Formerly a fishing village, Carvoeiro is set on sloping land above cliffs. Still retaining much of its original charm, there is a central square and plenty of bars, restaurants and supermarkets. It has some lovely beaches, some of which are only accessible at low tide. The fishing boats are still active and their catches, together with locally grown fruit and vegetables, are available to buy at the market.
Carvoeiro was a traditional, small fishing village surviving on the tuna catches but has, not surprisingly, become an incredibly popular resort with visitors and has developed to keep pace.
Their claim to fame, historically speaking, is that in 1554 a naval battle took place off Cape Carvoeiro when a Portuguese flotilla attacked the Turkish corsair, Xaramet, and destroyed his fleet. Today the most activity you are likely to see is people enjoying the beach and the local fishermen bringing in their catches!
Carvoeiro is very popular for family holidays as there is such a large choice of self-catering accommodation and has all the things you are likely to want in quite a compact area around 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 centre of Carvoeiro isn't very big and there are just two roads leading down into the town where they meet in a small square behind the beach. There is no parking in the square since it was given a re-vamp in 2009 so be prepared to find parking up one of the side streets away from the centre.
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 jetskis and pedaloes are available at the beach for those who like messing about on the water and there are a couple of diving schools 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 - there are some near the lighthouse at Cabo de Carvoeiro - luckily they are fenced around and it just shows how fragile the cliffs can be. Also on the cliff above Carvoeiro are the remains of the walls of the Fort of Senhora da Conceição dating from the 17th century, inside which is the hermitage of Nossa Senhora da Encarnação (Our Lady of the Incarnation).
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.
In Carvoeiro you will find: Restaurants, Shops, Bars, Cafés, Daily Market – fresh fish & local produce, Golf courses and a Tennis centre.
Approximate Driving Time to Airports: Faro – 45 minutes, Lisbon – 2 hours 30 minutes and Porto – 6 hours.