Algarve Caves

Algarve Caves: Top 5

If you’re planning your holidays to Portugal, more specifically to the Algarve, you’ve most likely already heard of the Algarve caves. 

The coast of Portugal is known for its impressive caves and rock formations. This article shares the TOP 5 Algarve caves you can’t miss.

Therefore to write this article, we’ve spoken to some of our partners who know the Portuguese coastline like no other.

Local fishermen and skippers of the popular boat tours are experts on the caves of Portugal. Most importantly, they were proud to share their knowledge about the caves in the Algarve, for instance.

In other words, we have experienced many cave tours along the Algarve; the caves are a must on your next holiday.

The top 5 ocean caves of the Algarve you can’t miss are:

  1. “Algar de Benagil” – The Benagil Cave

The Benagil cave is the highlight of most cave tours in the Algarve
The Benagil cave is the highlight of most cave tours in the Algarve

The worldwide ocean cave of Benagil is also known as “Algar de Benagil.” The cave of Benagil in Portugal is one of the most remarkable sea caves in the world.

In 2014, this famous ocean cave of Portugal was listed in the world’s “Top 10 Coolest Caves” by the American magazine The Huffington Post.

Well, if this is a worldwide known cave, it is one of the best of the Algarve’s caves!

Where and how to get to the caves of Benagil?

The cave of Benagil is located in the Algarve, on the south coast of Portugal. Just next to Benagil Beach.

The nearest city to this cave is called Lagoa. Benagil itself is a small village mainly dedicated to fishing. The Benagil cave is located just next to Praia de Benagil.

The amazing Benagil sea cave is not easy to access. The grottoes are only accessible by boat, kayak, SUP, or, if you’re a good swimmer, swimming.

However, if you like adventure and want to swim in the Benagil cave, ensure the ocean is calm. Entering the caves by boat is already a great adventure.

The safest way to reach the grottoes is by boat, which is suitable for all ages. Boat tours to Benagil depart daily from the Carvoeiro beach, Lagos, Portimão, Alvor, Albufeira, Faro, or Armação de Pêra.

  1. “Zorreira” – The Zorreira Cave

The boat reaches the caves very closely
The boat reaches the caves very closely.

The cave of Zorreira is another cave in Portugal you shouldn’t miss. It’s located in the area of the Algar de Benagil. You’ll also visit this cave by going on a boat tour to the cave of Benagil.

Out of the 20 caves that are part of the boat tours to the Benagil cave, the cave of Zorreira cave is definitely one of the most impressive.

  1. “Arcos de Marinha” – The arches of Marinha

Arcos da Marinha
Arcos da Marinha

The beach of Marinha is one of the most emblematic beaches of Portugal. This beach is also located in the region of Lagoa. Thus this beach is undoubtedly a beach you should visit on your holidays in Portugal.

The Michelin Guide considered “Praia da Marinha” one of the ten most beautiful beaches in Europe and one of the 100 most beautiful beaches in the world.

Marinha Beach is famous for its stunning rock formations, sandy beach, and crystal-clear waters. The ocean is generally very calm here, so it’s an excellent spot for snorkeling.

The wide range of rock formations is a preferred habitat by local marine flora and fauna.

The rock formations around Marinha Beach have two arches. The arches of Marinha are one of the known symbols of the Algarve.

Therefore, local fishermen and skippers consider these arches a place of Portugal you should not miss.

We conclude the best way to explore the two arches of the Marina beach is by boat. Most boat tours to the Benagil cave mentioned above also pass by these breathtaking arches.

  1. “Gruta do Capitão” – Captain’s Cave

Captain's cave Algarve Portugal
Algarve caves – Captain’s cave

The Captain’s Cave, as locals call this impressive grotto in the Algarve, is also one of our favorites.

This cave is located between Carvoeiro and Armação de Pêra. Next to Praia da Estaquinha and Praia do Barraquinho.

To arrive here, your only access is by boat, as access is complicated. Accessing this Algarve cave is a privilege as you cannot reach it by for or swimming, only by boat. Even by boat, this cave is hard to access.

Capitan’s cave can only be seen closely if perfect ocean conditions exist. Low tide and no waves are ideal for visiting the Captain’s Cave in the Algarve. If low tide, you’ll see a small beach.

A visit to this Algarve cave is part of the Caves & Dolphins boat tour, which departs from the Marina of Albufeira.

This boat tour is one of the most popular boat tours of the Algarve, as it combines two things: dolphin watching and visits to the stunning coastline of the Algarve. Most of the cave tours in the Algarve visit this cave in small fishing boats.

  1. “Elefante” – Elephant

Elefant cave Portugal
Algarve caves – Elefant cave

The ” Elefante ” cave is in Ponta da Piedade, Lagos. Lagos is a picturesque fishermen’s village (or city). When visiting Lagos, the “Elefante” is the one you should not miss.

The local fishermen and skippers of the boat tours in Lagos are sure that the “Elefante” is one of Portugal’s most impressive ocean caves.

So, visiting the Western Algarve, you should see Ponta da Piedade.

What, where, and how to get to Ponta da Piedade?

Ponta da Piedade is not a beach, as there’s no sand to lay on. Instead, Ponta da Piedade is a magical place where high rock cliffs reach from the blue sky into the deep blue ocean. Compost out of the natural beauty of caves.

Around Ponta da Piedade, you can find many caves you can visit on a boat tour, kayak tour, or standup paddle tour.

The “Elefante” rock formation in Lagos is a cave of Portugal you should not miss because it’s included in the most beautiful set of caves.

Kids love recognizing these figures in the rock formations; the “Elefante” is undoubtedly a favorite!

For example, looking for figures in the rock formations of Lagos is like looking for figures in the clouds—a fun game for the little ones.

According to the local experts, “Elefante” is the cave of Portugal you can’t miss.

Algarve caves
The coastline

The best holiday with the best cave tours

In conclusion, you can take a cave boat tour from many places, and most of the locations are easy to find and have a free car park. However, in the summer, cave boat trips get very busy; thus, book in advance to avoid disappointments.

In conclusion, there are many more amazing caves and beaches in the Algarve, which we would love to share with you. We wish you a beautiful adventure to discover the best sea caves of Algarve, Portugal. If you’ve got any suggestions or questions, please feel free to contact us.

Bo Irik - Boosting Maritime Tourism in Portugal

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  1. […] worth it. Algarve has a beautiful coastline with secret corners that are only accessible by boat. Seabookings is very renowed for the best cave’s […]

  2. Dear Bo,
    We are coming to Tavira next week and would love to canoe round the caves you describe above.
    Can you forward some details please ?

    Where do trips start from?
    Email addresses for website / booking?
    Cost ?
    When do the trips start ?

    Kindest regards,

    John andGill

    (PS we are experienced canoeists)

  3. how much is it to see these sites i am going with my husband in oct 15th to the 17th. also would i have to pay ahead?

    1. Dear Jasmine, thanks for your comment. We have tours starting at 20€ per person. Check them out here:

  4. Amazing post, I am already daydreaming of these places!

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