I was not immediately aware of any caves in Portugal, however, locals told me that ‘Mira de Aire’ was the place to be.  Just one hour drive north of Lourinha. Nice alternative for the extreme heat this week, because in the caves it is noticeably cooler.

Tickets

We arrived in the afternoon, therefore a good tip for anyone is to go there before noon. A huge ticket line! One lady serving the clients, in July, high season!  Once we got our tickets we waited another 15 minutes to enter the first room. Just to see a video about the history of the caves. And it was boring.  The video was all in Portuguese and although my Portuguese is not that bad, I hardly understood anything. The children were also bored after 2 minutes. After the video was finished, we finally entered the caves, with a friendly, English speaking guide.  I had a lot of expectations, because the pictures that I saw were very promising.

The experience

They were right! From the moment you enter the caves, you feel the magic! Nice colorful light shows at the walls give amazing effects. All my frustration went away.  The guide gave all the information you need, in English, French, and Portuguese. There are a lot of steps, and sometimes they are a little bit slippery. But that’s the way it is in a cave, isn’t it? At the end of the visit, you see a beautiful light show, which is amazing for the kids. After that, you take the elevator to see some beautiful crystals. A short walk brings you back to the entrance.

I strongly suggest doing this trip, especially in high season, in the morning. Afterwards, you can visit the waterpark which is near the caves. You can swim and slide as much as you want!

More info: http://www.grutasmiradaire.com/