Kayak Through a Fascinating Cave
Algarve is the southernmost region of Portugal and it has a population of more than 440,000. The west of the southern coast is extremely popular with tourists and Benagil Cave is one of the most well-known attractions. You can find the cave on the beach with the same name, situated between the cities of Albufeira and Portimao. From the coast, you can hardly imagine what it looks like inside. If you observe the coastal landscape from the sea, you can see two bulges on the shore, which lead into the cave. The centuries-old rocks have an unusual shape. The sunlight falls through a large opening in the ceiling and lets the stones in the cave shine like gold.
Usually, this natural wonder can only be reached by swimming around 100 meters along the coast from the beach. But there is another possibility. You can also explore the cave by kayak or a stand-up paddle board. The spectacular view inside as well as from the top of the cave over the entire coastal landscape of the Algarve makes up for every bit of effort. The Benagil Cave looks like a massive cathedral to visitors, where you almost feel tiny. However, anyone who enters the cave in a kayak under the guidance of a guide must be careful not to collide with the rocks or other visitors since it can get quite crowded.
20 million Years Old
After a few minutes of paddling, you are there by kayak or a board. The light shines through the entrance to the cave as well as it comes from above. The opening in the ceiling is at the height of around 20 meters and it is also known as the eye. Inside, the cave the air is pleasantly cool, but the surroundings are bright.
This natural wonder is about 20 million years old. At that time, the sea level fell, and the cliffs moved upwards as a result. The layers of loin and lime sand disappeared more and more, forming the interior spanning the entire the height. Then the ceiling collapsed due to wind, rain, and heat damage, which have shaped the cave into its present form.
Of course, as I have already mentioned, you can also look at the cave from above, but the access to the eye is primarily blocked off. After all, it goes down around 20 meters here, so it’s not safe. From the top, however, visitors can even hike to the next place called Carvoeiro via a hiking trail, which ends at a pleasant change of perspective. Many birds also nest in these coastal caves. Hawks, seagulls, and rock pigeons live and breed in the shelter by the sea. The play of light and shadow contributes to an unforgettable experience.
In the high season, up to 300 visitors come here per day. The kayak tour mostly ends at a beach called Praia da Marinha, where you can view two impressive rock formations in the shape of an elephant and a monkey. This wonderful guided tour comes to an end after around two and a half hours.