How to visit the Benagil Cave, Algarve, Portugal
The cave at Benagil has always been beautiful however in recent years it has become a global internet star. A Google search gives up half a million results and photos of the amazing cave are all over social media. Huffington Post, Conde Nast Traveler and Thrillllist consider the Benagil cave to be one of the most beautiful in the world and we'd have to agree. As one of the top romantic spots in the Algarve, it should be on your Algarve bucket list.
A large dome cave, the Algar de Benagil (it's portuguese name) is impressive in size. The entry channel opens out into the wide expanse of the cave. The cave ceiling is very high above your head. The sunlight streams though natural apertures and openings in the dome, acting as spotlight on the constantly sea-cleaned, fine golden sand and the translucent water, creating a magical effect. The immensity of the natural beauty will make you feel like a master of the universe and a puny human all at the same time.
The cave is located approximately 150m to the east of the tiny fishing hamlet of Benagil, near to the resort of Carvoeiro, in the Lagoa region of the Algarve. Benagil itself is a picturesque cluster of whitwashed houses perched atop the cliffs and along the sides of the steep roadway leading to the beach - the Praia de Benagil.
How to visit the Benagil Cave
Although the cave is only 150m from the beach, swimming to the cave is not a recommended option. Tides and currents can be strong in the area and sea conditions can change quite quickly. The best way to visit the Benagil cave is by boat and there are several companies offering great boat trips to Benagil. 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. Aside from a boat trip to the cave, you can also explore the coast on a Stand Up Paddle. By law you are not allowed to disembark from the boat at the cave.
How to book Boat Trips to Benagil Caves
From Carvoeiro, and closest to the Benagil cave, hop aboard one of Carvoeiro Caves' boats. They have a fleet of 6 modern, small boats and offer 1 hour and 1h30minute trips to the cave.
From Portimão and Alvor, join one of Alvor Boat Trips tours to the sea caves. Their new boat, the "Roisín" is a speedy 12 seater, perfect for exploring the coast.
The Ophelia is large catamaran that departs from Portimão, and uses smaller support boats to explore the caves.
From Albufeira, board one the Algar Experience's stylish catamarans and enjoy a beach BBQ and time exploring the caves. Hop aboard Dream Wave's speedy Dreamer and zip along the coast to the best caves. Seacret Tours also has speedy RIBS to take you to the Benagil cave or opt to explore the coast near Albufeira by Kayak.
For a complete list of options on how to visit the Benagil Cave, visit Seabookings.com - they're the experts on maritime activities.
Alternatively check out Algarve Fun ticket sellers.
As beautiful as the Benagil cave is, it is just one of the many gorgeous sea caves and grottoes that dot the Algarve coastline. There are many amazing caves and rock formations to be seen in the stretch of coastline from Carvoeiro to Albufeira and near Lagos, at Ponta de Piedade.
Main photo credit: Cristoph Papenfuss