Carvoeiro holidays

Perched on the sea cliffs with traditional whitewashed buildings and a small cove beach, Carvoeiro in Portugal is a seaside resort just over a half hour’s drive away from Lagos. What was once a quiet fishing village now has a range of shops, bars and restaurants as well as hillsides full of holiday villas. The cliffs and rocks of this coastline have been shaped into a network of caves, caverns and coves, where you’ll see fishermen running boat trips to view them from the beach. With plenty to do and scenic sights to see, holidays to Carvoeiro will keep all the family happy. There are impressive rock formations to be seen at Algar Seco, two sandy cove beaches just waiting to be explored, and several of the Algarve’s renowned golf courses nearby.

Things to do

Carvoeiro may be smaller than other resorts nearby, but that doesn’t mean it lacks when it comes to things to do. Soak up the Mediterranean sun on the sandy beach, or explore the area’s history with a visit to the 17th century clifftop fort. Take a walk down the steps leading to the Algar Seco rock formations, where you’ll hear the waves crashing against them at high tide. When it comes to shopping, you can browse for souvenirs at the unique Lagoa flea market, or drive the 15 minutes to shop at the Algarve Mall in Guia. For you golf lovers, the Quinta do Gramacho course is nearby, so you have a chance to tee off on the course that hosts the Portuguese Ladies Open. After a long day of sightseeing and sunbathing, pull up a seat in a local restaurant and tuck into some delicious seafood like the signature Portuguese dish of grilled sardines. 

Excellent beaches

There are several stunning beaches surrounding Carvoeiro, all with soft, sandy shores and glistening, crystal clear waters. What sets these beaches apart from each other are their sizes and the striking rock formations that are hidden along the coastline, so you’ll be able to tailor your beach experience to suit you.

One of the main beaches in the resort is Praia do Carvoeiro, commonly known as Town Beach, which is a quaint, sandy beach with magnificent cliffs that shelter the shore. A hotspot for sun-worshipping holidaymakers, the area has all the amenities and water sports you need to spend your days paddling in warm water and relaxing on the sand.

For something a little quieter, find the small curved bay of Praia do Carvalho for incredible views of the rocks in the shimmering coast. This beach is so remote it’s unattended by lifeguards, but is ideal if you want to recline under the sun in your own spot of paradise.

History and culture

Situated on Portugal’s southern coast, the village was built into steep sandstone cliffs in the 1960s to accommodate the influx of tourism in the area. A quieter resort than its neighbours, Albufeira and Portimao; Carvoeiro is centred on a picturesque hive of sandy coves and green hills. It has a vibrant nautical history of pirates and battles along its waters. You can see the remains of the 17th century Fort of Senhora da Conceicao, which once added to the Algarve’s defences.

The village today is quiet and peaceful; if you wander around the hilly pathways you can see spectacular views of the intricate coast and stunning horizon.

Vibrant nightlife

The village is small and quiet but surprisingly is home to a great selection of bars, restaurants and shops. A lot of the bars have a traditional atmosphere with the Portuguese laid-back vibe streaming into the streets. Whether you enjoy watching sports, listening to live music or being entertained by flair bartending, Carvoeiro has a wide range of nightlife available. If you’re looking for an evening with a bit more buzz, Albufeira is not too far away.

Map of Carvoeiro

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12-24 ℃

The summers are long and hot, but the mild weather throughout the rest of the year is still perfect for sightseeing.

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2 hours 45 minutes

About 64km east of Carvoeiro is Faro Airport (FAO), also known as Algarve Airport.

Carvoeiro is best for...

Golfers: Tee off where the pros play at Quinta do Gramacho golf course. It’s an 18-hole course that’s played host to the Portuguese Ladies Open.

Foodies: From tucking into traditional Portuguese dishes on ‘Restaurant Hill’ to exploring one of the local food festivals, Carvoeiro holidays have plenty to sink your teeth into.

Shoppers: For locally produced souvenirs like traditional Lagoa ceramics and handmade crafts, browse the town’s shops and market stalls.

Fast facts for Carvoeiro

Language: The language spoken in Carvoeiro is Portuguese.

Currency: The currency used here is the Euro (€).

Local time: Carvoeiro is the same time as GMT/UK time.

Fly to: Faro Airport. The transfer time to Carvoeiro is 45 minutes to 1 hour. 

Flight time from UK: The flight time to Carvoeiro is 2 hours and 45 minutes. 

Tourist information: Further tourist information can be found at www.visitportugal.com.

Visa / health: Before you travel, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/portugal for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday.

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Getting around Carvoeiro

By bus: Hop on a bus for a quick way to see Carvoeiro’s sandy beaches. Save some euros and spend more time sunbathing with a tourist pass the 'Passe Turístic', which gives you unlimited journeys over a three-day period.

By car: A full tank of petrol, your own set of wheels and Algarve’s scenic roads ahead of you; it’s easy to see why renting a hire car is a popular way to see nearby views and authentic villages.

By taxi: Popping to one of the neighbouring beach resorts in a taxi is the simplest option. If you want experience nightlife in Albufeira or Portimão, it’s worth knowing that taxi fares go up by 20% between midnight and 6am.

Events in Carvoeiro

Fairs: Held in nearby Lagoa every June, the International Algarve Fair promises two full days of fun. Just over 10 minutes away, the fair has plenty of Portuguese food as well family-friendly entertainment like dog shows, exhibitions, and live performances.

For foodies: For more adventurous eaters, there’s the annual Snail Festival in the town of Porches, 10km away. Held in the first three days in July, you’ll find other tasty food served up alongside the culinary delicacy.

Local celebrations: Join the locals on the last Sunday in August as they honour the patron saint of Carvoeiro. There are more celebrations across the Lagoa district with the Festa da Nossa Senhora da Luz, with parades celebrating the Virgin Mary.

Carvoeiro weather

Temperature: 12-24 (°C) 

A great time to travel is between mid-June and mid-September, when you can enjoy highs of 24°C and 14 hours of sunshine a day. You can visit the sandy beaches in early spring, with temperatures in the mid-teens. Both autumn and winter are mild, so you can see all the sights without worrying about avoiding the crowds.

Best hotels in Carvoeiro

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