Benagil Caves Tour

We visited the Benagil caves with the family

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

We were on holiday in Carvoeiro, a small fishing village in the Algarve, with my boyfriends’ family, this year. We had 4 kids in the group, from 1 to 6 years old. The kids just love the beach, so most of the days, we spent the mornings on the beach and the afternoon by the pool. Praia Vale Centeanes and Praia do Carvoeiro are our favorite beautiful beaches.

Praia Vale Centeanes is very nice for the kids to play

Praia Vale Centeanes is very nice for the kids to play

As we were staying in Carvoeiro and given that “I work with boat trips”, of course, I had to invite the family for a boat tour to the Benagil caves. We decided to go on the one-hour cave tour from Carvoeiro beach to the Benagil caves. One hour would be more than enough for Zé, Lu and Graça (6, 5 and 4 years old), while Inês would stay on land with the youngest, Teresa of 1 year and 3 months. Teresa could also join the tour but Inês prefered to stay on land with her.

We were lucky to be able to walk to the beach where we’d depart from, Praia do Carvoeiro. We took the 10AM tour, like Teresa from the tour operator recommended, so it would not be too hot. After putting on some sunscreen and a hat on the kids, we were ready to put on lifejackets. Lifejackets are mandatory on this Benagil cave boat tour. The kids were super excited with their colorful children-life jackets.

The rock formations of the Algarve are truly unique

The rock formations of the Algarve are truly unique

To board the boat, you’d take your shoes off and step onto the boat from the edge of the beach, where the water starts. Then, once we were all in the boat, the guys on the beach pushed us deeper and the skipper turned on the engine. As we were a group of 7, we only had one other couple on board. There was plenty of space and of course, the youngest ones wanted to venture to the front-seats of the boat.

You'll enjoy the coast from a different perspective

You’ll enjoy the coast from a different perspective

We immediately turned left, in Eastern direction, toward Benagil. Our skipper and guide presented himself and told us about the boat ride we were going to do. As soon as we moved away from the shore, we could appreciate a unique point of view over the stunning coastline of the Algarve. The red-brownish colors of the cliffs contrasted nicely against the blues of the sea and the sky. The skipper started telling us about the rock formations we were cruising by. As a local, he knew all the names of the sea caves and rock formations and gave us some tips about the things we could do in the region.

We even ventured into some very dark caves!

We even ventured into some very dark caves!

It was very nice to cruise by the beaches we had visited before and see them from a different perspective. We were impressed about how the whole thing about the Benagil cave tours is always about Benagil. In fact, it should not be Benagil cave but Benagil caves. Plural. Because there are so many caves in the region of Benagil! Some of the caves we visited before reaching the Benagil cave were even more dreamy than the Benagil sea cave. There was one cave that was truly unique. It had water falling from its eye in its ceiling and the sun shining through. It was incredible!

The contrast of the colors is amazing

The contrast of the colors is amazing

The guide quickly understood that the kids loved the moments of acceleration, so he started to do some speedy curved when we’d exit a cave. The kids loved it. The smiles on their faces were priceless. Another moment we will never forget, was when we got into a very dark cave. You could see a feeling of admiration and a slight fear in their eyes. It’s really nice to be guided by a local guide as he’ll tell you the names of some of the caves and rock formations and some of the history (or stories) behind them. The kids just loved the “pirate cave”, the “love cave” and the “turtle cave”.

The epic Benagil cave is just one of the many caves of the region

The epic Benagil cave is just one of the many caves of the region

Yes, there are many hidden caves to explore around Benagil. That’s why departing from Carvoeiro is a big plus. You get to see a lot of the Algarve caves in between Carvoeiro and Benagil. After seeing the imposing Benagil cave, it was time to turn around and head back to Carvoeiro. We do so, by moving away from shore and then: speed! We had a blast on our way back. The wind in our faces tasted just great!

The whole coastline is unique and impressive, so a boat tour is worth it!

The whole coastline is unique and impressive, so a boat tour is worth it!

We’d like to thank the whole team at Carvoeiro beach for this amazing experience with the family. The children loved it, but of course the adults too. We were all very surprised by the number of caves the Algarve coastline offers and impressed by the driving skills of our skipper! This tour is highly recommended if you want to visit the Algar de Benagil and for you, one hour on a boat is enough 😉 If you’d like to go up to the arches of Marinha, you can join this 1,5-hour tour from Carvoeiro to Praia da Marinha.

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.

