The natural monument Algar Seco caves exists in Carvoeiro, in the Algarve. This true wonder of nature consists of a series of rocks and rugged caves, sculpted for hundreds of years by the wind, and with natural pools of incredibly blue water. The holes in the rocks give them the appearance of windows and balconies.
It is at Algar Seco that you find the famous rock formation known as “Boneca” (“the doll”). This is a rock shaped like an inverted cone which looks a little like a doll when seen from the sea. Ten steps below, sits the entrance to one of the famous tunnels at Algar Seco. The view from the inside is absolutely spectacular and it will help you understand why Algar Seco is one of the most beautiful natural areas on the planet.
This place of transcendent beauty is certainly one of the Algarve’s best caves.
Joining a boat trip is undoubtedly a great way to visit Algar Seco. Almost all the boat trips that are offered from the marinas of Vilamoura, Albufeira or Portimão, include a visit to the rocks and caves of Algar Seco because of the spot’s incredible beauty and their close proximity to the popular Benagil caves. Of course there are also regular trips departing from the nearby Carvoeiro beach.
There are several types of boat trips, some of which last for the whole day while there are others that only last for 1 hour if you’d prefer a shorter trip. Some trips include swim or snorkeling stops and some, besides offering passengers the possibility of seeing the magnificent rocks of the Algarve, also allow you to see dolphins in their natural habitat.
Don’t forget to contact Algarve Fun if you need help finding the best boat trip for you and your family.
How to get to Algar Seco
To get to Algar Seco you will have to cross the Estrada de Algar Seco (Algar Seco Road). Then it is necessary to walk, on foot, through a sort of labyrinth with 134 steps of reddish rocks. These steps are the combined work of nature and man.
You can also reach Algar Seco on a boat or alternatively you can find some great kayak tours.
Algar Seco Cliff Walk & Boardwalk
You can also try reaching Algar Seco on foot from the Fort of Nossa Senhora da Encarnação, on Carvoeiro’s Beach (Praia do Carvoeiro). To do so, all you have to do is to walk the 570 meters of footbridge that connects the fort to the area of Algar Seco.
This footbridge, known as Carvoeiro’s boardwalk, is built on top of Algar Seco’s cliffs, providing a breath-taking view over the Atlantic ocean and some of the most exotic beaches in Europe. We strongly recommend that you take the opportunity to walk across the boardwalk, as you won’t be able to help but feel inspired by such surrounding beauty.
Can you swim there?
Theoretically, it is possible to swim to Algar Seco from Vale de Centeanes Beach (Praia de Vale de Centeanes) or from Vale Covo Beach (Praia de Vale Covo), however, it is strongly discouraged to try it. Strong currents and tides can seriously complicate the task of trying to swim to the Algar Seco area. It is certainly easier to appreciate the Algar Seco rocks on a Stand Up Paddle (SUP) board or a kayak.
In the heart of Algar Seco there is the restaurant Boneca Bar. From this restaurant with delicious food and a 5-star service, you can enjoy a beer or a glass of wine while watching the sunset in one of the most beautiful places on the planet.
In addition to the Boneca Bar, the Algar Seco Bistro, with an incredible view of the Atlantic Ocean, has an exquisite menu and luxurious facilities.
Other nearby places to explore
Since you already are in the area of Carvoeiro, we recommend that you visit Algar de Benagil. Algar de Benagil is probably the best known natural monument in the Algarve. This is due to the fact that it has been considered, by the Michelin Guide, as the 15th most beautiful cave in the world, and because it was used as a screensaver for Windows 10. It is difficult to describe the overwhelming beauty of the cave, so we recommend that you definitely take this opportunity to visit it. If you do decide to join a boat trip to visit the rocks of Algar Seco, you can rest assured knowing that, in principle, the tour also includes a visit to Benagil’s Cave.
Another thing that you might be interested in is the Alfanzina Lighthouse (Farol de Alfanzina). Built in 1920 on a rocky promontory, this beautiful building was used to guide the ships at night and to assist local fishermen to catch squid, also at night.