How do you get into the Benagil Cave in Algarve, Portugal?

#1 Sea Cave in Algarve! Ultimate Guide to Benagil Cave Portugal. All you have to know before booking Benagil Cave Boat Tour in Algarve – a MUST-do boat tour!

Thinking about visiting Algar de Benagil on one of the Benagil cave tours? With so many beautiful places in the Algarve (home to some of the most amazing beaches in Europe) as well as the sunny climes, making Portugal your next holiday destination is almost a no-brainer.

However, if you need more reasons to visit the Algarve – other than its vast array of beaches, low prices and the bright blue skies with sunshine – then the amazing coastal landscape of the Algarve will do it. In particular, the Benagil cave tour is a must-visit destination in Portugal.

Praia de Benagil, which is the beach of the village of Benagil is a charming, family-friendly beach. With soft sands, gently sloping waters and an array of beach activities it is the perfect place for a relaxing day. Surrounding the beach of Benagil is a series of sea caves.

Why is the Benagil sea cave famous?

The Benagil sea cave is famous for its striking natural beauty and unique features. It is located in the Algarve region of Portugal and is known for its dramatic rock formations, golden sand, and crystal-clear waters.

The cave’s most iconic feature is its large circular opening in the ceiling, which allows sunlight to filter through and creates a stunning visual effect. The cave is often featured in travel publications and is a popular tourist destination for its picturesque scenery and the opportunity to explore its interior by boat or swimming.

Visiting Algarve – car hire

We have rented cars many times during holidays in Portugal and we always used

Check out our guide to the best car hire company in Portugal or simply explore the options directly on if you need a car during your next holiday on the Algarve Coast.

Benagil boat tours:

The limestone cliffs have, over time, been hollowed out by the Atlantic Ocean to form a network of intricate and fascinating caves. None is more interesting than Benagil sea cave.

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Cave tour Benagil

What is Benagil Sea Cave?

Benagil Sea Cave, known in Portuguese as Algar de Benagil, is a vast circular cave that can only be accessed via the sea. Many boat tours, stand-up paddleboarders and kayakers can access the cave during low tide. While it is forbidden to disembark inside the cave, many kayakers and swimmers do so. Most boat tours will not allow disembarkation.

While you may not be able to get onto the beach in the Benagil cave, you can enjoy a beautiful and mesmerising light into the cave, thanks to the collapse of part of the cave’s vault. Now the cave has a skylight and visitors can look down on the cave from the cliffs above or marvel at the beautiful colours that the light creates with the water.

The light, gently lapping waters of the ocean and the incredible structure all add to the beauty and marvel of the Benagil sea cave; a place not to be missed. Make sure to book Benagil cave tour while on holiday in Portugal!

What is Benagil Sea Cave in Algarve Portugal
Boat tours Algarve – Benagil cave trip

How to get to Benagil Cave Portugal?

While Benagil itself is a small village, there are many large cities and towns nearby. Lagoa, Carvoeiro and Albufeira are close by and are popular holiday destinations. From these locations, it will take around 20-minutes to get to the beach by car. Bigger towns such as Portimão and Lagos are also within an hour’s drive of Benagil too.


If you are staying along the coast of the Algarve, then you can enjoy a boat trip along the coast to Benagil from your location. Many boats in the marinas at Albufeira, Lagos, Praia de Rocha/Portimão and Vilamoura run tours to see the Benagil caves from the perspective of the sea. If you’re lucky, you may also spot dolphins and porpoises too! 🙂

How to get to Benagil Cave Portugal
Benagil sea cave Algarve Portugal
How to get to Benagil Cave in Portugal
Algarve Portugal caves – Cave de Benagil
How to get to Benagil Cave algarve
Algarve cave boat trips – Benagil cave tour from Lagos

3 ways to get to Benagil Cave in Algarve:

If you want to spend the day on Benagil Beach, then there are several ways that you can see the caves.


An excellent way to see the Benagil cave on your own terms is to rent a kayak or paddleboard from the companies on the beach. Typically, you can rent one or two-person kayaks and large paddleboards too. You will rent these for either 30 minutes or by the hour. An hour is a plenty to get to the Benagil cave and come back. You may even have time to explore further along the coast too.


Strong swimmers are able to swim to the Benagil cave. The length of the swim is around 200m. However, the currents can be strong and can change quickly. Swimming is not recommended, especially with the number of boats that visit the Benagil cave, but you’ll see several people attempting the swim.

Benagil boat tour

As well as kayak rentals, there are several boats on Benagil beach that offer tours of the cave and the nearby coastline. These are entertaining and interesting trips and well worth the money to see the Benagil cave. When choosing a cave trip, bear in mind the size of the boat. Smaller boats are best if you want to go all the way into the cave. Large boats will usually only take you to the entrance of the cave.

We went on a Benagil Cave Tour with Taruga Benagil Tours. We can highly recommend this company as we really enjoyed our boat tour. 🙂

taruga tours benagil caves algarve
Yes captain we are ready! Take us to the Benagil Cave! 🙂
taruga tours benagil cave portugal
Cave tours Portugal – Lagos Benagil cave tour

How long is a Boat Trip to Algar de Benagil?

Benagil boat trips can last anywhere between 30 minutes and three hours.

Dolphins are a common sight across the Algarve coast, so for nature lovers, a longer boat trip will incorporate dolphin spotting too.

Make sure to choose a registered boat company for your tour. This will ensure the safety regulations are adhered to. They will also take the appropriate care if they spot protected species of dolphins, which is extremely important for the preservation of marine life in Portugal.

