Carvoeiro featured
Carvoeiro is a picturesque and traditional Portuguese resort town, which was once a typical Algarvian fishing village. It is situated along a stunning coastline of golden beaches and dramatic natural scenery. It is a fantastic destination if you are seeking a calm and relaxed holiday in a characterful and charming town.

Carvoeiro appeals to all kinds of travelers, from families to couples on a romantic getaway. The peaceful and welcoming ambiance makes it an ideal location for families during the summer or for couples and retirees outside of the peak season. The main season is especially from June to September, and in autumn and winter, it’s very quiet but still attracts visitors looking for sunnier weather.

The majority of tourists visit Carvoeiro purely for a relaxed beach holiday, but there is a surprising amount to see and do within the surrounding region.

Carvoeiro beach
Carvoeiro beach

The main attraction is the small but very picturesque beach right in the center. It’s surrounded by white villas and low-rise apartment buildings perched on sandstone cliffs, and there are many restaurants, cafés, bars, and shops in the vicinity. It’s lively in the summer, but not a “party town” like Albufeira. Within walking distance of the center is also the region’s most scenic hiking trail, known as the Seven Hanging Valleys. And there’s another coastal boardwalk from the beach, leading to the fascinating rock formations of Algar Seco.

Algar Seco, Carvoeiro
Algar Seco, Carvoeiro

Nearby are the Slide & Splash and Aqualand water parks, with their slides, pools, and entertainment for the whole family.

What to see and do in Carvoeiro

From Carvoeiro, there are a number of interesting day trips which include Silves, Ferragudo, and Portimão.

Silves is the ancient capital of the Algarve and this glorious past is reflected by the numerous impressive historical monuments, which include the imposing castle, town walls, and gothic cathedral.

Ferragudo is a traditional fishing village that overlooks the busy Portimão estuary, while to the south of Ferragudo are glorious sandy beaches.

Portimão is a largely residential city, which has a surprisingly pleasant urban center, filled with great shopping venues and the characteristic Portuguese charm. During the summer a small ferry connects Portimão to Ferragudo.

Other attractions to visit from Carvoeiro

•  Algar Seco

The winds and waves joined forces over thousands of years and created a curious rocky landscape in Carvoeiro. There are fantastic rock formations and rock pools, and a cave with “windows” opening to a picture-perfect view of the sea. The fascinating site can be reached from the center of town via a boardwalk, which offers sweeping views of the coast. Go there in the evening and sit on one of the benches because it is the best sunset spot in town. But before, do not forget to visit the amazing Boneca cave to admire the ocean through the two big holes created in the cliffs by nature.

Algar Seco, Boneca cave
Algar Seco, Boneca cave

•  Seven Hanging Valleys Trail

You don’t have to be a keen walker to enjoy this trail over the cliffs by Carvoeiro. It starts at the beach of Praia da Marinha and ends at Praia do Paraíso. In between, you pass by the beaches of Carvalho and Benagil. In total, this walk covers close to 6 km (just over 3.5 miles) and offers some truly breathtaking views.

Seven Hanging Valleys Trail
Seven Hanging Valleys Trail

•  Benagil Cave

This spectacular cave has become the most popular tourist attraction in Algarve. It’s best accessed from Benagil Beach, which is 15 minutes by car from Carvoeiro. Boat tours also depart from Vale Centeanes Beach, which is within walking distance of the center of town, or also from Praia do Carvoeiro. The only way to reach the cave is by boat, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard.

Benagil Cave
Benagil Cave

•  Praia do Carvoeiro

With its fishing boats on the sand and white houses perched on the cliff, this is one of Algarve’s most picturesque and photographed beaches. It’s quite small but perfect to relax after a day around the coast, exploring the famous caves and bigger beaches. Its central location with a number of restaurants and shops behind it, gives a lively atmosphere at any time of day.

Praia do Carvoeiro
Praia do Carvoeiro

•  Praia do Paraíso

This small, sheltered beach is hidden down by a long staircase. Very few people come here, and it almost disappears at high tide. However, when Praia do Carvoeiro is just too crowded, it’s a peaceful alternative.

Praia do Paraíso
Praia do Paraíso

•  Praia de Vale Centeanes

It takes 20-25 minutes to walk to this beach from the center of Carvoeiro, but all you have to do is follow the main road. By car, you’re there in just 5 minutes. It’s one of the main departure points of the boat tours to the Benagil Cave, as well as the ending point of the Seven Hanging Valleys trail. It can get crowded in the summer, as there are many apartments around it. It’s sheltered from the wind by the tall, golden cliffs surrounding it.

Praia de Vale Centeanes
Praia de Vale Centeanes

How to get to Carvoeiro

From Faro Airport, a pre-booked transfer is the most convenient option. The driver waits for you at the arrivals hall and you don’t have to worry about final costs. The cost of a taxi varies, but Uber could be slightly cheaper.

By public transportation, the way requires three different buses with poor connections, so that’s not really a viable alternative.

By car, Carvoeiro is 50 minutes from Faro, heading west on highway A22.

The closest major town is Portimão, about 20 minutes away.

From Lisbon, the journey takes 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Accommodation in Carvoeiro