What to do?

  in Carvoeiro  

A Boat trip to see the coast and the grottos

A Boat trip to see the coast and the grottoes Local
Algar Seco Algar Seco Local
The Algarve International Fair The Algarve International Fair Each year in June; Fatasil Lagoa
Beaches Beaches
0 - 10 km from Carvoeiro (car may be needed).
Market in Carvoeiro Local
  in Lagoa  
Fatacil

Fatacil Fair (Lagoa) 9 days in august

5 km. from Carvoeiro
update 1/12/2011

Lagoa indoor swimming pool 5 km. from Carvoeiro
Slide and Splash 7 km from Carvoeiro.

Transportation by bus is available from various locations and can be arranged by buying your ticket through the hotel reception or travel agent.

Fontes de Estômbar Fontes de Estômbar 12.2 km from Carvoeiro (car needed)
  in Silves  
Fabrica do Ingles

Fabrica do Ingles

12 km from Carvoeiro (car needed).

Currently closed with no sign as to when or if it will reopen. 

Silves castle Silves Castle 12 km from Carvoeiro (car needed).
update July 2011
Silves town Silves town and Medieval Festival -  Silves sports complex 12 km from Carvoeiro (car needed).
update July 2011
Barragem do Arade Barragem do Arade 25 km from Carvoeiro (car needed).
  in Portimao  
Agua taxi 12 km from Carvoeiro
Big game fishing Big Game Fishing 12 km from Carvoeiro
Canoeing in the Algarve 12 km from Carvoeiro
Sardine Festival in Portimão The exact date of the Portimão Sardine Festival changes each year but it is usually at the start of August and runs for about nine or ten days.  In 2012 the festival will be taking place between August 3 and August 11 but check each year with the Municiapl Câmara of Portimão to make sure you are in the area at the right time.
Sardines in Portimão 12 km from Carvoeiro
  Algoz / Guia / Alcantarilha  

Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones)
Zoo Marine in Guia 20km. from Carvoeiro Zoo Marine 15 km from Carvoeiro (car needed).

Transportation by bus is available from various locations and can be arranged by buying your ticket through the hotel reception or travel agent.

A meal not to be missed! Frango Piri Piri 18 km from Carvoeiro (car needed)
Your children would love a visit to Krazy World! Krazy World 25 km from Carvoeiro (car needed).

Transportation by bus is available from various locations and can be arranged by buying your ticket through the hotel reception or travel agent.

  Various  
Alcalar megalithic monuments 26 km. from Carvoeiro
(Close to the F1 circuit)
Autódromo Internacional do Algarve 30 km. from Carvoeiro
Cinemas Nearby and in the Algarve as general...
update 1/12/2011
On the road to Foia; Caldas das Monchique & Monchique 51 km from Carvoeiro (car needed).
Shopping Nearby and in the Algarve as general...
update 1/12/2011
Tavira - 70 km. from Carvoeiro Tavira 70 km from Carvoeiro (car needed).
Jeep Safari Jeep Safari  
  West coast day trip  
Aljezur Part of west coat day trip: Carvoeiro > Aljezur > Arrifana > Natural Park > Sagres > Cape St. Vincento > "Safari" restaurant > Carvoeiro
(a total of 200 km / minimum 6.5 hours).
Arrifana Part of west coat day trip: Carvoeiro > Aljezur > Arrifana > Natural Park > Sagres > Cape St. Vincent > "Safari" restaurant > Carvoeiro
(a total of 200 km / minimum 6.5 hours).
Cape St. Vincent Part of west coat day trip: Carvoeiro > Aljezur > Arrifana > Natural Park > Sagres > Cape St. Vincent > "Safari" restaurant > Carvoeiro
(a total of 200 km / minimum 6.5 hours).
Sagres Part of west coat day trip: Carvoeiro > Aljezur > Arrifana > Natural Park > Sagres > Cape St. Vincento > "Safari" restaurant > Carvoeiro
(a total of 200 km / minimum 6.5 hours).
The Algarve east to West

Portugal´s southernmost province takes its name from the Arabic “Al Gharb”, meaning “west”, for this was in fact the most westerly region conquered by the Arabs in the Iberian Peninsula.

The small area, separated from the Alentejo by shale hills, is like a garden: flowers grow alongside crops and beneath fruit trees so that one sees geraniums, camellias and oleanders, cotton, rice and sugar cane carobs, figs and almonds. Most cottage gardens are roofed houses cut at many levels by open terraces and decorated with attractive chimneys, unique to the Algarve.

