Benagil Sea Cave

Explore the famous Benagil sea cave


Next to the small Algarve village of Benagil is one of the most beautiful sea caves in the world - the Benagil sea cave or the Algar de Benagil. Reachable only by sea, it is one of the most romantic places in the Algarve.

Benagil village, near Carvoeiro, is a tiny hamlet that perches atop the cliffs with spectacular ocean views. A steep narrow road leads down to the beach, dotted with colourful fishing boats. Just 150m to the east of the beach is one of the most famous sea caves along the coast. The Benagil cave is a large domed cave, with a high ceiling. The entry channel opens out into the larger than expected cave, with sunlight streaming through openings in the rock dome roof acting as spotlight on the constantly sea-cleaned, fine golden sand and the translucent water, creating a magical effect.

The Benagil cave can be reached only from the sea. Although close to the beach, swimming is not the advised way to reach the cave as the tides and currents can change quickly. It is not unusual for people who ignored the advice and swam to the cave to have to be then rescued by life guards.There are several boat trips available to take visitors to the cave. Only smaller boats can enter the cave, so you can opt for a trip on a small 12 seater boat or for a relaxed cruise aboard a larger catamaran and then change to a smaller boat to visit the cave. The cave can be visited all year round, although on occasion, the sea conditions will prevent actually entering the cave. By law, it is not permitted to disembark from boats in the cave.

Find out how to visit the Benagil cave and how to book a boat trip to the cave.

The Benagil cave is spectacular. There are many other impressive caves dotted all along the coastline, particularly between Carvoeiro and Albufeira and at Ponta de Piedade, near Lagos.

Without doubt, the best way to appreciate the beauty of this stretch of coastline and the Benagil cave is from the sea. However, if you prefer to stay on dry land, there are great walking trails in the area, along the cliff tops. One of the most popular walks is that of the Seven Hanging Valleys. It winds along the coast from Praia Vale de Centeanes, near Carvoeiro, to Praia da Marinha, passing Benagil on the way. You get inside the cave this way, but you can walk across the top of it. You can download information on this and other Algarve walks here.