Benagil coastal cave, one of the most impressive sites in Portugal

stand up paddle sunrise benagil cave
Paddling into the sunrise towards Benagil coastal cave

A fairy-tale Coastal Cave

Like many others, I have seen images of this spectacular coastal cave floating around the internet. It looks like this particular ocean cave belongs in a fairy story or could even welcome the entire cast and crew of the Hobbit. There is no doubt that it is impressive, however it has one problem: The only access is from the ocean.

For us here at, that particular problem doesn’t worry us.

Early starts

Early one morning in September, I rolled out of bed and eased my aching old body into the shower. As the jets of hot water loosened up my stiff muscles, I reflected on what I would have been doing last year at this exact time of day. I would still have been in the shower, having spent a stressful night tossing and turning worrying about work, now I sleep like a stone.

Having co-founded a stand up paddle board company we’re out on the water every day, soaking up nature and all it’s elements. Today would be no different, barring the fact that we were going to visit one of the most spectacular coastal caves in Portugal. A cave that I have read much about and looked forward to visiting immensely.

Benagil beach

The air was strangely chilly down on Benagil beach, after an hour’s drive along the motorway. Our warm up routine of pumping up the RED inflatable paddle boards soon had us glistening with warmth and vitality.

We pushed out on to the ocean.

A larger swell than normal was running, but the water still moved slowly like liquid mercury in the early light. It roiled around sluggishly, moving with an entrancingly slow rhythm as we sliced through the rich liquid towards Benagil cave.

Benagil coastal cave

The caves have a strange feeling, where all vocal sounds are dampened and as you look around the voluminous cavern you can’t help but wonder when the next hole in the roof will be created. To really experience what we did, you’ll need to book a tour with us, however hopefully this video will serve as an enticing teaser?

Praia de Carvalho

After our cave visit we travelled back west towards Praia de Carvalho and beached for a little break. It’s another impressive beach and is notable for it’s access through a stone tunnel under the cliffs.

We however didn’t need to bother with that of course, paddling straight in from the ocean.

Let us know if you’d like to tour the area too?