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A Short Guide To Carvoeiro – An Algarve Beach Town


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Sib Tarver



Welcome to Carvoeiro, a charming beach town situated along the stunning Algarve coastline of Portugal. With its picturesque beaches, beautiful cliffs, and a laid-back atmosphere, Carvoeiro is the perfect destination for beach lovers and those seeking a tranquil escape. Whether you’re looking to soak up the sun, explore hidden coves, or indulge in fresh seafood, Carvoeiro offers something for everyone.


Nestled in the Western Algarve, Carvoeiro boasts a rich history and has evolved from a humble fishing village into a beloved tourist destination. Despite its growing popularity, Carvoeiro has managed to maintain its small-town charm and authentic Portuguese character. Visitors are captivated by its narrow streets lined with whitewashed houses, inviting cafes, and local artisan shops.


The main draw of Carvoeiro is, of course, its pristine beaches. With golden sand and crystal-clear waters, the beaches in Carvoeiro are a paradise for sun-worshippers and water enthusiasts. But beyond the beaches, there’s a treasure trove of activities to enjoy, such as exploring cave formations, hiking along coastal trails, or simply savoring a sunset stroll along the cliffs.


In this guide, we’ll take you on a journey through Carvoeiro, highlighting its top attractions, delicious dining options, comfortable accommodations, and essential travel tips. Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a solo adventure, Carvoeiro is sure to leave a lasting impression.


Location and Overview

Situated on the southern coast of Portugal, Carvoeiro is part of the Algarve region. It is located approximately 65 kilometers west of Faro, the capital of the Algarve, and offers easy access to other popular towns and cities in the area, such as Portimão and Lagos.


Carvoeiro is known for its breathtaking coastline, characterized by towering cliffs, hidden caves, and secluded coves. The town itself is nestled in a valley, providing a unique and picturesque setting. The main beach, Praia do Carvoeiro, is right in the heart of the town and offers stunning views of the surrounding cliffs.


As you explore Carvoeiro, you’ll also come across several other beautiful beaches, including Praia da Marinha and Benagil Beach. These beaches are only a short drive or boat trip away and are known for their stunning rock formations and clear waters.


Aside from its natural beauty, Carvoeiro also boasts a lively town center with a variety of shops, restaurants, and bars. The streets are filled with both local and international cuisines, ensuring that every palate is satisfied. And in the evenings, the town comes alive with live music and entertainment, creating a vibrant atmosphere for visitors to enjoy.


Carvoeiro is also a great base for exploring other attractions in the Algarve. From here, you can easily visit popular destinations like the historic city of Silves, the dramatic cliffs of Sagres, or the buzzing marina in Vilamoura. Additionally, golf enthusiasts will be pleased to discover several world-class golf courses in the area.


With its prime location, stunning natural surroundings, and vibrant atmosphere, Carvoeiro has become a beloved destination for tourists from around the world. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or a blend of both, Carvoeiro offers it all.


Beaches in Carvoeiro

Carvoeiro is blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches in the Algarve. Each beach has its own unique charm and offers visitors a chance to relax, swim, and soak up the sun. Here are some of the must-visit beaches in Carvoeiro:

Praia do Carvoeiro

Located right in the center of the town, Praia do Carvoeiro is the main beach and a popular choice among visitors. It boasts soft golden sand and calm, clear waters, making it ideal for swimming and water activities. The beach is surrounded by cliffs, creating a picturesque backdrop.

Praia da Marinha

Considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe, Praia da Marinha is a hidden gem located just a short drive from Carvoeiro. With its striking rock formations and crystal-clear waters, it’s a paradise for snorkelers and photographers. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the nearby sea caves by boat.

Benagil Beach

Tucked away in a small fishing village, Benagil Beach is famous for its impressive sea cave, known as the Benagil Cave. Take a boat tour or rent a kayak to reach the cave and marvel at its natural beauty. The secluded beach itself is also a great spot to relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

Praia de Vale Centeanes

Situated just west of Carvoeiro, Praia de Vale Centeanes offers a more secluded and tranquil experience. Surrounded by striking cliffs, this beach is ideal for those seeking privacy and relaxation. Take a leisurely walk along the shoreline or enjoy a refreshing swim in the clear waters.


