If you are looking for a destination with sun and sea to enjoy a family vacation, we have an excellent suggestion for you: the village of Carvoeiro in the Algarve!
Carvoeiro has been establishing itself as a very popular tourist destination in the Algarve. This former fishing village offers very beautiful beaches, with superior water quality. In addition, it also has some points of interest and natural landscapes that are worth visiting. The village of Carvoeiro differs from other famous spots in the Algarve by being quieter. In this relatively small, the nightlife is not exactly hectic and the services are more family oriented. In Carvoeiro you will find all the conditions for a fun and relaxing vacation. What are you waiting for? Come visit!
WHERE IS CARVOEIRO AND HOW TO GET THERE?
The village of Carvoeiro is located in the municipality of Lagoa, in the Algarve. It is 10km away from the city of Portimão. The best way to travel to Carvoeiro is by car. If you are in Lisbon, take the A2 freeway. The trip takes about two and a half hours. If you choose to arrive in the Algarve by plane, you will have to travel a distance of 70km between Faro airport and Carvoeiro. Be aware that public transportation is poor and that the best option is to rent a car.
WHEN TO VISIT CARVOEIRO?
The best time to visit Carvoeiro is between May and October. In spring and summer you will be able to take better advantage of its wonderful beaches. Between June and September, the maximum temperatures in the region are around 25 and 28ºC. As for the water temperature, between the months of August and October it is around 20ºC!
Naturally, the summer months are the most popular. So if you don’t mind a little cooler temperatures and want to avoid crowds, we suggest you book your vacation in late spring.
If you like to use your travels to get to know the traditions of the places you visit, then the end of August is the best time to go to Carvoeiro. The last Sunday of the month is the Feast of Our Lady of the Incarnation, the biggest religious festival in the region.
WHAT TO VISIT AND DO IN CARVOEIRO?
Below is a map showing the location of the main tourist attractions in Carvoeiro.
The village was developed around the beach, which reflects the enormous connection of this village to the ocean. The village’s trademark image is its white houses, situated on the cliff tops. The streets are narrow and labyrinthine. Go for a walk in the heart of the village and discover forgotten corners. In the main streets you will find several restaurants and a few bars. It is also in this area that you can do some shopping, as there are several traditional commerce and handicraft stores.
HERMITAGE FORTE DE NOSSA SENHORA DA ENCARNAÇÃO
The Ermida do Forte de Nossa Senhora da Encarnação is a small chapel that was built in the 17th century. It was the place of devotion of the fishermen of the region. The most important element of this hermitage is the 17th century image of Nossa Senhora da Encarnação that can be found inside. The hermitage is located inside what was once a fortification. Its function was to protect the population from pirate attacks. Currently, only the fortification portal survives. In front of the hermitage there is a viewpoint from which there is an excellent view of the beach of Carvoeiro.
SETE VALES SUSPENSOS TRAIL
The “sete Vales Suspensos” trail is considered one of the most beautiful walks in the Algarve! It is not a trail, since it is not marked. It is a path over the cliffs. The trail links Praia de Vale de Centeanes to Praia da Marinha.
This trail stretches for six kilometers and allows you to see beaches and cliffs and many beautiful landscapes. The Alfanzina Lighthouse and the Benagil Algar are examples of the points of interest that you will pass by while doing this route. The route does not require much physical preparation but it is important to wear comfortable shoes.
The Carvoeiro Walkways are a set of walkways by the sea that connect Algar Seco to the Hermitage of Nossa Senhora da Encarnação. These walkways are 600m long and are not physically demanding, making them a great pastime for the whole family! Along the way, there are several spots to rest and enjoy the landscape. It is important to mention that the walkways are accessible to people with reduced mobility, which makes them enjoyable for just about everyone.
