The centre of Carvoeiro isn't very big, consisting basically of three streets leading down into the town where they meet in a small square behind the beach. There is no parking in the square since it was modernised in 2009, so be prepared to find parking up one of the side streets away from the centre. There are plenty of shops in the town for your everyday needs and because they are used to catering for British visitors you will be able to find most of your normal groceries. There is also a big Intermarché supermarket on the Lagoa road on the outskirts of Carvoeiro for even more variety & choice.
The town beach, Praia do Carvoeiro is a beautifully sheltered sandy bay and spreads out just in front of the square with cliffs protecting it on either side. There are bars and cafés ideally placed around the square to still enjoy the view when you leave the beach! Watersports like jetskis and pedaloes are available at the beach for those who like messing about on the water and there are a couple of diving schools based in Carvoeiro if you prefer to be under the surface. The local fishermen also make use of their colourfully decorated boats during the day to offer visitors the chance to take trips around the coastline and to see the fascinating caves.
The area surrounding Carvoeiro is known for the excellent choice of private villas. There are no less than three golf courses (Pinta, Gramacho and Vale de Milho) in the immediate vicinity and a well reputed tennis centre. One thing you won't be short of in Carvoeiro is somewhere to eat and drink! There is a huge selection of bars, restaurants and cafés all within easy walking distance of the centre and with a wide choice of food. At a guess most visitors give up on the idea of self-catering when they see what's on offer!
The beaches in this area tend to be smaller cove beaches, but they are of exceptional beauty. Some require a strenuous walk down (and back up!) cliff steps but the effort is well worth it. Not to be missed are the beaches at Albandeira, Benagil, Marinha, Vale de Cova and Centianes. You should also take a walk along the clifftops at Algar Seco and be amazed by the strange rock formations and sea caves. Carvoeiro is also ideally situated for family fun days out. There are two water parks within easy reach - the closest being Slide and Splash at Lagoa and Aqualand just slightly further away at Alcantarilha. If water parks aren't for you then there is Zoomarine Sealife park at Guia and Krazy World Miniture Golf at Algoz to choose from.
If you have something a little more relaxing in mind, then a trip to Silves is a lovely day out with it's castle and riverside walks. A walk around the castle walls allows you to have a bird's eye view of the town and surrounding countryside and there are lots of pavement cafés to stop for a cool drink afterwards!
For the shoppers amongst you then either Portimão to the west of Carvoeiro or Algarve Shopping mall at Guia (near Albufeira) to the east (both about 15 minutes away) offer plenty of chances to spend some money! Even the non-shoppers can enjoy Algarve Shopping - there are plenty of seats in the sunshine and lots of restaurants and cafés in the food hall! It's open until late in the evening, so no need to miss out on any beach time either!
If you are venturing to Portimão from Carvoeiro by car, there are plenty of car parks, but the best advice is to use the first one you come to - it has a very confusing road system and much of it is along narrow, one-way streets with cars parked on both sides and a distinct lack of signs! The shopping is particularly good for leather goods, clothes and perfumes. Of course, there is absolutely no need to leave Carvoeiro at all as there is plenty to do and to see right on the doorstep - it really is a lovely spot and well deserves it's reputation as a top Algarve holiday destination.
Do come and visit - we think you will be impressed! For more information go to Carvoeiro.com