Lagosians are big on beaches.
On any given weekend – if they’re not out partying or shopping at malls – chances are they’ll be at any of the city’s private and public beaches. And with the local hospitality sector seeing record investment, more private beaches, beach clubs and resorts are opening their doors in Lagos.
Beaches in Lagos are usually extensions of resorts, so you could book a room and enjoy the waves around the clock. They offer a cheering range of leisure and recreational activities that attract not just the city’s fun-seeking residents but also its diverse expatriate community. So if you’d like to kitesurf, play beach soccer, or party all night, there’s a beach for you.
Whether on the Lagos Island or Lagos Mainland, the beaches are in different corridors – such as the Badagry, Ibeju–Lekki and Okun-Ajah corridors. And while there are many stand-alone beaches, some are within the boundaries of big-name, better-known beaches. You can literally hop from one beach to the next on the same corridor.
Horseback riding is a common activity on almost all beaches. Loud music is a constant feature, especially on weekends. Bars, restaurants and lounges are plentiful; decide beforehand which beach – and which joint – you plan to spend your time at. Whichever you settle for, admission to private beaches is anything between N1000 and N3000, and tickets are issued at the points of entry. Some might charge extra for parking (N500 being the standard rate).
So if you’re looking to get wet and wild in the "city of aquatic splendor," here are some of Lagos' best beaches.
1. Landmark Beach
Choose from one of the beach clubs at Landmark. Lagos Beach Club and Island Breeze come with swimming pools and their own in-house bar and restaurant. Elsewhere on the vast stretch of sand, people typically lounge by the shoreline or chill in groups in cabanas of different sizes. If you're looking for something more active, there are football pitches, basketball and volleyball courts available, in addition to an amusement park and games for kids. At the Vitality Sports & Leisure space, you can play golf on the two mini-courses.
Planning tip: Landmark is an extensive beach divided into at least four divisions. There are tricycles positioned near the gate to shuttle you to any part of the grounds you wish to spend your time.
2. La Campagne Tropicana
La Campagne is the place to go if you’re looking to lose yourself at a beach that’s covered with coconut trees and bordered by a lagoon and mangrove forest. From its palm wine bar and bonfire arena to its mat-draped tents and thatch-roofed cabanas, everything here is about having an authentic African experience.
Planning tip: Once inside, you are entitled to a range of free on-land activities, including ball sports and board games; all water sports (kayaking, jet-skiing), however, come at a price and take place at the lagoonside.
3. Tarkwa Bay
One of the most popular and scenic beaches in Lagos, Tarkwa Bay is where aspiring surfers learn some skills and where practiced surfers return again and again. You can reach it by boat from the Five Cowries terminal at Falomo (the journey lasts about 20 minutes) or from a number of other private jetties on Lagos Island.
It’s one of the few beaches in Lagos where the resident community is very invested in its everyday running, both as vendors and through keeping the sands free of trash. Very recently, it’s gained a new reputation as a camping location. Look towards the city for heartwarming views, including the unmistakable towers at the Eko Atlantic.
4. Barracuda Beach
As early as 10am on a Saturday, Barracuda is already bumping and grinding with happy crowds everywhere. Its "free zone" – a free seating area under a long stretch of coconut trees – is a favorite of families, who will spend the money they've saved on other treats. The freebies don't end there: visitors are welcome to play games (beach soccer, handball) and participate in activities like tug-of-war and sac racing at no cost.
Barracuda is one of few beaches on the Okun Ajah corridor that has kept most of its coconut plantation intact. In fact, you walk through a canopy of coconut trees on the way to the beachside, a very calming welcome indeed.
5. Oniru Beach
This beach is situated in Iru land, one of the oldest indigenous kingdoms in Lagos. It can be fun in itself just watching people getting on and riding a horse (N2000 is the standard price per trip on all beaches) for the first time, with the help and guidance from the riders. Not everyone is interested in equestrian thrills: others ride the roller coasters, play beach soccer or dance to a playlist.
Planning tip: The G12 Beachfront Bar offers pricey seating options. The G12 club, just across from the bar, opens Wednesdays and Sundays from 11pm to dawn.
6. Honeyland Beach
Honeyland – on Eleko Beach Road – is one of the newer, less well-known beaches in Lagos. Go here if you want to experience a space that's not just authentically African (in look and feel) but is also an eco-tourism hangout. Visitors can choose between the main bar and the beachside bar, from where you can see folks on dugout canoes on the high sea fishing for shrimps. Its African restaurant serves a wide range of delicacies – name it, and they’ll make it.
Planning tip: There's no entry fee to Honeyland, but visitors pay to use its pool.
7. Golden Beach
One of the small beaches (and less well known, too) in Lagos, Golden Beach is the go-to place for beach lovers who prefer less crowded spaces, day or night. Its no-frills thatch-and-bamboo bar doubles as a restaurant and overlooks the oceanfront. Wherever you sit, you won’t miss the brilliant collection of creative and catchy phrases pinned onto tree trunks, almost like directional signs. They all reinforce the fun and well-being associated with time at the beach: “A good beach day keeps the doctor away”; “Sand on, stress off”; “beach days, best days”; “Life’s a wave – catch it.”
8. Elegushi Beach
The Elegushi Beach corridor is lined with lounges and bars that come alive with fun seekers on weekends. To get a good view of the waves, settle at the front of the cabins. From there, you’ll get a shoreline view of horses galloping to and fro.
On other days, the people to be seen are there to enjoy the breeze and quiet; every once in a while, small groups gather to pray. On Friday afternoons, before the fun seekers start to pour in, the grounds facing the Elegushi Central Mosque (Annex) serve as a prayer ground.
9. Kids Beach Garden
Adults are usually the primary target clientele of most beaches in Lagos, but children are the stars at the Kids Beach Garden. Here, children get to play and learn about the environment and how it impacts everyday living. A typical day out here is a mix of tree-planting exercises and talks around climate change.
Planning tip: Consider giving back to the environment by planting or adopting trees on its premises.