Carvoeiro was a traditional, small fishing village surviving on the tuna catches however, not surprisingly, it has become an incredibly popular resort with visitors and has developed accordingly to keep pace.
Carvoeiro is very popular for family holidays as there is such a large choice of self-catering accommodation, while the local area has all the things you are likely to want within a short distance of the town centre. A lot of the accommodation is in new residential areas on the outskirts as the developments have spread, but it is all in keeping – this isn’t an area of high rise hotels and apartment blocks.
The town beach, Praia do Carvoeiro is a beautifully sheltered sandy bay and spreads out just in front of the square with cliffs protecting it on either side. There are bars and cafés ideally placed around the square to still enjoy the view when you leave the beach!
Watersports like jet skis and pedaloes are available at the beach for those who like messing about on the water and there is a diving school based in Carvoeiro if you prefer to be under the water. The local fishermen also make use of their boats during the day to offer visitors the chance to take boat trips around the coastline and to see the caves.
The cliff tops around Carvoeiro offer plenty of scope for walking and some great views. You may also come across some ‘algares’ which are holes in the cliff where the sea has eaten it away from underneath.
The town beach is quite small when it comes to accommodating the numbers of visitors in Carvoeiro during the summer, but there are also some other lovely beaches within easy reach of the town, such as Praia da Marinha and Praia de Vale de Centianes.
Restaurants and bars
One thing you won’t be short of in Carvoeiro is somewhere to eat and drink! There is a huge selection of bars, restaurants and cafés all within easy walking distance of the centre and offering a wide choice of different cuisines. At a guess most visitors give up on the idea of self-catering when they see what’s on offer!
Carvoeiro is also ideally situated for family fun days out. There are two water parks within easy reach – the closest being Slide and Splash at Lagoa and Aqualand just slightly further away at Alcantarilha. If water parks aren’t for you then there is Zoomarine Sealife park at Guia and Krazy World at Algoz to choose from.
If you have something a little more relaxing in mind, then a trip to Silves is a lovely day out with it’s Moorish castle and riverside walks. A walk around the castle walls allows you to have a bird’s eye view of the town and surrounding countryside and there are lots of pavement cafés to stop for a cool drink afterwards! There are also boat trips to Silves up the Arade river from Portimão river front which give you about an hour to see a bit of Silves (before the tide is too low to return) for a different view of the countryside.
Twice a week the tourist train that runs around Carvoeiro ventures a little further afield to Ferragudo which is just along the coast on the opposite bank of the Arade estuary to Portimão. It gives you a couple of hours to explore the town before bringing you back.
There are plenty of shops in the town for your everyday needs and because they are used to catering for British visitors you will be able to find most of your normal groceries. There is also a big Intermarché, ALDI and Apolónia supermarkets on the Lagoa road on the outskirts of Carvoeiro for even more choice and these supermarkets can be reached by taxi if you do not have your own transport.
If you are looking for more than just a supermarket you need to head to Portimão to the west of Carvoeiro or to the Algarve Shopping mall at Guia (near Albufeira) to the east (both about 15 minutes away). Both offer plenty of chances to spend some money! Even the non-shoppers can enjoy Algarve Shopping as there are plenty of seats in the sunshine and lots of restaurants and cafés in the food hall! It’s open until late in the evening, so no need to miss out on beach time either and there is also a multi-screen cinema located here too.
Of course, there is absolutely no need to leave Carvoeiro at all as there is plenty to do and to see right on the doorstep – it really is a lovely spot and well deserves it’s reputation as a top Algarve holiday destination.