Carvoeiro has two beaches in the center and another within reasonable walking distance. But your holiday in the town doesn’t have to be limited to these three. It’s the perfect base to explore the beaches of the Lagoa region, which are some of the best in Algarve. These are beaches for sunbathing and swimming, as the waters are usually calm (if you want to surf, you’ll want to go to the beaches of Costa Vicentina instead). Swimsuit season is from the end of May to early October, but the beaches with lifeguards are only supervised from June to September. They vary in size, but are all very scenic. Most are surrounded by golden cliffs and there are some incredible rock formations and caves. You might want to bring a snorkel for when the water is crystal-clear, and will surely end up going on a boat tour of the coast.
- Praia do Carvoeiro
- Praia do Paraíso
- Praia de Vale Centeanes
- Praia do Carvalho
- Praia de Benagil
- Praia da Marinha
- Praia do Barranquinho
- Praia de Albandeira
- Praia da Senhora da Rocha
- Praia Nova
- Praia da Cova Redonda
- Praia dos Caneiros
- Praia Grande do Ferragudo
- Praia da Angrinha
Carvoeiro’s main beach is actually the focus point of the town. It’s almost the town square, with a number of restaurants and shops behind it. The fishing boats on the sand remind you that this was once a quiet fishing village, but they now take tourists around the coast. Those boats plus the white houses perched on the cliff make it one of Algarve’s most picturesque beaches. It’s quite small, so it can get crowded.
See the Praia do Carvoeiro Guide.
When Praia do Carvoeiro is just too crowded, you can always walk up the cliff on the right side (when facing the sea) and head to this tiny beach. It’s hidden at the bottom of a cliff and reached via a long staircase. You just have to go at low tide, as the sand disappears when the tide rises. It’s sheltered from the wind and very peaceful.
See the Praia do Paraíso Guide.
This is the third beach that you can walk to from the center of Carvoeiro. You just have to go up the main road for about 20 to 25 minutes. It’s one of the gateways to the famous Benagil Cave, with boats departing throughout the day in the summer. It’s relatively long but narrow, so it can get crowded. Unlike many other beaches in the area, it has a restaurant, so it’s also a destination outside the bathing season. Thanks to a ramp, it’s accessible to those on wheelchairs. It’s also the starting point of the Seven Hanging Valleys trail that leads to some wonderful beaches.
See the Praia de Vale Centeanes Guide.
When you follow the Seven Hanging Valleys trail from Praia de Vale Centeanes, this is the first beach that you see. It’s something of a fairytale beach, accessed via a “secret passage.” That’s a tunnel hidden on the ground, and when you arrive you see a rock perfectly centered in the water. It’s very romantic and was once a secret, before word spread on social media.
See the Praia do Carvalho Guide.
Many people stay in Carvoeiro just to visit the cave hidden next to this beach. It’s part of the Seven Hanging Valleys trail (it’s found after Praia do Carvalho), and just 10 minutes by car (if you’re not renting one, take an Uber). The cave has become one of Algarve’s most famous sights, so the beach can be crowded, especially in July and August. The natural wonder is only accessible from the sea, so you’ll see many people queuing for the next boat. Kayaks and stand-up paddleboards are alternatives.
See the Praia de Benagil Guide.
The Benagil Cave is Algarve’s most famous tourist attraction, but this beach is the region's must-see. Many international publications have even placed it among the world’s most beautiful, and you’ll agree when you get close to its intriguing rock formations (one shapes a heart when seen from a certain angle) and admire it from the clifftops. It’s the final stop of the Seven Hanging Valleys trail when coming from Carvoeiro (many people start here instead and end at Vale Centeanes), and there are breathtaking views from every angle.
See the Praia da Marinha Guide.
There are small coves and sheltered beaches only accessible by boat to the east of Praia da Marinha, but this is the first one that you can reach by land. It’s small and hidden between pine-covered cliffs, but very beautiful. There’s a massive islet right in front, and the water is usually clear and calm.
See the Praia do Barranquinho Guide.