These are just a few examples of the stunning beaches waiting to be explored in Carvoeiro. Whether you’re looking for a lively beach in the heart of town or a secret spot away from the crowds, Carvoeiro has you covered. Make sure to pack your sunscreen and beach essentials to fully enjoy your time on these pristine beaches.


Things to Do in Carvoeiro

Carvoeiro offers a diverse range of activities and attractions that cater to all interests. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural experiences, here are some of the top things to do in Carvoeiro:

Explore the Caves and Grottoes

Embark on a boat tour or rent a kayak to explore the stunning coastline and its famous caves and grottoes. The Benagil Cave is a must-see, but there are many other hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Marvel at the impressive rock formations and enjoy the crystal-clear waters.

Hike the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail

The Seven Hanging Valleys Trail is a breathtaking coastal hike that starts in Carvoeiro and takes you along the cliffs, providing stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. This scenic trail is approximately 6.5 kilometers long and offers a unique perspective of the Algarve’s natural beauty.

Indulge in Water Sports

If you’re seeking some adrenaline-pumping activities, Carvoeiro has plenty to offer. Try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, or even surfing. The town boasts ideal conditions for these water sports, allowing you to enjoy the thrill of the sea in a stunning setting.

Discover Carvoeiro Boardwalk

Take a leisurely stroll along the Carvoeiro Boardwalk, which stretches along the coastline and offers breathtaking views. The boardwalk is the perfect spot to capture stunning photos, enjoy the sea breeze, and spot local wildlife, such as seabirds and dolphins.

Visit Algar Seco

Algar Seco is a unique rock formation located on the cliffs near Carvoeiro. Wander along the wooden walkways and explore the caves, tunnels, and natural pools carved by the sea. The jagged cliffs and panoramic vistas make Algar Seco a favorite spot for photographers and nature enthusiasts.

Enjoy the Local Cuisine

No visit to Carvoeiro is complete without savoring the delicious local cuisine. Sample fresh seafood dishes, indulge in traditional Portuguese specialties, or simply enjoy a meal with a view overlooking the sea. The town is full of charming restaurants and cafes, offering a wide range of culinary delights.


These are just a few of the many activities and experiences that Carvoeiro has to offer. Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a nature lover, or a food enthusiast, you’re sure to find something to suit your taste in this vibrant beach town.


Places to Eat and Drink

Carvoeiro is a haven for food lovers, offering a plethora of dining options that showcase the best of Portuguese cuisine as well as international flavors. From traditional seafood dishes to modern fusion creations, here are some of the top places to eat and drink in Carvoeiro:

A Vela

Enjoy a memorable dining experience at A Vela, a charming restaurant located in the heart of Carvoeiro. This family-run establishment is known for its warm hospitality and delicious Mediterranean-inspired dishes, with a focus on fresh seafood and local ingredients.

O Pescador

For an authentic taste of traditional Portuguese cuisine, head to O Pescador. This renowned restaurant is beloved by locals and visitors alike, thanks to its extensive menu of fresh fish and seafood dishes. Be sure to try their cataplana, a traditional Portuguese seafood stew.

Boneca Bar

Located right on the beach, Boneca Bar offers a unique dining experience with stunning views of the ocean. Indulge in their selection of grilled fish and seafood, paired with refreshing cocktails. The laid-back atmosphere and beachfront setting make it a perfect spot for a leisurely meal.

Mar d’Fora

For a taste of fine dining in Carvoeiro, Mar d’Fora is the place to go. This elegant restaurant offers a sophisticated menu featuring a fusion of local and international flavors. With impeccable service and a breathtaking view of the coast, Mar d’Fora promises a memorable culinary experience.

The Wolf Bar

If you’re in the mood for drinks and live music, The Wolf Bar is the place to be. Situated in the town center, this trendy bar offers a wide selection of craft beers, creative cocktails, and a lively atmosphere. Enjoy the vibrant nightlife that Carvoeiro has to offer at this popular spot.

Rochas Bar

To unwind and enjoy stunning sunset views, head to Rochas Bar. Located on the cliffs overlooking the sea, this cozy bar offers a relaxed ambiance and a superb selection of cocktails. Listen to the sound of the waves as you sip your favorite drink and soak in the breathtaking surroundings.


