Top 10 ways to spend a winter day
During the summer months, Carvoeiro is filled with people all looking to find the best way to enjoy the sunny days and warm evenings but there is still plenty for people to do during the winter in Carvoeiro and the local area. The Algarve has one of the best climates in Europe if you are looking for mild winters and while in the evening it can be a little chilly, most days are warm and ideal for outdoor activities. We have put together a list of the top 10 ways to spend a winter day in Carvoeiro and the Algarve and have tried to put in a mixture of ideas to suit all ages and budgets – we hope you enjoy!
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1. Boardwalk and cliffs
The cliffs along the coast of Carvoeiro and the surrounding area are truly beautiful and the best way to be able to explore these areas has to be on foot. During the winter, the cooler temperatures and fewer people about mean that walking can be far more pleasurable and a good place to start is in Carvoeiro itself with a walk along the recently built boardwalk. The boardwalk runs from beside the church at the top of the cliffs and along to Algar Seco and has lots of points to stop off to take in the views and some of the best spots to take gorgeous photos of the coastline. Find out more about the cliff walks in the local area by reading our guide to the 7 hanging valleys walk which allows you to explore more of this fantastic area.
2. Beach bar
It doesn’t have to be the summer to be able to enjoy the beach and a beach bar for the day! In the winter months many of the beach bars do close in the local area but there are always a few that remain open for the majority of the year with good bets always being Praia Grande near Ferragudo, Armação de Pêra and of course Praia da Rocha just across the river. The beach can be a beautiful place in the winter, especially because there are usually so few people about you can basically have the place to yourself to enjoy the views and the often dramatic waves that can crash in at this time of the year. Find yourself a table and enjoy some of the best Algarve beaches during the winter without having to get any sand in your shoes at one of the many local beach bars.
Head into the hills during the winter months to experience the rural Algarve, with a trip to Monchique and into the mountains. You will need a car to get into Monchique but it is well worth making the dry on a winters day when the traffic is usually very light but the weather is still good for walking about and exploring. If you reach the highest point in the Algarve at the top of the mountain, Foia, then on a clear day you can see all the way down to the coast and take in the views before stopping off on the way back down in the gorgeous little town of Monchique complete with its galleries, little shops and quaint cobbled streets. There are also some great restaurants along the Monchique road serving up some local favourites that you won’t find near the coast – well worth a try!
4. Hire a bike
Anyone who has driven in the Algarve during the summer months will know that it sometimes feels as if you are taking your own life into your hands! Luckily, during the winter there is barely any traffic in the Algarve and this makes it the ideal time of the year for hiring a bike, either of the pedal or of the motor variety. A number of the local resorts are able to organise a bike to hire while there is the Motorent company at the end of Rua do Barranco (the out road) that have scooters and motornikes available to rent. Explore the local area of Benagil, Alfanzinha or over towards Ferragudo and enjoy the freedom of being able to stop off wherever you like – be prepared for the hills though, or at least to have to jump off a push your pedal bike on the steeper climbs if you are feeling less than fit.
You may be surprised at just how much goes on in the local area and the Algarve as a whole out of the peak summer season and there is plenty for people to enjoy during the winter. During the festive period we have no end of Christmas fairs with events being held in Lagoa, Carvoeiro, Ferragudo, Portimão, at local schools and even in local restaurants such as Taste and all have a good amount of gift ideas and mulled wine. The winter is also when we have the return of the big fairs with the St Martins Fair being held in November in Portimão at the arena and offering a mixture of fun fair attractions, games, market stalls, traditional goods and bargains to be had. Have a look at www.visitalgarve.pt to see what is going on each month during the winter and be inspired.
6. Wine Tasting
You don’t need summer weather to be able to enjoy some wine tasting in the Algarve and there are opportunities to try wines in Lagoa and Estombar. It is possible to arrange wine tasting tours around the Lagoa Winery by contacting the Arte Algarve gallery above, although this must be arranged in advance. Another option is to visit the beautiful Quinta dos Vales in Estombar where they also do a great wine tasting with the chance to have a little look around this estate complete with sculpture garden. Get in touch with the businesses directly to see when it is possible to visit and to arrange a tour to try some of the locally produced wines.
You can’t talk about the Algarve without mentioning golf somewhere along the way and the peak season for golf is not the height of the summer, it is usually during the spring and the autumn. During the winter months it is possible to take advantage of great deals and promotions and to try your hand at some of the stunning local courses with Pinta and Gramacho just along the road in Sesmarias. If you are not as confident with your golf or would rather play a shorter course then Vale do Milho in Carvoeiro is a great choice with 9 holes. You can book golf through operators in Carvoeiro or by contacting the clubs directly to book tee times.
We love Carvoeiro and its coastal location but for a little bit of history and a look at a different side of the Algarve then the best place to start would have to be Silves. Only a 10 minute car journey away, Silves is located inland and as you drop down into the town the skyline is dominated by the imposing castle on the top of the hill. The entire town is beautiful and in the winter months you can take a walk through the streets to find the museums scattered about, visit the castle itself and then head back down for something to eat, either along the front near the river or splash out and visit the famous Rui’s seafood restaurant – this is one people travel miles to go to!
You will need to schedule a whole day for this but there is perhaps nowhere more dramatic during the winter months than Sagres. Sagres is the most south westerly point of Europe and during the winter the Atlantic crashes onto the enormous cliffs. Watch as fishermen scale the cliffs, take pictures of the lighthouse, visit the fort, or take the time to look to the skies and spot some birds in Sagres. Hire a car to get to Sagres or ask a tour operator about organised bus trips for the day.
10. Horse riding
When it is not so hot outside it is a good opportunity to try something a little different in the Algarve and horse riding is a great option for all ages and levels of experience. There are a number of different places that you can go for horse riding locally with one as close as Pêra and full details of different options are available if you speak with tourist information or do a quick search online. Some of the stables offer treks and rides on the beach, while other have traps for those who would rather not saddle up themselves. This really is a great way to spend a day during the winter in the Algarve and there are lots of options close to Carvoeiro.
Please add your own suggestions on this topic at the forum
Please also see:
- Top 10 activities for kids
- Top 10 of things to do in the rain
- Top 10 ways to spend a winter day in the Algarve
- Top 10 things to do over Christmas and New Year in Carvoeiro