Portimao is located in the Algarve between the city of Lagos and the famous Benagil Caves. It’s a coastal city so you can imagine that water activities are amongst the best things to do in Portimao. If you’re looking to get out and see the beautiful Algarve Coast then Portimao is one of the best places to go from!

On a good day, you’ll see dolphins swimming back and forth around the Algarve. You’ll also come across some of the most beautiful golden sand beaches. Lagos is known for its amazing beaches but between Lagos and Benagil there are some incredible ones as well.

Portimao isn’t as big as Lagos but it still has a marina and an awesome selection of boat trips. We’ve tried to keep it simple and only recommend the best Portimao boat tours based on our own experience, costumer reviews, and value for your money. So in this post, you will find 5 trips to pick from that highlight the Algarve the best.

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5 of the best boat trips in Portimao

Know before you go:

⚠️ Note: Most Portimao boat trips book out in advance during the summer months in the Algarve so it’s best to book in advance!

It’s quite common for Portimao boat trips to either visit the famous Grotte de Benagil on the east or Lagos and Ponta da Piedade on the west. There are many different types of boat tours from speed boats to proper sail boats. And if you’re feeling more adventurous and active, renting a kayak is also an option.

Let’s get into it!

#1 Portimão: Benagil Cave Cruise with Dolphin Watching

⛵️ Book: your Benagil Cave Cruise from Portimao here
⏰ Time: Roughly 2.5 hours
💸 Cost: €35

On this boat trip from Portimao, you’ll get to see the two most exciting things there are to see in the Algarve: Dolphins and the Benagil Cave. Dolphins are quite common in this part of the world especially when the Algarve heats up between June and October. 

And we’re typically not talking 1-2 dolphins. We’re talking big pods of dolphins! If you’re lucky you may see dozens of them coming up real close and swimming next to your boat. It’s really remarkable.

On top of (hopefully) seeing a bunch of dolphins, you’ll visit the coastline by Benagil which is quite close to Portimão. Benagil has beautiful beaches and cliffs and caves where the most famous is Grotte de Benagil (or Benagil Caves in English) which is what you see in the image above.

The skilled skippers will actually take the boat right into the cave where you can see just how big it really is. You won’t spend much time in the cave but you will get a feel for it and see how cool it really is. If you want to go back and spend more time in the caves you can always rent a kayak.

The rest of the trip is just relaxing out on the water and enjoying the beautiful Portuguese coastline down here in the Algarve. It’s one of the most beautiful places in Portugal for a reason and this boat tour will show you all that.

Book your Benagil Cave Cruise tour here.

#2 Portimão: Pirate Ship Cave Cruise

⛵️ Book: your Pirate Ship Cave Cruise from Portimao here
⏰ Time: Roughly 3 hours
💸 Cost: €35

If we said you can actually walk the plank like a true pirate and jump into the ocean, would you do it? This boat trip from Portimao isn’t on a pirate ship just for show. You get to hoist the sails and even board a small little boat to go inside some of the famous Benagil Caves! 

It’s such a unique experience and the pirate ship is stunning. They run both morning, afternoon, and evening cruises. The evening ones with the sun setting along the Algarve are beautiful and something worth experiencing. 

During the three hours on and off this pirate ship, you get to experience the best of the Algarve coast. From caves to swimming in the ocean and seeing dolphins there’s no time to be bored. 

You won’t be able to keep up with dolphins on this ship like you would on some of the speed boats but if they’re swimming by, you will have a great angle from above and hopefully get a chance to see them jumping in and out of the water.

If that’s not enough you’ll pass by a beautiful castle and a lighthouse, and you’ll also learn a bit about the history of the Algarve and the battles that took place in this area of Portugal.

Book your Pirate Ship Cave Cruise tour here.

#3 Portimão: Kayak tour of Benagil Caves

⛵️ Book: your Kayak Tour of Benagil Caves from Portimao here
⏰ Time: Roughly 2.5 hours
💸 Cost: €40

This kayak tour from Portimão gives you the possibility to actually kayak and explore the famous Cathedral Cave of Benagil. Most boats can get into the cave but don’t actually dock in there. With a kayak you’ll have the chance to kayak into and dock at the beach inside the Benagil Cave which is something everyone has to try!

You’ll start by taking a catamaran from Portimão heading east and enjoying the views of the coastline. As you get closer to Benagil, you’ll hop in your kayak and start the trip towards the caves.