To the West rises a mountain range of granite rock, the Serra de Monchique, covered in lush vegetation.

The coast is very sandy and East of Faro is protected by shoreline sandbanks. To the West the beaches are backed by high cliffs which form the impressive promontory of Cape St. Vincent.

To open a map showing the following locations, CLICK HERE and you will be taken to Google Maps. You can zoom in or out at your leisure and plan your route(s).

NB: The distance from Carvoeiro is shown in parentheses and is in kilometres.

Vila Real de Santo António (106)
Lies on the Guadiana River forming a natural frontier with Spain. The original town was destroyed by a huge tidal wave in about 1600 and stood devastated until 1774 when it was rebuilt by the Marquês de Pombal, Prime Minister King José I. The design was meant to be grandiose (in order to impress the Spanish just across the river) and the new town was modeled on a rigid grid pattern of right angles and parallel lines similar to the down-town Lisbon. The stately square in the middle of the town (Praça Marquês de Pombal) is paved in black and white stones in the form of wedges radiating from the centre in an unusual sunray format.

Castro Marim (106)
Is celebrated for its casino which stands virtually on the beach. Originally called Mote de Ouro (Mound of Gold) because of the wealth of the sea and the abundance of fish, it played an important part in the history of the Algarve´s fishing industry. Wealthy families came from the Alentejo and Vila Real during the 1920’s to build homes here. The tourist boom has turned it into an international resort.

Tavira (82)
Which lies at the mouth of the river Asseca, is one of the most beautiful and unspoiled towns in the Algarve. Surrounded by lush countryside, bountiful with citrus and olive groves and vineyards, it is a spacious town of imposing buildings and no less than 32 churches. The river flows through the centre of the town crossed by an arched bridge made in Roman times. Downstream the river’s name changes to Gilão and is lined by picturesque gardens and old balconied aristocratic houses dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. The town’s national monument, the church of Santa Maria, was built on the ruins of a castle and mosque soon after Tavira was re-conquered from the Moors in 1242. It was re-built after the great earthquake (1755).

Olhão (66)
Famed for its unusual Kasbah-style architecture, the proud fishing port is a maze of white lime-washed flat-topped houses, often with outside staircases. They stand in contrast to the traditional Portuguese red-tiled roofs and filigreed chimneys seen elsewhere in the Algarve. This North African style probably owes more to trading links with Morocco during the past few centuries than old Moorish influence. Some of Olhão’s fishermen sail as far as Newfoundland to catch cod.

In 1808 an improvised local army rebelled against French occupation forces. The insurrectionary spirit spread throughout the country eventually
leading to restoration of Portuguese rule. Olhão won the title “Noble Town of Restoration”.

A large municipal market stands on the waterfront and further on are pleasant rose gardens and a compound for ducks and black swans.

Faro (58 )
The provincial capital of the Algarve, is often bypassed by tourists arriving at its airport.

It is a pleasant relaxed town, rich in historic sights and with excellent pedestrian shopping precinct. The centre has a cobbled, shaded municipal garden with an open-air café and old fashioned bandstand, a small boat harbour and the charming old city walls. The town’s three museums - archaeological, ethnographic and maritime - are within easy reach.

Among Faro’s many churches the Igreja do Carmo (Carmelite Church) is considered the most beautiful while the most unusual is probably the Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones) - a 19th century vault in which the skulls and bones of the parishioners were used instead of conventional building materials.

Loulé (45)
The largest and busiest to the inland towns, has remnants of 12th Century fortification walls, and parts of the parish church date back to the Moorish occupation, but today it is best known as a handicrafts centre. In the back streets in the heart of the town, craftsmen in tiny workshops can be seen fashioning copper and brass ware, leather goods, wrought ironwork, furniture from wood and cane, hats and baskets (esparto).

Albufeira (26)
Once a small fishing village, is now a major resort. The town, which is perched on the cliff-top has managed to retain much of it’s character despite the widespread surrounding development. Albufeira was an important town historically. Protected by a castle, it was one of the last towns to fall when King Afonso III tried to expel the North African Moors who had governed the region for nearly five centuries.

Silves (11)
Once the Moorish capital of the Algarve, Silves is situated 13 km north of Carvoeiro. Well worth a visit are the remains of the citadel and the statue of Dom Sancho I. Don’t miss the panoramic view from the battlements of the 13th Century Gothic style church which contains tombs of the Crusaders. ”The Portuguese Cross” is as well found in Silves. This unusual white Calvary shows, on one side, Christ crucified and on the other a Virgin of Compassion.

