Benagil boat tour in Algarve

How to choose a Benagil boat tour in Algarve

How to choose the Benagil boat tour in Algarve that suits you most? If you’re in the Algarve, a visit to the incredible Benagil cave is a true must. I think we know this by now 🙂 However, there are so many boat tours to Benagil. On SeaBookings, we have more than 30 experiences that involve visiting the cave of Benagil. 

There are so many rock formations and caves to see!

There are so many rock formations and caves to see!

We recommend choosing your Benagil tour based on the following criteria:

First of all, we should consider the departure point of your Benagil tour in Algarve.

On almost all cave tours, the departure point is the same as the endpoint. So, you can base your choice on where you’ll be staying. There are tours to the Benagil cave from Lagos, Portimão, Ferragudo, Carvoeiro, Albufeira and Vilamoura. The most Eastern location where the cave tours depart from is Vilamoura (closest) to the airport of Faro. The most Western departure point for the Benagil grotto tours is Lagos (closest to Sagres).

 
From Lagos, you'll go on a rigid inflatable boat.

From Lagos, you’ll go on a rigid inflatable boat.

Then, once you’ve chosen where you’d like to depart from, you should consider the duration of your boat tour.

Of course the duration of the Benagil boat tour in Algarve is directly related to price. The shortest Benagil grotto tours are one-hour trips and start at 25€ per person. The longest Benagil boat tour in Algarve are full-day tours of 6-7 hours. Most of the full-day tours to Benagil include a BBQ lunch on a secluded beach. The prices for these day-trips range from 45 to 60€.

BBQ cruise in Vilamoura to Benagil

From Vilamoura, we have catamarans for up to 42 pax

When choosing your Benagil cave trip, it’s also important to be aware that there are different types of vessels that do these trips.

The most commonly used boats are the typical “cave-boats”. These boats take 9 to 11 passengers and one boat driver. There are also a bit larger versions of these boats, up to 18 passengers, departing from Portimão. These Benagil boat tours are ideal because they are small enough to enter the smallest caves and manoeuvre through the most narrow rock formations. Taking into account this perspective, of course, the smaller the boat, the better.

Then, we have rigid inflatable passenger boats. These boats are smart if you depart from a Marina that’s a bit further from the Benagil cave, like Lagos, for example.

In fact, the RIBs are very fast, being able to cover a larger distance in less time. Another alternative is a more traditional boat. From Portimão, we have a very charming Portuguese traditional boat that does go to the famous cave.

sunset cruise in Lagos Private Boat Tour to Benagil from Lagos

Feel the luxury on a yacht!

For a more comfortable and luxurious experience, we recommend the luxury yachts that we have in Portimão and Lagos. These motor yachts have a closed cabin, as well as a nice sundeck. In Lagos, this boat even carries along a SUP board, so you can get closer to the caves by SUP.

If you like sailing, you can join a full-day sailing tour from Portimão or Albufeira to visit the Benagil cave. The sailing yacht will carry along a dinghy to be able to access the Benagil and other caves.

On the full-day BBQ tours, from Portimão, Albufeira and Vilamoura, you’ll also visit Benagil. As the boats used for these tours are very big, most of the tours have the possibility to step over to a smaller boat to get into the caves.

Another thing you should consider is if you’d like to go on a private Benagil boat tour, only for your group.

Chartering a boat is very nice if you’re looking for a more intimate experience. You’ll have the boat just for yourself and your friends, family or partner. Private charters are ideal for special occasions like wedding proposals, birthdays and bachelor parties.

Being able to stop for a drive when and where you want (subject to the sea conditions, of course), is a big plus of a private charter. And on most boats, if you rent it privately, you can play your own music and bring your own drinks and snacks. Private charters to the Benagil cave start at 200€ for a motorboat up to 5 people (and a skipper).

Benagil Grottenfahrt

The famous rock formations of Marinha are very near Benagil

Once again, we’d like to remind you that swimming to the Benagil cave can be dangerous. Believe us, it can really be dangerous. Accidents are, unfortunately quite frequent.

There are a lot of boats going in and out the Benagil cave and swimmers may be overseen. In addition, there may be unforeseen currents that even the better swimmers can’t deal with.

Another reminder is that local regulations don’t allow passengers to disembark off the boats in the Benagil cave. This means that, by boat, you won’t be able to get off the boat and stand on the sand in the Benagil Cave.

However, all boats will enter the cave as much as possible (subject to the sea conditions) and stay there a few minutes so you can calmly admire the impressive cave and take some amazing pictures.

SUP is a great choice if you want to get into the cave

SUP is a great choice if you want to get into the cave

If you really want to get off in the cave of Benagil, we suggest a kayak or SUP tour, to safely do so.

We hope we managed to help you choose the Benagil boat tours in Algarve that suits you most. Feel free to book online or let us know if we can help any further. Specially in high season, we recommend booking a few days ahead to guarantee your seats. Enjoy Benagil!