A short walk from Praia do Barranquinho, down an unpaved road, takes you to this beach that has also grown in popularity thanks to social media and travel publications. Condé Nast Traveler magazine once placed it on a list of the best beaches to visit in Europe and it features a very photographed arched cliff. It’s very small and divided into two sections by rocks.
See the Praia de Albandeira Guide.
A promontory topped by an ancient chapel is one of Algarve’s most iconic images, and the beach on its eastern side one of its most picturesque. It’s still a fishing harbor, and there are fishing boats and fishermen huts competing for space with sunbathers. When the water is calm, it’s good for swimming, kayaking and jet skiing. Large hotels and luxury resorts are within walking distance.
See the Praia da Senhora da Rocha Guide.
A tunnel carved on the promontory connects this beach to Praia da Senhora da Rocha. It’s not as picturesque as its neighbor, but is much bigger and the view of the charming chapel is even better. On some days the turquoise water is just perfect for swimming, but there are no lifeguards or any facilities, just nature all around you.
See the Praia Nova Guide.
It’s hidden at the bottom of a long staircase, so few people come here, except for guests of the hotels nearby. It’s located a short walk up the road from Praia Nova and Senhora da Rocha, and offers plenty of space, peace and quiet. The cliffs shelter it from the winds and the water is usually calm.
See the Praia da Cova Redonda Guide.
While all of the beaches above are to the east of Carvoeiro, this one is to the west. It’s very popular with locals and visited throughout the year for its restaurant which offers sea views and seafood. When the tide is low, you can go around the cliff on the western end to another beach that’s otherwise only accessible from the sea. A sea stack standing about 200 meters (650 feet) from the coast is the habitat of sea birds and is environmentally protected.
See the Praia dos Caneiros Guide.
Ferragudo is a small village to the northwest of Carvoeiro and it has a couple of beaches worth visiting. As the name indicates, this is the biggest one. It faces Portimão, and on its northern end is a 17th-century fort. Because it’s mostly frequented by locals, you can always find a quiet spot, even on the more crowded days. It’s faced by good restaurants and bars, which remain open outside the bathing season.
See the Praia Grande do Ferragudo Guide.
The fort separates Praia Grande do Ferragudo from this beach. It’s the closest to the center of Ferragudo, so the very few people you’ll see here are locals. There’s a view of the Portimão skyline, and despite the number of boats passing by, the waters are suitable for swimming and children.
See the Praia da Angrinha Guide.
Beach Hotels in Carvoeiro
Located roughly halfway between the center of Carvoeiro (a 15-minute walk down the main road) and the beach of Vale Centeanes, this is where you should stay if you want to explore the beaches and the natural wonders of the Carvoeiro coast. It stands above the sea, so there are gorgeous views from just about everywhere, especially from the rooftop bar, the pools, and many of the rooms. Other facilities include a wonderful spa and two restaurants.
SEE PRICES, AVAILABILITY AND MORE DETAILS HERE: Tivoli Carvoeiro
Hotel Carvoeiro Plaza
The most central hotel in Carvoeiro stands above its main beach, Praia do Carvoeiro. There are rooms with balconies overlooking the sea, while others face the swimming pool. Old photographs and tile panels show what Carvoeiro looked like before tourism. It’s not just the beach that you find steps away -- there’s a variety of restaurants and shops in the surroundings.
SEE PRICES, AVAILABILITY AND MORE DETAILS HERE: Hotel Carvoeiro Plaza
Castelo Guest House
This “castle” offers a view of Praia do Carvoeiro from most of the rooms. Book one with a terrace or balcony and you’ll wake up to a beautiful sunrise. This is a highly-rated contemporary guest house perched on a cliff above the beach.
SEE PRICES, AVAILABILITY AND MORE DETAILS HERE: Castelo Guest House
Pestana Palm Gardens
Walk 10 minutes down the road and you’re at the beach of Vale Centeanes, and from there you can continue over the cliffs to the beaches of Carvalho, Benagil and Marinha. It has townhouses and apartments, accommodating 3 to 6 people. They surround a large swimming pool and some offer a sea view. There’s also a restaurant, a spa, a gym, and a tennis court.
SEE PRICES, AVAILABILITY AND MORE DETAILS HERE: Pestana Palm Gardens