ios. Most of the island's restaurants are found in the port area or in the town of Chora, but you'll also find several options near Mylopotas Beach. Most restaurants offer typical Greek dishes, but they often have a local twist. You'll often find local cheeses or a slightly different take on an old favorite. Popular ingredients include cheese, yogurt, fish, olives, honey, olive oil, and grains. Common meats include lamb, beef, and even rabbit, but seafood is obviously popular as well.

Lagos has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. The city offers some of the best food in the Algarve. The old town has plenty of restaurants that are both affordable and high quality. Seafood is the obvious choice, but you'll also find tapas, paellas, and local dishes such as cataplana (a seafood and chorizo stew). Most restaurants serve up a local fish of the day as well as prawns and other seafood items.


Is Ios or Lagos Better for Nightlife?

Ios
Lagos

Evening events are similar in both Ios and Lagos.

Ios is a party destination, and you'll find plenty of activity all night long. This is one of the quintessential party islands in Greece. Many young backpackers come here just to party, particularly during the summer months. You'll find many parties start around midnight or later and carry on well into the morning. Most of the clubs and bars are around the main square and nearby streets in Chora, but there are also clubs spread throughout the town. Outside of town, Mylopotas Beach is another popular party area.

Lagos has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. The city has a mellow vibe, even at night, but that's not to say there aren't good parties going on, particularly during the peak of the travel season. There's a local charm to the nightlife scene here and you'll likely start to recognize other party-goers. Many of the bars are housed in character-filled old buildings which can feel a bit cramped, but that's all part of the charm.

Is Ios or Lagos Better for Resorts?

Ios
Lagos

Ios and Lagos offer a relatively similar set of luxury resort options.

Ios is known as a popular and fun resort destination. There are a number of resort areas around the island with families preferring the areas around Yialos Beach and Manganari Beach. Partiers usually head to Chora and the great beaches near Mylopotas, but if you want to escape the crowds, head to Agia Theodoti.

If you're looking for a fantastic resort destination, Lagos is a perfect choice. As a resort town, you'll find no shortage of places to stay in the area. If you don't have a car, your best options are in the historic center. If transportation isn't a concern, then you'll find plenty of great resorts in the Marina, Meia Praia, Dona Ana Beach, Camilo Beach, and Porto de Mós Beach.

Is Ios or Lagos Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Ios
Lagos

There's scuba diving or snorkeling available in both Ios and Lagos.

Ios has a few good snorkeling spots. There are some nice snorkeling and diving areas around the island as well as vendors who organize snorkeling and dive trips.

There is a nice variety of marine life that makes scuba diving and snorkeling great in Lagos. With its unique rock formations and caves, there are many spots where you can snorkel or scuba dive nearby. There's also sparkling blue waters and plenty of marine life including lobster, shrimp, anemones, octopuses, and brightly colored fish.

Is Ios or Lagos Better for Beaches?

Ios
Lagos

For a relaxing beach holiday, both Ios and Lagos are good choices.

Travelers come from around the world to visit the beaches in Ios. The island has beautiful sandy beaches that range from family-friendly to party hard. There are popular and more developed beaches near Chora like Koumbara and Mylopotas as well as more relaxing beaches a little more removed like Kalamos and Manganari. Because of their striking beauty, the beaches around the island have been featured in a few films.

With world-famous beaches, Lagos is a very popular vacation destination. The beaches are long, flat and sandy with beautifully dramatic rock formations. The largest beach in the area is Meia Praia and arguably one of the best beaches is Praia Dona Ana. For convenience, Praia da Batata is the closest beach to town. Praia de Porto de Mós is one of the more quiet beaches, but it's still along a bus line. For beautiful nature head to either Praia dos Estudantes or Praia dos Pinheiros.


Is Ios or Lagos Better for Hiking?

Ios
Lagos

If you're looking to go hiking, Ios and Lagos both have various trails.

Ios is a good destination for hiking. The island has a barren and rocky landscape that offers spectacular views. Many of the hikes are quite challenging, but there are a few options for beginners as well. Many also pass by the spectacular ruins around the island.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Lagos. The city makes an excellent base for exploring some of the nearby hikes and walks. Favorite places to hike include the famous Ponte de Piedade Trail, which is the last part of the multi-day Fisherman's Trail. It takes you by many beautiful rock formations and scenic viewpoints. Another scenic hike is The Alvor Walkways, which is a series of boardwalks through sand dunes.

