Carvoeiro is a village in Algarve. Carvoeiro, or more commonly known as Praia de Carvoeiro (although this is no longer its formal name), is a Portuguese civil parish/freguesia in the municipality/concelho of Lagoa (Algarve), about 5 km south of the city (on the Atlantic Ocean). This picturesque fishing village, with a long history of settlement, has grown over the last decades into the main tourist area of the concelho. It has a number of fine beaches protected by clifts.
It was created as a separate freguesia in 1985 and raised to the status of town on April 19, 2001. The village is 14.12 km2 (5.45 sq mi) in area with 2,700 inhabitants (2011).
There are traces of Roman habitation and naval activity in the area. There has also been a long history of pirate and enemy military assaults on the coast, and a number of naval battles here, most notably the battle in 1544 between a squadron of ships under D. Petro da Cunha, and the Turkish corsair (barbary pirate), Xarramet.
According to historical sources, the name of the village derives from "Caboiere" an old name for a hamlet of fishermen from the Islamic-medieval period. For most of its history, fishing was the mainstay of the local economy.
Carvoeiro profited from the expansion of the preserving industry, like the surrounding freguesias, because it created many jobs and wealth at its prime.
However, from the 1960s onward, tourism gradually became the economic base of the area, with many new hotels, apartment complexes, shops, roads, and a significant improvement in the infrastructure.
Carvoeiro represents a particularly attractive option when it comes to tourism (beaches, golf and water sports). The scarped coast, the water quality, the warm climate and the famous golf courses, offer the right conditions to make Carvoeiro stand out, as a quality destination for Portuguese and foreign tourists.
Walking by the seaside while admiring the natural beauty and pieces of history (architectural heritage, an ancient fortress and the Shrine of Nossa Senhora da Conceição), that remained in this location, is great advice for those who like to relax and to contemplate the beauty of nature's work.
Its Patron Saint is Nossa Senhora da Encarnação (Our Lady of the Incarnation).
- 1 Posto de Turismo de Carvoeiro, Largo da Praia, ☏ . Daily 09:30–17:30.
From Faro's International Airport
After leaving the airport, take the EN 125 and follow the indications towards the Via do Infante Highway (A22), following the Portimão direction.When you reach the exit of Lagoa Sul/Carvoeiro, take that exit which will take you back to the EN 125. Now you must go towards Lagoa/Faro, keep going streight ahead in the first traffic lights (it is also a roundabout), and in the second traffic lights (another roundabout) turn right towards Carvoeiro. Keep in this road for 5 km and follow the indications to Carvoeiro.
On the motorway route, a toll system has been implemented. It is not like those in France where you drop coins in at a pay station or use your credit card. This is a number plate recognition system which logs your car at way points along the road and you must pay the relevant fees at a post office prior to travel or face a fine. Car rental companies may forward the fine notice to you at your home address.
When you leave Lisbon, take the A2 Highway towards Algarve. When you leave this highway, take the Via do Infante Highway (A22) towards Portimão. Then take the exit of Lagoa/Silves followed by the Lagoa Sul/Carvoeiro road. Now you must go towards Lagoa/Faro, keep going streight ahead in the first traffic lights (it is also a roundabout), and in the second traffic lights (another roundabout) turn right towards Carvoeiro. Keep in this main road for 5 km and follow the indications to Carvoeiro.
- 1 Shrine of Nossa Senhora da Encarnação. To the west of the town is the site of an old ruined fort, ordered built in 1670 as part of the coastal defences of the Algarve. Only a gate survives. At the same site is the Shrine of Nossa Senhora da Encarnação, a chapel overlooking the sea, whose construction is said to have antedated the fort.
- 2 Alfazina Lighthouse. This lighthouse was built in 1920. This building is on the edge of the cape (named Alfazina), consists of a square tower and it is lined with white tiles.
- 3 Benagil cave (Can be reached for free by swimming some 100m along the coast from the nearby beach. Cities around (Portimao, Lagos, Alvor etc.) are full with various boat trips leading here, too.). One of the most known Portugal coastal caves, with a ceiling opening. The cave itself is beautiful, spotting a small beach inside too - but during peak hours, it's full of tour boats, so don't expect a serene experience.
