Arade River: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Portimão: Benagil Sea Caves Boat Tour at Sunrise

1. From Portimão: Benagil Sea Caves Boat Tour at Sunrise

Sunrise slot is the best overall to do a caves tour of the day, the caves are deserted and you will feel it and enjoy a special atmosphere with this tour. Don't miss out on a must-do Benagil Caves tour. Meet your guide at the pier in Portimao and listen to a short safety briefing. Then, board the RIB speed boat to start the journey out to sea. On your way, the guide will tell you stories about the Arade River and the Algarve region. Admire views of the Fort of Santa Catarina, the Ferragudo castle, and a quaint fishing village along the coast. See many dramatic caves and cliffs as you travel along the coast. Keep a lookout, as dolphins can often be seen navigating the waters here. If they are spotted and are less than 3 miles away, the boat will head in their direction so you can get a closer look at these playful mammals. Then, head inside the famous Benagil Caves, which are only reachable by boat. Marvel at the naturally-formed holes at the top, which let the sunlight filter down to the sandy beach below in a beautiful display. Listen to the echoes and the sound of the wind and let yourself be moved by these impressive natural surroundings. On the way back to the marina, the boat will make a brief swimming stop with views of the beautiful beach at Corredoura. Allocation of reserves is automatic. If you make individual reservations but are part of a group, let us know which reservations belong to your group.

Portimão: Pirate Ship Cave Cruise

2. Portimão: Pirate Ship Cave Cruise

Feel like a pirate sailing the Atlantic on this unique cruise from Portimão that combines adventure and relaxation. Visit famous sites like the lighthouse of Alfanzina and the Benagil Cave. Swim in crystalline water, and walk the plank like a real pirate.  After boarding, begin by receiving a full briefing on your safety and comfort for your cruise. From there, hit the open water and navigate the coast off of Rio Arade, the village of Ferragudo, medieval castles, and the Atlantic Ocean. Cruising east, pass Carvoeiro, which contains the famous rock formation of Algar Seco. Arriving to the lighthouse of Alfanzina, transfer to a small boat to visit the inside of the local caves which run from the lighthouse to Marinha Beach. These caves include the famous cathedral cave of Benagil. Returning to the boat, take a dip to swim in the enticing crystal clear water which surrounds you. On your return journey, be on the lookout for dolphins, which are regularly spotted in this area.

From Portimão: Algar de Benagil and Sea Caves Boat Tour

3. From Portimão: Algar de Benagil and Sea Caves Boat Tour

Starting from the Marina of Portimão, admire the views of centuries-old castles, such as the Fort of São João do Arade and the Fort of Santa Catarina. See the old fishing village of Ferragudo and the beautiful hills of Monchique, all from the river canal. Leave the river towards adventure and take in all the scenic views of the natural Algarve coastline, visiting many caves and beaches while learning about the rich history from our knowledgeable tour guides. Enjoy all sorts of local fauna and flora, take astonishing pictures, and gain knowledge about the local wildlife and geological formations with the help of our crew. Create unforgettable memories and capture amazing photos in the Algar of Benagil, one of the most coveted cave destinations in the whole country, all in the capable and safe hands of our experienced crew members. Take advantage of our short stop at Praia da Marinha, considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe, to go for a dive in the gorgeous turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean. On the way back, our Captain will maneuver away from the cliffs to provide a broader view of the coastline.

Portimão: Silves & Arade River History Tour on a Solar Boat

4. Portimão: Silves & Arade River History Tour on a Solar Boat

Come and explore the beautiful Arade River and experience a journey between Portimão and Silves, where the future meets the past. You will have about 1.5 hours to visit this wonderful medieval city (the wonderful moorish castle, the cathedral, the museum) or have a taste of its excellent gastronomy. Throughout your tour, you will enjoy an unforgettable and unique experience aboard a solar-powered boat. You will travel on a boat so silent that all you will be able to ear yourself glide though the water, with no noise, gas spills or exhaust fumes. Combining comfort and fun, this tour is great for couples, families, and groups. The Arade River has since ever been of great importance in connecting Silves (the Islamic capital of the Algarve between the 8th and 13th centuries) to the sea. For centuries, the Arade was the scenery of important merchant trades, and was sailed by many cultures including the Phoenicians, Romans, Vikings, and Moors, among others. Ships came to carry minerals, cork, wood, fruits (figs, oranges almonds, carob) fish, salt, among other various riches of this region.

