Carvoeiro is situated in between Albufeira and Alvor on Portugal's southern coastline, 5km south of Lagoa. Like so many old, picturesque fishing villages along this part of the Algarve coast, Carvoeiro has fallen prey to the tourist trade and so there are now as many souvenir shops, cafés and restaurants geared towards tourists as there were previously colourful fishing boats. The dramatic red cliffs on either side of the town and the hills behind it make Carvoeiro a relatively remote spot compared to some of its neighbours, and it is certainly quieter and more laid back than Albufeira. Nevertheless, this seaside resort is one of the Algarve's most popular destinations and so expect to see more modern holiday villas than traditional cottages here.
As Carvoeiro is a popular place for foreigners to buy second homes as well as a hotspot for holidaymakers, the town fills up a lot in the summer and is relatively empty out of season. It is primarily popular with self-catering holidaymakers and the accommodation is arranged into village-like estates. The low season is probably a more pleasant time to visit, as the beach struggles to contain all the tourists that flock here over the summer holiday.
The beach at Carvoeiro is fairly small and charmingly set in a cove, but just does not compare to some of the other beaches on this coastline. Just 1km along the coast to the east is Algar Seco, a bay with striking rock formations that is popular with coach tours. A less obvious but equally beautiful spot is the Praia de Centianes, a beach hemmed in by cliffs and quite secluded compared to Algar Seco. If you fancy a change from the beach try the Slide & Splash water park off the N125 at Vale de Deus, which has slides and pools, as the name suggests. Diving is also a popular activity and there are diving centres and courses nearby.
As with most resorts in the Algarve, golf is a popular and well-resourced activity here. There are several good value eight- and nine-hole golf courses near to Carvoeiro and you can expect to pay about as much for a round of golf as you would for a mid-range three-course dinner in the same town.
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