Disclaimer: This page may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I may earn a commission at no cost to you. please see mineDisclaimerHere. Under no circumstances will Boundless Roads be liable for purchases of tours, tickets and other online reservations made from third party providers.
You know those photos shared on the internet of amazing places in the world that often look like a montage, so surreal as the landscapes are?
So is the famous Benagil Cave, the biggest postcard in the Algarve region and one of the most beautiful Portuguese sea caves you will ever see!
Located between Spain and the Alentejo region, the Algarve is a European paradise filled with history and modern conveniences with something for everyone.
With an average of 300 days of sunshine a year,Algarve beachesrepresent one of the most important tourist destinations in summer.
Its natural beauty and the beautiful bay of golden sand with warmer waters than other regions of Europe attract mainly Portuguese, English, German and French tourists.
There are countless caves along the Algarve coast, formed by the constant meeting of the sea with the rocks. And one of the most beautiful results of these encounters is certainly the vertical cave of Benagil or Algar de Benagil (in Portuguese).
It's easy to understand why this is one of the most famous spots in a region that doesn't skimp on its exuberance. The cave in the middle of the sea, with a hole in the ceiling, is a work of art by nature.
Geomorphology that can be seen and felt and that deserves to be understood and admired from the inside.
In Benagil, be dazzled by the arches at the entrance to the cave and the focus of natural light projecting onto the sand of the small, quiet inland beach.
The large natural opening at the top lets in natural light and the sun's rays offer a true spectacle of nature.
The lighting dips into the sea water, reflecting magical colors on all sides, highlighting the emerald green of the water and the gold of the rocks.
In addition to this beautiful cave, you can be even happier to find a "hidden" beach in the Algarve.
Book your Faro airport transfer - Welcome Pickups
- best price
- Hassle free collection
- safety first
- english speaking drivers
Where isto Benagil grotto?
The Benagil sea cave is located on the beach with the same name, in the village of Carvoeiro, in the municipalityCityfrom Lagoa in the Algarve, a region of southern Portugal famous for beautiful beaches with calm, clear waters, golden cliffs and incredible rock formations dotting its landscape.
How to get to Benagil Cave?
With a strategic location just an hour's drive from Faro and 30 minutes from Albufeira on the Algarve coast, this is a perfect place to include in your holidays.Algarve-Rota.
To get to Benagil from the N125, just follow the path towards Armação de Pera, look for the road to Porches and then the arrows to several beaches – including Praia de Benagil (or Praia de Benagil).
It is an easily accessible beach, with parking and good infrastructure. The Benagil car park is at the top of the cliff and you can find it after going up the hill after passing the beach.
While it's not even an incredibly beautiful beach, you can access the Sea Caves of Benagil from Praia de Benagil.
How to visit the Benagil Cave: 5 ways
The Benagil Cave is very close to Praia de Benagil, about 600 feet out to sea on the left side of the beach facing the ocean. However, you cannot go there, and the cave is only accessible by water.
There are different ways to get to the cave, some more convenient than others.
1.Visit to the Benagil Cave by boatgo through
The most popular way to visit the cave is to take a short boat trip to the Costa do Carvoeiro Caves.
There are tours of the Benagil caves that depart from Lagos to Albufeira, giving you many options for visiting the cave.
Benagil Beach itself has two companies (Tortuga and Didi) that offer boat trips to the various caves in the area, including the Benagil Cave.
The routes and prices are the same and you can choose between the express tour (which lasts about 40 minutes and takes you to 8 caves) and the complete tour (which lasts 1h30 and includes more than 12 caves) in a 10-minute dive stop).
On the positive side, the tour includes a visit to several caves. The route also passes by Praia do Carvalho and Praia da Marinha.
There is a fantastic cave calledcave of love(Love Cave) with a heart-shaped crater in the ceiling. It's so perfect I wonder if it had a little help from a handyman.
The downside of the Boat Trip to the Benagil Cave is that the boat only stops at the Sea Cave in Praia de Benagil for about 5 minutes.
Be sure to ask the guide if you can get off the boat, as some boats just pass by and others stop but won't let you off.
Always ask what is included before booking the tour if getting off the boat at the Benagil Cave is important to you.
Also, tours sell out in the morning during high season, so plan ahead and book your tour in advance if possible.
Note that the boats that leave from Praia de Benagil are small (maximum 10 people) and therefore sell out early.
Overall, the tour is good for those who want to visit more places, but it's a bit rushed, so I don't recommend it if you like to go slower.
