A guide to Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal

A guide to Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal
Carvoeiro is a small and picturesque fishing village and civil parish located in the Algarve. It is a Portuguese coastal town that manages to combine its recent expansion, thanks to its booming tourist trade, with a rich and traditional history. There are remains of its Roman occupation and traces of its long battle against pirates and enemy coastal assaults. These ancient memories lie next to the town’s modern facilities from its vast holiday complexes to its golf courses and high-end villas.

In some areas of Carvoeiro, small and traditionally quaint houses sit adjacent to contemporary buildings and it is partly the town’s ability to provide high-quality services, shops and restaurants alongside its proud history that makes Carvoeiro a popular tourist destination for thousands each year. It is home to several small beaches which are located short distances from the town centre. Most of these are surrounded by cliffs and accessible caves are scattered across some of these rocky cliffs. The Algar Seco, is a particularly fascinating and popular area where years of erosion has sculpted the rocks and created caves, islets and ‘water chimneys’.

A Brief History
Carvoeiro is traditionally a fishing village that grew up from its birth as a small settlement centuries ago. According to historians, the name of the village comes from the word ‘Caboiere’ which is an old name for a fisherman’s village or hamlet that hails from the Islamic-medieval period. This name is appropriate as for centuries; the settlement’s ideal position for catching fish drove its growth and the survival of its people. For most of its life, Carvoeiro’s fishing industry has defined the town and area. There are several traces in the town of its Roman occupation and habitation. It is also thought that the town was once a hotspot for military assaults by enemy armies and navies.

Its location on the coast would have made it a likely defensive position against attacks and numerous naval battles occurred in the area. One of the most significant of these was the 1544 battle which involved a threatening squadron of ships under the command of D. Petro da Cunha and Xarrament, a Turkish barbary or Ottoman pirate. Alongside these historic events, an equally significant force on the town has been its growing tourist trade. After the construction of an international airport nearby in the 1960s, Carvoeiro holidays became very popular and eventually tourism became the main economic base of the town. It expanded at a rapid rate to accommodate visitors and new buildings from hotels to an improved infrastructure and roads were constructed. Today, expensive and cheap holidays in Carvoeiro are possible and widely popular.

In Town Attractions
There is no shortage of things to do on Carvoeiro holidays given the wide array of things on offer from the towns’ bustling streets, which are lined with shops and restaurants, to the enormous golf courses that attract thousands of enthusiasts. The town is famous for its authentic Portuguese charm and although it is transformed each holiday season from a small fishing village to a buzzing tourist resort, its traditions continue. Fishermen can be found catching fish each morning on the beaches, which lie at the end of the town, and these fresh fish can be sampled in the numerous restaurants of the town.

The town’s most popular activities involve the picturesque beaches and boats are often hired to take trips around the surrounding area where dark caves and islets can be found as well as some isolated beaches. The Algar Seco’s unique rock formations, crafted by millennia of waves, are also hugely popular particularly with snorkelers and divers. By night, the town square acts as a vibrant centre for cultural displays and exciting shows.

Surrounding Attractions
There are also things to see and do in the surrounding area and the village of Ferragudo, just to the west of Carvoeiro, offers an example of a largely untouched and authentic fishing village. Other provincial villages lie in the area and further inland the remains of the Silves castle can be visited.

Further Carvoeiro Holidays Information

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