If you’re visiting Lagos then you might be considering traveling to the mesmerizing Benagil Cave.
I know I was! When I started researching it, I couldn’t find much information on how to get there so that’s why I’ve put together this handy guide.
In this post I explain exactly how to get to Benagil Cave from Lagos including several different options, timetables, helpful tips and links to the best sightseeing tours.
Table of Contents
Where Is Benagil Cave?
Benagil Cave is located in a small fishing village called Benagil which is located in Lagoa. This town lies 43 km east of Lagos which is a 40-minute drive.
The cave itself is situated right next to the Praia de Benagil beach and is actually called ‘Algar de Benagil’ on Google Maps.
The main thing to know is that Benagil Cave and Algar de Benagil are the exact same thing.
It’s definitely worth visiting Bengail Caves if you have the chance and it makes the perfect day trip from Lagos.
This epic cave was formed around 20 million years ago naturally via erosion and it has a characteristic hole in the roof. It’s pretty impressive and worth making the effort for.
How To Get To Benagil Cave From Lagos
There are a few different ways to get to Benagil Sea Cave from Lagos.
Here’s an overview of the options:
- Boat tour: 2 hours total, ~€45 per person
- Train/bus: not recommended (more details below)
- Taxi/Uber: 40 minutes each way, €88 total
- Rental car: 40 minutes each way, ~€33.60 total
I personally think that the best way to visit Benagil Cave from Lagos is by boat tour.
This is by far the easiest and most relaxing way to get there (and you’re on vacation after all!).
This boat tour is super highly rated and includes all your transport to and from the cave, a tour of the cave itself and you’ll get the chance to spot dolphins.
The best part is that it features small group sizes so you’ll get a great view of the cave.
If you’d rather make your own way there then you can do so by either a taxi/uber or a rental car.
There is also an option to travel by train/bus but it’s pretty long so I wouldn’t recommend it (more on that later).
In the rest of this post, I’ll go over each option giving you all the information you need.
Benagil Cave Boat Tour From Lagos
As I said, taking a boat trip from Lagos to Benagil Cave is by far the easiest, most relaxing way to get there.
Joining a tour allows you to completely relax as you don’t have to worry about directions, driving or which bus to take.
There are various different boat tours available that will take you from Lagos to the cave and back.
The key thing to know about these tours is that you’re not allowed to get off the boat.
I spent hours searching for tours that let you get off the boat and swim around the cave but it looks like they don’t exist.
I think it might be something to do with the boats not being able to park up inside the cave.
If you’d like to explore the cave by putting your feet on the sand or going for a swim in the water then these tours aren’t for you.
Instead you’d want to book onto a tour like this one which takes you from Lagos to Benagil by van.
You’ll then swim, kayak or paddleboard into the cave itself where you can swim around or chill.
- Boat tour to Benagil from Lagos (if you don’t want to get in the water)
- Van + swim, paddleboard or kayak to the cave (if you do want to get in the water)
Best Benagil Boat Tour From Lagos
This boat tour is one of the most highly rated tours from Lagos so I’d highly recommend it.
This tour doesn’t allow you to get off the boat so it’s great if you don’t fancy getting wet and just want to see the cave and enjoy the views.
You’ll cruise up and down the Algarve coastline admiring the sights whilst looking out for dolphins and other marine life.
You’ll also get a tour of the cave itself with a knowledgeable guide and as this tour features small groups, you’ll get an amazing view from the boat.
Some other boat tours try to pack 50+ people into one tiny boat making it difficult to see the cave.
Here’s what one traveler had to say about it:
Boat tours from Lagos to Benagil Cave tend to cost between €40 and €45 per person and they last around 2 hours.
That’s actually a pretty decent price when you consider everything that’s included – round trip transportation, boat tour around the cave and a knowledgeable guide.
Benagil Cave Kayak Tour From Lagos
As I said, the boat tours don’t allow you to get off the boat and explore the cave for yourself which can be a bit of a deal breaker for some people.
Don’t worry if this is you because there are ways to explore the cave besides the boat tours and these other options will allow you to swim in the cave or lounge around on the sand.
This swim and chill tour is one of the best rated tours that actually allows you to explore the cave for yourself.
It includes round-trip transportation from Lagos by van and the chance to either swim, kayak or paddleboard into the cave to see it for yourself.
You’ll also get a knowledgeable guide that knows everything there is to know about the cave, lunch, drinks and music to make the day even more enjoyable.
They even provide towels and sunscreen too so you can leave your heavy bags at home.
Here’s what one traveler had to say about it:
If you’re planning on making your own way to Benagil Cave then you can also join a kayaking tour when you get there.
This kayaking tour is one of the best and it departs from Benagil Beach which is located right next to the cave.
Your expert guide will take you into the cave, giving you the chance to explore it for yourself, rest on the beach or take a dip in the water.
The whole thing lasts around 2 hours which is more than enough time to see the cave.
I actually went kayaking when I visited the Algarve, so trust me 2 hours is more than enough and you’ll be ready for a rest afterwards.
Prices for these kinds of kayaking tours are usually around €35 per person so it’s not much cheaper than the tours which include transport from Lagos.