These are just a few examples of the many fantastic dining and drinking options available in Carvoeiro. Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner, a casual beachside meal, or a vibrant bar atmosphere, Carvoeiro caters to all tastes and preferences.


Accommodation Options

Carvoeiro offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s needs and budget. Whether you’re looking for a luxury resort, a cozy guesthouse, or a self-catering apartment, Carvoeiro has it all. Here are some of the top accommodation options in Carvoeiro:

Luxury Resorts

If you’re seeking a luxury retreat, Carvoeiro has a variety of beautiful resorts that offer top-notch amenities and stunning views. From cliff-top resorts with private pools to beachfront properties with spa facilities, you’ll find the perfect place to relax and indulge.

Family-Friendly Hotels

Traveling with the family? Carvoeiro has several family-friendly hotels that provide comfortable accommodations and a range of amenities to keep everyone happy. Look for properties with spacious rooms, swimming pools, and kids’ clubs to ensure a memorable family vacation.

Guesthouses and Bed & Breakfasts

For a more intimate and cozy experience, consider staying at one of Carvoeiro’s guesthouses or bed & breakfasts. These charming accommodations offer personalized service, warm hospitality, and a home-away-from-home atmosphere.

Self-Catering Apartments and Villas

If you prefer the flexibility of self-catering accommodations, Carvoeiro has a range of apartments and villas available for rent. These options are great for those who want to have their own space, kitchen facilities, and the freedom to explore at their own pace.

Boutique Hotels

If you’re looking for a unique and stylish stay, Carvoeiro’s boutique hotels are the perfect choice. These boutique properties offer distinctive decor, personalized service, and a memorable experience that sets them apart from traditional hotels.


When planning your stay in Carvoeiro, consider factors such as location, amenities, and your own preferences to find the perfect accommodation option. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a solo adventure, Carvoeiro has a wide range of choices to make your stay comfortable and memorable.


Transportation and Getting Around

Getting to and around Carvoeiro is relatively easy, thanks to its convenient location and well-connected transportation options. Here’s what you need to know about transportation in and around Carvoeiro:

Arriving by Plane

The nearest airport to Carvoeiro is Faro Airport, which is located approximately 65 kilometers away. From the airport, you can easily reach Carvoeiro by renting a car, taking a taxi, or booking a private transfer. The journey takes about 45 minutes to an hour.

Public Transportation

Carvoeiro is well-serviced by public transportation, with regular bus routes connecting it to neighboring towns and cities. You can take the local bus to explore nearby areas or travel to Faro or Portimão for additional sightseeing and shopping options.

Car Rental

Renting a car is a popular option for those who want to explore Carvoeiro and its surroundings at their own pace. Several car rental companies operate in the area, offering a wide range of vehicles to suit different needs and budgets. Having a car gives you the flexibility to visit off-the-beaten-path destinations and venture out for day trips.

Taxis and Local Transport

Taxis are readily available in Carvoeiro, and they provide a convenient way to get around the town and nearby areas. You can easily flag down a taxi or find one at designated taxi ranks. Additionally, there are also local transport options like tuk-tuks and tourist trains that offer rides within the town.

Exploring on Foot

Carvoeiro is a compact town, and many of its attractions are within walking distance of each other. Exploring on foot allows you to fully immerse yourself in the charm of Carvoeiro, discover hidden gems, and enjoy the stunning coastal views along the way.


Regardless of the mode of transportation you choose, Carvoeiro is a relatively easy town to navigate. Keep in mind that during peak tourist season, parking can be limited, so plan accordingly. With its accessibility and various transportation options, you’ll have no trouble getting around and enjoying all that Carvoeiro has to offer.


Shopping in Carvoeiro

While Carvoeiro is primarily known for its stunning beaches and natural beauty, it also offers a variety of shopping experiences for visitors to enjoy. From local crafts to trendy boutiques, here’s a glimpse into the shopping scene in Carvoeiro:

Artisan Shops

Carvoeiro is home to numerous artisan shops where you can find unique and locally-made crafts. From handcrafted ceramics and pottery to intricate jewelry and textiles, these shops showcase the talent and creativity of local artisans. Take some time to browse and find the perfect souvenir or gift to take home.