Is Ios or Lagos Better for Shopping?

Ios
Lagos

Both Ios and Lagos are good shopping destinations.

Ios offers some nice shopping areas. There are a number of local souvenirs that you can pick up. Many visitors prefer to take home unique items such as a tin of olives or olive oil. Jewelry, honey, and local ceramics also make good gifts.

Lagos has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. The town has a long history of local artisan crafts. You can head to the seafront promenade and find local traditional items such as ceramics, leather goods, and jewelry.

Is Ios or Lagos Better for Families?

Ios
Lagos

There's generally more to do with your family in Lagos than Ios.

As it has a large number of activities for kids, Lagos is a very family-friendly destination. You can spend days hanging out on the beautiful beaches, but there are so many other activities that the whole family will enjoy. Explore the caves in kayaks, take surfing lessons, head for the zoo, or go dolphin watching. There are also plenty of playgrounds and kid-friendly restaurants around town.

Ios is not always a place people visit with their families. While the island is known as one of the top party destinations in Greece, it also has a more cultural side. There are impressive archaeological ruins and stunning beaches that kids will enjoy. The island also has snorkeling and plenty of kid-friendly food. Some of the best family-friendly beaches are in Manganari Bay and Yialos Beach is a nice family-friendly area.

Is Ios or Lagos Better for Couples?

Ios
Lagos

With fun activities for couples, both Ios and Lagos make for a good place to visit.

Ios is a very popular place to visit for couples. Because it's so close to Santorini, many people visit as a day trip. While the island is synonymous with partying, there are still many world-class archaeological sites and romantic beaches that make for an active and fun honeymoon. It's a bit quieter outside of the peak summer months.

For those traveling as a couple, Lagos has plenty to offer. The beaches and hotels in the area offer a truly romantic setting for couples, whether you're on a honeymoon or a couple's weekend getaway. Spend some time on the beach or go kayaking through the caves. Get a spa treatment at a luxury hotel or go wine tasting through the countryside. You can also enjoy the beautiful sunsets on a sunset boat cruise while sipping a glass of local wine.


Is Ios or Lagos Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Ios
Lagos

Both Ios and Lagos are popular destinations for backpackers.

Backpackers and budget travelers come from all over the world to visit Ios. For many backpackers, partying in Ios is a quintessential European experience. Nights are spent at all night clubs or beach raves, while days are spent nursing a hangover on the beach. There are plenty of venues that cater to the budget crowd, with cheap food available at different places.

A large number of backpackers visit Lagos, as it is a very popular island for budget travelers. The area is a favorite for backpackers who come to hang out on the beaches during the day or party late into the night after the sun goes down. There are plenty of hostels around town and many offer a social vibe where it's easy to meet other travelers.

Is Ios or Lagos Better for Public Transit?

Ios
Lagos

While Lagos and Ios both provide public transit, overall the system in Ios is considered to be better.

Ios has some very good public transit options. There are public buses that travel to most of the tourist sights around the island including several of the more remote beaches like Manganari and Agia Theodoti.

Public transit is mostly limited in Lagos. The area has buses, but they are limited in where they go. There is also reduced service on weekends and holidays.

Is Ios or Lagos a more walkable city?

Ios
Lagos

Ios is considered more walkable than Lagos.

Ios is a somewhat walkable place. Chora is the most walkable part of the island.

Lagos is not a very walkable island. Most people prefer to have a car as some areas are very hilly and many resorts are outside of town. Depending on your fitness level and motivation, you may be able to get by without a vehicle, but it is generally not recommended.

Should I spend more time in Lagos or Ios?

How long in Ios or Lagos?

In either Ios or Lagos, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Lagos than Ios because of the overall number of sights and activities.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Ios is 1-3 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Lagos is 3-5 days.


  • How many days in Ios or Lagos? Ideal Length of Stay
    Ios 1-3 
    Lagos 3-5

One day in Ios or Lagos?

In Ios, many people enjoy the food and scuba diving and snorkeling that this vibrant destination offers. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. This island offers a variety of activities to choose from. Because of this, one day is usually enough time for a trip here.