We went on a morning boat trip in Lisbon

We went on a morning boat trip in Lisbon

We went on a morning boat trip in Lisbon

By Bo, co-founder of SeaBookings, working from Lisbon:

I love it when my colleague and friend, Lianne from the Netherlands, is around!

I love it when my colleague and friend, Lianne from the Netherlands, is around!

When my colleague Lianne was visiting us for a few days in Lisbon, of course, we wanted to go on a sailing trip in Lisbon. We contacted one of our newest tour operators in Lisbon, to grab this opportunity to meet them and their boats in person. We scheduled a morning boat trip in Lisbon, departing from Belém.

Most boat tours on the Tagus River in Lisbon depart from Belém. From the city center, you can reach Belém by several means. There are a train, a bus and a tram. Or you can go by Uber or even be more adventurous and go by bike or one of the many electric kick scooters you can find around town. I and Lianne went on an even more original way to Belém. Lianne went on my bike and I went running. Like that, I’d have my daily exercise done, with about 7K 🙂

About our morning boat trip in Lisbon

Some adventure on a electric kick scooter is always fun!

Some adventure on an electric kick scooter is always fun!

At the gate in Belém, we were welcomed by our skippers and guides, Zé and Luís. They guided us to the boat. Lucky us! It was one of the biggest and fanciest sailing yachts in the dock! The boat was a Bavaria 36 Cruiser of 11,50m. After a small briefing of which route we’d be taking, we were ready to go out to the Tagus River. In a small group, you have a more intimate experience and can ask the captains everything you like.

Actually, this was my first morning boat trip in Lisbon as the ones before were all sunset tours. A sunset cruise is great as the colors of the sky can become really impressive. But I really appreciated seeing my beautiful city with this different morning light. We first cruised in Western direction to observe the Monument of Discoveries and the Belém Tower. Luís, one of the guides, is an enthusiastic local who proudly explained who were the main figures represented on the Monument of Discoveries as well as the history behind the Belém Tower. In fact, I never had such a detailed explanation of these two landmarks of Lisbon. I’m not going to tell all to you here, but if you’re interested, just book this sightseeing tour to discover Lisbon 😉

The emblematic Belém Tower

The emblematic Belém Tower

After the turn in direction of Lisbon’s downtown, we had the wind in our back and managed to feel the art of sailing for a while. While passing by some other boats, Luís showed me how the AIS (Automatic Identification System) worked. Quite cool how you can see a lot of information about each boat, like its ID, brand, owner and even next destination in some cases.

These tours are also cool to get to know a little bit more about the sailing itself

These tours are also cool to get to know a little bit more about the sailing itself

On the way to Praça do Comércio, we passed by “Cordoaria Nacional”. Luís explained that the Cordoaria, is a former naval rope-making factory. It now functions as an exhibition centre. Then, we sailed by the Electricity Museum, which was a charcoal power plant back in the days. Next to it, you’ll find the famous MAAT museum with its characteristic architecture. Praça do Comércio, or Terreiro do Paço, was one of the highlights of this morning boat trip in Lisbon. You get a great perspective over this majestic square. From a sailing boat, you get unique views of Lisbon.

Unique views from the Tagus River

Unique views from the Tagus River

On our way back to the dock, along the South bench of the River, it started raining a bit. The rain was quite unexpected in June, but fortunately, the skippers had already prepared the boat with a cover in the back. Like this, we could still sit outside and enjoy the views of the city despite the rain. We could see the famous Cristo Rei and the 25th of April Bridge too.

We strongly recommend this Dourada after the trip!

We strongly recommend this Dourada after the trip!

Once we arrived at the dock, we were rather hungry and asked the skippers to recommend a restaurant. Well, that was a great recommendation. We had a delicious Golden Bream with white wine and a view over the Tagus River at “O Pedrouços”.

On our way back home, I was a bit too full to run, so along with the bike, we rented a kick scooter and had a lot of fun! A perfect morning I would say! I actually even learned a lot about my city! This program is also a nice day trip if you’re staying in Cascais.

Benagil caves tour from Portimão

We went on a Benagil caves tour from Portimão

We went on a Benagil caves tour from Portimão

The SeaBookings team went on a Benagil caves tour. There are many tours that can take you to this impressive cave. Here’s our personal testimonial about this unique Benagil caves tour from Portimão or Ferragudo.

You can start the tour in Portimão or Ferragudo

You can start the tour in Portimão or Ferragudo

Lianne’s experience:

Wow! I didn’t know that it was possible to visit so many beautiful caves along the Algarve coastline between Portimão and Marinha. Departing from Clube Naval de Portimão, we were all provided with a life jacket before starting our boat ride to pick up a few more people in Ferragudo. Ferragudo is literally in front of Portimão. By boat, it took us approximately 5/10 minutes to reach this cute and authentic fishermen’s village.

There are so many rock formations and caves to see!

There are so many rock formations and caves to see!

Once everyone found their place to sit, we sailed along the most impressive rock formations of the Algarve where we passed by the most impressive caves I have ever seen. Really, if I think about it, we saw between 15 – 20 caves along the way, including the famous Benagil cave.