Benagil: Guided Caves Tour by Boat

5. Benagil: Guided Caves Tour by Boat

Make the most of your local guide's knowledge of the region and follow them on an adventure of the Benagil Coast. Discover up to 38 caves and enter 12 cave structures especially selected for your tour. Start your day at Vasco da Gama Peer. Meet your guide and make a trip along the Arade River. Along this route you can explore the city of Portimão, the village of Ferragudo, the castle, and the fortress of Ferragudo. Continue on your journey and arrive via boat to the coast of Benagil. Take the opportunity to discover the famous caves, beaches, diving cliffs, and rock formations. Discover 38 caves, 12 of which you will have to opportunity to enter. Finish your day of adventure with a brief swim stop before returning back along dolphin route to the original meeting point.

Durt & Dust Paradaise tour - Buggy tour 90 min

6. Durt & Dust Paradaise tour - Buggy tour 90 min

A 90 minutes tour with a lot of excitement, focused on the driving experience in an authentic off road buggy paradise through great trails, valleys, hills and streams. Let yourself be dazzled by a landscape of rare beauty. Points of interest: - Silves Castel (Exterior view) - Streams - Great trails - Arade´s Dam

From Portimão: Arade River Boat Tour to Silves Medieval Town

7. From Portimão: Arade River Boat Tour to Silves Medieval Town

Relax in a serene atmosphere surrounded by natural beauty of the riverbanks on a 3-hour river boat tour from Portimão to the charming medieval town of Silves. Hop off in Silves to visit the town before returning to Portimão. The river tour is perfect for those looking to escape the crowds and discover the hidden treasures of the Algarve. Ideal for couples, bachelorette parties, birthday parties, company events, relaxing trips, families or anyone who wants a different, comfortable, calm and fun boat trip. Departing from Portimão, we'll head up the river to the charming medieval town of Silves, the first capital of the Algarve. As we pass through verdant landscapes and picturesque farms, our experienced guide will share with you the history of the Arade River and the culture of the region, showing you famous places and historical landmarks. As we approach Silves we will sail with the tide, which allows us to go with a very quiet engine. As we glide along the calm waters, you will have the opportunity to discover the feeling of calm that the river conveys, while we leave the hustle and bustle of Portimão behind. Upon arrival in Silves, and if the favourable conditions are met, you can hop off to explore the city before returning to Portimão. On the way back to Portimão relax in a serene atmosphere surrounded by the natural beauty of the riverbanks while sipping on something refreshing. If you wish, we can even play your favourite playlist on our speaker. During the summer months, and if favourable maritime and weather conditions are met, we can stop for those who want to jump in and swim in the brackish waters of the river. And, if it is a sunset tour you will have the privilege of seeing the sun setting several times across the hills! You Know that the estuary of the river Arade is an area of great interest for birdwatching, and this tour is excellent for observing birds such as: Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus), White Stork (Ciconia ciconia), Cormorant White-faced Egret (Phalacrocorax carbo), Little Egret (Egretta garzetta), Great Gray Heron (Ardea cinérea), Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis), Black-winged Screech (Larus ridibundos), Stilt (Himantopus himantopus), Sandpiper (Calidris alpina), among others. If you are looking for a more intimate and exclusive environment, you can book the tour as private. Limited to a maximum of 14 people and includes bottle of champagne. Try to swap the blue of the sea and the gold of the cliffs for the green of the hills and the silence of the river, on a tour that promises to be magical.

