Location and access
Getting to Carvoeiro
Carvoeiro, full name Praia do Carvoeiro, is situated directly on the Atlantic Ocean in one of the most interesting parts of the western Algarve. The coast between Armação de Pêra in the east and Ferragudo in the west is dominated by rugged rock formations, intermingled with calm bays and beautiful sandy beaches. On both sides of the village of Carvoeiro, hotels and holiday resorts have been erected on the cliff tops, offering splendid views to the Atlantic.
Access by car to Carvoeiro is from the national road EN125 in Lagoa just a few minutes away. The A22 motorway is a short distance north of Lagoa (exit 6). Public transport is provided by the buses of EVA Transportes.
Sports and leisure
Golf courses Gramacho and Vale da Pinta in the Pestana Golf Resort
Several well known golf courses are located nearby: the Gramacho and Pinta courses of the Pestana Golf Resorts and the 9hole golf course of Vale do Milho. Rugged rock formations of yellow limestone and the grottos and caves shaped by the sea and the erosion over thousands of years can be explored by boat or walking on top of the cliffs. Grotto tours, dolphin watching excursions and big game fishing trips are on offer in many places.
Near Carvoeiro you will find some of the most beautiful beaches in the whole of the Algarve, small sandy bays protected on both sides by steep limestone rocks. Many of them have an excellent infrastructure, offering a variety of water sports options.
What to buy in and near Carvoeiro
You can buy everything you may not find in Carvoeiro in the neighbouring town of Lagoa which has a remarkable market hall.
The nearby village of Porches is well known for its ceramic artworks. You will find there many shops and factories offering a large variety of handmade tiles (azulejos) and pottery. Some specialised places are also selling antique tiles and amphoras. (olharia).
Near the roundabout of the EN125 in Porches there is also a German butcher, selling Swabian specialties.
Lagoa is the Algarvian centre of viniculture. The building of the association of local wine makers on the EN125 also has an art gallery, which organizes an interesting Christmas market in December
A large exhibition area, Fatacil-Feiras e Exposições do Sul, is situated at the eastern entrance to Lagoa. Every year in the second half of August it is a venue for a well known fair of local handcraft, tourism, agriculture and other regional products. This popular event includes a recreational programme for young and old.
What to discover near Carvoeiro
The area around Lagoa is the most important winegrowing region of the Algarve. One of the best known places is Quinta dos Vales in Estômbar with an exhibition of modern sculptures.
Another place of interest is the picturesque village of Ferragudo, situated on the estuary of the river Arade opposite Portimao. We recommend a stroll through the narrow lanes up the hill to the parish church, where you will enjoy marvellous views over the Arade and to the Serra de Monchique, and you can end the trip with a nice lunch or dinner in one of the typical restaurants serving the catch of the day and traditional dishes.
The largest karstic sources in the Algarve are located on a branch of the river Arade north of Estômbar. At Sitio das Fontes visitors can see a water mill, learn more about the local flora and fauna while walking along an educational trail or enjoy various leisure facilities such as a barbecue area and an open air theatre.
A trip to Silves, the former Moorish capital of the Algarve located on the upper course of the river Arade is a must. The famous castle with its huge cistern that is now open to the public is a place not to be missed. The archaeological museum and the Cathedral, erected on the foundations of a former mosque are also places of great historic interest.
Carvoeiro: from a settlement of fishermen until today
The name of the village is derived from the Arabian word “cabeiere”, meaning a settlement of fishermen. For many centuries fishing was the economic base of the locals, who were vulnerable to attacks by pirates, hiding in the sheltered bays of the rocky coast. Carvoeiro is mentioned for the first time in 1544, when a fleet under the command of Admiral Pedro da Cunha defeated the coastal pirates of Turco Xarramet.
Before the Second World War Carvoeiro was only known to the Portuguese as a holiday destination. In the 1960s the beginnings of international mass tourism in the Algarve also reached Carvoeiro. It became an independent parish (freguesia) in 1985 and was raised to the status of a village (vila) in 2001. Since 2013 it has been part of the parish Lagoa e Carvoeiro.