Many may wonder how you would get to the Benagil caves? With a Benagil caves tour of course! Now I know for sure, the safest and most fun way to explore the Benagil sea cave is by boat! But not only Benagil with its golden sands is worth a visit. The skipper knows exactly which caves are worth taking you besides Benagil. Believe me, you will see many more impressive caves and maybe Benagil is not even the most beautiful one! I was super impressed by the bright purple colors we saw when entering the caves. Most caves have two names, one Portuguese name and one touristic name. The skipper knows them all and is more than happy to show you to which they owe their name.

Abílio, our fun and knowledgable skipper

Abílio, our fun and knowledgable skipper

Bo’s experience:

Yes! We finally did a Benagil caves tour with our team! This time, we decided to join a tour to Benagil and Marinha. The boat tour had two starting points. You could board either in Portimão, at the Clube Naval, or in Ferragudo. This is great because you can choose what suits you best. We decided to start the tour in Portimão. Near the Clube Naval, there are many free parking spots, so this was ideal as we arrived to Portimão by car.

The arches of Marinha are worth a visit

The arches of Marinha are worth a visit

At the Clube Naval, the meeting point for this cave tour to Marinha is at the gate in front of the Museum. It’s very easy to find. Just look for Abílio, the skipper and he’ll take you to the boat. Abílio is a super friendly local who has spent almost all his life “in” the sea. He once was a fisherman and a few years ago started to take travellers to enjoy the stunning coastline and caves in between Portimão and Benagil.

You'll cruise by Carvoeiro

You’ll cruise by Carvoeiro

It’s a true family business. Marisa, Abílio’s wife, does the sales. You can find her friendly smile on their ticket stand in Ferragudo. And, if you’re lucky, you’ll meet Mariana, their daughter. Mariana and Abílio are great guides as they know the rock formations and other curiosities about the region like no other. They’re proud locals who are happy to share some interesting facts with you. Both guides speak French, along with Portuguese and English.

The "Devil's Eyes"

The “Devil’s Eyes”

We can highly recommend this Benagil caves tour. We were all impressed by Abílio’s skills to manoeuvre his 12-seats boat in the smallest caves and rock-formed alleys. Abílio has a great sense of humor and most likely, you’ll so now and then we surprised with some sudden accelerations! Another reason why we recommend this trip is that, because you depart from Portimão, you also get to see the caves in between Portimão and Benagil. Other boat trips to Benagil are more focussed on the caves around Benagil and Marinha. But this tour will take you to uncover many caves and rock formations that are less crowded and almost as impressive as the famous Benagil Cathedral. Don’t forget to wear a hat, sunscreen and just enjoy! It’s recommended to book ahead to assure your seats.

The Benagil Cathedral is just one of the many impressive caves of the area

The Benagil Cathedral is just one of the many impressive caves of the area

Do you also want to visit the Benagil caves? Please check all our Benagil tours here. Whether you prefer to go on a luxury yacht or a small boat, all our sea caves tours will show you the best of the Algarve coast with its beautiful beaches. From many different locations, you can visit Benagil beach and the Benagil cave. Did you know that if the sea conditions are good enough, you probably can enter Benagil during your Benagil cave boat tour? And for all nature-lovers out there, besides visiting the caves, don’t forget to join a dolphin watching tour from Portimão!

Algarve Caves

How to get into Benagil Cave

Do you want to know how to get into Benagil cave? You can walk, swim, or join a boat, kayak or SUP Tour.

The Benagil cave is probably the most famous sea cave in Portugal. So if you are on holidays in the Algarve, make sure you visit it! The region around Benagil is also worth a visit, so why not combine it with a tour along the Algarve coastline or a day trip to the nearby village Carvoeiro?

What is the Benagil cave?

The Benagil cave is a fascinating rock formation with a big eye in the middle. It’s the most famous sea cave in the Algarve.

The hole in the ceiling of the cave allows the sun to shine at the little beach inside the cave. Its beauty is hard to describe and the best way to understand it is to go there and see for yourselves! The colours of the cave are, just like the entire coastline around it, unique and typical for the Algarve. And to see the clear blue sky through the eye of the cave is simply beautiful!

get into Benagil Cave

The arches of Marinha are very impressive too

Where is the cave?

The Benagil cave is located in Lagoa, in the Algarve in Portugal. The grotto can be found just between Praia do Benagil and Praia da Marinha.

Close to cave, there are also some other towns that are worth a visit. Carvoeiro is one of the most popular destinations in the Algarve for tourists from all over the world. Here you can stroll around the streets, enjoy an ice cream or a nice lunch or dinner after visiting the cave!

How to get to the Benagil cave?

To get to the Benagil cave, you can go by train, bus or car to any of the departure points of the Benagil tours. The Benagil cave tours depart from Albufeira, Portimão, Lagos, Vilamoura, Armação de Pêra, Ferragudo, or Alvor.

To go to the beach, next to the small fishing village, the easiest way is to drive there by car. If you want to go to the beach by public transport, you need to go by train or bus to Lagoa. From there you can get a taxi, which costs about 10€ to Benagil.

