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Visit Benagil Cave
One of the highlights of our trip to the Algarve was a boat trip to the Benagil cave and 20 others that leaves from Benagil beach near to Lagoa on the southern coast of Portugal. Lagoa is situated between Portimao and Albufeira and from Lagoa you will see plenty of signs to Benagil.
Explore the Benagil Cave
This magnigicent cave can only be visited by boat but the boat trip costing around 20 euros was well worth it. The boat trips leave from the little beach at Benagil and are very popular and so you may want to book ahead. If not plan to spend some time on the beach as you wait for your slot.
Access to the beach is down a very steep slope and parking is up a very steep slope on the other side unless you arrive from the Marinha beach direction in which case you can park and walk down to the beach. Alternatively you could park at Marinha beach and take the lovely cliff top walk from Marinha to Benagil.
The boat trip lasts an hour and sets off first of all along the coast in the direction of Carvalho beach entering a number of caves which look too tiny to enter by boat but which the skillful boat drivers manage to enter to view from inside.
The boats enter 20 caves in all with two highlights; the Benagil cave above and the Captain's cave (photo at the top of the page).
The Benagil cave is huge and has a hole in the top letting sunlight in to light up the water and small beach. It is amazing. In the past the boats would stop here allowing passengers to get out and take photos but due to accidents this is no longer allowed. (Hence the quality of photos is less than ideal as they are taken from a constantly moving boat obstructed by other passengers.)
Our favourite cave was the Captain's cave which has two holes in its roof and also has a small beach inside. Very atmospheric.
As part of the trip the boats pass the Marinha beach which was our favourite beach on the Algarve and the iconic beach of the region. It was lovely to see this from another viewpoint and sail around the rocks and caves of the beach.
Other more hidden beaches can also be seen on the trip along with many caves and rock formations.
Boat trips to the Benagil caves also leave from Albufeira and Portimao.
Places to Visit Nearby
Be sure to visit the Marinha beach which is the next beach along the coast to the east. This beach is simply stunning. To the west the Cavalho beach is also very pretty.
Albufeira is a busy beach town very popular with British tourists but retaining its charm. Lagos to the west is quieter and has a pretty marina and old town.
Inland be sure to visit the historic village of Silves with its large castle dominating the hillside.
Photos of Benagil Cave
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Map of Benagil Cave and places to visit
Benagil Cave places to visit
See more places nearby in the Algarve guide