Best Beaches Near Carvoeiro
April 17, 2023
Carvoeiro and the Lagoa region is dominated by a glorious coastline of giant limestone cliffs, picturesque, sandy beaches and sheltered coves. Unlike the central Algarve region, the beaches here are not vast expanses of sand but tend to be smaller bays, enclosed by cliffs and naturally beautiful. Here are some of the best beaches near Carvoeiro.
Praia do Carvoeiro
This is the town’s main beach just a few meters from the town square. Facilities at the beach include stand up paddle boards, kayak and pedalo hire, there is also a lifeguard on duty throughout the summer. The beach is suitable for everyone due to its easy accessibility but this means it is extremely popular and can become crowded in the height of summer. We always recommend that families arrive early to secure a good spot whilst things are quieter and before the high temperatures of the mid afternoon sun. As the main towns restaurants and bars are literally a stone’s throw away, it is easy to stroll from the beach into town for some lunch in the shade and a wander around the pretty streets and shops close by. Villa Bernice, Casa Sacada, Casa Bodera and Villa Amadoura are all within walking distance of Praia do Carvoeiro.
Praia da Marinha
A short drive from Carvoeiro is Praia da Marinha, an iconic beach often voted as one of the top beaches in the Algarve and heavily featured on postcards and advertising for Portugal. There is a pretty beach bar and restaurant mounted on stilts overlooking the bay. On the right side you can see the famous, two arched, rock known as ‘The M Rock’ or ‘The Cathedral’. From high above the beach where The M Rock meets the cliff face, the well-known heart shaped optical illusion is formed. Accessed via steps, but well worth the effort, the high cliffs of this beach provide shelter from the wind and usually, quite calm waters. Be sure to bring a snorkel as the waters here are clear with an abundance of sea life. Vista Marinha, Villa June and Casa Secret are all just a few hundred meters away.
Praia do Vale de Centeanes
Praia do Vale de Centeanes is a 2000m coastline walk away from Carvoeiro centre, nestled between cliffs which offer shelter from the wind and boasts a relatively long stretch of golden sand. The beach is accessed via a long staircase with the O Stop Restaurant at the bottom. The water is often lovely and clear here making it an excellent spot for swimming and snorkelling and when the tide is low there are some caves to explore by foot. Villa Rita, Villa Mosa and Villa Aria are all within a 20 minute walk away.
Praia do Carvalho
Flanked by tall cliffs, access to this beach is via some steep and uneven steps leading down to a fossil lined tunnel through the rocky walls. There are no facilities here, which may appeal to some as a real opportunity to escape from civilisation for the day, sat on the sand overlooking the gorgeous bay and large rock that sits just a few meters offshore. Legend has it that the beach was once owned by a pirate, Captain Carvalho!
Praia de Benagil
In the small fishing village of Benagil lies the golden sands of Praia de Benagil which is perhaps most famous for its incredible, natural cave with a huge hole in the top, allowing sunlight to pour into a tiny beach within. In contrast to some other beaches, once in the sea there are few stones underfoot here. There is a little café restaurant called Benagil Beach Bar serving ice creams, cold drinks and some hot snacks and Casa Lamy and O Pescador are two restaurants very close by with wonderful, elevated views. The main car park is set 250m high above the beach itself and it is worth noting that there is no pavement on the only road in and out. Benagil cave can also be reached by boat tour, available from Albufeira. The beach has a lovely vibe though, equally as popular with tourists and the locals and definitely worth the effort if you can face the steep walk back up to your car at the end of a lovely long day in the sunshine. We are delighted to have Benagil View in our property portfolio, just 100m from this beautiful bay.
Praia de Nossa Senhora da Rocha
Overlooked by a pretty white chapel, Praia da Nossa Senhora da Rocha means ‘Beach of Our Lady of the Rock’. There are several fisherman’s huts and boats here, as the beach is well protected, making it easier for them to set off each day and return with their daily catch. Some of them offer boat tours and there are also some water sports available including jet ski and kayak hire. From the car park above the beach, access is via a short footpath directly to the sand. You’ll find the Vilarinho Restaurant at the foot of the path which offers super fresh fish and tasty seafood dishes. It’s the perfect setting for a delicious lunch overlooking the sandy beach and turquoise sea beyond. Other facilities on this blue flag beach include showers, toilets, sun bed hire and a lifeguard. There is also a tunnel which leads through to the larger neighbouring beach Praia Nova. We are very lucky to have some villas close by which include Villa Domus, Villa Bonny and Chinos I, II and III.
A zig-zag staircase leads down to this beach from the car park above but, to avoid the steps, take the path to Nossa Senhora da Rocha beach and then on through the 60m long tunnel, linking these two stretches of golden sand. It is often quieter than some of the other beaches in the area but, as it is 300m long, there will always be a patch to claim as your own. Unlike its neighbour, there is no restaurant or facilities on this side so be sure to pack a cool bag with some snacks and cold drinks before setting off here for the day.
Or head over to Ferragudo…
10 minutes by car from Carvoeiro, Praia Grande, as the name implies, is the largest beach in the Lagoa region. It sits on the western side of the Arade River and within the Portimao harbour defences which means that the water is a combination of sea and fresh water and there are virtually no waves or currents. There is plenty of free parking in this area and, to avoid any steps, the easiest way to access the beach is via the dunes. Head to the north side for a good selection of beachside restaurants and cafes. Club Nau is a superb beach club overlooking the beach with a good menu and live music throughout the summer – the perfect place to watch the sunset with a cocktail in hand.
The smaller Praia da Angrinha river beach sits just below the imposing 17th century Fort of Sao Joao do Arade, built to protect against pirate attacks. Located at the mouth of the Arade River this is less of a tourist beach due to the currents from the river and passing boats that can cause the water here to be visibly less clear, although it is still very calm. You have a great view of Portimao, the bay and wonderful sunsets here. The town of Ferragudo is just around the corner making it easy to head into the town for lunch or dinner at some of the many, great neighbourhood restaurants.
Overall, Carvoeiro is a great place to visit for anyone in search of a beach holiday, with so many beaches to choose from with excellent facilities for all ages.
We have lots of villas close to the beaches in Carvoeiro so just let us know your wish list and we will help you find your personal paradise in this sensational area.