You can walk to the top of the Benagil cave which is impressive too

You can walk to the top of the Benagil cave which is impressive too

Can you walk to the cave?

Yes, you can walk to Benagil cave. However, this way you can only see the beach and cave from above. It’s also very beautiful. But seeing the famous cave from the cliffs is not nearly as impressive as seeing it from the sea. So even though you can walk there, it’s not the “real”  experience. And of course, you won’t get to take those amazing pictures.

Can you swim to the cave?

Yes, you can swim to the Benagil cave, but it’s very dangerous. Benagil is one of the most popular caves in the Algarve. There are many boats going in and out of the cave at the same time, especially at high season. Unfortunately, swimmers can be overseen

The sea conditions can make it very risky to swim to the cave. So while some bloggers suggest the best way to get to the cave is by swimming, let us tell you that this is very dangerous. Especially people who are not familiar with the sea and not very good swimmers should definitely not swim.

On a boat ride along the coast, you get to see many caves

On a boat ride along the coast, you get to see many caves

What is the best way to see Benagil cave?

The best way to see Benagil cave is by boat, kayak or SUP. This way you can get into the Benagil cave ad actually stand on the sand in the cave.

If you want to visit Benagil without too much effort, the best way is on a boat tour. People who are not comfortable in the sea can feel safe in a boat. All boat tours include life jackets.  More active people might prefer a Kayak or SUP tour to Benagil. The advantage is that with kayak or SUP, you can get really inside the Benagil cave beach.

But why only visit Benagil sea cave?

Did you know that the entire region around it is full of similar caves, and all of them a lot less frequented by tourists? Sure, the cave is very impressive and a famous tourist attraction of the Algarve, but actually the caves in the entire Algarve coast around it are equally beautiful! There are also many beautiful beaches. 

If you get on a boat trip from Lagos, Portimão or Ferragudo for example, you will see about 15-20 caves before actually arriving to Benagil. Depending on the tides, your skipper will take you through tunnels and into completely dark caves. By the time you get to the sea cave, you might not even be so impressed anymore since you already saw how beautiful the region around it is!

So to make sure you don’t miss out on some other impressive caves of the Algarve, a guided boat, kayak or SUP Tour is the best way to see the cave!

High season is between June and September, so make sure to book in advance to guarantee your seats on a tour to visit the Benagil cave.

Cliff Diving in the Azores

Your ultimate guide to the Red Bull Cliff Diving in the Azores

Did you already hear about the Red Bull Cliff Diving Series? This super exciting event takes place all around the world, at 7 different locations, to find the best female and male cliff-diver! The jumps they do are spectacular, and watching the divers jump from up to 27m with such elegance and doing amazing acrobacy at the same time, is definitely breathtaking!

The cliffs of São Miguel are incredible!

The cliffs of São Miguel are incredible!

One of the stops of the World Series is at the beautiful islet Vila Franca do Campo in the Azores! The “Princess Ring”, a volcanic islet in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean is a really magical place and it is here that the world’s best cliff divers will compete for the trophy! And if you’re in the Azores around June 22nd, it is an event that you shouldn’t miss! And what better place to watch it than from the sea, where you can see how the divers dive in precisely right in front of you? Surely that’s the best option to watch the Red Bull Cliff Diving in the Azores

The Red Bull Cliff Diving in the Azores is the 4th stop on the World Series. Before, the divers will already have jumped off cliffs in the Philippines, Dublin and Italy. But for us, the stop in the Azores is definitely the best one, since we love the Portuguese archipelago not only for their steep cliffs but for the many other sea-related activities you can do there!

These colors? Coul only be the Azores!

These colors? Coul only be the Azores!

For you to get the most out of your trip, we came up with this ultimate guide to the Red Bull Cliff Diving in the Azores. After all, the event will only be one day, but the Azores have a lot more to offer as well! So make sure to plan some extra days to get the most of this island!

The Red Bull Cliff Diving in the Azores will take part in the little islet of Vila Franca do Campo. It’s a natural reserve since 1983, and besides the steep and impressive cliffs the divers are going to jump from to perform impressive figures and do multiple spins, this little islet has a lot more to offer! So why not take a walk after the event, to be impressed by the unique landscape?

During the competition of the Red Bull Cliff Diving in the Azores, the men and women will show off their skills. It sometimes even seems unreal, with what kind of precision and control they perform the figures while jumping from such heights! It will surely leave you in awe, and maybe you will even get inspired to start some easy cliff jumping yourselves – if you’re brave enough because one thing is for sure: You gotta have some serious balls for this!

Would you jump from this high?

Would you jump from this high?

The islet Vila Franca do Campo lies about 1km away from the shore of the Azores’ most popular island São Miguel. You can easily get there by boat of course. But why stop there? There is so much more to explore around São Miguel, so if you have the time, you should definitely join a boat tour to explore not only the islet but also the rest of the impressive coastline! This boat tour, for example, will take you on a full day tour to explore the region completely and get a feeling for the real authentic way of life of the Azores!

Whale watching is a must when visiting the Azores!

