The town of Carvoeiro has become the main tourist destination in the Lagoa municipality even though its beaches are relatively small compared to those of other popular resorts in the Algarve. Beach lovers who prefer a bit more seclusion can appreciate its sandy coves surrounded by cliffs which also protect sunbathers from the wind. Typically lining the coast are small but well-kept fishing boats owned by local fishermen. Clearly Carvoeiro, with its name derived from an Islamic-medieval name for a fishermen’s hamlet (Caboiere), still holds on to its tradition of being a fishing village.
But while it maintains its rural appeal numerous establishments have been built in and around Carvoeiro to ensure a comfortable, convenient and enjoyable stay for holiday makers. Right behind the main beach are cafes and restaurants that serve both local and international cuisines to suit every kind of taste. When you’re right on the beach it is a great option to eat at a place that serves the day’s fresh catch. Praia Grande is one such establishment.
If you prefer good food coupled with a cozy atmosphere Village Inn, O Castelo and O Charneco are recommended. Sully’s Bar is perhaps among the most popular restaurants in Carvoeiro. Located right in the main square it is actually one of the oldest taverns in the village. It is open from breakfast to 2 am and caters to the whole family including young children.
There are plenty of good choices for accommodations if you are staying in Carvoeiro. A number of four-star hotels can be found within the town and in surrounding areas such as the Hotel Baía Cristal, which stands on top of a cliff overlooking a nearby beach. Another cliff-top, beach-side hotel is the Tivoli Hotel Carvoeiro. To the east of the village, meanwhile, is the Suites Alba Resort and Spa, which has both regular and townhouse-style suites for families.
Villas like Pestana Palm Garden and Colina da Lapa Resort (Seismarias), on the other hand, offer more home-like lodging and is a great alternative to the hotels. These establishments offer high-class facilities, services and even gourmet dining. In addition, the Suites Alba features a cellar of fine wines called Catedral dos Vinhos, while the Tivoli Hotel has a diving centre that provides courses to both experienced divers and beginners.
Aside from diving and other water sports there are many things you can do around town. Golf is one of the major offerings of the Algarve region, and at least four of the golf courses are very close to Carvoeiro. Sightseeing is also a must when you are in such a place. The best views can be seen from the high grottos the Algar Seco which is an old rocky cliff carved into shape by the sea. For a bit of history you can pass by the remaining gates of a ruined 17th century fort or see an even older chapel nearby, the Shrine of Nossa Senhora da Encarnação.
Evenings and late nights are very much alive in Carvoeiro, and you can find that many shops and bars stay open late especially during the tourist season. Jazz bars, karaoke, sports bars, and discos are among your choices for entertainment while in town.