The kayaking part of this trip is quite relaxing and easy. The distance isn’t that far but still gives you enough time to enjoy it and then make your way into the Cathedral of Benagil where you’ll be able to kayak to the beach and hang out for a little bit.

You will also get the chance to explore some other smaller and less touristy caves while you’re in the area. Visiting the Benagil Caves by kayak is hands down our favourite way to explore this part of the Algarve because you get to go to some of the places where the boat tours can’t go.  If you want a bit of adventure while exploring the Algarve, the kayak trips are so fun!

Book your Kayak tour of Benagil Caves here.

#4 Portimão: Half-Day Catamaran Cruise to Benagil

⛵️ Book: your Catamaran Cruise from Portimao here
⏰ Time: Roughly 3.5 hours
💸 Cost: €35

Like most trips from Portimão, this half-day catamaran cruise to Benagil Caves leaves from the Portimão Marina. By now, you might’ve learned that the boat trips from Portimao towards Benagil have some of the best coastlines in all of Portugal to see – and this tour is no exception.

On this trip, you’ll actually dock at the João de Arens Bay where you’ll get a chance to swim, tan, or even try stand-up paddleboarding. 

You will also sail to all the famous caves around Benagil but not as close as some of the speedboats since it’s a lot harder for a sailboat to get to close and inside the caves. Some of the boat or kayak tours are better for that. 

The time on the water is so nice as you cruise in the Atlantic Ocean and look out for dolphins. This tour is that it’s 3.5 hours long and that extra hour out on the ocean is really nice since most other boat tours from Portimão are 2.5 hours.  This catamaran tour is one of the more relaxing and enjoyable tours from Portimao.

Book your Catamaran Cruise to Benagil here.

#5 Portimão: Sunset Boat Trip with Wine

⛵️ Book: your Sunset Boat Trip with Wine from Portimao here
⏰ Time: Roughly 2 hours
💸 Cost: €35

This is the perfect date idea or if you’re looking for something a little romantic to do while you’re in Portimão! For two hours you’ll cruise up and down the Algarve Coast taking in the views and admiring the sun as it sets over the ocean. If you’re daring enough you can even go for a little evening swim. 

On this sunset boat trip from Portimao, you will get some wine, water, fruit and light snacks that you can enjoy as you admire the beautiful sunset. Portugal has some of the most colourful, vivid sunsets we’ve experienced so trust us when we say you’re in for a real treat!

The boat isn’t that big so it will be a bit more intimate experience and the setting for it is absolutely perfect. For that reason, though, this sunset cruise does tend to sell out so we recommend booking it in advance if possible.

Book your Portimão Sunset Boat Trip here.

Other questions related to boat trips in Portimão

Is Portimao worth visiting?

Yes, Portimao is absolutely worth visiting if you’re down in the Algarve. This coastal city is home to some of the most amazing beaches in the Algarve, awesome boat tours, and delicious food.

What is Portimao known for?

Portimao is known for a few things but the main thing is the beaches that can be found near Portimao. The Algarve in general has beautiful golden sand beaches and you can find plenty of those near this coastal city. 

Is Portimao good for boat trips?

Portimao is great for boat trips! There are so many fun and different boat trips from Portimao! From sunset cruises to tours of the Benagil Caves, Portimao is a great place to set off and explore the Algarve from.

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Recap of 5 Epic Boat Tours to do in Portimao, Portugal

There ya have it, 5 fun and unique boat tours from Portimao! We love how conveniently located Portimao is to Lagos and Benagil so there’s a nice variety of different trips you can go on. 

The fact you can see dolphins and have the Benagil Caves so close by is a huge plus too. Each of these boat trips offers something unique and they all offer an exciting way to see the Algarve.

With all the beaches, coastline, and cliffs the area is just stunning to explore. We hope you have an awesome time in Portimao and on whichever boat tour you decide to go on. If you have questions about the Algarve or boat trips in general anywhere from Lagos to Benagil then please leave a comment below!

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  1. An adventurous Hungarian family on March 1, 2024 at 12:54 am

    We are not the types who chill out on beaches all day long, and your post gives lots of great tips what to do. Benagil Caves AND a pod of dolphins sound too good to be true, haha. 🙂

    • redwhiteadventures on March 2, 2024 at 2:42 pm


      That’s awesome! The caves are a great place to explore when they are open!


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