Whale watching is a must when visiting the Azores!

Did you also know that you can observe whales and dolphins, and even go swimming with dolphins in the Azores? You can do so from São Miguel but also from Faial! So if watching the Red Bull Cliff Diving in the Azores isn’t enough excitement for you already, you should go on another adventure and find some of the wild cetaceans living in or passing by the Azores!

True athletes!

True athletes!

Finally, your ultimate guide to the Red Bull Cliff Diving in the Azores wouldn’t be complete without some delicious recommendation for food! The most famous exports from the Azores when it comes to food are probably beef and cheese. But if you’re on the island, you should also try some of the super fresh seafood of course. The famous Lapas for example, a kind of sea-snail, is a real delicatessen in the Azores and if you’re brave enough to watch the Red Bull Cliff Diving in the Azores, you should also be brave enough to try Lapas! 😉 And not to forget – the Azores have some unique and delicious wine, that goes perfectly together with any kind of meal!

Eating lapas? Please do so!

Eating lapas? Please do so!

As you can see, there are lots to do and explore in the Azores around the event of the Red Bull Cliff Diving in the Azores! So book your tickets now, visit the Azores around June 22nd and be impressed by the amazing skills of the world’s best cliff divers!

Benagil Tour von Portimo How to get from Lisbon to Benagil Bootstour nach Benagil von Lagos

The Ultimate guide about the Benagil cave

The Benagil cave is the most impressive sea cave in Portugal. As a result, it has been the most popular one to visit in the Algarve.

In fact, the Benagil sea cave in Portugal was listed in the world’s “Top 10 Coolest Caves” published by American online newspaper The Huffington Post in 2014. And since then, featured in many blog posts all across the internet, it has became a very popular place to visit.

The south coast of Portugal is called the Algarve. The Algarve coast 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.

There are a lot of factors that need to be considered if you want to go to the Benagil cave.

The famous grotto is just one of the many, that stand out and is a “must see” on your next holidays in Portugal.

Where?

The caves of Benagil are very photogenic ;)

beautiful spots

Benagil is not just about a famous cave, in fact it’s a small fishing village, located on the south coast of Portugal, the Algarve.

It’s a traditional village, with fishing facilities, restaurants, and a beautiful beach. The village can be found between Praia do Carvoeiro and Armação de Pêra. The closest city is 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 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:

  1. Boat trips – There is a suitable boat tour for everyone. There are also a lot of variety of boats.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

As these tours are very popular, we require you to book in advance.  If you want to join one of the kayak or SUP tour, make sure you have enough swimming experience.
As you also need to make sure that you know how to go to the departure location of those tours, by booking online, you will receive an email with exact location. 

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.

After all the best way to get inside of the grottoes, are the boat tours.

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.

An important component of the boat tours, are the small beaches, that can only be visited or seen by sea.

If you’d like to see more of the coastline beside the most famous ones, we recommend Ponta da Piedade. Ponta da Piedade are a set of incredible rock formations near Lagos.

Basically, the only way you can visit both places on the same tour is by renting a motorboat (with or without skipper), from Portimão.

Ultimately we recommend to do the boat tours in the early morning, as wind is calm and normally less movement around.

Join us on a boat tour to Benagil!

Join us on a boat tour

How to get to famous 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

Lagos Benagil SeaBookings (3)

truly impressive

We provide over 30 Benagil boat tours, all tours provide lifejackets.
There are several kinds of boat tours that go allong the coastline. There are big catamarans but also small fishermen boats. What’s best depends on your own preferences.

The most traditional tour depart from Carvoeiro, a fisherman town next to the 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 on a small boat that can truly access into the grottoes.
  • 1,5h 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.

The boat tours to the Benagil cave depart daily from:

If it’s the first time that you want to visit the coastline, have a look at the many activities we provide along the coast and choose the best option for you.

How much does it cost to do the tours?

Prices of the tours vary between 20€ for a simple cave tour in a traditional boat up to luxury boat charters.

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.

The famous rock formations of Marinha

The famous rock formations of Marinha

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.

Cave & dolphin watching Albufeira - From Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal

dolphin watching Albufeira

From Albufeira, there is a boat ride that combines the two best things to do in the Algarve Portugal: cave tours and dolphin watching.

Dolphin watching in the Algarve is also one of the must do. It gives an amazing feeling seeing dolphins swimming in their natural habitat.

These dolphin watching tours cost €35 per person and there are several types of boats available.
The dolphin watching sightseeing departs from almost all marina’s in the Algarve. We do recommend to book in advance.

Can you walk to cave?

Benagil cave is located just 150 meters next to 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 cave.

The only tours that allow you to get inside of the grotto are the SUP tours (stand-up paddle) and kayak tours. These tours have a very high demand so we recommend to book on time.

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.

COVID-19 Update: Many families prefer to book a private boat to enjoy the coastline on a safe way. The private boats start at only 150€, thus def. worth contacting us for the best option for you.
All tour operators have implemented all hygiene messures and even where recognized by a “Safe & clean” certificate.

Benagil cave

Coastline

The grottoes 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.

