Best Things To Do in Carvoeiro
April 17, 2023
Carvoeiro is a charming seaside town located in the Algarve just 65kms west of Faro. Once a tiny fishing village it is now known for its picturesque cliffs, golden sandy beaches, and crystal-clear waters. Carvoeiro is a popular destination for holiday makers with an abundance of shops, restaurants and tourist attractions. At night the town comes alive as the family friendly bars and eateries tempt passers by with their delicious food offerings, cocktails, live music and entertainment. Although busy in the peak of summer, Carvoeiro has retained its laid back atmosphere and is less hectic than other, larger resort towns along the coast.
Visit the Beaches
When you fancy taking a break from your villa and private swimming pool, Carvoeiro has a wonderful selection of beaches to explore. The beaches do get busy in the height of summer so it is worth setting off early to find the best spot.
Here are 5 of the best beaches to visit in Carvoeiro:
Praia do Carvoeiro – the town’s main beach is a firm favourite and very easily accessible for wheelchair users and young families with pushchairs. The main square sits just behind it so the town’s restaurants, bars and shops are all close by and the facilities are very good. You can rent a pedalo, kayak and jet ski here or take a boat trip to visit the nearby coastal caves.
Praia da Marinha – located a short drive from Carvoeiro, is an iconic beach near Lagoa and considered by many to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the Algarve with a pretty beach bar and restaurant mounted on stilts overlooking the bay. Access is via several steps and facilities are few making it a slightly less practical choice for some, but with its turquoise waters, golden sand, and impressive rock formations, this beach is a must-visit if you can.
Praia do Paraiso – just 400m west of Carvoeiro town centre, this small and simple beach is an ideal spot for families with young children and, because it’s relatively hidden, it can be surprisingly less busy than other nearby beaches. The name Paraiso means Paradise and it’s easy to see why the name was chosen with its clear waters, calm waves and idyllic surroundings.
Praia do Vale de Centeanes – is a 2000m coastline walk away from Carvoeiro centre, protected from the wind by high cliffs and a relatively long stretch of golden sand. A long staircase leads down to the beach with the O Stop Restaurant at the bottom. Clear waters make it an excellent spot for snorkelling and when the tide is low there are some caves to explore by foot.
Praia de Nossa Senhora da Rocha – is an enchanting beach with a pretty chapel perched on the cliff top overlooking the bay. Sheltered by cliffs, it has been favoured by fishermen for many years and is now very popular with tourists enjoying the calm waters. There is a tunnel which connects this beach with nearby Praia Nova which is a beautiful 300m stretch of sand and relatively untouched.
Boat Trips & Water Sports
Boat trips are one of the best ways to explore the coastline. There are so many coves, bays and rock formations which can only be accessed by boat or kayak. You can book a tour from the main town beach and will get to see some of the beautiful coastline and magical grottoes, including the famous Benagil Cave. You might even be lucky enough to spot dolphins depending on the time of year!
The waters around Carvoeiro are home to a diverse array of marine life, making it an excellent spot for scuba diving and snorkelling. There are several dive centres in the area that offer diving lessons and equipment rental, as well as guided dives to some of the best sites in the area.
Play Tennis or Padel Tennis
If you’re a tennis enthusiast, be sure to visit the Carvoeiro Clube de Tenis. Established over 30 years ago with 8 Australian blue hard courts, 2 Astro turf courts, 5 mini courts and a double-sided practice wall, there is something here for all abilities and all courts can be rented by the hour. You can also book tennis lessons and rent equipment if you do not have your own. If you are a fan of Padel Tennis, one of the fastest growing sports in the world, there are 4, floodlit courts here for you to enjoy. Padel is scored much like tennis and is predominantly played in doubles on an enclosed court which is approximately 25% smaller than a regular tennis court. The walls are used as part of the game as players bounce the ball off them. The ‘padels’ are plastic and foam bats and, as players use an underarm serve, it makes for a slower pace and is therefore more manageable, even for amateur’s, making it a very inclusive, and highly addictive, game. Besides tennis and padel, there is a café, restaurant, huge gym, exercise studio, beauty salon, hairdresser and physiotherapist, plus other fun activities like table tennis and mini trampolines keeping the whole family entertained.
