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The Carvoeiro boardwalk, Algarve – a 2024 guide

The Carvoeiro boardwalk is a wooden walkway on the edge of the limestone cliffs in the town of Carvoeiro that offers breathtaking views of the Algarve coast. The boardwalk is an easy and safe way to explore the steep cliffs that drop 20 m down to the sea. From the boardwalk, you can visit the famous Algar Seco and Carvoeiro Beach.  

What is the Carvoeiro boardwalk?

It’s a wooden boardwalk built along the cliffs in the popular beach town of Carvoeiro, southern Algarve, Portugal. The boardwalk offers breathtaking scenery of the rugged coast, limestone cliffs, and the sea. It’s an easy and safe way to enjoy the area’s beauty. The boardwalk is wide with rails on both sides. It’s accessible for wheelchairs and strollers. There are two wider areas with benches for resting and enjoying the scenery. 

If you’re looking for more boardwalks in the Algarve I can recommend the boardwalks at Ponta da Piedade and the Alvor boardwalk.

Carvoeiro boardwalk, Algarve, Portugal
The boardwalk in Carvoeiro offers spectacular scenery of the coast

Where does it start and end?

The Carvoeiro boardwalk starts at the fort of Nossa Senhora da Encarnação and ends at Algar Seco. It can be walked in either direction starting or finishing at the fort. 

If you’re travelling with children there is a nice playground with swings, a slide, and a fantastic view in front of the fort. 

Where to park near the boardwalk?

There are parking lots at both ends of the boardwalk; at the Fort of Nossa Senhora da Encarnação and at Algar Seco. The parking lots are not very big if you want to get a spot you have to be there early, especially in summer. The Algar Seco parking area is bigger but people often park their motorhomes there which takes up a lot of space. 

How long is the Carvoeiro boardwalk?

It’s a 600-meter boardwalk along the cliffs. You can walk it both ways then it’s 1,2 km. 

Recommended tours and activities

There are many great tours and activities from Carvoeiro and other towns in the Algarve. Here are just a few of them;

Carvoeiro boardwalk map

Carvoeiro boardwalk route map
Carvoeiro boardwalk map

How to get to the boardwalk in Carvoeiro?

There is a circular bus route Rota das Falesias (cliffs route) that connects Portimão, Carvoeiro and Marinha Beach. It’s a hop-on-hop-off bus that you can use for one or two day depending on your ticket. Buses run daily every hour from 9 am to 6 pm. A 24-hour ticket costs 15 Euros, a 48-hour tickets costs 20 Euros. Tickets can be purchased on the bus. The main stops of the bus are Portimão, Ferragudo, Carvoeiro, Benagil Beach and Cave, and Marinha Beach. You can find more details on the route following the link.

If you’re staying in Lagos you’ll have to get to Portimão first and from there to Carvoeiro. 

Driving is the easiest way of getting to the Carvoeiro boardwalk. Overall if you’re planning to spend some time in the Algarve and want to visit several attractions across the region renting a car is highly recommended. There are public buses between the towns but sometimes you’ll need to switch buses or take a taxi or an Uber. 

The boardwalk in Carvoeiro, Algarve
A view of the Carvoeiro boardwalk from the sidewalk

When is the best time to visit?

In summer, early morning is the best time to visit the Carvoeiro boardwalk. Even in July and August, the peak months for the Algarve if you come to the boardwalks before 9 am there will be very few tourists. If you manage to come really early you can watch the sunrise from the boardwalks. It’s not very hot in the mornings even in the summer it’s much nicer to walk than in the midday heat. Light and colours at sunset are great too but during the summer months, there will be many tourists outside the season it won’t be too busy in the evening. 

Outside the summer season, you can come to the Carvoeiro boardwalk any time of the day as soon as it’s sunny and not very windy. Keep in mind that in winter A Boneca bar is closed. In 2022 they opened in mid-April.

Algar Seco in the morning
Campbell and Summer at Algar Seco at 9 am before the tourist crowds arrive

What to do at the boardwalk?

The obvious one, walk along the boardwalk and enjoy the scenery.

Visit Algar Seco. We’ve been to many cliffs and caverns in the Algarve and this place is one of the most beautiful and easy to access. It’s a relatively small area but you can spend 1 hour exploring it, taking photos, and admiring the views. Don’t miss the famous A Boneca Cave.

A narrow entrance to A Boneca Cave in the Algarve
Campbell and Summer at the entrance to A Boneca Cave near the boardwalk

If a 600-meters walk is not enough for you and you’d like to do a longer walk along the cliffs there are two hiking trails that start in Carvoeiro, about 1 km from the boardwalk. The Seven Hanging Valleys Trail starts or ends it can be walked in both directions) at Praia do Vale de Centianes, 2 km east of the Carvoeiro boardwalk. This 6-kilometre trail along the coast is the most famous hiking route in the Algarve. The Trail of the Headlands is a 6-kilometres coastal walk along the coast in the opposite direction. The trail starts at Praia do Paraiso, 1 km west of the boardwalk. It’s possible to connect both routes in this case it’ll be a 15-kilometers trail along the coast from Marinha Beach through Carvoeiro to Praia do Molhe in Ferragudo.

Do a boat tour to Benagil Cave. Boats to the famous Benagil leave from Carvoeiro Beach. The cave is about 

Relax on Carvoeiro Beach. It’s a stunning sandy beach surrounded by limestone cliffs, just 600 m from the boardwalk. During the summer months there are beach chairs and umbrellas for rent.

Carvoeiro Beach and town from the cliffs
Carvoeiro Beach view from the fort

Have a sundown drink at A Boneca bar. The restaurant is situated in Algar Seco next to A Boneca Cave (A Boneca Grotto). It’s nested between the rocks and caverns. They are open Mon to Sat from 12 pm to 10 pm. You can also have lunch there but in my opinion, sunset is the best time to come to A Boneca bar. You might have to book a table in advance to make sure you’ll get a spot.

If you like birdwatching you can spend some time observing marine birds. Some species build their nest on the edge of the cliffs. 

The famous A Boneca bar in Carvoeiro, Algarve
A Boneca Bar at Algar Seco near the Carvoeiro boardwalk

Where to stay near the boardwalk?

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Tuesday 11th of July 2023

Hi guys :-)

I'm planning my family holiday and your guide are very very special, with many details! Great guide!

Thanks a lot Monica


Tuesday 26th of September 2023

Thank you Monica, you are welcome, safe travels!

Tom Laabs-Johnson

Monday 22nd of August 2022

Algarve Family -

My wife and I will be staying two weeks in Tavira in later September/early October. We've put together ideas of things to do during our stay and I and would love any thoughts you might share. Not sure if this is anything you do but thought I'd ask.

Thanks for the information and pictures of the boardwalk. It's now on our list.

Take care, Tom


Tuesday 23rd of August 2022

Hello Tom. Thank you for the comment. We don't provide any planning services but I can give you a couple of tips and recommendations on places to visit and things to do in the Algarve. Tavira is quite far from the main attractions but if you have a car it won't be a problem. Cheers

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