Monday, 27 August 2012

Carvoeiro-Portugal | Sunny Stays in a Scenic Algarvean Resort.



Carvoeiro is one of those stupendous destinations of Portugal to chose without hesitations to spend sunny stays in a scenic Algarvean resort, a place which still reflects in all its seafaring spirit and image the old traditions of a captivating fishing village very characterful with a very marked identity.

That former civil parish part of the municipality of Lagoa with its 2,900 official residents is located in a superb, geographic position halfway between an ample and sinuous coastal bend which starts after the stunning resort of Armação de Pêra and the estuary of the Arade river in proximity of Portimão at just 40 minutes driving from the Capital of the region Faro. (I wrote a post about that city if you are interested)

Along a beautiful, luminous and unforgettable sandy coastline, that very pleasant, inviting site arose in a privileged stretch characterised by an intact environment which offers the visitor the chance to admire a scenery very difficult to forget.

Highlighted by the amazing presence of Praia do Carvoeiro, a marvellous bright beach flanked by  picturesque tiny bays, captivating inlets with the scenic Algar Seco, a wonderful masterpiece of nature where the waves of the Ocean formed spectacular grottoes the aspect of that shining gem is immediately attractive at first.

A natural frame absolutely stunning with absolute protagonists those distinctive, magnificent, Falesias, high, shaped cliffs dominating the emerald waters of the Atlantic representing one of the most enchanting  landmarks of that fabulous Southern European region is a further highlight of an idyllic scenery boasting an  outstanding, inspiring appeal.

While other splendid destinations of that marvellous Portuguese region changed face in the last decades with the construction of several buildings and new Hotels which have in many cases saturated the coastal territory, Carvoeiro seems to have had more luck and it still retains much of its charm making it so real, true, attractive immediately delighting the view of everyone once entered in its boundaries.

A great introduction is to enjoy an immediate splendid walk strolling the picturesque streets of its fascinating centre perched on the top of a magnificent rocky promontory highlighted by the presence of several traditional white houses with coloured shutters and doors loyal to the local architecture inherited during the Moorish time, a stunning picture able to transmit the deepest inspirations to every visitor.

That is a sort of wonderful presentation of a place which has much to make you fall in love for that so special aura surrounding its central core in which you can breathe a distinctive air reminiscent a romantic and nostalgic past.

For all that and more Carvoeiro is still considered by many people that quiet fishing village not very developed as the nearest lively, famed Albufeira and  Portimão which were once very peaceful towns elevating itself as one of the prettiest destinations of the entire Algarve.
 
That Algarvean resort offers the visitors the chance to spend pleasant holidays also to be a site on human scale.  

All is really very close and the major attractions are concentrated in just few kilometres so you do not need to use the car or transports to move from one side to another and also that is highly regarded by the tourist who immediately loves Carvoeiro for that special feature.

If anything is different from other places, that site is famous for its great tranquillity, simply perfect for people who want to enjoy sunny stays in peace in a scenic heaven which also permits to spend times relaxation recharging the batteries in the best way.

Very recommended for families with children thanks to that atmosphere of eternal serenity it boasts, no traffic and noise as in other busy destinations especially from June to the end of August.

Despite that it has a very good calendar of evening entertainments pretty relevant in particular in summer season, a splendid invitation and incentive to appreciate cultural proposals which give a very pleasant accent with something of enjoyable.

Carvoeiro is always a great idea for a brilliant vacation idea taking in high consideration a further relevant detail consisting in 300 days of sunshine a year, fabulous climatic conditions in a place in which the sun is always shimmering but never too hot thanks to that cool, more than appreciate Atlantic breeze, a special feature beloved by many tourists who can enjoy during a stay very ventilated days with a total absence of humidity.

The incoming flows mainly increased in the two last decades with the construction of some comfortable establishments consisting in new modern Hotels, shopping and leisure areas are also nearby, furthermore there is an excellent number of restaurants for all tastes offering the most delicious local cuisine with in addition many options to enjoy something of ethnic and exotic in terms of culinary offer.

That little Portuguese jewel is undoubtedly very suggested for an ample variety of tourists thanks to its very eclectic and varied territorial features which offers many chances to practise many outdoor activities.
 
For all those who love water sports such as diving, sailing and windsurfing you will find there a paradise thanks to the presence of Nautical Clubs providing excellent services while for the golf lovers in the immediate surroundings the brilliant chance to enjoy a good number of Golf Courses  of prestige is a further highlight delighting many people fond of that trendy activity.

From Carvoeiro you can plan many interesting radial excursions with beautiful routes enjoying a spectacular in and out moving in a very short time from a fascinating hilly territory to a ravishing Atlantic coastline

That great chance is certainly a a Mecca for all the most enthusiastic photographers who can have the magnificent opportunity to immortalise landscapes and sea views of  immense beauty with numerous changes of images with a wild and striking scenery so different in just few kilometres.

The tourists who are fervent fans of nature and history can combine during a stay a considerable fan of splendid tailor made itineraries discovering in the nearest inland many captivating attractions

The chance to visit the scenic rural interior which is simply unique, mandatory to discover small appealing villages which conserve their original aspect surrounded by gentle picturesque plateaus

Closely related to that that I suggest you to visit Gramacho, Estômbar, Vale da Pinta and Cerro Gordo, all places more than recommended breathing the genuine air which surrounds the most suggestive Algarvean countryside.

That territory is also great for passionate trekkers and cyclists who can find in all those sites an Eden for their favourite passions, including for all the visitors who during a seaside stay want to search something of different  and alternative finding Carvoeiro a more than interesting start point for special cultural routes. 