Here’s what one traveler had to say about it:
Kayaking Tour At Benagil Cave (no transport from Lagos)
By Train & Bus
Ok so it is technically possible to get to Benagil Cave from Lagos by train/bus but I definitely wouldn’t recommend it.
Even though Benagil Cave is just 43 km from Lagos, there’s no direct train or bus.
The only way to get there is by taking one train and two buses. Another difficulty is that there are very few departures each day so making the timings add up is near impossible.
If you’re some sort of crazy person and want to give it a go for some reason, then I will run through the details but personally I don’t think it’s worth it.
Additionally I used public transport a few times whilst I was in the Algarve and it was pretty awful. I found it to be very slow and unreliable.
As I said, there is no direct train or bus from Lagos to Benagil Cave.
This means that you’ll need to take a train from Lagos to Lagoa then 2 separate buses down to Benagil Cave.
Here’s the exact steps:
- Take the train from Lagos Train Station to Estômbar-Lagoa Railway Station.
- Take the bus from Estômbar-Lagoa Railway Station to Lagoa Central Bus Station.
- Take the bus from Lagoa Central Bus Station to Benagil Cave.
It sounds simple enough but there are only a few departures to choose from for each of these trains/buses each day. I found getting the timings to add up near impossible.
The train from Lagos to Estômbar-Lagoa is pretty easy as you can pre-book your ticket online. It takes around 30 minutes and costs just €3 one-way.
You can book this train ticket on Omio which is where I book all of my Portugal buses and trains as it’s super easy to use and always offers the best prices.
The trains depart from the main train station in Lagos and arrive into the Estômbar-Lagoa Railway Station which is located on the edge of town.
You will then need to take the local EVA bus into the center of town to the Lagoa Central Bus Station (Lagoa Terminal Rodoviário).
Schedules are available here but the website is pretty confusing to be honest.
Next you need to take another bus from the Lagoa Central Bus Station to Benagil Cave.
EVA does run a regular bus however it only has two departures each day. One at 9:45 AM and one at 2:45 PM. The bus takes 27 minutes to get to Benagil.
You can check the schedule for the EVA bus here.
As I said, their website is really confusing and difficult to use. It took me around half an hour to figure it out plus it’s in Portuguese which makes it harder.
To be honest I just don’t think this option is even worth trying as it will take forever and there’s little information online about the buses.
But hey, if you decide to brave it and make it work then please let me know how!!!
Taking a taxi or Uber is one of the fastest ways to get to Benagil Cave from Lagos as it takes just 40 minutes.
I personally prefer to use ride-sharing apps like Uber or Bolt over traditional taxis as they’re more convenient and offer better prices.
You definitely won’t have to haggle with a driver who tried to charge you 3 times the normal rate.
I’ve traveled extensively across Portugal and generally find that Bolt is the best one.
I checked the app to get a price for this journey and it quoted me €43.85 one-way.
After checking with a regular taxi, they quoted me €67 so Bolt will give you a decent saving of around €23 each way.
Bear in mind that these prices are for a one-way journey. For a round-trip, you’ll be looking at double the cost.
Considering this, it’s actually much cheaper to book onto a boat tour that includes transport to and from Lagos as these cost around €40 each.
By Rental Car
Taxis are pretty expensive and it’s actually cheaper to hire a rental car and drive there yourself.
Going by car is the fastest way to get there as it takes just 40 minutes each way.
Driving there yourself also gives you the extra convenience of choosing your exact departure times and being able to stop along the way if you need to.
The best place to hire a car in Portugal is on rentalcars.com as it’s super easy to use and they offer the best prices.
Hiring a car in Lagos is actually really cheap. Prices do vary a bit depending on how long you rent the car for, the driver’s age and if you want to pick-up and drop-off the car in the same location.
Assuming you just want the car for one day and you’ll be picking it up and dropping it off in Lagos, then a rental car will cost just €28 for the day.
Of course, you also need to factor in the cost of gas. For a round-trip journey, this will cost approximately €5.60.
For this estimation, I used the Citroen C1 car as an example and used this fuel cost calculator.
This brings the total cost up to around €33.60 which isn’t bad at all especially if you’re in a group as this cost will be shared.
Can You Swim Inside Benagil Cave?
Yes, it is possible to swim to Benagil Cave however I wouldn’t really recommend doing it on your own as the seas can be rough.
Swimming there by yourself could be dangerous so if you really want to do it then go with an experienced guide.
This swim & chill tour is ideal as you can choose to either swim, kayak or paddleboard to the cave and you’ll go with an expert guide that knows the area well so you’ll be super safe.
Not many people know this but you can actually only enter Benagil Cave by sea. It’s not possible to get inside by foot.
You can drive to the cave and see it from above but you will only be able to see through the roof of the cave.
It isn’t possible to get inside the cave by land. This means that if you want to go inside, you’ll have to join a swimming/kayaking tour or a boat tour.
Luckily there are plenty of Benagil cave tours from Lagos.
And that’s it!
Thanks for reading this post on how to get to Benagil Cave from Lagos, Portugal.
If you’re planning a trip to Lagos then you might also find my post on the best places to stay in Lagos useful as it covers all the different areas of Lagos and the best hotels.