4 best ways to visit the Benagil Caves and other tips

The Benagil Cave is located in one of the most fascinating places on the Algarve coast, between golden cliffs and a turquoise sea. Accessible only from the sea, the Benagil Cave is a place not to be missed on your itinerary if you are thinking of taking a trip to the Algarve.

Algarve features endless expanses of golden sand, towering rock walls of cliffs and a deep blue ocean. Located in the southern region of Portugal, the Algarve was awarded in 2019 for the quality of its beaches.

It is a positive example of rapid tourism development, but at the same time, marked by sustainability. Among the various individual and group activities that you can participate in, the most popular is the visit to the various caves that are present in this area.

The Benagil Cave is located in one of the most fascinating places on the Algarve coast, between golden cliffs and a turquoise sea.

The particular rock formation of this cave is due to the erosion caused by the tides on the splendid sandstone cliffs. The beach that extends inside the cave is about 100 meters long and is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. A detail that makes this place even more unique is the circular opening at the top of the cave, which looks like a dome through which the sun’s rays enter and create beautiful light plays with the water inside. Once inside, you can only be surprised, as it is between the blue of the sky and the blue of the ocean.

In this article, we have summarized some tips to reach one of the most magical places in the entire Algarve: the spectacular Benagil Cave, famous for its characteristic opening, created by the erosion of rocks.

Where is the cave?

Benagil Cave is located 150 meters from the beach of Benagil, a small and quiet fishing village in the municipality of Lagoa located between the coastal villages of Carvoeiro and Armação de Pêra. This town is located about 60 km from the city of Faro and 270 km from Lisbon.

When is the best time to visit the Benagil Cave?

The best times to visit the Benagil cave are undoubtedly spring and autumn, when the area is not overrun by tourists. July and August, on the other hand, are the months when the cave is at its most crowded and it can be difficult to fully enjoy its beauty.

How to get to the Benagil Cave?

The beautiful Benagil Cave can only be visited by sea. To do so, head to the small beach of Benagil. This beach is very well connected to the main tourist destinations in the Algarve.

If you prefer to reach the beach by car, remember that, in high season, parking can be problematic.

It is possible to reach the Benagil Cave by boat, kayak, stand up paddle or swim (but only if you are a trained and experienced swimmer due to high tide and strong currents).

For those who want to reach the cave by boat, on the other hand, you can use tours that take place in small boats departing from the village of Benagil but also from Armação de Pêra, Marina de Lagoa, Albufeira and Portimão. An alternative to the boat can be to rent a kayak or reach the cave by SUP.

Can you swim to the cave?

If you are a really good swimmer, you can try to reach the cave from Benagil beach. It’s only 150 meters, which when the sea is calm you can try to walk.

However, it is important to pay close attention to sea currents, which can be dangerous for less experienced swimmers.

Reach the Benagil cave by boat

The easiest (and fastest) way to get to the Benagil cave is on a boat tour. There are many tourist boats heading to the cave. In most cases, these are organized boat trips, which stop not only at the Benagil Cave, but also at other caves and beaches.

It all depends, then, on the type of tour you choose. Some of the boat tours allow you to go down inside the cave, while others only allow you to see it from the boat.

The prices of the tours are around 20-30 euros per person, however, inform yourself well before you go.

Once again we reinforce that you keep in mind that the tours can be very crowded in the summer. In fact, during high season, it is best to book a little in advance, to avoid having to wait too long before finding a spot on a boat.

There are organized tours departing from Carvoeiro, Armação de Pêra, Portimão, Lagos or Albufeira (with a higher price, of course).

From each starting point you can choose between short trips and longer boat trips, which include other points of interest on the trip to the Benagil cave.


We recommend that you avoid boat trips for two main reasons:

  1. Boats are not allowed to let passengers out and cannot stop for more than a few minutes inside the cave. The boat tour therefore consists of a quick “selfie pit stop”.
  2. The boats, being all motorized, pollute the surrounding marine area from all points of view, including noise.

Reach the Benagil cave by kayak or Stand Up Paddle (SUP)

On Benagil beach and surroundings, you will also find several SUP or kayak rentals. They are two very comfortable alternatives, which will give you greater autonomy. The journey is not particularly demanding. It will take about 10 minutes.

Again, in high season, remember to book in advance.

We recommend that you read these kayaking tips for beginners


The guide will carefully explain what you will see and do during the tour, which takes place in complete safety. Even beginners will easily learn to ride a stand up paddle.

The sup is the best way to get to the Benagil cave:

  • it is an absolutely eco-sustainable vehicle, it does not pollute;
  • rowing will be fun and at the same time you will do some physical activity;
  • you will also see other beaches and rock formations, not just the famous cave;
  • you will have the freedom to get off the sup and explore the Benagil cave.

Beaches near the Benagil cave in the Algarve

Once you’ve seen the cave, you can head to one of the nearby beaches to relax a bit.

We also recommend that you take the car back and go to Praia da Marinha, a truly beautiful beach, less chaotic than the small beach of Benagil, where, especially in high season, it can be difficult to find some space.

Benagil beach

The closest beach to the Benagil cave is the small beach of Benagil, a stretch of golden sand, about 50 meters long and situated between the cliffs.

Here you will also find a bar and points of sale, where you can buy tickets for the different excursions to the cave.

Is it worth going to the Benagil Cave?

The Benagil cave tour is truly spectacular. In addition to this beautiful cave, you can see other interesting beaches in the surroundings. However, it must be said that, especially in high season, the excessive and uncontrolled flow of tourists greatly spoils the atmosphere. Our best advice is to consider the period when it is not so busy.

If you are traveling with small children, remember that you can only reach the Benagil cave by boat. The tour is interesting and enjoyable, but very touristy.

Other articles that may be of interest to you: Tips for practicing Stand Up Paddle

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