Take the Algar Seco Boardwalk
Algar Seco is a natural wonder located just a short walk from the centre of Carvoeiro. It features stunning rock formations, arches, and caves that have been carved out by the ocean and weather over time and is a popular spot for hikers and joggers. There is a long stretch of wooden boardwalk with several benches and handrails either side allowing families with pushchairs to enjoy a leisurely stroll and the views from the top are breathtaking. Nestled into the rocks, down 78 steps, you will find Restaurant Boneca Bar which is a fun place to relax and enjoy the scenery with some welcome shade provided by overhead sails. Opening times vary throughout the year but can be found on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/RestauranteBonecaBar. Just past the restaurant you’ll find the entrance to the Algar Seco tunnel, a narrow passage leading to a small cave with ocean views.
Visit Silves, Ferragudo & Porches
Take a trip to the nearby town of Silves just a short drive away. Originally the ancient capital of the Algarve, the town is well-worth a visit with its cobbled streets, open-air cafes, galleries, castle, cathedral, market and riverside walks. You can experience typical Portuguese life here and, on Saturdays, the daily market doubles in size.
Ferragudo is a pretty and charming fishing village with a lovely beach, whitewashed houses and a harbour filled with fishing boats. We’ve eaten some of the best fresh seafood here! The fisherman drop off their catch of the day at the dock alongside Restaurant Sueste where they serve mouth watering grilled octopus, sardines, prawns and clams.
Everywhere you go in Portugal you’ll see colourful ceramics from painted tiles that adorn walls, doors and window frames to pretty bowls, planters and decorative chimney pots. Some of the most beautiful pottery is produced in Porches, a small town inland of the coast. Watch the local artists as they hand paint items of all shapes and sizes and wind your way through thousands of different examples. There are lots of restaurants and cafes here too, from simple eateries serving classic dish of the day to 2 Michelin Star restaurant Ocean.
The Algarve region is known for its excellent golf, and Carvoeiro is no exception. There are several courses in the area with stunning views of the sea and the surrounding countryside.
Amendoeira Golf Resort is a natural oasis with 45 holes spread across 3 world-class courses. It is also home to the only fully illuminated 9 hole golf course for a memorable night time round.
Palmares Ocean Living & Golf is formed of 3, 9 hole courses. The first course is a pine tree lined, parkland setting with amazing views over the Alvor Lagoon followed by Lagos and Praia which are linked and set alongside the beautiful Meia Praia beach.
Boa Vista Golf & Spa Resort has superb facilities and was designed by previous president of The European Institute of Golf Course Architects, Howard Swan MSc. The course has been designed to work in harmony with its surroundings and the natural terrain. We think it is well worth a visit for golf enthusiasts.
Visit a Waterpark
Slide & Splash Water Park is a popular destination for families and the young at heart. It lies just 10 minutes inland of Carvoeiro town centre and offers several water slides, a wave pool, and lazy river – 25 attractions in total. If that’s not enough, there are restaurants and cafes where you can grab a bite to eat, and lawned areas or cabanas reserved for relaxation and sunbathing – the best place to settle while the children wear themselves out! The first phase of a new expansion was added in 2022 including a 3-slide tower which includes The Boomerang, Race and Big Fall. The park does get busy in peak season but we found that an early arrival means you can squeeze in a few slides before the longer queues start to form and waiting in line for a bit just helps to build anticipation for the next hair-raising slide.
Experience the Nightlife
Carvoeiro has a lively nightlife scene, with several bars and restaurants staying open late into the night. Many bars have singers or live bands in the busier summer months playing well known hits, jazz or traditional music and, if you fancy taking to the stage yourself, the Round Up Saloon hosts regular karaoke evenings where some of The Villa Agency team have been known to make an appearance! The O Bote Beach Club is open from midday to midnight in the peak season, livening up at night with disco tunes and dance floor fillers on the playlist. Whether you want to dance the night away or enjoy a quiet drink with friends, you are sure to find something to suit your taste in this charming and friendly town.
Carvoeiro is a fantastic choice for families and groups of friends as there is so much to do for all ages.
We have a variety of villas in the Carvoeiro area to suit all budgets. Just let us know your requirements and we will help you find your home from home.