Portugal's stunning Algarve coast is lined with golden sandstone cliffs, sandy beaches and unique rock formations jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean. One of the most beautiful spots along the Algarve coastline is the Benagil Cave. This spectacular cave has an opening in the ceiling or 'eye' of the cave allowing for sunlight to shine down into the golden sands and shimmering waters below creating a breathtaking sight! Touted as the 'most beautiful cave in the world' - visiting the Benagil Cave should definitely be included on your itinerary if you are looking to visit Portugal.
Located near the small fishing village of Benagil, off of Benagil Beach or Praia de Benegil, there are a couple different options for reaching the cave including swimming, kayaking or taking a boat tour. Swimming to the cave is the most difficult and not recommended for most people. The swim is a little over 650 feet and the tides can be quite rough through this area. Kayaking is another option, but again can be quite difficult depending on the weather. Kayaks are available for rent from Praia de Benagil but are usually only allowed during the calmest weather. Taking a boat tour is the most popular and easiest way to reach the cave. Numerous companies offer boat trips out to Benagil Cave from Lagos, Portimão, Albufeira and Vilamoura but the easiest and shortest boat rides can be found by taking one of the boat tours offered right from Praia de Benagil. You can pre-book with various companies for different length tours along the Algarve coast that include a stop at Benagil Cave or you can simply show up to Praia de Benagil and catch the next available trip out to Benagil Cave. Most of the boat tours that leave from Praia de Benagil last about 30 minutes. As we were visiting in April and crowds weren't a problem, we just showed up and were able to hop on a tour without too much of a wait.
Since this is such a popular area to visit, mornings are best before it gets too crowded. Due to the popularity of the cave, most boat tours only stay in a few minutes in the cave before leaving to make room for the next boat. Once inside the cave, enjoy the beautiful sunlight streaming into the cave. The experience is wonderful - we definitely would recommend this experience to anyone looking to visit the Algarve coastline of Portugal! After visiting the famed cave, your boat will also spend some time exploring other areas along this beautiful coastline as the area is lined with tons of other caves, rock formations and stunning beaches waiting to be explored.
TIP: If you want to swim or walk around inside the cave, boat tours do not allow this. Taking your own kayak, boat or swimming are the only ways you will be able to walk around or swim inside Benagil Cave.
After returning from the Benagil Cave boat tour, spend some time enjoying Praia da Benagil. This small beach is lined with golden colored cliffs that make for a beautiful setting and is a great place to spend some time relaxing after visiting the Benagil Cave. We visited in April, when the water was still a bit too cold for swimming, but we did enjoy sticking our feet in the water and playing along the water's edge of this beautiful beach. In the summer, this small beach fills up quite quickly so visiting in the off-season was a nice way to experience the beach without all the crowds.
Interested in planning your own trip to visit Benagil Cave in Portugal? Below is our summarized itinerary for you to follow or adjust to your own preferences. ENJOY!
Day trip to visit Benagil: Benagil Cave Boat Trip then spend some time enjoying Praia da Benagil