By Darren Griffiths

15 Best Things to Do in Carvoeiro Portugal 2023

28th June 2023

Situated along Algarve’s striking southern coastline is the picturesque fishing village of Carvoeiro, Portugal. The beautiful natural panorama combined with a wonderfully relaxing atmosphere makes Carvoeiro an idyllic destination for anyone in search of a peaceful retreat.

Carvoeiro is a flawless blend of traditional Portuguese culture and modern charms that offers many activities for those looking for anything from excitement to calm beaches to sunbathe on and recharge. We’ve listed the 15 best things to do in Carvoeiro Portugal, for both thrill seekers and peace chasers alike.

Related reading:
See all the best things to do across the Algarve region
And this list of the best towns and places to stay in the Algarve

15 Best Things to Do in Carvoeiro Portugal

1 – Carvoeiro Boardwalk

Hiking is a favorite activity in Carvoeira as there are many beautiful walkways boasting amazing scenery and lookout points. One of the best walks is the Carvoeiro boardwalk that’s built onto the cliffs surrounding the area.

Carvoeiro boardwalk, Carvoeiro, Portugal
Carvoeiro boardwalk, Carvoeiro, Portugal

A gorgeous view of the glistening Atlantic Ocean and other eroded rock formations makes the Carvoeiro boardwalk a must for any photographer.

You can spot different seabird species as you walk down the steps formed out of the stone cliffs which lead to the Algar Seco rock formations and their natural pools.

If it’s the middle of summer, try and fit in the Carvoeiro boardwalk in the morning because it can get very hot by the middle of the day up on the cliffs.

2 – Carvoeiro Beach (Praia de Carvoeiro)

Bordered by high limestone cliffs, Carvoeiro’s blue flag beach remains the main attraction of the traditional village and a MUST DO if you visit Carvoeiro.

Carvoeiro Beach (Praia de Carvoeiro)
Carvoeiro Beach (Praia de Carvoeiro)

The crescent-shaped beach has soft golden sand and an unforgettable view of the surrounding ochre cliffs, backdropped with terracotta-tiled villas and cottages.

There is no shortage of facilities – like restaurants, bars, and public toilets. This is the main sunbathing spot for holidaymakers, and definitely the highest-rated thing to do in the area.

The water is clear and inviting at Carvoeiro Beach (called Praia de Carvoeiro in Portuguese), so it’s a great place to swim.

3 – Go Diving

Diver’s Cove is a small diving company located in Carvoeiro. The professional and experienced instructors will teach you all the basics and safety measures surrounding scuba diving.

Diving off Carvoeiro, Portugal
Diving off Carvoeiro, Portugal

If you’re already an experienced diver, the team will take you out to the ocean to explore the mesmerizing ocean life along the southern coast.

Diver’s Cove has excellent diving equipment that’s included in your dive. As an extra, the instructors take photos of you underwater that they generously transfer to you for no additional costs.

Open seven days a week, you should add this to your list of things to do in Carvoeiro.

4 – Alfanzina Lighthouse

Definitely worth a visit is the painting-worthy Alfanzina lighthouse which was built on a rocky hill in the year 1920. If you want to enter the lighthouse, it’s open to the public only on Wednesdays between 14:00-17: 00 pm.

Alfanzina Lighthous, Carveoiro, Portugal
Alfanzina Lighthouse, Carveoiro, Portugal

The stunning scenery surrounding this lighthouse is worth visiting on a clear day. The flashing light of the lighthouse guided fishermen to catch squid and other seafood (Carveoiro is still a fishing village).

On your easy walk to the tower, you’ll be presented with some spectacular views. Prepare light clothes and remember to take care of walking along the cliff.

5 – Algarve Cabrio or Scooter Tour

Given the choice of a half-day and full-day tour, you can enjoy a cruise around the natural landscapes of Algarve on a scooter or in a convertible car. Led by a knowledgeable guide, you will discover stunning sights, hidden beaches, and amazing viewpoints.