ALGAR SECO CAVES
Algar Seco is a set of rock formations, with caves and natural pools. This place is a true wonder of nature, offering landscapes from another world! If you’re in Carvoeiro, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to visit Algar Seco! You can go there directly by car or on foot from Carvoeiro Beach (it’s about 500m by walkway). When you arrive, climb down the more than 100 steps carved into the rock and enjoy this unique place. One of the most popular spots in Algar Seco is the Gruta da Boneca (Doll’s Cave), which has an impressive shape and view. Don’t forget your camera!
Alfanzina Lighthouse is located in a town of the same name. It was inaugurated in 1920 and its tower is twenty-three meters high. The lighthouse is still working, providing aid to navigation. Currently it is open to the public. It can be visited on Wednesdays between 2 pm and 5 pm. Even if you don’t get a chance to visit the inside, it is worth taking this short detour to see the building from the outside and take a short walk around the surroundings.
Boat trips are one of the most popular activities in Carvoeiro. These excursions are characterized by a trip along the coast, passing various points of interest in the region, for example Algar Seco and Carvalho Beach. These excursions depart from either Carvoeiro Beach, Portimão Marina or Benagil Beach. This is another example of a service you will find at Carvoeiro that is suitable for the whole family. So, if you are traveling with children, take this opportunity to have an experience that everyone will love!
WATER PARK CARVOEIRO
Slide & Splash is a water park just a few minutes from the village of Carvoeiro. The park opened in 1986 and has an area of ten hectares! It is considered by many to be the best water park in the Algarve! A trip to the water park is one of the favorite activities for children in the summer days. But this park is not only appropriate for the little ones. It has a wide variety of slides and attractions that will also please the grown-ups. The park has a restaurant, stores and rest areas.
KAYAKING IN CARVOEIRO
Kayaking is a transport that allows you to reach caves and beaches that are otherwise inaccessible. That said, if you want to discover the hidden secrets of Carvoeiro’s beaches, then don’t pass up the opportunity to do this activity on your vacation. The groups are accompanied by experienced guides and no previous experience is required to participate. Once again, this is an activity for the whole family. There are different tour programs available and, on average, they last three hours.
PLAY GOLF AT CARVOEIRO
The Algarve is one of the favorite destinations for golf lovers and the village of Carvoeiro is an excellent destination for this sport! In Carvoeiro there are several options to practice golf, with emphasis on the Pestana Golf Resort, which has two different courses. If you like golf, Carvoeiro offers all the conditions to practice your favorite sport, in a breathtaking scenery! Since it is common for temperatures to be high, we advise you to plan your games in the morning, so you can play with more comfort.
DOLPHINS NEAR CARVOEIRO
If you are on vacation in Carvoeiro and want to live the unique experience of seeing dolphins, know that there are several places nearby where you can do it. In Albufeira, there are several companies that offer this service. The tour starts at Albufeira Marina and heads to Praia do Carvoeiro in search of these friendly animals. This is one of those activities that should be on the list of those traveling with family and that will last in everyone’s memory for a long time.
BLACK AND WHITE NIGHT
Black & White Festival takes place in the village of Carvoeiro and marks the summer solstice. Largo da Praia is the center of the party but there are small stages and attractions all over the village. The festival is suitable for all tastes and ages. Participants are asked to wear black and white clothing to match the festival decorations. In order for people to get around safely and enjoy the village to the fullest, traffic is cut off on the night of the festival.
There are clowns, acrobats, live music, DJs on the beach, and the bars and restaurants stay open late. It is a night full of fun and has already become a tradition in this region of the Algarve.
GOING OUT AT NIGHT IN CARVOEIRO
Carvoeiro is not the ideal place for those who can’t live without a busy nightlife during their vacation. Still, there is some offer of activities to do after sunset. In the center of the village there are a few bars where you can have a drink and relax. In the summer months there are also several opportunities to see live music, which is always an interesting and fun program. However, if you are looking for something even more relaxed and calm, our suggestion is a walk along the promenade in the evening. This walk by the sea gives you a different perspective of the town. The promenade is illuminated, which allows you to walk safely.