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

How to get from Lisbon to Benagil

If you are planning your holidays to Portugal, you probably already heard about the famous Benagil sea caves. They are located in Algarve, the Southern part of Portugal. One question a lot of people seem to be asking themselves is how to get from Lisbon to Benagil. In fact, many people arrive in Lisbon or want to visit Lisbon and Benagil on the same trip. This is why we decided to make a blogpost about how to get from Lisbon to Benagil!

Only because you prefer staying in a big city doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on the famous Benagil cave! Portugal is not that big a country, and it is quite easy to get from Lisbon to Benagil. We will present to you the best options of how to get from Lisbon to Benagil.

It is possible to do this is a day tour. However, if you can spare one night, it is much more relaxed if you take your time and make it a two-day trip. But that’s just a recommendation. 🙂

Here are the options for how to get from Lisbon to Benagil, or better, to some of the locations out trips to Benagil depart from:

You can go from Lisbon to Benagil by bus

You can go from Lisbon to Benagil by bus

  1. Bus from Lisbon to Benagil

This is the cheapest and probably the easiest option to get from Lisbon to Benagil. There are numerous bus companies to choose from and they all offer more or less the same service at the same prices.

If you go on renex.pt, you can choose Lisbon Sete Rios or Lisbon Oriente as your starting point. The easiest is to go to Lagoa (careful, LagoA not LagoS). The direct bus drive takes a bit over 3 hours and costs around 20€. There is a bathroom on board and the busses have air conditioning and are very comfortable.

From Lagoa, you can grab a taxi for about 10€ to Praia do Carvoeiro, Ferragudo or Praia de Benagil. There you can get on one of the boat tours, kayak tours or SUP Tours to Benagil. We have a lot to choose from! We also have departures from Lagos, Portimão, Albufeira and Vilamoura. Just check what’s easiest for you or what town appeals most to you.

By train the ride is more comfortable

By train the ride is more comfortable

  1. Train from Lisbon to Benagil

The second option to get from Lisbon to Benagil is by train. On cp.pt you have a few more starting points in Lisbon to choose from, so it is more likely that you have one close to your hotel or accommodation. You can go to Estombar-Lagoa by train too. However, you have to change trains in Tunes.

The train takes only around 3,5 hours and the price is only a few euros higher than if you choose to go by bus. Once you get to the train station in Lagoa, you can get a taxi to Praia do Carvoeiro or Praia do Benagil. From here a taxi will cost you around 10-15€.

The train is also a great option to consider when you plan on how to get from Lisbon to Benagil. It’s easy, comfortable and you get to see some beautiful landscapes along the way.

By rental car you're more independent

By rental car you’re more independent

  1. Rental Car from Lisbon to Benagil

If you are travelling with more people or just want to be more independent, renting a car for a day might be a good option for you to get from Lisbon to Benagil. In Lisbon, there are numerous car rental companies to choose from.

During high season, prices per day for a rental car start at around 50-55€. In low season, you can rent cars a lot cheaper. Just be aware that a lot of car rental companies ask for a deposit of 1.000€ on your credit card.

If you choose to rent a car to get from Lisbon to Benagil, you have two options: You take the long route on the national road which will take you about 5 hours. Or you can go on the freeway, where you have to pay tolls but you only take about 2,5-3 hours. To get from Lisbon to Benagil and back, you will be charged around 50€ for tolls.

For the tolls on the freeway, you can either get a transponder in your rental car for a small extra fee. That’s the easiest way because you don’t have to worry about anything and just pay the toll on the rental car company. If you don’t get a transponder, you can pay the tolls 2 days after driving on the freeway in a payshop. For this, you just need to have your license plate and then you pay with your bank card in the payshop or at a post office.

Another alternative are the private transfers. A private driver will pick you up where and when you want and take you to your destination in Portugal. We recommend RobustPerfection, with a “perfect” transfer service all around Portugal.

Benagil Grottenfahrt

The famous rock formations of Marinha

These are the three best options when it comes to how to get from Lisbon to Benagil. It’s up to you which one suits you best!  The Benagil caves are definitely worth a visit! Whichever way you decide to get there, we wish you a great trip and a lot of fun!We have several departure point for the tours to the Benagil caves: Praia do Carvoeiro, Ferragudo or Praia de Benagil. There you can get on one of the boat tourskayak tours or SUP Tours to Benagil. We have a lot to choose from! We also have boat trip departures from LagosPortimãoAlbufeira and Vilamoura.