Porches (9)
Situated on the main EN 125 is a good stopping-off point to buy Portuguese pottery – its most famous product.

Lagoa (5)
Wine centre of the Algarve - visit the “Caves Afonso III” cellars and taste all wines produced there. Lagoa has a good traditional market where you can buy fresh fruit, vegetables, fish and meat, every morning except Sundays.

Carvoeiro
Praia do Carvoeiro is a picturesque coastal village, which retained the Algarvian way of life, whilst accommodating all the essential facilities for its visitors. Algar Seco, a kilometre east of Carvoeiro, is worth visiting for its striking coastal land-form produced by rock weathering and a lagoon which is a snorklers’ delight.

Fontes, Estombar(12)
The Parque Municipal do Sítio das Fontes, "Site of Fountains" 12 km. from Carvoeiro, is a popular picnic area for locals. A millers house and an old water-wheel can be seen. You'll also find a amphitheatre used on various occasions along with a playground and many picnic tables.

Portimão (14)
The second largest town in the Algarve is a major fishing port at the mouth of the River Arade. It is also an industrial centre specialising in boat building and the canning of tuna and sardines.

The fruit, vegetable and fish market is definitely worth browsing around. Portimão is probably the best town in the Algarve for shopping - leather goods are of excellent quality and reasonable prices and there is a fine selection of pottery, crystal, antiques, copper, pewter and linen.

Monchique (35) north of Carvoeiro
Head north from Portimão towards the Monchique mountains range. Make your first stop at the 15 km mark, Caldas de Monchique, an absolutely charming, ancient spa town. The waters were discovered by the Romans. Kings and Queens have taken baths here, and so can you. Enjoy this restored mountain town, the wonderful atmosphere, good wine; breathe the air and drink the water. Just another six kms further up the mountain you’ll find the main village of Monchique. Plan a few hours here. You’ll love the bargains; woollen sweaters, woodwork articles of every variety, wicker baskets and much more. Visit the old Parish Church; history laid out before your eyes. This hillside retreat lives in the past; the present just barely touches it. Find your way to another 4 or 5 kms to Foia, the top of the range, 900 metres (300 ft) above the sea. You can almost see North Africa on a clear day. Drink up! This mountain range is a special treat.

Ferragudo (12)
Which is located on the opposite side of the Arade River is a charming and more traditional village with whitewashed houses and minarets lining cobbled streets.

Lagos (30)
A spacious town with a maze of intricate streets has a rich historical past. During the golden age of Portuguese discovery in the 15th century the governor’s palace was the headquarters of prince Henry the Navigator and his team of explorers.

A statue of the prince, seated with a sextant in hand and looking out across the harbour, has been erected in one of the town squares - The Praça da República. At the north-east corner of the Praça da República is an unmarked courtyard which is the remains of the first European slave market, a trade with which Lagos was linked. Many of the town’s historic buildings were lost in the devastating earthquake of 1755 but one survivor, the alter of the Chapel of St. Anthony, a Baroque masterpiece in carved wood, should not be missed. The chapel decorated in late Baroque gilt with the lower walls covered in 8th century tiles is an impressive sight.

Next door is the regional Museum of Lagos which contains a host of unusual ancient relics as well as items of folk and religious art. Trips by fishing boat can be arranged from the harbour.

There is also a wonderful Zoo nearby.

Sagres (61)
Is where you will see the remains of the fortress built for Prince Henry the Navigator. Windswept and relatively barren, the coastal views are dramatic and the atmosphere of the peninsula, known as the Sacred Promontory since prehistoric times, fires the imagination.

Scraps of evidence of Prince Henry’s School of Navigation - an old chapel, stones laid out in the form of a large mariner’s compass or sundial - can be seen.

Enroute to Sagres the village of Raposeira with its whitewashed cottages and colourful painted doors belongs to an era almost vanished. The town of Vila do Bispo, often overlooked by tourists, has one of the finest churches in the Algarve.

Cape St. Vincent (66)
Known as “the end of the world”, is the most south-westerly point of mainland Europe.

From the Cape´s famous lighthouse, which can project a beam 60 miles out to sea, around 200 ships a day can be seen turning the corner of the main route between the Mediterranean and the North Atlantic.

During daytime you can climb the 73 steps for a close look at the lighting equipment in the tower.

Acknowledgments to Gambrinus