Eco tours in the Algarve

Discover the best eco tours in the Algarve

Are you planning to go on holidays in the Algarve and searching for a way to minimize your footprint while adventuring abroad? Look no further – Lianne, customer support and content/translations at SeaBookings, listed the best eco tours in the Algarve!

Our favorite eco tours in the Algarve

1. Coasteering

“I highly recommend coasteering for true ocean lovers as being closer to the ocean and nature in general, is impossible!” (Bo)

“I highly recommend coasteering for true ocean lovers as being closer to the ocean and nature in general, is impossible!” (Bo)

Coasteering is a very original, exciting and sustainable way to explore the Algarve. And that’s why this experience is on our list of eco tours in the Algarve. If you are looking for some adventure, then this sustainable tour to explore the Algarve coastline is the perfect activity to do.

Coasteering involves swimming, walking and jumping from cliffs, so you can imagine it is a very intimate way to explore the coastline! Would you like to know what our experience with this lovely sustainable tour was? Last summer we experienced ourselves how amazing coasteering is! You can read our experience here.

2. Solar Boat in Ria Formosa

A solar boat is a great choice if you'd like to minimize your "travel footprint".

A solar boat is a great choice if you’d like to minimize your “travel footprint”

Yes, you read it right. We now have a boat tour departing from Faro that is fully powered by solar energy! This solar boat tour is one of the eco tours in the Algarve. And besides that, the boat is super quiet without the noise of an engine what makes it possible to approach animals without disturbing their peace. So, do you want to be part of the future, and enjoy a sustainable tour in Ria Formosa? This eco-friendly sustainable tour on a solar boat in Ria Formosa is an amazing way to explore the natural beauty of Ria Formosa without polluting nature!

3. Morning SUP grotto tour in Lagos

Stand-up paddle is a favorite for environmentally-conscious travelers

Stand-up paddle is a favorite for environmentally-conscious travelers

Stand-up paddle tours are one of our favorite eco tours in the Algarve. A very peaceful way to start your day during your holidays in the Algarve is by doing this SUP grotto tour in Lagos.

Stand-up paddle is rather easy to learn and a great way to enjoy the sea. Before the busy tourism starts you will get the opportunity to discover the calm waters around the coast of Lagos. And we can promise you that hearing the sound of lapping water while standing on your SUP board is very nice and calming! Our dear colleague Nathalie did this sustainable tour in Lagos together with her dad. If you want, you can read her experience here.

“The light at this time of the day is just absolutely magical. Praia Dona Ana, usually a busy beach full of people, is a true paradise this early in the morning. Peaceful and quiet, with the calm and clean Atlantic Ocean in front of it. Only for this view of another beautiful day starting in Lagos it was already worth getting up so early.” (Nathalie)

4. Kayak in Vilamoura

Kayaking is great for families

Kayaking is great for families as each kayak takes 1, 2 or 3 people

This kayak tour in Vilamoura is on the list of eco tours in the Algarve because it’s a nice sustainable tour to do with the whole family! During two hours you will get the opportunity to explore the pretty coastline of Portugal and our experienced guides know exactly where to take you!

By kayak, YOU will be the engine! Do you like to kayak alone, with one other person or even three in total, it’s up to you! This sustainable tour in Vilamoura has single, double and triple kayaks. That way you can choose how you would like to explore the coastline.

5. SUP tour in Benagil

The Benagil cave is a must-see in the Algarve!

The Benagil cave is a must-see in the Algarve!

We already mentioned that stand-up paddle tours are our favorite sustainable tours in the Algarve and this SUP tour in Benagil will definitely be the highlight of your holiday! Did you know that this tour allows you to enter the Benagil cave and admire the cave from inside while standing on the sand?

The experienced guide Bruno knows the area around Benagil very well and he is happy to share his passion for the nature of this region with you! I did this sustainable tour in Benagil together with my boyfriend. If you like, you can read more about my experience here.

Do you have more questions after reading this article or are you looking for more tips to discover the beautiful Algarve in a sustainable way? Please let us know by sending an email to [email protected]!

dolphin watching tour in Setúbal

We went on a dolphin watching tour in Setúbal with the family

By Bo, co-founder of SeaBookings, working from Lisbon:

What better birthday present can you give than a day out on a boat? This year, for my mother in law’s birthday, we decided to give a special present: we went on a dolphin watching tour in Setúbal with the family. When we finally found a Saturday where we were all available and the weather forecasts were OK, we booked our dolphin trip in Setúbal for the afternoon.

The nets in the front are a lot of fun

The nets in the front are a lot of fun

Setúbal is known for its delicious fried squid. And as the dolphin watching tour in Setúbal would depart at 14h30, we’d have time to enjoy some of this local delicacies. We booked a table at Taska da Avenida, number one on TripAdvisor for the famous “choco frito”. In fact, it was the best fried squid we’d ever had and the French fries and salad were also delicious. So, if you plan a day trip from Lisbon to go on a dolphin watching tour In Setúbal, pass by Taska da Avenida before. The restaurant is only 10min by foot from the meeting point to catch the boat.

