The Algarve coastline is home to a long list of wonderful beaches with unique characteristics.
As we move from East to West the scenery becomes covered in vegetation and more mountainous, ending with Sagres’ dramatic cliffs, which were once considered the End of the World in the Expedition Era.
The town of Carvoeiro is located in central Algarve, a region where there’s a background of warm coloured rocks that hug small bays where the sand is washed by the waves of the turquoise sea.
Algarve Fun leaves you with a list of the best beaches in the Carvoeiro area and its surroundings. So put on some sunscreen, grab your towel and swimsuit and come for a wander with us!
Praia do Carvoeiro
In this old fisherman village rose an interesting, quite cosmopolitan, touristic centre, thanks to the calm water cove that exists there.
The white houses lit by the Algarve’s characteristic sun are aligned like a theater on the coast, using nature’s erosion, to watch the sea ahead from the best place.
On the beach, there are several colourful boats that share the beach with its visitors and take them on visits to the sea caves or wild beaches that you cannot reach by foot. Boat trips from Carvoeiro to Benagil cave, with the famous ‘eye’ opening in the ceiling of the cave, depart daily throughout the year.
Carvoeiro beach is a very popular and lively beach that has cafes, restaurants and accommodation only a few feet away.
⦁ Parking – If you are driving, there is parking close to the beach, organized but with limited spaces, especially between May and September.
⦁ Access – After parking just walk and the beach is at road level. Very easy.
⦁ Lifeguards – This beach has lifeguard surveillance during the summer season, between 15th May and 15th October.
⦁ Tips – Arrive early, in the summer months this beach has many visitors.
⦁ Are there sunbeds for hire? – No
⦁ Are there showers and toilets? – No showers, only toilets
⦁ In the zone – If you enjoy walks take advantage of the boardwalks on the top of the cliffs that offer panoramic views of the area.
⦁ Good for – Bars and restaurants are available on the beach and in surrounding areas
⦁ Location – 37.096235, -8.471828
Praia do Paraíso
Also close to Carvoeiro’s town, you can head up Paraiso road that goes along West over the cliffs. If you walk 500 metres you will find Paraiso beach.
It is a shell shaped beach in the midst of very tall rocks. When you arrive, it feels like you are arriving at a saltwater swimming pool.
⦁ Parking – Paraiso beach has a small parking area at the top of the cliff.
⦁ Access – Its access is via a long, straight and steep staircase.
⦁ Lifeguards – It does not have lifeguards at any time of the year.
⦁ Tips – It is not advised if you are travelling with children because it does not have a lot of sand and when the sea is rough, waves can break into the rocks.
⦁ Are there sunbeds for hire? – No
⦁ Are there showers and toilets? – No
⦁ In the zone – Five minutes by car is the village of Carvoeiro
⦁ Good for – Good for those looking for a place of great natural beauty with few people
⦁ Location – 37.097073, -8.475589
Praia de Vale de Centeanes
This beach is surrounded by imposing time-eroded cliffs. On the sand, by the base of the rocks, there are caves that you can explore by foot.
Walk along the boardwalk along the rocks and have a closer look. You will find some local vegetation typical to the cliffs and some embedded sea fossils.
Take a snorkel and mask and, close to the rocks you will see intense marine life: from molluscs to anemones, bream shoals and king-fish.
⦁ Parking – It has a small organized parking lot.
⦁ Access – To get there by car follow the paved road towards ‘PRAIAS’, this will be signposted. The access is beach includes a descent by stairs in the rock.
⦁ Lifeguards – Has surveillance between 15th May and 15th October.
⦁ Tips – Look for a wooden staircase, it is the start of a route into nature that will take you to the top of the cliff to watch the beach, and the remaining coastline, from above.
⦁ Are there sunbeds for hire? – Yes.
⦁ Are there showers and toilets? – No showers only toilets.
⦁ In the zone – It has a restaurant, toilets and recreational activities.
⦁ Good for – Vale de Centeanes’ beach is great for walks.
⦁ Location – 37.091235, -8.454616
Praia do Carvalho
You can lay your towel while watching the rock in the middle of the sea.
The cliffs around this beach are also very tall and access is made via a hand dug tunnel in the rocky walls. A terrace was also dug in where a bar was placed and the view could not be more gorgeous.
Other than the sea you can also see coastal bushes that bloom colourful flowers in the Spring. These bushes grow roots down the cliff, sheltering and giving ground to several bird species.
This beach is a true Algarve postcard.
Those who walk the Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos (Route of the Seven Suspended Valleys), pass this beach mid route.
⦁ Parking – Park by the Urbanização Algarve Clube Atlântico or in the unpaved clay parking lot.
⦁ Access – From Lagoa you follow the paved road signposted PRAIAS. You will find a signpost for Praia do Carvalho. There are steep steps and you have to go through the carved tunnel inside the cliff
⦁ Lifeguards – It does not have a lifeguard.
⦁ Tips – Other than the bar on the beach there isn’t any other support on the beach or recreational activities.
⦁ Are there sunbeds for hire? – No.
⦁ Are there showers and toilets? – Showers no, toilets yes.
⦁ In the zone – Benagil Beach.
⦁ Good for – Travel photography, snorkelling and for those who enjoy peace
⦁ Location – 37.086761, -8.431870
Praia de Benagil
This beach is located at the bottom of a valley, close to Benagil fishing village that resides at the top of the cliff.
Only after you have passed the many fishing boats and sea caves and wild beach tour boats will you arrive at the beach that is famous for its hole from which you can see the sky.
The rocks in this area are rich in fossils demonstrating that this area was once covered by the Atlantic Ocean. Given the high interest in this area, the calmest and most tranquil way to get to this beach is by boat tour that you can board at Carvoeiro beach or at other ports close by including Albufeira, Portimão and Lagos.
There is a restaurant, a cafe and toilets located here.
⦁ Parking – If you visit in the summer you will only find a place close to the beach if you arrive very early, however, there is also a car park at the top of the hill if you don’t mind a short walk.
⦁ Access – If you are driving, from the EN125 turn South by the Escola Internacional do Algarve (Nobel International School) and follow the signs to the beach. At the beach, the access is through some steps and between the fishing boats.
⦁ Lifeguards – It doesn’t usually have lifeguard surveillance throughout the year.
⦁ Tips – The best time to visit by car is between October and March when you’ll be able to take amazing pictures with no one around.
⦁ Are there sunbeds for hire? – No
⦁ Are there showers and toilets? – Showers no, toilets yes
⦁ In the zone – Perfect for boat tours
⦁ Good for – Hang around for the sunset, it’s pretty special.
⦁ Location – 37.087487, -8.425717
Praia do Vale da Lapa (37.099994, -8.486362)
Praia dos Três Castelos (37.098948, -8.481824)
Praia da Grilheria (37.100960, -8.500679)
There are in the Carvoeiro area incredible and untouched beaches that are accessible only by boat, kayak or by steep pedestrian walks that are in some places physically challenging and impractical for small children.
These beaches in the Carvoeiro area have small sand beach areas that are submerged when the tide is high. You’d best get advice before making way.
These beaches are for those who are looking to spend a tranquil day away from the noisy crowds.