Outdoor enthusiasts are also drawn to Carvoeiro, as the town’s surrounding landscape is great for hiking, cycling and strolls along the coastline. Families also visit the town for a summer holiday, attracted by the chilled vibes and reasonable prices for food, drink and accommodation.
Of course, being in the Algarve means Carvoeiro has fantastic weather. The summers are long, warm and very sunny, while the remainder of the year remains dry and relatively mild. The town also has an incredible beach with golden sand and crystal-clear waters, tucked between beautiful sandstone cliffs that protect it from winds.
So, investors seeking property in central Algarve should certainly take note of Carvoeiro. Despite being small, the town has a lot to offer and attracts a wide range of tourists. This is ideal for those seeking a property to rent out during the summer tourist season, as Carvoeiro remains a favourite for vacationers looking for that authentic Portuguese experience.
Similarly, the town has an abundance of property that is perfect for second homes or those planning on relocating to Portugal. Property prices are competitive yet reasonable, while the town has a diverse portfolio of property for sale, from charming Portuguese townhouses to modern apartments and luxurious villas with private pools.
Starting life as a humble fishing village, Carvoeiro grew into a civil parish before officially becoming a town. There are several points of historic interest in and around the town, with many landmarks well worth visiting.
Fort and Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Conceição
Carvoeiro was built around towering cliffs, which served as a great vantage point close to the coast, which was frequently attacked and invaded by pirates, privateers and armies. The fort was first constructed in 1675 next to the sight of the church, overlooking the sea to help propel attacks.
Today, only the ruins of the fort, but the church is still standing and can be visited at your leisure, being located atop the cliff in Carvoeiro.
Ermida de Nossa Senhora da Encarnacao
A charming little chapel with a stunning view of the beach and sea, it’s found within the remains of the 17th century fort. It has classic Portuguese architecture with gorgeous white washed walls while the view from the cliff top is simply breath-taking.
Fort of São João do Arade
Located in the nearby civil parish of Ferragudo, the Fort of São João do Arade is a medieval fort that was first built as a watchtower in the 15th century. It was then expanded into a full military fort that protected the Arade estuary from attacks, while much of the original fort remains remarkably intact, including its walls and battlements.
While not as old as many of the landmarks littering the coastal area around Carvoeiro, Alfanzina Lighthouse is still a remarkable sight worth visiting. Located a few kilometres down the coast from the town, the lighthouse overlooks the sea atop a cliff, with access available for free to check out the structure and its inner workings.
Carvoeiro has something for everyone. The town is packed with many activities to suit all tastes, whether you want to go sunbathing on the beach, enjoy food and drinks in the local restaurants, or hit the nearby hiking trails.
Very much viewed as a hiker’s heaven, Carvoeiro has exceptional hiking routes in the surrounding areas of the town. They’re great for getting a look at the stunning Algarve landscape, with rolling hills, steep cliffs and countless caves and coves along the coast.
O Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos is perhaps the most popular hiking route, with the 5km trail offering up amazing views of the coastline. It’s rather challenging however, especially in the height of summer, so beginners may prefer the far less strenuous route on the Carvoeiro boardwalk.
If you don’t fancy walking along the coastline, a great alternative to take in the pristine Algarve coastline is to hire a boat tour. These tours are a fantastic way to check out the amazing cliffs, caves and coves formed along the coastline near Carvoeiro, taking you up close to the amazing rock formations.
The Grutas de Benagil cave is certainly one of the highlights of the boat tour. A massive domed cave with three arch openings, the interior of the cave glistens thanks to the sandstone strata walls. Small boats can take visitors directly inside, but you can also hire a kayak and paddle in yourself.
Taking advantage of the stunning stretch of coastline, there is a tourist train route that takes passengers directly along the coast, riding all the way to Praia Prava and back. It’s a nonstop journey that lasts 30 minutes and is a great way to get a view of the amazing Algarve coast.
Better still, take the train on a Tuesday and Friday for a stopover in the nearby beautiful village of Ferragudo, where visitors have two hours to explore.
Explore the Clifftops
Carvoeiro is surrounded by towering cliffs that are a joy to explore. There are countless cliffs along the coastline next to Carvoeiro, many of which are easily accessible by foot. They offer some mind-blowing views of the coast, while the cliff faces are fascinating too, having been withered and worn by the constant power of the waves.
Faro is the main international airport in the Algarve, so anyone flying to Carvoeiro will land here. As one of the biggest tourist destinations in Europe, the Algarve has countless flights throughout the entire year, making it easy to get there from most countries.
Flights are also affordable when booked in advanced, with most major and low-cost airlines offering reasonably priced fares. Carvoeiro is quite a distance from Faro however, so it is important to consider transport options from the airport to the town.
The best option is to hire a private taxi. This will take you directly to Carvoeiro for a reasonable price, while being the quickest way to travel from the airport to the town, which are 64km apart. Be mindful of hiring a taxi directly from the airport, as these are always more expensive, so try to pre-book a private cab before your flight.
Another option is to hire a shared minibus service with other people travelling. These are available form Faro, but be mindful that Carvoeiro is one of the further resort towns so this will take a significantly longer time than travelling by taxi.
Public transport is available but never recommended. You need to head from Faro airport to the city of Faro, where you then get a bus.
The bus journey is very tedious, with several stops along the way – you need to take three different buses in total. Its much cheaper but the hassle is rarely worth it, while you are adding several more hours to what is normally a 45-minute journey when driving directly.
