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.
In fact, the coast of Portugal is known for its impressive caves and rock formations. In this article, we’ll share 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 fisherman 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 Algarve you can’t miss are:
“Algar de Benagil” – The Benagil Cave
The worldwide known ocean cave of Benagil is originally named “Algar de Benagil”. The cave of Benagil in Portugal is one of the most remarkable sea caves in the world.
In 2014, this popular ocean cave of Portugal was listed in the world’s “Top 10 Coolest Caves” by American magazine The Huffington Post.
Well, if this is a worldwide know cave, it surely 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 grotto is called Lagoa. Benagil itself is a small village mostly 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 would like to swim to the Benagil cave, make sure the ocean is very calm. As entering the caves by boat is already a great adventure.
The safest way to reach the grottoes is by boat and this is suitable for all ages. Boat tours to Benagil depart daily from the Carvoeiro beach, Lagos, Portimão, Alvor, Albufeira, Faro or Armação de Pêra.
“Zorreira” – The Zorreira Cave
The cave of Zorreira is another cave in Portugal you shouldn’t miss. It’s located in the area of the Algar de Benagil. By going on a boat tour to the cave of Benagil, most likely you’ll also visit this cave.
Out of the about 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 one.
“Arcos de Marinha” – The arches of 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 certainly a beach you should visit on your holidays in Portugal.
The Michelin Guide considered “Praia da Marinha” as one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in Europe and as one of the 100 most beautiful beaches in the world.
Marinha Beach is very popular for its stunning rock formations, sandy beach and crystal clear waters. As the ocean is generally very calm here, it’s a great spot for snorkelling.
The wide range of rock formations are 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 as 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 breath-taking arches.
“Gruta do Capitão” – Captain’s Cave
The Captain’s cave as locals call this impressive grotto in the Algarve is also one of our favourites.
This cave is located in 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 very difficult. In fact, it’s a privilege to be able to access this Algarve cave as you cannot reach it by for or swimming, only by boat. Even by boat, this cave is hard to access.
Capitan’ cave can only be seen closely if the ocean conditions are perfect. Low tide and no waves are the perfect conditions required to visit 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.
“Elefante” – Elephant
The cave called “Elefante” is located in the area of 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 the most impressive ocean caves of Portugal.
So, when you’re visiting the Western Algarve, you should go to 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 grottoes 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 to recognize these figures in the rock formations and the “Elefante” is no doubt a favourite!
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.
As mentioned before, according to the local experts, “Elefante” is the cave of Portugal you can’t miss.
The best holiday with the best cave tours
There are many places where you can take a cave boat tour, and most of the locations are easy to find and have free car park. However, in the summer season, the cave boat trips get very busy, thus book in advance to avoid any 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.
[…] 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 […]
Thank you for the share!
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?
When do the trips start ?
(PS we are experienced canoeists)
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?
Dear Jasmine, thanks for your comment. We have tours starting at 20€ per person. Check them out here: https://www.seabookings.com/boat-trips-portugal/grotto-trips/
[…] Top 5 Caves Algarve […]
Amazing post, I am already daydreaming of these places!