Benagil Cave, Portugal- The Complete Travel Guide

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Located in Algarve, the jaw-dropping southern coast of Portugal, there is a small, picturesque fishing village that attracts travellers with its natural wonder- Benagil Cave. 

The village of Benagil is famous for the otherworldly rock formations that surround the golden sand beaches. But there is one iconic place that namely falls into the ‘cannot miss’ category and it’s the Benagil Cave.  This very location stormed the social media and the Internet and thanks to the exposure it has become one of the top things to do in the whole of Algarve Coast.

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Benagil Cave, AlgarvePexel

ABOUT BENAGIL CAVE

The Benagil Cave is a breathtaking rock formation in the oceanside cliffs of Portugal’s Algarve region. With its unique shapes, the skylight and turquoise waters washing the  shores, this limestone cave is a place like no other. 

The cave walls were shaped by the rough atlantic waves and erosion which also took over the top part of the cave making the roof collapse. The combination of rainfall and erosion created a skylight, known also as ‘the eye’ of the cave. 

What also distincts the Benagil Cave from the other grottos in the Algarve area is the wide golden sand beach which can be found inside the cave. What makes the Benagil so mysterious and intriguing is the fact that the beach and cave are only accessible from the water side. 

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Benagil Cave, PortugalUnsplash

HOW TO GET TO BENAGIL CAVE?

The closest airport to reach Algarve is Faro (FRO) and it’s accessible by direct flights from the main European airports. You can also reach it by a domestic flight from Lisbon if you happen to explore the capital. 

Benagil is located approximately 40 minutes from Lagos, which makes it a perfect stop on your road trip along the dramatic coast of Algarve. 

The easiest way to reach Benagil Cave is by signing up for a boat tour. The boats depart from various locations across the Algarve to visit the fascinating rocks that border the seashore. Many of these boat tours also stop off at Benagil Cave. Although the boat tours are a great way to experience the panoramic coastal views, you may not be able to leave the deck while inside the cave. 

What is more, as the summer months are extremely busy here in Algarve, make sure you book your boat tour in advance. 

If you’re an adventurous soul, you can reach the cave by a kayak or stand-up paddleboard. This is the best alternative for those who want a full and private experience with no pressure to return to the boat at a certain time. 

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SUP at Benagil CaveMax Zedghau/Unsplash

THE BEST TIME TO VISIT BENAGIL CAVE

Although there is not a bad time to visit Portugal, some seasons are better than other ones, depending on what the purpose of your trip is. The sunny coast of Algarve is not known for warm waters, and jumping in the sea during early summer may be a chilly experience. Late June to September are the warmest months, which means higher water temperatures too. This is the best time to book a flight for if you like comfortable swimming conditions and you don’t mind crowds. 

If you, however, want to enjoy all the spectacular beaches with fewer people around, plan your adventure for April, May or October. 

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Benagil Cave, PortugalFred Rivett/ Unsplash

SAFETY AT BENAGIL CAVE

Although it is possible for experienced swimmers to reach the cave, do not underestimate the strong Atlantic currents surrounding the Algarve Coast. As the waves can be very strong, it is better to either join the boat tour or put a life jacket on and take the kayak. 

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Algarve CoastCharlie Gallant/ Unsplash

WHAT TO BRING

Although the beach is bordered and shaded by cliffs, it is recommended to bring head covering and a reef-safe sunscreen in case the strong Algarve sunshine kicks in. As there are no restaurants around, bring your own lunch and drinks to enjoy while soaking up the sunshine. 

If you are a snorkelling lover, take the kit with you for the best underwater experiences! 

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Benagil CaveJulia Solonina/Unsplash

NEARBY LOCATIONS WORTH VISITING

DONA ANA BEACH

Next to Praia Do Camilo, which is one of the Algarve's most iconic beaches, you’ll come across Dona Ana Beach. This gem is surrounded by limestone cliffs and offers some of the most spectacular views which can be watched either from the dreamy stairway or the beach itself. 

MEIA PRAIA BEACH

Meia Praia beach is a 4-kilometer long stretch and is fully equipped with all necessary tourist facilities. It is also a perfect spot for water sports like surfing and bodyboarding. The beach is conveniently located within walking distance from Lagos.

PONTA DE PIEDADE

Full of breathtaking caves and towering rock formations, Pomta De Piedade is one of the Algarve highlights. This place is just under 40-minute drive from Benagil Cave. While stepping down the path, you’ll be rewarded with breathtakingly beautiful views of limestone cliffs and turquoise waters washing the beach shores. 

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Ponta De Piedade, AlgarveUnsplash

WHERE TO STAY NEAR BENAGIL CAVE

The coast of Algarve is full of family and couple-friendly resorts as well as boutique hotels. These are the ones worth taking a look at:

-Conrad Algarve

-Casa L. N. Noa

-Casa Da Madalena

-Casa De Oksana

-Palmares Beach House Hotel

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