Carvoeiro Beach in the Algarve – Complete Guide

The picture perfect setting of Carvoeiro Beach results in this being such a popular beach in the Algarve. Typical for the Lagoa area of the Algarve, Praia do Carvoeiro has soft white sand, turquoise water surrounded by golden cliffs, it is distinctive being surrounded by the traditional white houses. The whitewashed buildings of Praia de Carvoeiro perched atop gold-tinged cliffs backed by the surrounding hills is spectacular and the beach is a great place to spend a day. The beach is located close to the famous Benagil Cave, you can paddle there from Carvoeiro Beach by stand up paddle (SUP) or kayak. There are plenty of activities here, from relaxing to boat tours and watersports or visit the bars and restaurants overlooking the beach. The town Carvoeiro is famous for it’s extraordinary rock formations of Algar Seco. We loved walking along the cliffs surrounding town, all the way on the breathtaking Carvoeiro boardwalk to the beach.

praia do carvoeiro
Praia do Carvoeiro has crystal clear water, beach toys like kayaks SUPS and slides, shade and a beautiful background.

Praia do Carvoeiro All About The Beach

Praia do Carvoeiro is a small beach located within a bay, with high rock formations on both sides and the picturesque village of Carvoeiro in the background. The stunning beach with white wash fishermen houses in the background and colorful fishing boats on the beach creates a spectacular setting. Carvoeiro Beach is a a blue flag beach, so it meets international blue flag standards. It is a neat, clean beach meeting standards regarding safety, water quality, facilities and environmental management. There are plenty of restaurants right on the beach and great facilities. Life guards are on duty in season. Parking can be hard to find at the beach in season during peak times, if you go early in the morning (before 8:30) you should find a spot without too many problems.

beach chairs carvoeiro beach
Beach chairs and shade are for rent on Carvoeiro beach.

Carvoeiro Beach Facilities

Since Carvoeiro beach is located so close to the city center there are plenty of facilities nearby.

  • Restaurants – There are plenty of restaurants overlooking the beach, try Onze e Meia or Mar d’ Fora, both with beautiful view of Carvoeiro’s beach.
  • Lifeguards – yes in season
  • Toilets
  • Kayak / SUP rental – rent a kayak or a SUP right on the beach, paddle all the way to Benagil Cave!
  • Boat trips to Benagil cave and surrounding caves and beaches leave right on the sand.
  • Wheelchair accessible
boat tours carvoeiro beach
Boat tours depart on the sand at Carvoeiro Beach.

Things to do at Carvoeiro Beach

Walk the Carvoeiro Boardwalk and visit Algar Seco caves

The Carvoeiro boardwalk is a wooden walkway on the edge of the limestone cliffs in the town of Carvoeiro with beautiful views over the ocean. The boardwalk stretches from Fort of Nossa Senhora da Encarnação to the spectacular Algar Seco. The Fort is close to Carvoeiro beach. If you go for a hike on the boardwalk you can also explore the amazing caves of Algar Seco.

carvoeiro boardwalk
Walking with Summer on the Carvoeiro boardwalk.

Algar Seco is a group of tunnels, passages, and caves carved in yellow limestone cliffs of Carvoeiro. It’s a not-to-miss place in the south of Portugal. The cliffs can be accessed following long staircases. There is fossil filled cliffs and caves, and a natural rocky pool, go for a drink at the famous Boneca Bar.

algar seco caves
Exploring the caves of Algar Seco.

Boneca Bar – Boneca Bar is an open-air restaurant nested between the cliffs next to A Boneca Cave and we think it might just be the most picturesque bar in the Algarve. Open Monday to Saturday from 12 pm to 10 pm, beginning of April to the end of October. 

boneca open air restaurant at Carvoeiro
The stunning Boneca open air restauran at Algar Seco Carvoeiro. It is less than a kilometer to walk on the Carvoeiro boardwalk to the restaurant.

Swimming at Carvoeiro Beach

The beach is protected and has calm conditions that is good for swimming on most days in summer, but rough days do happen. The water at is quite cold most of the year with water temperatures between 15 and 20C, good for a dip on hot days a bit cold for long swims a lot of the time. The bottom depth increases quicky so be careful when swimming.

Sunbathing

Carvoeiro Beach is excellent for spending a couple of hours on the beach located in town with excellent facilities. Sunbeds are for rent, but are expensive, so I will recommend that you bring your own umbrella.

Snorkeling

Since Carvoeiro Beach is calm and easy to access it is an easy beach to go snorkeling from, in summer the warm is flat water is often crystal clear. Be careful of boat traffic, I will recommend that you pull a big surface marker with a flag.

Visit Benagil Cave by Kayak or SUP

Praia do Carvoeiro is an excellent place to explore the coastline by kayak from. You can rent kayaks on the beach, explore the coastline, beaches and caves on your own or depart from the beach with a tour and follow your guide. The spectacular Benagil cave is not far away and is possible to reach by kayak or Stand Up Paddle board from Carvoeiro beach.

Rent a paddleboard (SUP) at Carvalho Beach and discover the Benagil and Carvoeiro coastline, expore the breathtaking caves and quiet secret beaches at your own pace.

Go on a Boat Tour to Benagil Cave from the Beach

Join a boat tour from Carvoeiro to Benagil Cave. Explore the famous Benagil caves, the formations of the Praia da Marinha arches, and other sunny beaches by boat from Carvoeiro Beach.

visit benagil cave from carvoeiro beach
Boat or Kayak trips depart to Benagil cave from Carvoeiro beach.

How to get to Carvoeiro Beach

Driving is the easiest way to get around in the Algarve. Check here for our favorite site for renting a car is highly recommended. Trains and buses are other options, but it can take long to move between smaller options and connect buses.

The circular bus route Rota das Falesias (cliffs route) that connects Algar Seco with Portimão, Ferragudo, Benagil Beach, and Praia da Marinha is an easy option to explore the area. This is an hop-on-hop-off bus that makes 15 stops. Buses run every day from 9 am to 6 pm. A one-day ticket costs 20 euros.

Bus # 107 connects Carvoeiro with Portimão and Lagoa. There are 10 daily buses on weekdays and 4 buses on weekends. It takes 30 minutes to get from Portimão to Carvoeiro. 

Accommodation in Carvoeiro

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