Carvoeiro is a traditional fishing village that has become an incredibly popular holiday resort.
It’s one 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!
There are plenty of shops in the town for your everyday needs and because they are used for catering for British visitors you will be able to find most of your normal groceries. There is also a big Intermarché on the Lagoa road on the outskirts of Carvoeiro for even more choice.
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.
One thing you won’t be short of in Carvoeiro is somewhere to eat and drink! There is a huge selection of bars, restaurants and cafés all within easy walking distance of the centre and with a wide choice of food. At a guess most visitors give up on the idea of self-catering when they see what’s on offer!
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.
If you have something a little more relaxing in mind, then a trip to Silves is a lovely day out with it’s Moorish castle and riverside walks. A walk around the castle walls allows you to have a bird’s eye view of the town and surrounding countryside and there are lots of pavement cafés to stop for a cool drink afterwards! There are also boat trips to Silves up the Arade river from Portimão river front which give you about an hour to see a bit of Silves (before the tide is too low to return) for a different view of the countryside.
Twice a week the tourist train that runs around Carvoeiro ventures a little further afield to Ferragudo which is just along the coast on the opposite bank of the Arade estuary to Portimão. It gives you a couple of hours to explore the town before bringing you back.
Of course, there is absolutely no need to leave Carvoeiro at all as there is plenty to do and to see right on the doorstep – it really is a lovely spot and well deserves it’s reputation as a top Algarve holiday destination.