How to Enjoy a Benagil Caves Tour With Your Family

You know the Benagil Caves when you see them. You might not know the name, but you know the scene. Beautiful cave with a large hole in the roof with heavenly beams of golden light streaming down to equally golden sand. It’s one of the top reasons to visit Portugal and really if you’re in Portugal it’s on the “must-see” list. There are several ways to see the caves but probably the most common is to take a Benagil Caves tour by boat. Our family was able to enjoy this amazing experience and so can you.

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HOW TO BOOK A BENAGIL CAVES TOUR

Benagil Cave in the Algarve, Portugal

One of the best ways to book a tour is through Viator. They have numerous selections which vary based on how long you want your tour to be, your origin point, what other locations are included, and types of boat. 

You can check out their website for all of the necessary information to book your tour.

Cliffs along the Algarve, Portugal

CARVOEIRO CAVES TOUR

Through Viator, we chose Carvoeiro Caves for our tour. Unfamiliar with the options we simply read the reviews and found something that matched what we were looking for. Carvoeiro Caves gave us a great experience.

From booking the tour to giving us instructions for our meeting point and providing useful information they were easy to use.

Everyone that we interacted with was friendly and helpful. It helps to work in an area that’s paradise, but they all had a smile on their face and made us feel welcome, even though we didn’t know what we were doing.

Most importantly they were all very kind and helpful to our kids as well, even when they were a bit hesitant at times.

BOOKING THE TOUR

We were staying in Lagos and there are options to leave from Lagos, but those tours are longer. We travel with our two kids (13 and 11 at the time) and we had never taken this kind of tour before so we didn’t know what to expect.

Besides Lagos, there are several points of origin for tours, but we chose the one that left out of Carvoeiro. This was partly based on the fact that we got the length of time that worked for us (90 minutes). Also, in comparison, Carvoeiro seemed like a more interesting town to stop in. 

The town of Carvoeiro in the Algarve, Portugal

It turns out that we were right as Carvoeiro is a beautiful beach town. It prominently features white-washed homes perched on the hills that lead down to the beach. There was a nice vibe and atmosphere to the town and it is highly recommended for a visit.

Next, we chose the type of boat for our tour. We decided on the speedboat with a capacity of 12 passengers. This boat was small enough so that it could maneuver in and out of the smaller caves including Benagil, but big enough so that we were comfortable.

Despite being in the Atlantic Ocean, the boat did well but there was naturally a lot of movement and some choppiness. 

Cave along the coast of the Algarve, Portugal

Our tour included not only Benagil Cave but several other caves and points that dot the Algarve coast. We were able to enter several interesting caves. So many of these were simply stunning to see and experience.

There are many options as to what locations you want to see, but we went with the Benagil Caves Tour which included the beautiful Marinha Beach and we were really happy with our selection.

View of Praia Marinha Beach from the Atlantic Ocean

HOW TO GET TO CARVOEIRO 

We were staying in Lagos, so we weren’t very far from Carvoeiro and other interesting spots in the Algarve. It was an easy ride down the N125 freeway. I’m sure it helped that our tour started at e10am on a Sunday so there was no traffic. We were given instructions on where to park and when to arrive to check in and get fitted for our life jackets.

WHAT TO EXPECT ON A BENAGIL CAVES TOUR

The boat is small enough that it comes just about right up to the beach where you will board. You will have since dispensed with your socks and shoes and will have to walk in the water a bit (maybe just up to your ankles) before getting on the boat.

Workers from Carvoeiro Caves tour pushing the boat into the water

The ride out to the caves is stop-and-go. The boat never reaches full speed as the guide will take you to various spots, in and out of caves and to various points along the coast, while explaining the features, and sharing interesting facts.

Since you’re in the ocean, expect there to be quite a bit of rocking, but it wasn’t anything too serious. The guides that we had were fun, helpful, and quite knowledgeable. Most importantly we always felt safe with them in control. 

Inside a cave along the Algarve coast in Portugal

Besides Benagil, there are so many caves and cliffs that you’ll get to check out. You definitely get your money’s worth and the time goes by quickly. 

TIPS FOR YOUR BENAGIL CAVES TOUR

Benagil Cave in the Algarve Portugal
  • Make sure to bring a hat and sunglasses, especially for little ones since you’ll be out exposed to the sun.
  • Bring a hoodie because even in the summer when you’re out on the ocean, there is a lot of wind/breeze and it can get cool. This is especially true when the boat is going fast on the way back. 
  • Have motion sickness pills/medication/peppermint handy especially if this is your first time. There is a lot of rocking since it’s a relatively small boat out on the ocean. There is nowhere to stop and get off.
  • Feel free to ask for one of the guides to snap a few pics of you and your family, especially in Benagil Caves they may even offer to do it for you.
  • I didn’t bring my DSLR and instead relied on my cell phone camera and overall I’m happy with that choice as I didn’t want to worry about keeping my camera safe and dry and it being a distraction. 
  • Bring water. You’ll be out there for 90 minutes (or more depending on how long you choose) and you’ll get thirsty.
  • Make sure the littles use the restroom before getting on the boat. It’s a long time to hold it and there are no rest stops.
  • Leave plenty of time to enjoy the drive there. The ride on the freeway was nice, but once we got off and started on the side roads, it was a wonderful drive. Very beautiful countryside and towns to drive through.
  • Similarly, save some time in your itinerary for after the boat tour to see a bit of Carvoeiro as well.
  • Bring some change to tip the guides. Unfortunately, they don’t take a card, so cash is the only way to show a bit of extra appreciation. They earned it on our trip!
  • The guides speak fluent English so it’s not a problem if you don’t speak Portuguese. 

Author

  • Jeremiah Pittmon

    Jeremiah Pittmon is a published travel writer and photographer from Cleveland, Ohio. Passionate about exploring the world with his family, he finds inspiration in all types of travel. Through his blog, smilesonarrival.com, and social media channels, he shares captivating experiences and valuable tips for families who love to travel.

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How to Enjoy a Benagil Caves Tour With Your Family
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