Vespa scooter, Agarve, Portual
Vespa scooter, Agarve, Portual

You’ll get a chance to taste delicacies from the region like honey, jams, and liqueurs. Driving through Lagos, Ponta da Piedade, the West Coast, Monchique, Praia da Rocha, Carvoeiro, and Alvor, you’ll see more than just beaches and other things to do in Carvoeiro.

The full-day trip includes lunch at an Algarvian restaurant.

Click below for more information!

6 – Explore the Benagil Caves by Stand-Up Paddle Board

This 150-minute trip from Carvoeiro is preceded by an instructional class on how to SUP (stand-up paddle), featuring all the basic techniques and safety measures.

Stand-up Paddleboard tour, Carvoeiro, Portugal
Stand-up Paddleboard tour, Carvoeiro, Portugal

Wetsuits, life jackets, and buoyancy aids are included. Your expert guide will then lead you on a paddling adventure to the Benagil grottoes and caves.

Paddle into delightful natural areas that are unreachable by boat and discover the beauty of the Algarve.

Take photos with fossil rock formations in the background while trying to spot the shark tooth fossil on your journey.

Click below for more information!

7 – Algarve Mountains and Benagil Caves by Jeep and Boat

This eight-hour tour from Carvoeiro lets you explore the Mountains of the Algarve and visit one of the most famous beaches.

Rock formations along the coastline of the Algarve, Portugal
Rock formations along the coastline of the Algarve, Portugal

You’ll also duck into the Benagil Cave on this journey, which takes place via jeep and boat. Swim in the clear ocean waters at the Benagil caves while trying to spot dolphins in nearby waters.

A professional guide will lead you past Algarve villages, and you’ll get to taste delicious regional foods like marmalades and the daring medronho firewater.

Included in the day trip are a wine tasting and a tour of a local vineyard that also produces beer. This is one of our top things to do in Carvoeiro.

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8 – Algarve Caves and Coastline Boat Trip

This three-hour boat tour from Carvoeiro along the mesmerizing coastline of the Algarve takes place on a lovely catamaran.

Cruising from Albufeira to Benagil, Portugal
Cruising from Albufeira to Benagil, Portugal

You’ll cruise from Albufeira to Benagil in luxury while gazing at the stunning rock formations, caves, and blue ocean waters.

The catamaran has Wi-Fi access, allowing you to post your gorgeous photos on social media immediately; it also features a lounge and bar. Splash in the warm ocean waters with a swim stop near a beautiful natural viewpoint.

Continue your boat tour and gaze at the famous Benagil cathedral caves. Information about the coastline will be shared with you by the bilingual expert guide.

Click below for more information!

9 – Zoo-marine and Amusement Park

One of the best things to do in Carvoeiro for families is visiting the Zoo-marine and Amusement Park near Algarve.

Waterslides at the Zoo-marine and Amusement park, Carvoeiro, Portugal
Waterslides at the Zoo-marine and Amusement Park, Carvoeiro, Portugal

You can relax and swim at the Zoo-marine pool while your children enjoy the exciting water activities, like waterslides, water rapids, a wave pool with a white beach, and an aquatic playground area.  

Stroll around the park observing the marine mammals and birds. Learn about more than 20 ecosystems that are included in the park’s layout, and watch an entertaining dolphin presentation.

Other animals include sea lions, seals, and birds of prey. There are many restaurants, shops, and souvenir photo stops.

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10 – Dolphin Watching and Beach BBQ

One of the main things to do in Carvoeiro is dolphin watching; what a treat if you can combine it with a beach BBQ.

Dolphin-spotting tour, Algarve, Portugal
Dolphin-spotting tour, Algarve, Portugal

For this five-hour day trip, you will board at Albufeira Marina in the morning and then cruise Westward along the Algarve coast, feasting your eyes on the stunning coastal landscapes and rock formations.

Disembark at Nossa Senhora da Rocha, an island inaccessible by land, where you will be treated to a freshly grilled BBQ by the experienced crew.

You can enjoy other recreational activities on the island and drinks from the boat’s bar. Hop back on the boat to do some dolphin spotting.

Click below for more information!

11 – Relaxing Massage at your Accommodation

When you need some extra TLC after hiking and exploring all the things to do in Carvoeiro, enjoy a relaxing massage.

