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.
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.
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.