I must tell you that Benagil is one of my favorite places in Portugal. Praia de Benagil is the ideal place for your next summer beach holiday. The alluring emerald green waters surrounded by golden cliffs create the perfect backdrop to unwind and bliss out.
Where is it?
Praia de Benagil is a beach located in the small village of Lagoa Municipality. It is in Algarve region which is the southernmost region of continental Portugal. This region is famous for having idyllic beaches and amazing summers.
How to get to Praia de Benagil?
You can reach Praia de Benagil either by car or taxi. In your GPS, set the destination to “CM1154, 8400 Lagoa, Portugal” to get to the beach. The nearest airport to Praia de Benagil is the Faro Airport, which is 58 km east of Benagil.
I visited my good friend André who lives near Porto which is in northern Portugal. We went on a 4-day road trip and drove over 543 km from Porto to Praia de Benagil. It was a perfect way to discover the impressive coast of the Algarve region.
Where to park?
There’s a free parking on the road in front of the beach for easy access. However, parking could be really difficult especially during peak season as there is very little parking space. Your other option is to park at the top of the cliff and just walk down.
What to do?
- Plunge into the clear waters which can be quite cold in the beginning. It’s a very refreshing feeling after a while.
- Climb the small cliff which is the best place to take a picture of Praia de Benagil.
- There is a nearby restaurant by the beach where you can get your snacks and refreshments.
After seeing this beautiful Praia de Benagil, I thought this was already the highlight of our trip. But I was wrong. This beach is just a gateway to a bigger attraction, which is one of the most beautiful caves in the world, Algar de Benagil or Benagil Sea Cave.
How to get to Algar de Benagil / Benagil Sea Cave?
- By foot. Walk along the cliffs of Praia de Benagil and reach the top of the cave in 5 mins. You can peek through the giant hole into the cave but you need to see it from below also.
- By one-hour cave tour. Book a boat trip that brings you to 20 caves for 20 euros in 1 hour (as of Nov 2017). You will see a ticket shop for boat tours having long lines. Book right away as the time slot gets fully booked immediately. The boat ride was thrilling as the boat captain maneuvered through the small cave openings with great ease. The only downside is that you are not allowed to get off the boat.
- By 1.5 hours cave tour with a stop to swim. I suggest this option as it is worth every euro. You will enjoy the natural beauty of Algar de Benagil and go for a 10-minute swim in the cave. You can take better photos from choosing this option.
- By kayak. There are two-person kayak rentals for 20 euros per 1 hour and 20 mins.
- By swim. If you are a good swimmer and the water is calm, then you can choose to swim. It’s around 200m swim one-way but stay away from the cliffs so the waves will not push you into the rocks. It could be dangerous and you could be stranded in the cave if the waves get too strong.
For bookings, you may visit the website of Taruga Benagil Tours.
When is the best time to visit Benagil?
Algarve boasts a fantastic all year round climate with over 300 days of sunshine per year. Here, you can expect to enjoy the seasons: mild winters and long, hot summers.
Best time to visit is from May to September. If you will avail the boat tour from May to September, it is open from 09:30 to 18:30. From October to April, boat tours are scheduled at 10:30 to 16:30.
This trip was simply the best! Thanks to André for organizing my 10-day vacation around Portugal and for showing me this unique and stunning place. With scenes etched in my memory, I simply look forward to revisiting Benagil and reliving those unforgettable moments. Obrigado meu amigo!
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