BEACHES NEAR CARVOEIRO
The beaches are the great attraction of a vacation in the village of Carvoeiro. Here are our suggestions for the best beaches in the region. Below is a map with the location of the most spectacular beaches in the vicinity of Carvoeiro.
Carvoeiro Beach was elected as one of the best beaches in all of Europe in 2018! It is located right in front of the center of the village of Carvoeiro and is characterized by a relatively small sandy beach. One of the hallmarks of this beach are the fisherman’s boats, which you can find along the beach. Being so close to the village center, it is very easy to find bars and restaurants near the beach, where you can take a break to recharge your batteries between dives!
Benagil Beach has some similarities with Carvoeiro Beach and fishermen are also a constant presence. It is a very beautiful beach, with a large sandy beach. Its greatest treasure is the Benagil Cave, which has a small beach inside and is only accessible by boat. This beach has no parking and, because it is very busy, in the summer it is difficult to find a place to leave your car.
VALE DE CENTEANES BEACH
Praia do Vale de Centeanes Beach is another beautiful beach in the region. The sand is sheltered by cliffs. However, the sea has some swell, which makes this beach one of the area’s favorites for surfing and other water sports. It is well served by all kinds amenities (restaurants, bars, stores), which provide a day at the beach with all the comfort.
Praia da Marinha is an emblematic beach in the Algarve. It is internationally known for its beauty! This beach is characterized by crystal clear waters, which have shades of turquoise blue that are truly impressive. In addition, it also has very beautiful cliffs. The Cathedral is a rock formation in Marinha Beach that reminds two arches and is one of the symbols of this beach. Because of its calm waters and the services it offers, this is a beach much appreciated by families.
THREE CASTLES BEACH
Praia dos Três Castelos is situated next to Praia da Rocha. The beach received this name due to three large rocks that are found on the sand and have been identified as castles. Although it is a very popular beach, it never gets crowded because it has a very long and wide sandy beach. It is a good beach for swimming, due to the calm waters, but you have to pay attention to the rocks. The Miradouro dos Três Castelos has Portuguese sidewalk with intricate patterns and offers a magnificent view of the beach.
LAPA VALLEY BEACH
Vale da Lapa Beach is a little different from the ones we have mentioned so far. It is a quiet beach, located in a valley. Its sand is quite small and disappears during high tide, so you should pay attention to tide times if you want to enjoy this beach. Vale da Lapa Beach is not watched. Therefore, we advise you to visit it only briefly to get to know it and not to venture into the sea if you are not an experienced swimmer.
WHAT TO VISIT NEAR CARVOEIRO?
Six kilometers is the distance between Carvoeiro and Ferragudo, a village located right next to Portimão. It is a village bathed by the river Arade and is close to a large number of beaches. In recent years the popularity of this village as a tourist destination has been growing. Take the opportunity to visit the historical center of Ferragudo and enjoy its gastronomy. If you enjoy boating and exploring the caves on the beaches, Ferragudo is a great place to do these activities!
Silves is a town in the interior of the Algarve that is located 14km away from Carvoeiro. In this town, you can find one of the oldest castles in Portugal, which today reveals itself as one of the best viewpoints to appreciate the beauty of the region. If you go to Silves, take the opportunity to stroll through the center and go to the Portas da Cidade for a drink or an ice cream. Silves is another excellent destination for those who like to practice golf, this time in a mountain setting.
CARVOEIRO TYPICAL CUISINE
In Carvoeiro you will have no trouble finding fresh products. The gastronomy is characterized mainly by fish and seafood dishes, which are caught in the coastal area. The highlight is the cataplana and the caldeiradas (fish stew), but we must also suggest the sardines and the tuna steak, both grilled on charcoal. Take advantage of your stay in Carvoeiro to taste Algar Seco wine, a unique wine in the country. The more gluttonous will love to try the region’s sweets: among others, you’ll find almond morgados, fig cheeses and figs filled.