Hot stone massage, Carvoeiro, Portugal
Hot stone massage, Carvoeiro, Portugal

Indulge in a one-hour treatment session in foot reflexology and aroma oil performed by a certified reflexologist or massage therapist. Feel the stress leave your body as the reflexologist presses on the foot’s pressure points to leave you in a calm state of mind.

You don’t have to leave your accommodation; the therapist will come directly to your place, making this experience even more relaxing and stress-free. Certainly one of the best things to do in Carvoeiro for couples.

Click below for more information!

12 – Slide and Splash Waterpark

This is a perfect outing for families with children. Enjoy all the different water activities that Slide and Splash has to offer.

Waterslide and pool, Slide and Splash Waterpark, Carvoeiro, Portugal
Waterslide and pool, Slide and Splash Waterpark, Carvoeiro, Portugal

With 17 different water slides and experiences, this waterpark bursts with thrilling aquatic fun for everyone.

You can even try the fish spa, where you put your feet into a tank filled with small fish that nibble at your toes’ dry skin.

Slide and Splash also showcase birds of paradise and different kinds of reptiles. The park has an abundance of restaurants and souvenir shops.  

13 – Day Trip to Silves from Carvoeiro

The small village of Silves is only a short drive away from Carvoeiro. Nestled in the middle of this traditional village is the historical Silves Cathedral – a simple, small cathedral with ornate altars.

The lovely town of Silves, Portugal
The lovely town of Silves, Portugal

Walk around the village of Silves and discover the Castelo de Silves, a well-preserved Moorish fortification built between the 8th and 13th centuries.

The castle has 11 towers, and red walls, and is situated on Silves Hill overlooking the quaint town.

14 – Carvoeiro Food and Drink

If you’re a foodie, eating will definitely be at the top of your list of things to do in Carvoeiro. Sink your teeth into delicious Portuguese cuisine, starting with a visit to the couple-owned Tapas restaurant, Le Crô Portugal.

Seafood salad, Carvoeiro, Portugal
Seafood salad, Carvoeiro, Portugal

Portuguese wines, Aubergine-stuffed figs, chorizo, and seabass ceviche are only some of the dishes you can find on this highly-rated menu.

A Marisqueira is a seafood restaurant on the main road. Different species of freshly caught fish are grilled and smoked for a delicious experience.

15 – Praia da Marinha (Marinha Beach)

One of the most gorgeous beaches not just in Southern Portugal, but along the whole Atlantic coastline is the mesmerising Marinha Beach (called Praia da Marinha in Portuguese).

Praia da Marinha, Portugal
Praia da Marinha, Portugal

Praia da Marinha is only 7 kilometers (less than 4 and a half miles) from Carvoeiro town by car or bus. If you feel like a hike, it will take about 45 minutes from Carvoeiro town to the small beach.

It is surrounded by fascinating rock formations and towering cliffs which makes it one of the most secluded beaches on the coastline, sheltered from the winds, and perfect for families.

We’re calling it a small beach at high tide, but at low tide, you can walk along the beach all the way to the cathedral rock formation, which is usually just called the “M.”

You can easily spend a whole day at Praia da Marinha – swim and snorkel in the turquoise waters around the Cathedral, hike to the stunning viewpoints above (including from the car park), eat at the cafe, and cliff jump if you’re adventurous.

Getting to and around Carvoeiro Portugal

The nearest airport to Carvoeiro is Faro Airport which is 66 kilometers (41 miles) away. You can get between the two by car, taxi, shuttle, bus, and train. The train takes over three hours, and the bus is a transfer at Lagoa and so takes over 2 hours.

Carviero Beach is right in Carvoeiro town, and one of the best beaches in Portugal, Praia da Marinha, is 7 km by car or within walking distance (perhaps not in the middle of summer!) and takes around 45 minutes.

Silves is inland and north of Carvoeiro, only a 13-minute drive by car, or a bus ride of 1 hour and 20 minutes. Carvoeiro doesn’t have a bus station but it does have a bus stop. It’s on Estrada do Farol.