Carvoeiro was a small traditional fishing village that survived on tuna catches however, not surprisingly, it has become an incredibly popular resort and has developed accordingly to keep pace.
Carvoeiro is sought-after for family holidays as there is a large choice of self-catering accommodation coupled with the area having all you are likely to want within a short distance of the town centre. Much of the accommodation is within new residential areas placed on the outskirts of the town but most are in keeping with the local architecture - there are no high-rise hotels or apartment blocks.
The town beach, Praia do Carvoeiro, is a beautifully sheltered, sandy bay and spreads out just in front of the square with cliffs protecting it on either side. There are bars and cafés ideally placed around the square to enjoy the view when off the beach.
Watersports, such as jet skis and pedaloes are available on the beach and there is a diving school based locally if you prefer to be under the water. The local fishermen also make use of their boats during the day to offer visitors the chance to take boat trips around the coastline and visit the caves.
The cliff tops around Carvoeiro offer plenty of scope for walking and great views. You may also come across some algares (pitcaves/blowholes).
The town beach is fairly small when it comes to accommodating the numbers of visitors during the summer, but there are also a few other lovely beaches within easy reach of the town; Praia da Marinha, Praia do Vale de Centianes and Praia do Paraiso are a few.
Restaurants and bars
One thing you will not be short of is choice of somewhere to eat and drink. There is a wide selection of bars, restaurants and cafés all within easy walking distance of the centre offering a wide choice of different cuisines.
Carvoeiro is ideally situated for family fun days out. There are two water parks within easy reach - the closest being Slide & Splash at Lagoa with Aqualand slightly further away close to Alcantarilha. If water parks aren't for you then there is Zoomarine Sealife Park at Guia and Krazy World at Algoz to choose from.
Should you have something a little more relaxing in mind, then a trip to Silves is a lovely day out with its Moorish castle and riverside walks. A walk around the castle walls allows you to have a bird's eye view of the surrounding countryside and town, with many pavement cafés to stop for a cool drink afterwards. There are also boat trips to Silves from Portimão, along the Arade river, offering approximately an hour's free time in Silves (before the tide is too low to return).
Twice a week the tourist 'train' that runs around Carvoeiro ventures a little further afield to Ferragudo, which is just along the coast on the opposite bank of the Arade estuary to Portimão. This offers visitors the opportunity to spend a couple of hours exploring either Ferragudo or Portimão before bringing you back to Carvoeiro.
If you are a golfer there are numerous golf courses nearby whilst tennis fans don't need to miss a game as there is Carvoeiro Clube de Ténis close to Sesmarias which is conveniently positioned between Ferragudo and Carvoeiro. And for those who enjoy a holiday which includes other active activities you will find cycling routes, diving centres, various gyms and centres to enjoy yoga, tai chi etc plus great local areas for bird watching and the opportunity to enjoy walking trails.
Late in August there is a county show, held in Lagoa, called Fatacil. It attracts visitors from far and wide offering them everything from handicrafts to livestock.
Early in June the Caldeirada and Seafood Festival is held in Armação de Pera with Ferragudo hosting Fisherman's Day, again early in June, where the visitor can enjoy live music, grilled fish and a variety of Portuguese tapas.
For more information on Fatacil visit the Fatacil site.
For up-to-date information on local events download the tourist office events guide.
There are plenty of shops in the town for your everyday needs and as they are accustomed to catering for British visitors you will be able to find most of your normal groceries. There are also Intermarché, ALDI and Apolónia supermarkets on the road to Lagoa for even more choice. These supermarkets can be reached by taxi if you do not have your own transport.
If you are looking for more than just a supermarket you need to head to Portimão to the west of Carvoeiro or to the Algarve Shopping mall at Guia (near Albufeira) to the east (both about 15 minutes away). Even the non-shoppers can enjoy both these malls as there are plenty of seats in the sunshine and lots of restaurants and cafés in the food hall. They are open until late in the evening, so no need to miss out on beach time either and in Guia there is also a multi-screen cinema.
Of course, there is absolutely no need to leave Carvoeiro at all as there is plenty to do and to see right on the doorstep - it really is a lovely spot and well deserves its reputation as a top Algarve holiday destination.