Once in Carvoeiro, travelling around the town is mostly done on foot. It’s a small area so you can easily explore most of the town without the need for public transport, although hiring a car is an option for getting around quicker.
The public transport network isn’t too bad either, with several bus routes that travel to nearby towns such as Lagos and Portimão, although the last bus times are quite early at around 7pm.
Carvoeiro has many restaurants, bars and cafés serving a variety of food and drink. Most are found in the main square of the town, although several others are located away from the central area. The food on offer is diverse, with various cuisines sold at the many restaurants in Carvoeiro.
Le Cro Portugal
A wonderful little restaurant serving some of the freshest meals around, Le Cro Portugal is the place to visit for authentic Portuguese food. The seafood selection is impressive, as too is the collection of wines, while the friendly owners love to make recommendations for pairing food with wine.
Gelados & Companhia
An affordable establishment serving the best dessert in town, Gelados & Companhia is the perfect place to the treat the kids - or big kids - to some delicious ice cream. The crepes, rice pudding and gelato are very tasty, with all manner of sweet treats available for great prices.
Earth Shop & Café
A relaxing café serving a variety of cuisine, Earth Shop & Café is a friendly eatery that is a great place to head for a spot of breakfast, lunch, or brunch! The staff are very welcoming, and the calm ambience of the café makes it perfect for chilling on a sunny afternoon.
Residents of Carvoeiro are no strangers to a good curry, with Haweli being a quality restaurant serving a range of Indian cuisine. There is an extensive collection of curries on the menu and the portions are healthy while the prices are low, making it a popular spot in town.
The beer is also top quality, being served from a massive frosted glass for the ultimate refreshment. Staff are very friendly while the atmosphere is lively and energetic, making it a great place to spend the evening.
Serving the finest Italian cuisine in Carvoeiro, Villa Medici is a sophisticated restaurant featuring stylish décor with a warm, relaxing ambience. The wine selection is fantastic, while the pasta and seafood dishes are among the best in the town.
As a small town, Carvoeiro doesn’t have as diverse a range of shops as places like Portimão, but there are still some great little shops throughout the town.
Carvoeiro Golf Shop
Golf is very popular in the Algarve and this is no different in Carvoeiro. The small shop sells a range of golf gear, which is ideal for anyone heading out to one of the incredible golf courses located in the region.
A small convenience store, Soares sells an impressive range of wines, spirits and beers. If you’re planning a trip down to the beach or want some drinks to enjoy in your villa, then be sure to head down to Soares.
Supermercado Bom Día
One of the local supermarkets in the town, Supermercado Bom Día sells a wide range of products, including fresh produce. The fruit and vegetables are affordable and delicious, making it a handy store for anyone self-catering or living in the Carvoeiro.
Aqua Portimão Shopping Centre
A massive shopping complex in the nearby city of Portimão, this is probably the best place to head if you’re looking for new clothes and accessories when in Carvoeiro, as the town is lacking in notable clothing retailers.
With Portimão being a relatively short drive from Carvoeiro, it’s a good idea to head over here for the best shopping experience in the area. There are countless high-street retailers, including familiar brands such as Primark and H&M.
Carvoeiro is home to one major beach while a few other beaches outside of the town are easily accessible by foot.
Praia do Carvoeiro
Praia do Carvoeiro is the town’s main beach, just a short walk from the main square. The beach is sheltered by cliffs on either side, helping to keep away the cool winds that often come in from the Atlantic.
While not the largest beach, Praia do Carvoeiro is beautiful, with lush golden sand, glistening waters that are perfect for swimming and a stunning view of the towering sandstone cliffs flanking the beach.
There is paved area at the entrance and a boardwalk for navigating along the length of the beach, although it’s quite small given the size of Praia do Carvoeiro. As the beach isn’t the biggest, it gets crowded during peak summer months.
Praia da Marinha
Praia da Marinha is a short walk from Carvoeiro, located between a steep set of cliffs that offers a spectacular view of the beach below. You walk down through the steps near the cliffs, so the beach doesn’t have wheelchair access.
The beach itself is a good size and when the tide comes out you can explore the small bays that appear. However, the when the tide is high the beach becomes much smaller with limited access, so timing is important when visiting.
Praia do Carvalho
Another small beach found outside of the town, Praia do Carvalho is unsupervised and has no facilities. This helps to keep the beach relatively quiet, even during summer months, which is great if you’re looking for your own secluded paradise as the beach is still lovely with its golden sand and amazing rock formations surrounding the area.
Carvoeiro has exceptional weather like the rest of the Algarve, hence its popularity as a tourist destination. The weather is categorised as Mediterranean, with long, hot summers and short, mild winters.
The summer season begins around May and lasts to the end of September, with the warmest months being July and August. The average temperature in July is 24°C, although many days exceed 30°C, so be prepared to bring some sunscreen if staying during the summer.
Days are long and sunny throughout the summer too, with an average of 11 hours of daylight. There is rarely cloud cover, making the days incredibly sunny and pleasant. Because the south coast of Portugal meets with the Atlantic Ocean, the sea temperatures do get low until peak summer months.
This makes the water relatively cool until June, with average sea temperatures of around 17°C. Come June, the sea temperature rises to around 20°C, peaking at 23°C in August and September.
So, if you plan on taking a dip in the ocean, it’s best to wait until at least June!
There is virtually no rain during this time of the year, with the wettest periods falling in mid-winter, which lasts from December to February. The weather becomes milder during winter too, with average temperatures of 13°C.
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