Beachwear and Surf Shops

With its coastal location, Carvoeiro is the ideal place to find stylish beachwear and surf gear. There are several shops in town that specialize in swimwear, beach accessories, and surfing equipment. Whether you’re in need of a new swimsuit or want to try your hand at surfing, you’ll find everything you need in Carvoeiro.

Local Markets

Visiting a local market is a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture and discover a variety of goods. Carvoeiro hosts weekly markets where you can find fresh produce, traditional food products, handmade crafts, and much more. These markets provide an authentic shopping experience and a chance to interact with local vendors.

Boutiques and Fashion Stores

If you’re in the mood for some retail therapy, Carvoeiro has a range of boutique stores and fashion outlets. From trendy clothing and accessories to unique home decor items, these stores offer a mix of local and international brands. Stroll through the town center and explore the stylish shops to find something special to add to your wardrobe or home.

Gourmet Delicacies

Foodies will delight in the gourmet delicacies available in Carvoeiro. There are specialized stores that offer a wide range of local products, including olive oils, honey, traditional pastries, and regional wines. These stores are a paradise for food enthusiasts who want to take a piece of Algarve’s culinary scene back home.


Whether you’re looking for authentic souvenirs, trendy fashion, or unique culinary treats, Carvoeiro has a shopping experience for every taste. Make sure to set aside some time to explore the shops and markets, and bring a piece of Carvoeiro’s charm back with you.


Safety Tips

Carvoeiro is generally a safe destination, but it’s always important to take precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable stay. Here are some essential safety tips to keep in mind when visiting Carvoeiro:

Swimming and Water Safety

When swimming in the ocean, it’s important to be aware of the current conditions and follow any posted signs or lifeguard instructions. Stick to designated swimming areas, avoid swimming alone, and be cautious of strong waves or currents. If you’re not a confident swimmer, consider wearing a life jacket or using flotation devices.

Sun Protection

The sun in Carvoeiro can be intense, especially during the peak summer months. Protect your skin by wearing sunscreen with a high SPF, a hat, and sunglasses. Seek shade during the hottest hours of the day and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Personal Belongings

Keep your personal belongings, including wallets, phones, and cameras, secure at all times. Avoid leaving valuables unattended on the beach or in your car. It’s also advisable to use the hotel safe or lockable storage in your accommodations for added security.

Traffic Safety

If you’re planning to rent a car or use a bike to get around, familiarize yourself with the traffic rules and regulations in Portugal. Always wear a helmet while cycling and follow the road signs and signals. Stay alert and be cautious while crossing the streets, especially in busy areas.

Emergency Contact Information

Save the local emergency contact numbers in your phone and keep a copy of important documents, such as your passport and travel insurance, in a safe place. Familiarize yourself with the location of the nearest hospitals and pharmacies in case of any unforeseen emergencies.


By following these safety tips, you can have a worry-free and enjoyable experience in Carvoeiro. Remember to use common sense, be aware of your surroundings, and take necessary precautions to ensure a safe and memorable trip.



Carvoeiro is a hidden gem along the Algarve coastline, offering a perfect blend of natural beauty, charming town charm, and a relaxing atmosphere. Whether you’re seeking pristine beaches, adventurous activities, delectable cuisine, or a tranquil escape, Carvoeiro has something to offer every traveler.


From the breathtaking caves and grottoes to the stunning coastal cliffs, Carvoeiro is a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Explore the hidden gems along the coastline, hike the scenic trails, or simply unwind on the golden sands of the picturesque beaches.


Indulge in the local gastronomy, taste fresh seafood, and discover the flavors of the Algarve. The town’s vibrant dining scene will satisfy even the most discerning palates. And don’t forget to explore the local markets and shops for unique souvenirs and handcrafted treasures.


With its convenient location and well-connected transportation options, Carvoeiro serves as a great base for exploring nearby towns and attractions. Whether you choose to venture further along the Algarve coast or immerse yourself in the local culture, Carvoeiro’s charm and beauty will leave a lasting impression.


As you plan your visit to Carvoeiro, keep in mind the safety tips to ensure a smooth and worry-free experience. Embrace the laid-back lifestyle, relax in the sun, and let the beauty of this coastal town rejuvenate your senses.


So pack your sunscreen, swimsuit, and sense of adventure, and get ready to create unforgettable memories in the enchanting town of Carvoeiro.