It's hard to catch them on camera, but they were all around the boat!

It’s hard to catch them on camera, but they were all around the boat!

Once our bellies were happy, we took a stroll around the streets of Setúbal and met the crew of the boat tour at their office. Here, the youngest one of our party, Luísa of 5 years old, was super excited to learn about the dolphins that we’d be searching for. In Setúbal, in the Sado River, lives a resident pod of bottlenose dolphins of 27 members. These resident pods are very rare and as they are residents, the skippers and marine biologists on board have a strong record of their behaviour. They can even identify each of the 27 dolphins by their dorsal fin! Of course, Luísa was impressed to know all this and to learn about the life of these beautiful creatures.

The boat used for this dolphin watching tour in Setúbal is a very nice and comfortable catamaran. You can sit in the shade or in the sun or even on the nets. After picking up one more family from Tróia, on the other side of the Sado River, we were ready to start our journey in the search of wild dolphins. As they are not fed or tagged, the crew never knows where they’re hanging out, so there’s always a small chance to have tough luck and not find them. However, given that this pod of dolphins is resident, the chances are very very high. In the last years, the success rate has been 90-95%.

Kids love this dolphin watching tour in Setúbal

Kids love this dolphin watching tour in Setúbal

After cruising river-inwards for about 20min we already saw the first splashes. Yes, we had found them! Everybody on board was super excited. As soon as we approached the pod of dolphins, they were all around the boat. It’s truly magical to see how people react when they see these beautiful creatures. It’s so special finding them in their natural habitat. The skipper explained that we could only be with them for 30min so we would not “disturb” them too much. One thing we really liked was to feel that this tour operator truly respects these animals and are interested in them. One of the skippers even explained a lot about them. He went from family to family and explained a bit about this curious pod of resident dolphins, both in English and in Portuguese. The other skipper was steering the boat and even allowed Luísa to help him!

We could not get enough of observing the dolphins!

We could not get enough of observing the dolphins!

Before heading back to the dock in Setúbal, we still did a scenic tour along the green hills of the Arrábida Natural Park and the white sanded beaches of Tróia. It was beautiful!

This dolphin watching tour in Setúbal is very suitable for families. On our trip, there were many kids and even babies on board and in our case, grandma also enjoyed a lot! We recommend to check-in at least 15 min before the departure of the tour so you can take a look at the office and learn about the dolphins. Regarding food and drinks onboard, we brought some water and fruit and cookies and there’s also a bar service for additional drinks. To find out more and to book, feel free to have a look here.

We went Whale Watching in São Miguel

Our friend Cristina, blogger at The Choice of Magic, shares her unforgettable experience Whale Watching in São Miguel:

Welcome to São Miguel!

Welcome to São Miguel!

The island of São Miguel is certainly one of the most breathtaking places in Portugal. With eternally green hills, blue-green water, spotted cows and delicious cheese, it’s the perfect getaway for a long weekend. There are obviously plenty of things to do in a place where nature is so overwhelmingly beautiful: from hikes and baths in the island´s many hot springs to eating all the “lapas” you can find, and to finally going on a most amazing adventure: Whale Watching in São Miguel. 

When planning our trip, we positively knew we wanted to venture into the sea and try our luck at Whale Watching in São Miguel. Something else we knew was that we had to do it with an agency that had consideration, respect and love towards the animals and their ever endangered ecosystem. After thorough research, we decided to ask SeaBookings for help and they promptly booked us a tour with a local whale watching tour agency of extremely kind and passionate people.

Lourenzo, the Marine Biologist

Lourenzo, the Marine Biologist

The tour started on a sunny day, at 8:30 am from Vila Franca do Campo’s marina. We got there early and having followed the advice of the tour operator, with some milk in our bellies to combat the seasickness. The tour started on land with a touching video about our oceans. Minutes later, adults and children alike were embarking along with Tiago, the boat’s captain and Lorenzo, our charming Italian marine biologist. Waterproof jackets on, scarves around our faces and sunglasses firmly secured, the boat started towards the great unknown.

The views over the shore are stunning!

The views over the shore are stunning!

Not even 10 minutes in, we encountered our first colony of bottlenose dolphins. Now, I’ve only ever seen dolphins in aquariums and this was a completely different experience. Seeing these wonderful creatures in the wild and hearing Lorenzo’s stories about the dolphins of New Zeeland, we felt utterly overwhelmed and grateful for being able to experience this. The colony was a big one, over 100 animals, jumping around our boat and giving us the welcome to their island. The boat had stopped for us to admire the animals, take some blurry pictures and recover from the first batch of seasickness.

This tour operator works with whale spotters who from the island’s shore, oversee the sea with powerful binoculars and warn the boat captain of where these wonderful creatures are lurking. After seeing two colonies of bottlenose dolphins, the whale spotters excitedly warned our captain that a group of sperm whales was nearby. We rushed in their direction and it wasn’t long until we found the beautiful animals resting in the water and soaking up the sun. Lorenzo explained that it was a matriarchal group formed out of three adult female whales and their calves. I cannot even begin to describe the feeling of smallness one feels when seeing a baby whale expelling water through its blowhole. Remember all the cartoons you’ve seen with whales doing this? Well, it´s even better in reality.

