Surrounded by blue-green waters and cliffs ranging in color from pale beige to gold, Benagil Beach is postcard material. Come here simply to sunbathe and swim, or take a boat trip to view the nearby caves, coastal cliffs and dramatic rock formations.
Most visitors to Benagil Beach come here in the hopes of seeing the famous Benagil sea cave, which is located around 490 feet (150 meters) east of the main beach. The cave has arched entranceways and a naturally occurring “skylight window” in its roof, through which light pours in, turning the waters a luminous shade of aqua. Charter a boat to carry you to the cave or rent a kayak and paddle your way there.
Be sure to bring a camera along to capture images of the magnificent circular hole in the cave ceiling. Many boat tour operators will turn off their engine for a couple of minutes while inside the cave to allow you to admire the scene in peace. Many other caves and rock formations can also be seen along this stretch of coast.
Back on the beach, find a spot to lay down your towel and soak up the sun. While it is sheltered on three sides by cliffs, Benagil is still open to head-on breezes from the water. Consider bringing along a parasol for shade.
Be aware that during the summer months the beach can be busy with many tourists coming here to see the caves. Visit during the off-season for a quieter experience. There is a snack shop and toilets on the beach.
Parking at Benagil Beach is limited so it’s advisable to leave the car behind and take a taxi or follow cliffside hiking paths to reach the beach. Alternatively, park in the town and ride the bus or walk down to the beach. From the roadside, descend down the steps that lead down the cliff to the sands.