From Portimao: Benagil Cave and Marinha Beach Boat Tour

8. From Portimao: Benagil Cave and Marinha Beach Boat Tour

Discover the beautiful coastline of the Algarve on a boat cruise from Portimao. Admire the views of rock formations as well as the beaches of Marinha, La Rocha, and Carvalho, with a stop for swimming during the tour. Start the tour from Clube Naval de Portimao located by the Arade River. Pass by the quaint fishing village of Ferragudo, St John´s Fortress situated by the river, the Marina of Portimao, and La Rocha Beach. Next, sail by the various rock formations, hidden beaches, and mysterious caves that dot the coastline between the city of Portimao and beautiful Praia da Marinha. Admire the sights of Carvalho Beach, Canairos Beach, Paradise Beach, and Carvoeiro village. Spot the rock formations of Algar Seco such as the Cathedral Cave, Cave of the Smugglers, Monster Cave, Cave of the Heart, Turtle Cave, and many more. Arrive at the famous Benagil Cave which you can snap photos from different perspectives from the boat. Afterwards head to Praia da Marinha (Navy Beach) and make a stop for swimming in the bay. Afterwards, speed along the coastline back to Portimao.

Algarve: Boat Trip to the Caves of Benagil

9. Algarve: Boat Trip to the Caves of Benagil

Discover the Benagil Caves on a guided boat tour from the Algarve. Take in the coastal views as you sail, look out for dolphins, and explore the interiors of several coastal caves, including Paraiso, Carvoeiro, and Benagil. Begin your trip to the caves of the Algarve Coast. Explore the coastal caves ranging from Portimao to Caneiros, Paraiso, Carvoeiro, Benagil and Praia da Marinha. The trip will start on the Arade River at Clube Naval Portimao, from where you can view the landscape, Ferragudo Castle, and numerous beaches. After setting out to the open sea you will become witness to various rock formations and more than 20 caves. You will be able to journey inside the caves during your tour, which will provide you with the opportunity to take plenty of unique photos. If you are lucky on the day, you will also have the chance to see dolphins. You will of course be welcome to stop for a swim in the sea if you wish, and your guide will be explaining your surroundings for the duration of your tour. Once your tour has concluded, you will disembark at Portimao.

Algarve: Silves Farmers Market and Orchard Private Day Tour

10. Algarve: Silves Farmers Market and Orchard Private Day Tour

Oranges and the Algarve are a match made in heaven. The region produces what are considered to be the best oranges in the world. The Silves area in particular is known for its sweet, fine-skinned, aromatic and incredibly juicy oranges. The tour starts in the town of Silves, the heart of orange country in the Algarve. Visit the farmers market and take time to wander by the Arade river and enjoy pretty views of the Roman bridge and the red-hued town. Next, enjoy a guided tour to one of the largest orange orchards in the region, where you can learn about the whole process and the different species that are grown so that oranges can be enjoyed all year round. You even get to pluck an orange straight from the tree and savour it right there in the open air. The tour ends as you are served a delicious, naturally sweet, vitamin-C-packed glass of just-squeezed orange juice.

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What people are saying about Arade River

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 1,227 reviews

This was a fabulous tour to learn about some of the history of the Algarve region, explore some unique areas, like the thermal spa in Caldas, appreciate the amazing views on top of the mountain, and end the day enjoying some wonderful wine at a local winery. Antonio is an exceptional guide for this tour. He is extremely knowledgeable about the area, willing to answer all questions, and is super friendly. We even stopped at a site along the way to observe the hundred nesting white storks. It was a truly enjoyable day and I would highly recommend this tour to appreciate more about the Algarve region.

Highlight of my holiday in the Algarve. Wonderful experience, amazing crew, they very kind when I got the wobbles going into little boat to see the caves, nothing was a bother. Super safe, fun and great for all ages - highly recommend :)

The whole journey was smooth and enjoyable. we only wished we could have got off the boat and gone into the caves but the waves were definitely not allowing that!

I found the staff absolutely lovely, kind, and friendly. was really good with my toddeler was only two and run out of patience on the way back.

Was an amazing experience! The ship crew was very friendly and knowledgeable. Thank you