Praia de Benagil - Beautiful sandy beach in front of ochre-coloured steep cliffs
Praia de Benagil beach lies to the west on the south coast of the Algarve, right next to the fishing village of Benagil, from which it takes its name. As you come along the road, where you should be able to park with a little luck (otherwise there are other parking spaces a few hundred metres away), the first thing you see is the beach's snack bar. It's not particularly beautiful, but you can get small meals and drinks here, and sit in the shade under the yellow beach umbrellas with a lovely view of the sea and a small section of the beach.
From here you can see the fishing boats moored right in front of the bar, and boats also depart from here to take visitors across the water to Algar de Benagil, one of the most spectacular and famous caves in Europe. There you can snorkel, swim and admire the vivid rock formations in the sunlight.
But back to Praia de Benagil beach, which is itself an attraction. On the right-hand side it is bordered by rocks overgrown densely with greenery. A few white houses slightly higher up here are the only buildings that can be seen from the beach. A path beaten into the rock leads along the cliff face to the rocks further out. From there you can jump from a few metres deep into the water.
On the other side an even higher, ochre-coloured cliff face, which is very rugged in places, rises up vertically and runs alongside the light area of sand for more than 100 metres to the end of the bay. Hardly any plants grow on the impressive rock face, which runs in an oval-shape, making the central area of the beach wider at up to 40 metres. You'll find caves in the rock face here too. However there is a danger of falling rocks so you should preferably stay near the water.
Being clear of stones, the access to the water is quite pleasant, but it is also quite steep. Weak swimmers should be very careful, especially because there are no lifeguards in situ. If you don't want to lie in the blazing sun you should bring your own sunshade, since the only time there are any shady spots that are not too close to the rock face, and thus at risk from falling rocks, is in the afternoon, and even then there are only a few. In the height of summer it gets a bit busy on Praia de Benagil beach, but it's never so busy that the beach towels are packed in like sardines.