What else do you see during a boat trip to Benagil Cave?

It is worth saying that yes, the Benagil Cave Boat Trip is all about the Algar de Benagil but you will see much more! There are a few other amazing caves which you will visit during the tour.

Some of them are so tiny that the boat will just manage to enter the cave – amazing experience 🙂

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Algarve caves – Benagil sea cave Portugal
boat trip Portugal
Boat tours Benagil
Caves boat trip Algarve
Benagil caves boat tour

Typically, a 2-3-hour boat trip will cost between €30-€40 per person, well worth the money to see beautiful scenery and wildlife too.

What is the best time of day to visit the Benagil caves?

The best time of day to visit the Benagil caves is typically during the morning or early afternoon. This is when the sunlight enters the cave through the opening in the ceiling, illuminating the interior and creating beautiful light effects. The lighting conditions are generally optimal during this time, enhancing the colors and highlighting the cave’s natural features.

Additionally, visiting earlier in the day allows you to avoid larger crowds that tend to arrive later in the day. However, it’s important to check the local tide and weather conditions, as they can affect the accessibility and safety of the caves.

Can you walk to the Benagil cave?

No, you cannot walk directly to the Benagil cave. The cave is located along the coastline and is only accessible by boat or swimming. Walking on foot from the nearest beach or town to the cave is not possible due to the steep cliffs and rugged terrain in the area.

To visit the Benagil cave, you can either take a boat tour or rent a kayak or paddleboard to reach the cave from nearby beaches. Swimming to the cave is also an option for experienced swimmers, but it is important to consider the distance and safety factors before attempting to swim to the cave.

Can you drive to the Benagil caves?

No, you cannot drive directly to the Benagil caves. The cave is located along the coastline, and there is no road access to it. To reach the Benagil caves, you will need to drive to one of the nearby beaches or towns and then take a boat tour, rent a kayak or paddleboard, or swim to the cave if conditions allow.

There are several beaches in the vicinity of Benagil, such as Benagil Beach and Praia da Marinha, where you can park your car and easily access the water to reach the cave by boat or swimming.

How long is the Benagil cave tour?

The duration of a Benagil cave tour can vary depending on the type of tour and the operator you choose. On average, a standard boat tour to the Benagil caves typically lasts between 1 to 1.5 hours. During this time, you will have the opportunity to explore the coastline, visit multiple caves (including the Benagil cave), and learn about the area’s history and geology from the tour guide. It’s important to check with the specific tour operator for the exact duration of their tours, as some may offer shorter or longer options. Additionally, private boat tours or customized tours can offer more flexibility in terms of time and itinerary.

What is the closest town to Benagil caves?

The closest town to the Benagil caves is Carvoeiro, which is located along the southern coast of Portugal in the Algarve region. Carvoeiro is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful beaches and picturesque cliffs. From Carvoeiro, it is relatively easy to reach the Benagil caves by taking a short boat ride or swimming along the coastline. Other nearby towns that are within close proximity to the Benagil caves include Lagoa and Ferragudo. These towns offer additional amenities, accommodations, and access points to explore the Benagil caves and the surrounding coastal area.

Can you swim to Benagil cave?

Swimming to the Benagil cave is possible, but it’s important to consider several factors before attempting it. The cave is located along the coastline, and depending on your starting point, it can be a considerable distance to swim. It is recommended for experienced and confident swimmers who are comfortable with long-distance swimming in open water.

Before swimming to the Benagil cave, it’s crucial to assess the current sea and weather conditions. Strong currents, rough waves, or high winds can make the swim challenging and unsafe. It’s also important to note that the cave itself can be subject to waves and tidal fluctuations, which can make it dangerous to enter at certain times.

If you choose to swim to the Benagil cave, it’s advisable to wear appropriate swimming gear, use fins or a snorkel for efficiency, and inform someone about your plans and estimated time of return. Additionally, it is highly recommended to accompany a guide or join an organized swimming tour for safety and guidance.

Overall, swimming to the Benagil cave should be approached with caution, and it’s essential to prioritize personal safety and be aware of the sea conditions and your swimming abilities.

Is it worth visiting Benagil Cave Portugal?

Yes, this really is one of the most unique places to visit in Portugal. If you want to see beautiful azure waters, and stunning scenery and have a fantastic day out, then make sure Benagil is on your travel list. It really is no surprise that many travellers and publications call it the most magical natural wonder in Europe, as well as being a romantic hotspot for the perfect date!

Is it worth visiting Benagil Cave Portugal
Boat tours Benagil cave

We LOVED Benagil Cave Portugal! And we know you will love the Algar de Benagil too! 🙂 If you are planning a holiday in the Algarve, one of the most romantic destinations in Europe. Make sure you add Benagil Cave to your to-do list!

Where to stay around Benagil cave?

There is no shortage of amazing places to stay during your holiday Algarve. Please see below some of the TOP hotels we have selected for you:

“Beautiful cliff-top, Suites Alba offers direct access to the remote Albandeira Beach. It has an infinity pool with Atlantic Ocean views, a peaceful garden and an elegant restaurant.”

“Located on cliffs overlooking Praia das Gaivotas and the Atlantic Ocean, Vilalara Thalassa Resort features a luxurious spa, 6 outdoor pools and 2 restaurants. Spacious suites are surrounded by extensive landscaped gardens, 3 tennis courts and 1 padel court.”

Need more inspiration? Find a hotel in your favourite part around Benagil beach.

benagil sea cave boat trip in Algarve
How to get to Benagil caves

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