How To Explore Pego do Inferno Waterfall Tavira Portugal

Pego do Inferno waterfall in Tavira Portugal is a wonderful, lush haven just a 15-minute drive from the Algarve coast. The first time I set foot there I couldn’t believe this was in Algarve.

It’s a lovely place to swim and if you travel with a dog, like me, you know the pain of dog-free beaches in the summer and it’s such a relief to find a place to go swimming with your furry friend!

Going for a swim in Pego do Inferno is truly one of the best things to do in Tavira and it so feels like you’re far away from the coast.

In this post, I’ll share everything you need to know to visit Pego do Inferno waterfall as a day trip from Tavira.

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Pego do Inferno waterfall Tavira Portugal

How to get to Pego do Inferno

Pego do Inferno Algarve is located 7.5 kilometers inland from Tavira and only a 12-minute drive away. There are two parking areas where you can leave the car.

We have always left it at the first one which is about a 3-4 minute walk from the second one which is closer to where the trail starts. Check it out on Google Maps here.

When you reach the parking, you have to continue walking in the same direction you came driving. Once you pass the second car park, there is a small trail going straight into the wilderness.

Just continue on this trail for about 10 minutes. You’ll see the swimming hole from above when you’re close. When you get to a choice between left or right, take the right and you’ll be by the waterfall within a few meters.

The first time we took the wrong turn and went left and found nothing but overgrown trails and wild bushes.

Trail to Pego do Inferno Algarve
Take the small trail to the right under the trees.

What to bring

The first time I went, I wore flip-flops down to the waterfall. I don’t really mind hiking shorter routes in flip-flops as I’m used to wearing them anywhere, but there were a couple of short but very steep sections where it wasn’t ideal. Especially back up with wet feet.

After this first time, I’ve always made sure to walk in shoes and bring my flip-flops to walk with by the water. You might prefer to bring some water hiking shoes if you don’t like to walk on the uneven waterbed.

Otherwise, make sure you bring the basics and enough food and drinks if you’re staying a whole day. Here is the basic check-list:

  • swimwear
  • towel
  • water
  • snack
  • camera/phone
  • sun glasses
Hike to Pego do Inferno Tavira Portugal
The trail to the waterfall

Pego do Inferno Tavira Portugal

Once you arrive at Pego do Inferno waterfall, there’s a short, steep walk down to the water. You can walk around to find a spot a bit away from where everyone arrives.

Before reaching the water, you can walk on the rocks to the right and there’s a rope on a tree where you can jump off. We saw one guy crawling up the tree to get hold of it and did one jump, but honestly, it seemed like more hassle to get hold of the rope than the fun of jumping.

Pego do Inferno waterfall Tavira Portugal cascading into a green swimming hole.

The water is wonderfully refreshing and you can swim all the way to the waterfall. I prefer it early in the day when there’s plenty of sun as it gets quite shaded in the late afternoon.

That might have something to do with me getting easily cold in the water and I need the sun to warm me up again.

There aren’t many places to lie down around the water, but you might want to have something to sit on whether you sit down on the rocks or on the small “beach” (which really doesn’t have space for more than a couple of people and you risk people and dogs squirting water on you as they pass by.)

But you’re at a mesmerizing waterfall, so sunbathing is probably not on your list of things to do there anyway!

Pego do Inferno Portugal seen from above
The swimming hole seen from the trail above.

Reflections on visiting Pego do Inferno Tavira

We had a fantastic experience from the first time we went. It’s a really peaceful spot in the Algarvean wilderness, yet so close to the coast.

I love the fact that you can swim in freshwater so close to the beach, especially when traveling with dogs. However, note that in the summer it gets busy, so I’d try to avoid weekends and go early rather than in the afternoon when people start getting off work.

Happy travels!