Benagil Caves: Nature’s imperfect tryst with scenic beauty
Portugal is a land of million nature marvels. However, among the many that can catch your eye, a few still stand apart. May it is the beaches, the culture, the engineering geniuses, or the imperfect natural scenes, the country has it all. Portugal has a history of relatively subdued existence too. Despite all its natural resources and the infinite natural inheritance, the country never gets out of line. May it be being a cooperative neighbor or a great host to the tourists, Portugal has it all.
One such unusual yet beautiful place in the village of Benagil. Standing on the edge towards the Atlantic coast, embracing the North-Atlantic waters, Benagil is nothing short of scenic delight. The place has a unique existence among the history books of Portugal. In the present backdrop of the tourist-oriented working pattern, Benagil also stands tall amongst the other major attractions. The coastal run of extent will see its neighbors like Lagos, Albufeira, and Portimao being the major places of conveyance to this unique side.
All this buildup together leads to the main venue of all pivotal attraction, the Benagil caves. Set in the backdrop of the village of Benagil, the Benagil cave has been attracting the local and international tourists for the greater part of the last few decades. Moreover, the cave is also lined up aside from the major tourist attraction points namely Praia do Carvoeiro and Armação de Pêra. This means the cave and the adjacent beaches have multiple points of access.
The existential essence of Benagil Cave
The sight of Benagil cave as a whole raises a major question, how can this natural beauty be formed? Also regarded as the Algar de Benagil, the understanding of its formation takes a bit to dwell into the past. During the Mesozoic times (the dinosaur era basically), the large continental shifts were much evident.
Looking closely at the Algarve basin, the whole area is naturally composed of the limestone that formed the major aged rock patterns. Upon the shift, these made into grooves and also slowly allowed the water to creep in (through the North Atlantic site).
What formed is a series of caves, some submerged while some visible for view. Meanwhile, a few of the visible ones are also restricted for access due to their geography and pattern. However, the main Benagil cave is the one that remains the major attraction. Moreover, the cave houses its own beach inside the enclosure and the hole on the roof of the cave makes a brightly lit spot that is no less than a natural engineer marvel.
The weather and seasons throughout the centuries have had an aging yet glorious effect on nature’s architecture. The exterior of Benagil caves is more like a crescent beauty that has the lighter granules all over. Meanwhile, the interior is like the spot owns its private beach altogether! The Benagil cave has been a host to numerous movie shoots, tourists’ ventures, and romantic trips across its age.
Reaching out to the Benagil Village Beauty
- The broader classification of the Benagil village is under the location of Algarve. The whole of Algarve is a huge amalgamation of beaches that can take your breath away at first glance. With a strong connection through multiple modes of transportation pan-Europe, Algarve becomes easily accessible through
- Roadways connecting the highways across the major destinations of Europe
- Air travel, the most abundantly used mode of connection and travel
- Boat or ships, the direct alternative to reach the destination without much waiting time
- Railways, comparatively more time-consuming but a more resolved way of travel across Europe
The issue that remains is, whether the tour is about the whole of Algarve, or is it specifically about Benagil? Once the person touches down at Algarve, the idea is to move towards the major coastal attractions. The names that pop-up right away for reaching the coastline are:
Through all these major places, the travel to Benagil is easily covered. Because of the major attraction being the cave and what scenic beauty awaits underneath, the idea is also to access mainly through the seaway. This means the person or the group would directly reach up the spot and not be dragged into any blockades.
The alternative way is to take a road trip through these 3 major places that we listed. However, there are a few major points the person must remember:
Restricted Roadways Access
The roadways leading to Benagil village are only useful to reach the cave’s top. This means that no further access to the inside of the cave is actually possible without sea travel. However, the peeping hole (albeit the large hole in the roof) is easily accessible and the sight through the hole gives a look of the Benagil cave.
The roadways’ access to the village of Benagil is quite steep. In fact, it is even steeper on the way of return from the village. Hence, the subtle method is to reach there via a boat and not risk the deal
Missing on the real Benagil cave
Because the entire attraction is also the cave and what is underneath, there is no point going there and just touching the rooftop. The entire place deserves the right check.
Waterways access to the Benagil Cave
Making it to Benagil village or the places nearby is 70% of the task done. However, what remains further is also to reach the cave and the beach on the inside. It is distinctively clear that the best way for a person to do so is through a boat or any other medium through water travel. The common methods that give this facility are:
The tourist boats leaving from the shore of the Aurora area (the Algarve caves) and also the Albufeira area are the right alternative. The Portimao area also has the Benagil cave tour custom services that are provided to the group as well as private tourists too. Lagos also has a plethora of attractive boat offers and services that can easily take the tourists to the desired point.