2.Visit to the Benagil Cave by kayak
Another visit option is the kayak trip to the Benagil Cave. There are single, double and triple kayaks for rent. Depending on sea conditions, it takes between 5 and 10 minutes to reach the Benagil Caves by kayak.
Right at the entrance to the beach, some companies offer kayak rental. The rental allows you about 1:30 hours with the equipment.
The plus side of renting a kayak is that you go it alone and have enough time to enjoy the cave and take pictures. Not to mention that you can try a new activity and add variety to your trip to the Algarve.
The downside is that if you don't have kayaking skills, you might have trouble getting in and out of the cave due to the waves.
But it's not impossible, believe me. Remember to enter the cave through the second crack, as access is much easier.
Also, it is very common not to rent kayaks in high season due to high demand. Kayaks sell out before the boat trips, so you'll need to arrive around 9am to secure your kayaks.
3.Visit to Benagil Cave on Paddleboard
One of the most fun ways to visit the Benagil Cave is by renting a paddleboard at Praia de Benagil. Paddleboards for rent can be single or double.
Depending on sea conditions, it takes between 5 and 10 minutes of paddling to reach the cave.
It is important to remember that the paddleboard does not have space to store personal belongings, so plan well what you will take.
And just like kayaking, renting a board requires you to sign a liability waiver and return the equipment at the same location.
For those who like to take their time, paddleboarding and kayaking are the best options. But I think it's worth taking a boat trip too.
This way you can see all the sensational caves that the boat trip visits and make the most of the Benagil Cave by staying a little longer to enjoy the small beach of the cave at your own pace on a kayak or paddleboard.
4.Baden to the Benagil Cave
When the tide is low and the sea is calm, it is also possible to swim between Praia de Benagil and the Gruta de Benagil. Under these conditions, swimming takes no more than 15 minutes to reach the interior of the cave.
Absolutely don't dare swim to the cave unless you are very comfortable in the water and have experience.
The advantage is that you can leave whenever you want and stay in the cave as long as you want!
There is a mini beach where you can really relax! Another option is to swim in one of these buoys with a hole in the middle.
on the cliffsThat way, if you get tired halfway through, you can float for a few more minutes.
The downside of swimming or floating is that it depends on sea conditions.
Always ask the locals who work on Benagil beach if the sea is good for swimming, as it is not highly recommended unless you have some experience and are used to swimming in the sea.
5.Walk to the top of the Benagil Cave
An alternative is to see the cave from the top of the cliffs! Yes, it is possible to get that very special viewpoint from the top of the Benagil crater.
The walk there is part of thePath of the Seven Hanging Valleys, which runs from Praia do Vale de Centeanes to Praia da Marinha.
You can choose to walk the entire trail or a small section that passes through the Benagil crater.
Access to the trail from Benagil is very easy. After leaving the beach, go up the hill to the right and go to the edge of the cliff. You will find the trailhead next to the restaurant.Alger.
There's no way to get lost, just take the small entrance to the right of the parking lot and go straight on the dirt road for five minutes and you'll reach the top of the cave.
The crater contour is fenced because the subsoil is very unstable and there is a risk of collapse. You can't be too careful.
Upon reaching the top of the Benagil Cave, a beautiful landscape opens up and you can see the emerald water gently entering the cave and lapping the sand of the small beach.
The best tours through the caves of Benagil
If you have limited time and want to secure your tour to visit this spectacular cave, book in advance. Here below I share the tours with the highest rating.
SHOW MORE TOURS
What is the best time to visit the Benagil Cave?
The sea in the Algarve has icy waters throughout the year, which is welcome in the summer due to the high temperatures in the region.
So, to get the most out of your Benagil Cave experience, you might think that thebest time to visit this amazing placeas in the other Algarve beaches, it is from June to August.
However, given the high season in Europe, this time of year is usually the busiest in tourist spots like the Benagil Cave.
Not to mention that tours and rentals are more expensive. This makes the months of May and September the best opportunities to get away from the crowds and still enjoy the beach in good weather.
Also remember that thebest time of day The cave is best lit between 11am and 1pmwhen the incidence of sunlight through the upper opening is greater.
There are still some tours in the winter season, but it depends on the weather conditions, as you will usually find rough seas in winter, while good weather is guaranteed in the summer months.
Read more aboutthe best time to travel to portugal
Activities at Benagil Beach
Praia de Benagil is located on one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the Algarve, where the steep cliffs form caves, craters and arches.