- 4 Sand city FIESA (Right next to the N125 road.content=A sand sculptures 6 hectares park, with special lighting for the evenings.). €6-12.
- 1 Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos. Walk a 5km wooden trail along the coast, visiting various beaches, cliffs and rocky formations. Covers seven vallies, as the name suggests.
Made with almonds, figs, oranges (grown throughout the Algarve region), lots of eggs and sugar, the pastry is a big temptation. Nobody can resist the Dom Rodrigos, Morgados, Morgadinhos, Figos Cheios, Figs Cheese, Almond with figs, chocolate and many others.
This picturesque fishing village, facing the Atlantic Ocean, the Algarve is a paradise to those who like fish or shellfish. Everyday, at the crack of dawn, the fisher boats start to arrive filled with fresh fish collected in the night before. The people from Algarve have centuries of experience in the preparation of this food, making tasty meals.
The absolutely delicious meals served in this region are made with the best ingredients that the land and sea have to offer. Some of the most known meals of the Lagoa area are "Sardinhas Assadas", "Cataplana de Peixe or Marisco", "Papas de Milho com Berbigão", "Feijoada de Buzinas" and "Cozido de Rabo de Boi".
These traditional meals combined with the traditional pastry and the famous Lagoa Wine, make the Carvoeiro area, one of the best destination for your holidays.
All three main streets near the beach are covered with restaurants. They vary in quality and price, as one would expect.
Among them, for example Villa Medici at the top of Estrada do Farol does excellent pizza and pasta with atmosphere. Directly opposite is a small family restaurant where the local spicy chicken favourite "frango piri piri" is prepared over an open barbecue while you wait.
If you head out of town about 6 km (3.7 mi) towards the Praia Marinha and Caramujeira there is the Marinha Brasserie. Excellent family run a la carte restaurant with a quiet romantic feel. A taxi from Carvoeiro costs about €8.
- 1 Vila Nova, Rua do Paraíso, Urbanização Vila Nova, ☏ . M–Sa 12:00–15:00 & 18:00–22:00, closed Su. International and Mediterranean fish and meat dishes, with vegetarian and gluten-free options, and children's menu. Mid-range.
- 1 Bar Havana, Estrada do Farol 68, ☏ . M–Th 18:00–02:00, F 18:00–00:00, Sa 12:00–17:00, closed Su. Bar Havana is at the top end of the main street in Carvoeiro. Offering great cocktails at fantastic prices. Open from 18:00 till late during peak season and from 19:00 during the winter season. Cocktail hour runs from 18:00-20:00 (summer) when all cocktails are 2 for the price of 1. Come and enjoy the chilled atmosphere of Bar Havana, and receive a warm welcome from the friendly staff.
Carvoeiro has a number of bars which cater for most tastes. The Estrada do Farol is the main street in town and is quite a steep hill around 600 m long. Around halfway up is The Roundup, a wild west theme bar with a lot of cool Americana type artifacts and a good party atmosphere. There is often live music and karaoke, and by the time you've been there a week you'll know some of the local "characters" who make this an enjoyable night out.
A long-standing favourite nightspot is the Jailhouse Bar on the Rua do Escondidinho, a little side street 50 m from the town square which itself sits at the bottom of the hill. Run by a very friendly, sociable and talented English chap who also does live music every night till late. This bar is very popular with musicians as members of the audience are encouraged to get up on stage and do a song or two! Good place to chill out and meet other people.
Hemingway's nearby is a nice place for a quiet drink. Also check out Cheers Bar on Rua dos Pescadores in town. A small "living room" sized bar run by an amiable Swiss couple who are excellent company and mix amazing cocktails.
Hotels and resorts
- 1 Monte Santo Resort, Rua João Paulo II, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Nested upon the hilltops of Carvoeiro, 45 minutes from the Faro Airport, and minutes from magnificent beaches, and the secluded caves of the Algarve coastline and the best golf courses of the region, Monte Santo, is a five-star property managed by IMOCOM Hotels and Resorts.
- 2 Pestana Palm Gardens, Vale de Centeanes, Praia do Carvoeiro, ☏ , email@example.com. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00.