Another service that is extended through the same geographical locations. However, these are the more expensive of the lot and also more for people who are looking for a grand holiday to spend time. In addition to the yacht reaching the cave, the tour also covers the nearby beaches for the tourists.
A little risky yet the adventurous one of the lot. It is not suggestible for the people who have a lot of gadgets or accessories to carry. However, for the enthusiastic and adventurous ones, it becomes an interesting outing to row their way up to the cave and the beach subsequently.
Swimming to the cave
Well! The trickiest of the entire lot. There is a lot of hoax around the fact that swimming up to the Benagil cave is an illegal offense. However, over the years, the tourists and locals have indulged in it after concerning with the authorities. Meanwhile, the reality is that it is not illegal but surely risky. The rocky cliffs adjacent to the site on the Benagil village coast make for the starting point. There onwards, it is a 10-15 minutes swim, give and take. However, it takes a good idea of professional swimming to do so.
Because the area has a lot of currents (the adjoining coasts to North Atlantic always do!), hence it is advisable to choose wisely. The shore next to the stream has numerous rock protrusions too.
The Infinite Scenic-Beauty
By now, it is rather a cliché to suggest how much emphasis there is on the beaches in the region. The whole Atlantic coast is home to beaches. Because of this, the summer and also the spring sees a lot of local attraction and crowds moving towards the zone.
While some of the beaches are famous, the other ones are relatively lesser-known. Moreover, each of these has a unique blend of scenic beauty, delightful cuisines, and a lot of cultural attraction too.
Some of the most radiant beaches and natural spots for the tourists to spend time near the Benagil cave are:
The Benagil Beach
Benagil beach is the right point to knock off the destined travel to the Benagil cave. The beach has a host of surfers lining up during the season changes and also the local Portuguese population with their vibrant sunbaths. The entire place is impeccably clean and the local bodies have a lot of focus on keeping it that way.
Tourists often keep it as the base camp on their move towards the Algar de Benagil. The various local vendors and shops in the area prepare for a beautiful cuisine with the most vibrant taste. Another high-point of the beach is the nightlife that it offers. The shacks and the adjoining streets are full of clubs and places to sit back and grab a lager. Other local Portuguese cuisines and beverages steal the show hands down!
Praia da Mesquita
Another major delight of natural delight. The spot has a rocky cliff adjacent to the beach area, both separated by a minimal distance. Because of the beautiful scenic resolution and the urge to invite the divers, the area often finds major tourist attractions.
The beach is a comparatively smaller one and does not have the same kind of appeal in terms of social and nightlife. However, the natural scene of the sunset in this area is a sight to behold.
The Carvalho beach is more than just a simple beach site. It has a lot of water tunnels passing under the cliffs too. These are the major attraction for people who travel through boats and other conveyance and enjoy the passage. The beach has an even more unique way of getting through.
The area is accessible through a steep flight of stairs that land the tourists directly on the prime spot. It again falls as one of the major relaxation spots with a comparatively lesser crowd during the odd times.
The Albandeira beach has a beautiful natural appearance much like the entire coast. The high ark of the region is the rocky cliffs. The place provides a brilliant point for snorkeling and also has relatively shallow water. Hence, the spot is very friendly for swimmers and other divers to enjoy the natural essence and have a good time.
Another important point is that being closer to the civilized areas, the spot has a lot of hotels and resorts. Hence, after spending a long day around with the entire tour, it provides the right layover for relaxation. Most of the resorts have beautiful indoor construction and natural scenic essence. There is a lot of Karaoke and other entertainment outlets in the vicinity too.
The never-ending Benagil delight for the beach lovers
Much like the natural beauty of Portugal, the people too are infatuated with the beaches. It becomes even clearer in the fact that the entire tourism industry of Portugal thrives on the basis of these places. Having the luxury of sharing its border with some of the most culturally and geographically rich neighbors, Portugal manages to get a brilliant survival rhythm.
Meanwhile, the cuisine is mouth-watering and so are the delicacies offered. The region of Algarve is a proud host of the Cataplana de Marisco, which happens to be a tourist-favorite cuisine. Peixinhos and Feijoada will take your taste buds for a joy ride. Meanwhile, in a calm yet beautiful way, the Algar de Benagil creates a sweet little spot among all these happening. The place has a divine feeling to it, with the sun peeking through the roof, yet the cave giving just enough luxury to stay away from the outside world.
Moreover, the place remains out of reach for those who are not willing to strive a bit for it. This makes sure the unnecessary tourism rush is cut off and only the real enthusiasts of natural beauty reach the divine horizon. Once there, the Benagil cave, or as you may fondly regard by now, the Algar de Benagil leaves a mark of beautiful memories that are impossible to forget.