Next to the village of Benagil, the small Praia de Benagil nestles in a sheltered bay and has much more to offer than just the Benagil Cave.
This area, bathed by a calm sea, is ideal for boat trips where you can discover isolated beaches not accessible by land. The beach itself is a great place to lie on the sand and take a dip or just float in the water.
Of course you can rent kayaks and paddleboards to go to the Benagil Cave as I mentioned. But you can also rent them and have fun on the beachfront if you want to avoid the crowds at the cave.
Restaurants near Benagil Beach
Benagil has invested heavily in tourism in recent years, so finding a restaurant for lunch is not difficult. At the top of Benagil hill, there are three good examples of good cuisine to enjoy near Benagil Beach.
With fresh fish, well-prepared meat and homemade dessert,Algeroffers a great environment for those who want to enjoy their meals on the terrace overlooking the bay.
It offers excellent value for money,to coastit is the place for grilled fish and freshly made natural juice. About that,The fishermanserves the traditional Portuguese cataplana and octopus accompanied by a unique wine selection.
Benagil cave beaches nearby
The Algarve region is famous for its spectacular beaches, among many other things, and you can find many spectacular white sand coves very close to the Benagil Cave, where you can enjoy a relaxing moment after the tour to admire the beautiful caves and explore the rock formations.
Praia da Marinhais a sandy beach just a few minutes away by car and Armação de Pêra is another spectacular beach, also surrounded by amazing rock formations and located about 30 minutes by car from the Benagil Cave.
However, there are so many spectacularAlgarve beachesthat we've written a detailed post that you can use as a guide for your next trip.
Other beautiful sea caves to visit in Portugal
In Portugal there is a concentration of caves in three different locations to include in yourPortugal travel itinerary: the lava tubes of the Azores region, the limestone caves of the Aire and Candeeiros mountains and the sea caves of the Algarve.
Here are some examples of the most interesting and beautifulPortugalCaves.
Gruta das Torres, Pico island, Azores archipelago
At 3.2 miles long, it is estimated that theCave of Towersit appeared about 1500 years ago in an eruption of Cabeço Bravo. This is actually the largest known lava tube in Portugal.
Currently, the visit to the site is done in the form of an expedition: for one hour, visitors with the necessary equipment travel 400 meters through the cave.
The tour offers good infrastructure that guarantees the safety of visitors. Every year, 10,000 people visit Gruta das Torres.
In the Azores you can also visitCarvão-Höhle in Ponta Delgada. Like thisAlgar do Carvão,christmas grotto,EFurna do Enxofre auf der Insel Terceira.
Mira de Aire Caves, Serras de Aire e Candeeiros Natural Park
Less than an hour from Nazaré, the region of Porto de Mós is home to limestone caves with stalactites, stalagmites, waterfalls and underground lakes.
Considered one of the 7 Wonders of Portugal, the Mira de Aire Caves are 7 miles long but only 2000 feet of the route can be visited.
Discovered in 1947, the caves were not opened to the public until 1974. The route begins with a 360-meter drop from the entrance - the descent is via stairs, but it is possible to take the elevator back. In general it is a wonderful place and very well structured to receive visitors.
In the same region you can also visit theCaves of Santo Antonio,Alvados Caves, EAlgar do Pena in the Serras de AireEnatural park lamps.
The Algarve coast is very varied, from extensive beaches to rocky cliff formations. Caves and craters were formed by sea erosion and can be accessed by boat.
These caves and paradisiacal beaches are of great beauty where the turquoise blue of the sea stands out. In addition to the Benagil Cave, there are numerous lesser-known but no less spectacular caves.
Examples of these caves aredried seaweed,paradise cave,Alfanzina lighthouse cave, cave of love, between others.
you might like
- 27 facts about Portugal that you should read before your trip
- Can Lisbon be covered on foot? Tips and places to visit in Lisbon 2023
- What do they say in Portugal?
- Is Lisbon worth visiting? 9 reasons why it is!
- 13 Best Hikes in Portugal You Shouldn't Miss 
About the author
I'm Camila, an oceanographer from Brazil where my journey began. My studies have taken me to unique places around the world since my youth. In my academic career I found the opportunity to come into contact with different cultures and languages during my work as a scientist. Having lived in several countries, I was able to share my experiences as a travel content writer over the last 4 years and I still have so much more to share. I have a great passion for nature and animals, especially dogs and seals (which, let's face it, are actually seals!).