This whitewashed fishing village set into the cliffs has become a tourist hotspot. Whitewashed houses cascade down the cliff and converge in a pretty central square behind the beach.
The attractive village of Carvoeiro has mushroomed somewhat to accommodate the increasing number of tourists who flock here in preference of some of the larger and more hedonistic resorts, such as Lagos, Praia da Rocha and Albufeira.
It’s prettier and smaller than some of the other Algarve beach resorts, but it’s packed full during high season.
The fishing village is backed by an increasing number of self-catering apartment blocks. Nevertheless, the village centres round an attractive cove and still retains some of its fishing village charm.
Carvoeiro is a favourite with families, largely due to its relaxed atmosphere and the sensibly priced self-catering accommodation available here.
The height of the summer season is July and August, but June and September are also equally busy.
Pre-booking accommodation here is recommended as it sells out in the busy summer months.
Approximately 63 km west of Faro airport is Carvoeiro, which lies 5 km south of Lagoa.
Travelling by road from the airport takes around 45 minutes on the A22 motorway.
Travelling from Faro airport to Carvoeiro and need transport options and information, check our transport guide.
To the west of the town is an old ruined fort. The fort was built in 1670 as part of the Algarve’s coastal defences, but little of its original form remains.
However, the site is also home to the shrine of Nossa Senhora, a chapel overlooking the sea, which is said to pre-date the fort, so is worth a visit.
The rock formations of Algar Seco
Head east from the beach and you will see the incredible and impressive rock formations of Algar Seco.
There are steps cut into the cliff, which lead down past dramatic overhangs above blow holes and grottoes.
Though pretty, the sandy and sheltered central beach, Praia do Carvoeiro, isn’t excessively big and it gets very busy in high season.
There are lots of facilities here, such as toilets, showers, places to buy snacks, and water sports.
The only other beach in Carvoeiro is the small Praia do Paraíso (paradise beach), but there is very little sand here at high tide and few facilities, though there is a restaurant open all year round perched high on the cliff.
The neighbouring beaches are gems and worth making the effort to get to.
Praia de Vale Centeanes is just a few km east along the coast, and further on is Benagil. Continue along the coast from Benagil and you’ll reach Caramujeira with its picture postcard beach, Praia da Marinha.
You’ll need a hire car to explore some of the best coves and beaches along this stretch of the Algarve, but they are all worth the trip.
Boat trips along this stretch of the Algarve are extremely popular. It’s the best way to view the beautiful rock formations and sandstone cliffs so typical here.
Boat trips also take you to mystical caves and grottoes, as well as hidden coves.
There are a number of excursion companies that operate from Carvoeiro including the popular cavern boat trip.
The Grutas de Benagil cave is well worth seeing, and is one of the most photographed caves of the Algarve.
There are many bars and restaurants in Carvoeiro catering for all tastes and budgets. Seafood is a big part of the town’s culture so you will find plenty of great fish and seafood restaurants.
Many of the town’s restaurants have outside eating areas.
The Lagoa area is famed for its wine production, so many of the bars and restaurants in Carvoeiro serve local wines.
This stretch of coastline is a fabulous area for hiking. There are numerous trails that follow the steep hills and sheer cliffs along the coastline.
The O Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos trail is one of the most famous routes.
It extends for 5km from the Praia da Centeanes to the Praia da Marinha.
For a more leisurely strol take the Carvoeiro Boardwalk from Carvoeiro to the rock formations of Algar Seco.
The Algarve is renowned for its golfing facilities and at Carvoeiro you won’t be disappointed.
Carvoeiro is a favourite golfing destination and there are a number of courses to choose from nearby.
Interesting day trips from Carvoeiro include Silves, Portimão and Lagos.