Before we got to Portugal we had only heard about the boat trips, the kayak trips and the paddle board trips to the spectacular Benagil cave. We went to the beach and had a look ourselves. When we were standing on the beach, we noticed that the distance to the cave was pretty short. With that in mind, we tried to google on experiences with swimming to the cave. There wasn’t many stories about it, but we did observe several people swim into the cave.
The next morning we got up early and drove to the parking lot at the top of a hill. That is where you park your car when you are going to the beach. You drive past the beach, up the hill and on the right you see a parking lot. It is really full at the middle of the day, so make sure to come early. We also wants our photos to be without a lot of tourists, and got there at around 8 am. We were almost the only one at the beach at that time. We had packed our GoPro and some inflatable things to bring with us in the water in case we had to rest or if something happened in the water. I would recommend this to everyone that wants to swim to the cave. We did see another couple swimming without any inflatable things on our way back, and they were struggling.
You will see the cave only after a few minutes after you have started swimming. Make sure to swim with a distance to the cliffs both because the waves can crush you into it and because rocks can fall from the cliffs and hit you. You will shortly be close to the beach inside the cave and work your way in there. If you are going later in the day, watch out for boats entering the cave. It is actually not that hard, but if it is big waves you should consider to do it another day. You have to be an average swimmer to do this trip and bring someone with you so you don’t go alone. In case you feel it is too hard to go back, there is possible to get a boat to take you back. Just talk to someone about letting a company know when they swim back, or ask someone that comes into the cave with boat, kayak or paddleboard.
It was an amazing experience that we recommend!