It's hard to catch the animals on camera!

It’s hard to catch the animals on camera!

Three hours flew by unbelievably fast and as we were circling the beautiful islet of Vila Franca do Campo, the site for the Red Bull Cliff Diving competition, we wished we could do it all over again. We returned to base for a final cup of tea and chat with Lorenzo and learned more about the island’s effort in preserving the oceans and helping these animals. We left smiling, thankful and just a tad more mindful about how wonderful nature is.

Many thanks, Cristina, for describing your experience Whale Watching in São Miguel so beautifully. For more details about this tour or bookings, please have a look here.

48 hours in the Algarve – Sunset, waves and culture

This is a guest post by Peter Jenkins, Owner and Luxury Villa Specialist, Sun-hat Villas and Resorts.

There’s something magical about The Algarve. From the instant you step off the plane, you are transported to a holiday haven and can feel an indescribable buzz; not just from the delightful climate, but also from the friendly locals, and let’s not forget the cuisine.

The region has become a hot spot amongst jetsetters who like a touch of elegance with their evening cocktails when overlooking the stunning beaches and enjoying the tranquility of the peaceful fishing villages. The area is also a firm favourite of chilled out surfers, hoping to catch some wonderful waves on Portugal’s widest swell.  With such a wide offering, we have gathered a list of our top recommendations, ideal for a short weekend or spread out over a long relaxing trip.

Day 1

Sunrise surf

The striking cliffs, impressive cliff-top fortress (and the most powerful lighthouse in Europe) can all be found in the glorious Sagres, which is one of the places to catch some waves – or at least watch some the cool surfers show you how it’s done! Check out Magic Seaweed’s handpicked guide for what to expect when out on the water.

After hitting the beach, Sagres is a fabulous place to spend your morning. With its joyful cafes this is a great spot to grab some breakfast (or brunch if you want a lazy lie-in). Terra is a great venue to head for breakfast. A glass of delicious fresh juice or a cup of roasting hot coffee teamed with either a nutella or peach filled croissant, can be one of the best ways to start the day. It is also a good option for vegetarians and vegans.

Explore Alcoutim

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Discover Alcoutim

After an extremely active and revitalising morning, you may be tempted to treat yourself to a slightly more laid back afternoon. On the exciting drive to Alcoutim, you will be able to discover the picturesque countryside views and see the sights of its warm riverside beach. This is a cool place to rest and watch the cheeky fish occasionally jump in and out of the water.

After bathing at the beach, take a stroll in the cultural and historical town, steeped in culture with a Moorish castle, 14th Century castle remains and 17th Century fort.

Sunset: From surf to turf

One of the places we love to dine at is Almancil’s hilltop restaurant Parilla Natural. This stunning eatery features its own wine cave and offers visitors an outside dining experience amongst tall trees and charming candlelight. If you’re feeling chilly, fear not as there’s an inside eating area too! From the menu, we particularly like Surf and Turf paired with Batatas Fritas Caseiras (hand cut potato fries), and for drinks, be sure to try the Lemon Cheesecake Martini.

Day 2

Climb the mountains

Foia - Highest Mountain in Algarve

Foia – Highest Mountain in Algarve

The magnificent Foia Mountain, also known as Monchique, is the highest in the Algarve. Adventurists, who want to partake in the challenge of making it to the top, will be able to walk around the area with a local guide and come face to face with cooling water springs and views of the coastline scattered with attractive little villages. Be sure to pack a tasty picnic breakfast, whilst you enjoy the view from the top.

An afternoon in Albufeira

Albufeira's beach

Albufeira’s beach

The old town of Albufeira is exceptionally captivating and is surrounded by a whole array of delightful restaurants and bars offering everything you could possibly imagine; from the imaginatively presented and tongue tantalising gourmet dining experience at Al Quimia, (some of the food is dished up in a goldfish bowl), to much loved authentic and inexpensive take-aways such as the Albufeira Gourmet Churrasqueira Take-Away, which serves mouth-wateringly good ribs and skinny fries.

The main square bursts into life in the evening with locals and revelers and the maze of cobbled side streets hold interesting hidden finds; it’s also great for finding a souvenir or too!

Sunset at Sea

Watch the sun as it comes down, whilst you’re cruising through the sea on a sunset boat tour. You’ll be able to witness all of the pretty colours of The Algarvian sun, whilst also visiting the moonlit caves, dancing under the stars, relaxing on the deck and taking a cooling night time dip in the ocean. Guests will be treated to one complimentary drink, and there’s also a bar on board for you to sample the local wines and beers. The tours depart from different locations like Vilamoura or Albufeira.

Book your accommodation on time

Book your accommodation on time

If you’re feeling tempted and want to plan your next Portuguese adventure, take a peek at the luxury villas in Vale do Lobo, and the rest of the Algarve, that Sun-hat Villas have available.