With nightlife and food around the scenic destination of Lagos, there's plenty to do. It's also a relaxing resort destination. One of the main draws to the area is the beaches. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.


A weekend in Ios or Lagos?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Ios. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Many people visit Lagos for a weekend. With food and scuba diving and snorkeling around the vibrant resort town of Lagos, there's plenty to do. One of the main draws to the area is the beaches. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

Five days in Ios or Lagos?

Ios is a fun place to experience. Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the destination of Ios. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.

With scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping around the destination of Lagos, there's plenty to do. Many people spend five days here. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. It offers something for everyone. One of the main draws to the area is the beaches. Because of this, five days is usually enough time for a trip here.

A week in Ios or Lagos?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the historical destination of Ios. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Lagos, a popular resort town, is full of activities for travelers. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Your budget might influence how long you stay. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days.

Which city is cheaper, Lagos or Ios?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Ios is €73, while the average daily cost in Lagos is €94. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Ios and Lagos in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Ios 31
    Lagos 49
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Ios 62
    Lagos 98
Compare Hotels in Ios and Lagos

Looking for a hotel in Ios or Lagos? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Ios


Hotels in Lagos


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Ios Hotel Prices and Lagos Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Ios 13
    Lagos 25

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lagos

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Lagos:

  • Lagos Shared Departure Transfer to Faro: $26
  • Transfer Lagos - Boavista Golf (Lagos): $40
  • Transfer Praia da Luz - Boavista Golf (Lagos): $40
  • Transfer Lagos - Alto Golf Pestana (Alvor): $44
  • Transfer Praia da Luz - Alto Golf Pestana (Alvor): $44
  • Faro Shared Transfer to or from Lagos: $45
  • Faro Private Transfer to or from Lagos: $51
  • Airport Transfer One Way: $53
  • Private Transfer Lagos Airport LOG to Ikeja-Ikoyi-Victoria Island - Business Car: $58
  • Private Transfer Ikeja-Ikoyi-Victoria Island to Lagos Airport LOG - Business Car: $58
  • Transfer Lagos - Alamos Golf (Portimão): $58
  • Transfer Praia da Luz - Alamos Golf (Portimão): $62

Is it cheaper to fly into Ios or Lagos?

Prices for flights to both Lagos and Ios change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Ios 26
    Lagos 27

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Lagos

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Lagos.

  • Dinner + Jazz At The Metaphor in Lagos: $80
  • Classic Food Tour - Lagos: $93

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Ios 21
    Lagos 21

Tours and Activities in Ios

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Ios are as follows:

  • Ios Speed Boat Adventure: $54
  • From Ios to Sikinos Island & Winery Tour: $96
  • Half Day Sunset Sailboat tour (afternoon): $210

Tours and Activities in Lagos

Here are a few actual costs in Lagos for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 2 Hour Lagos Historical Tour: $14
  • Brodie's Historical and Fun Lagos Walking Tour: $19
  • Grotto tour Ponta da Piedade Lagos: $19
  • Lagos Walking Tour with Local Historian: $19
  • Lagos Zoo Entrance Ticket: $21
  • Explore Ponta da Piedade on a Boat Tour: $21
  • Lagos Zoo Admission Ticket: $22
  • Tour to go inside the Ponta da Piedade Caves/Grottos and see the beaches - Lagos: $22
  • Ponta da Piedade Boat Tour with Local Guide: $23
  • Ponta da Piedade Grotto Tour in Lagos, Algarve: $25
  • Ponta da Piedade Cruise to Caves and Beaches with Local Guide: $25
  • Ponta da Piedade: 2-Hour Boat Cruise: $29

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Ios 26
    Lagos 5.43

Sample the Local Flavors in Lagos

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Lagos:

  • Algarve Wine Tour in a VW T2 Van: $57
  • Algarve: Jeep Safari with Distillery Visit & Lunch: $65
  • Small-Group Day Tour of Silves and Monchique with Wine Tasting: $69
  • Silves, Caldas and Monchique Wine Tasting: Full Day Tour: $74


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Ios and Lagos, we can see that Lagos is more expensive. And not only is Ios much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Ios would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Ios and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Lagos would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Lagos than you might in Ios.

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Ios vs. Lagos Travel Comparison

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