Last updated: 07/24/2023
One of the unmissable activities to do in the Algarve, in the south of Portugal, is a boat trip in Benagil and the surrounding beaches. Below, check out details about the tour we took, as well as suggestions from others that leave from different cities in the region.
BOAT TRIP IN BENAGIL AND BEACHES IN THE ALGARVE
Taking a boat trip in Benagil is one of the most iconic activities to do in the Algarve. There are countless companies that offer similar tours, departing from different cities in the surroundings: Albufeira, Portimão, Lagoa, Vilamoura, among others.
We took the tour from the city of Albufeira and we thought it was super cool to be able to see incredible beaches up close, including the Benagil Cave, one of the main attractions in the region and accessed only by sea, by boat, kayak or stand-up paddle.
Some of the tours offer stops in Benagil, but most just offer a view of the iconic cave from inside the boat. Bear in mind that larger boats cannot access the cave and, therefore, it is worth choosing tours that include smaller vessels. Then, check out our experience and, at the end, we put some suggestions for other tours besides the one we chose to do.
BOAT TRIP: OUR EXPERIENCE
On our first visit to the Algarve, we passed through the cities of Lagos, Portimão, Lagoa and Albufeira. We thought it would fit better in our itinerary to take a boat trip when we were in Albufeira. And so we did! We chose the tour known as “Albufeira: Speedboat Ride Algar de Benagil and Dolphins", which came out of Marina of Albufeira, as well as other tours that depart from the city. There are several companies that offer the service and many use famous platforms for tours, excursions and tours.
We particularly like the Get Your Guide and civatitis, who are our partners. We booked the tickets in advance on the Get Your Guide website a few days before our trip and, upon arriving at the Albufeira Marina around 9 am, we went to look for the company stand through which we would take the tour to check in. As a gift, we received water or coffee per person that could be withdrawn Gate 4 Cafe nearby, as well as a 10% discount voucher at the same Café.
The main points of the tour can be found on the interactive map below:
PART I: DOLPHINS
As soon as the tour begins, we leave Albufeira Marina and head west (towards Lagoa). Interestingly, we were the only ones on the boat who spoke Portuguese and the guide asked us if he could only give all the explanations in English and French or if we insisted that he also speak in Portuguese. We said that it was all right to speak in English and so, we did the whole tour with explanations in English and French. The boat goes far out to sea with the objective of finding groups of dolphins jumping through the waters.
Unfortunately, they didn't show up on the day of our tour and the only dolphins we ended up seeing were the statues of Roundabout of the Dolphins when we were going to Albufeira Marina. We left the Marina around 9:45 am and spent around 1 hour looking for the dolphins that didn't show up. Stayed for a next opportunity!
PART II: JOURNEY AROUND THE COASTLINE
Afterwards, the boat headed towards the beginning of the coast tour, which actually interested us the most. The tour starts in the city of Lagoa, passes through the village of Armação de Pêra, which belongs to the municipality of Silves, and then returns to Albufeira, until reaching the Marina of Albufeira.
1. LAGOON BEACHES
We started heading to the region where the Alfanzina Lighthouse and our first stop was at Alfanzina Lighthouse Cave and then we pass through a rocky wall filled with other caves. A very interesting one is in Peninsula, a rocky observatory.
We keep going through Carvalho beach, Benagil beach and Algar de Benagil. The boat enters Benagil Cave, but it is not possible to get off the boat and go down to the small beach that forms below the large round opening in the roof.
The guide stopped all the time to give information about the place and to take some time to take some pictures in certain famous and photogenic places. We pass by Corredoura Beach, Carvalho beach, we saw the beautiful natural arch made of stone that is close to the Mezquita beach until you reach the unmissable Praia da Marinha, our favorite in the Lagoa region.
The boat continues passing through the region of Malhada do Baraco beach, of Algar dos Capitães, gives Pedra do Sal, getting to the beautiful Arch of Albandeira, next to Albandeira beach and Albandeira Algar.
passing through Fontainhas beach, the beautiful stones that come out of the sea continue along the path and then we reach the Yellow Submarine (Yellow Submarine), an iconic and large rock that stands in front of the Morena beach.
Following the tour, we pass by the Pontal Beach before arriving at Barranco beach and Praia Nova, from which it is already possible to see the Hermitage of Our Lady of the Rock on top of the cliff, which is close to the Our Lady of the Rock Beach. Then we saw the Cova Redonda beach, which has a cave called Cova Redonda Cave.
2. PEAR FRAME
Some other small beaches are on the way to reach the extensive Armação de Pêra beach, located in the district of Armação de Pêra, in the municipality of Silves. The beach is very popular with families during the summer months, as it is close to the city, with many accommodation and restaurant options in the vicinity. Only a small fraction of Silves is on the coast, as Albufeira is soon to be reached.
3. ALBUFEIRA BEACHES
In Albufeira, we pass by some interesting beaches, such as Praia dos Salgados, followed by the big Praia da Galé, divided into Galé Oeste and Galé Leste. Other beaches in Albufeira that can be seen from the boat include Praia do Castelo, Ponta Grande beach, the hidden Andorinha's Nest Beach, in addition to the friendly Sao Rafael beach and Arrifes beach, before returning to Albufeira Marina around noon.
OTHER BOAT TRIP OPTIONS IN THE ALGARVE
There are several other boat trips that include visits to the Benagil Cave and its surroundings, departing from different cities in the region. see some options here or click on the suggestions below.
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Read more about the Algarve:
- Portugal: What to do in Lagos, Algarve – Guide and Tips
- Portugal: What to do in Portimão, in the Algarve – Guide and Tips
- Portugal: What to do in Lagoa, Algarve – Guide and Tips
- Portugal: What to do in Albufeira, Algarve – Guide and Tips
- Portugal: Vila São Vicente Hotel in Albufeira, Algarve
- Portugal: Accommodation at Merry's House in Lagos, Algarve
- Portugal: Veggie Food at Veggie Café Albufeira, Algarve
- Portugal: Hamburgueria illicit Burgers in Lagos, Algarve
- Meu Limão Tapas & Wine: Restaurant in Lagos, Algarve
- PurEssence Café: Vegan food in Portimão, Algarve
- Algarve: Roca Beach Bar & Restaurant in Albufeira
- Portugal: Mexican food at La Cantina in Albufeira, Algarve
- Portugal: Ricardo's Pizzeria in Albufeira, Algarve
- Portugal: L'Oasis Pizzeria in Armação de Pêra, Algarve