The Benagil caves are the most impressive sea caves in Portugal. As a result, it has been the most popular one to visit in the Algarve.
In fact, the Benagil cave Portugal was listed in the world’s “Top 10 Coolest Caves” published by American online newspaper The Huffington Post in 2014.
The south coast of Portugal is called the Algarve. The Algarve is the most popular tourist destination in Portugal. It’s known for amazing summers, impressive coastline, and idyllic beaches.
The Algarve coastline has many imposing grottoes, cliffs, rock formations, and white beaches.
The famous grotto is just one of the many, that stand out and is a “must see” on your next holidays in Portugal.
Benagil is a small fishing village, located on the south coast of Portugal, the Algarve. The closest city is called Lagoa.
The grottoes are situated 150 meters east to the beach, Praia de Benagil. They are located in the so-called “Algar de Benagil”.
How to get into the cave
There are many ways to get into the Benagil cave, by boat, by SUP, by kayak and swimming (not recommended). The sea cave is only accessible by water.
To go into the caves you have several options:
- Boat trips – There is a suitable boat tour for everyone. There are also a lot of variety of boats.
- SUP tours – For the more sporty holiday makers, this is the way to discover the amazing coastline. Paddleboarding along the coastline is refreshing, sporty, and makes you feel healthy and happy. The SUP tours allow you to get into the cave beach.
- kayak tours – How much fun to share a kayak with your partner, while enjoying the amazing weather, coast, and beaches. You can also rent a kayak, but we recommend the tours for all comfort. The kayak tours take you to beaches with golden sand, where you can refill your energy for some more golden coastline.
Can you swim to the cave?
Yes, you can swim to the cave, but swimming there is not recommendable. The tides may get high and you may not be able to swim back safely and you never know what kind of currents there are below the calm water surface.
Besides the many boats that continuously come along, may lead to dangerous situations. Many accidents have happened along the last years.
To get inside of the grottoes, we recommend the boat tours that depart daily from:
During the Summer season there are many daily departures and during the Winter season frequency may be a bit lower, but the boat tours run all year round.
The duration of the boat tours vary from 1h to 7h. You can go on a small fisherman boat or on a big catamaran, among other vessels.
The coastline around Lagoa has many more amazing grottoes. On a boat tour, you can see around 10-15 grottoes.
Some of the small beaches, can only be visited by sea. Most of the tours go until Armação de Pêra.
Ultimately we recommend to do the boat tours in the early morning, as wind is calm and normally less movement around.
How to get to Benagil beach
Benagil beach is easily accessible. We recommend reaching the beach by car as public transport is not easy. In fact, the journey to the beach is already an adventure itself.
You might feel lost on the tight back roads of Lagoa, with a lot of curves and ups and downs. Thus, on the GPS, the best is to select “Praia de Benagil”. You will get there, no worries 😉
If you have not got a GPS, on the national road EN125, turn south nearby the Escola Internacional do Algarve (the International School of the Algarve, in Porches), and follow the signs to the beach.
The parking for the beach is very limited. If the official car park is full, you can leave your car along the main road.
The boat tours
The most traditional tour depart from Carvoeiro, a fisherman town next to Benagil beach:
- 1h boat tour: This one hour boat tour will take you into the cave and show you around 10 other grottoes of the region of Benagil on a small boat that can truly access into the grottoes.
- Marinha + Benagil tour: This is the perfect boat tour to enjoy the epic coastline and go a bit further up to the famous rock formations of Praia da Marinha. You’ll be able to make impressive pictures.
How much does it cost to do the tours?
Lifejackets are required and included in all boat tours. The use of lifejackets on touristic boat tours is mandatory in Portugal.
On all boat tours, you will go in and out of the most amazing grottoes. Besides the amazing views, you will hear and smell the ocean closely.
As you get into a grottoe, the sun illuminates the water, creating amazing effects.
You will love it. Inside of the most impressive grottoes, the captain will shut down the boat’s engine such that you can admire calmly with no noise.
On most tours, you will enter the grottoes for about 2 minutes to give you time to take the best pictures of your holidays or simply enjoy it quietly.
These boat trips allow you to enjoy the “golden” coast. The cliffs and beautiful beaches of the Algarve coastline have amazing colors.
These tours cost €35 per person and there are several types of boats available.
Can you walk to cave?
Benagil cave is located just 150 meters next to Benagil beach, the inside can only be reached via the boat, kayak, sup or swimming.
Thus, you can walk up to the hole of the cave and see it from above, but you can’t walk to the inside.
Can we disembark inside?
New local regulations don’t allow boats to disembark passengers into the Benagil cave.
Booking a boat tour
In summer, the Algarve is very popular. The majority of the boat tours will be fully booked for the next few days.
Especially this boat tour can become fully booked for days as it’s one of the most popular tours of the Algarve.
As a result, we strongly recommend you to book in advance to avoid disappointment. By booking your tour online, you can guarantee your seat a few days ahead.
The Benagil caves are a must for anyone visiting the Algarve. There are so many ways to discover this area, there is always a way suitable for everyone, any age or restriction.
We wish you a beautiful adventure to discover the Algarve coastline. If you’ve got any suggestions or questions, please feel free to contact us.