An aspect closely related to that is that the Algarve  is very well known for the production of superb wines thanks to the plantation of supreme grapes since centuries ago which makes that land a special destination for al those who love to plan wine tasting activities visting producers knowing the high quality of selected, fine wines.

All those considerable features with the presence of very comfortable Hotels is obviously a superb message of invitation with a varied offer for all tastes and demands. 

That destination is highly recommended furthermore for Tour Operators and Tourist Organisations related to a special, attractive niche called Travel Incentive offering a destination simply complete and fabulous to enjoy all year.

That aspect is certainly to take in high consideration especially indicated for Outgoing Specialists who in periods related to cold winters, cloudy autumns or springs corresponding to the beginning of a season with the launch of new proposals.

Carvoeiro is for that a brilliant idea for who is constantly research a right choice of destination finding in that resort a very suitable site, representing in its kind an open gateway for twelve months a year.

Places as that can cover a vast panorama of activities in terms of operations, its location is an area perfect to discover a rich  historic, cultural patrimony, extremely scenic with climatic and gastronomic aspects absolutely outstanding  with in addition an ample fan of activities which also include shopping and leisure. 

All that can delete in a while many doubts or clarifying more ideas of projects, development and programming, the a relevant presence as Faro International Airport is definitely a great and wonderful chance taking in consideration the several low costs flights landing there.

The Travel Agents which generally plan holidays in the seaside resorts of the Algarve during summer season can also create special tailor made tours on request in other periods using that vast range of superb options.

Historic routes for the ample cultural treasures left by great Roman and Moorish civilisations and furthermore represented by the golden ages of Portuguese artistic movements since the Middle Ages which marked with marvellous works many sites with the elevation of splendid Churches, Fortresses and monuments in several historic centres.
Those chances are unique because that fantastic region is not just beaches and sun, it is often underrated for many other things it offers.

Lagos, Silves, Loulé, the mentioned Albufeira, the iconic Cabo de São Vicente, Tavira, Vila Real de Santo António (I wrote post about those three places) and much more will introduce you a land extremely rich of a stunning history with architectural marvels simply superb.

The human presence in that land is dated the Paleolithic and Neolithic eras settled later by the Tartessos afterwards replaced by the Phoenicians who established in the Algarve a notable trade network very active since 1000 BC.

All that happened before the advent of Carthage as ruler when the leader of that influential North African power, Hannibal founded Portus Hanibalis corresponding to the nearest current  Portimão which was a consolidated Carthaginian stronghold since 550 BC. 

 The entire region during that time became a notable base for that notorious Punic Reign in the Southern Iberian Peninsula elevated since then as a natura, strategicl access to the Atlantic, a relevant stage between the Mediterranean and that Ocean with intense commercial traffics.

The history of that centre also had during the colonisation of the Imperial Rome flourishing times immediately after the victorious campaign in the old Hispania led by Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus in a period corresponding to the 2nd  Punic War in the 2nd Century BC.

Rome established in the Algarve after its successful expedition against one of its most historic, eternal rivals an important domain with the development of new communications and trades.

That Italic Empire including sent in that territory a large number of noble Patrician families linked to the most important Imperial dynasties who decided to fix their residences in that sunny land of Portugal.

Closely related to all that today there are still traces of Roman settlements in the immediate surroundings visible in the ruins of Cerro da Vila. (If you are interested I wrote posts regarding Quarteira and Vilamoura mentioning that)

Further discovered artifacts also confirmed the relevance of Carvoeiro as important Imperial site was with the finding in its seabed of an ancient anchor linked to that civilisation.

After the fall of that Empire which also had developed a notable political, social organisation including in small centres the consequent invasions by Vandals and Berber pirates who had as main mission depredation, devastation looting the entire coastline made for a period the territory pretty unsafe.

The locals tried to find refuge in the interior during those hard times also when the Visigoths conquered the entire territory in the 5th  century despite they did leave considerable marks.

 The landing of the Moors in 711 led by an Arab-Berber General called Tarik Ibn Ziyad with the conquest of the Iberian lands planned by Umayyad Caliph Al Walid I who renamed the region Al-Gharb or Gharb-Al Andalus, the land west of the Caliphate of Cordoba called Al-Andalus changed the destiny of the region and that of the village too.


That former, influential Moorish Emirate mutated the local history, the 8th century was since the beginning a period pretty relevant in terms of development.

The Algarve including Carvoeiro had during that occupation which approximately endured five centuries a brilliant renaissance with the construction of new roads reusing the former, traced  Roman traced communications improving the coastal links but also those with the interior.

In addition arose important activities as agriculture with a modern and clever system of irrigation with a consequent fantastic production of olives, grapes fruit and a wide variety of vegetables

Also fishing became one of the most relevant local resources with the establishment of a notable industry which occupied  a big part the local population and the replacement of the old, small rudimental barcos, with bigger vessels much more resistant with major capacity.

Related to that is also the current name which derives from Caboiere, an old eponymous took by a former hamlet of local fishermen born during the  domain of the Moors in the Middle Ages and for most of its history reminiscent the  local economy also in contemporary times.

It was since then when the catch of sardines, tuna and cod reached peaks of extreme relevance especially when the rulers decided to organise a considerable fleet which since then opened a fruitful cycle linked to that kind of industry.

The Algarve fishermen since that time started that secular tradition which has always had an excellent reputation, many local families nowadays continue generation by generation that hard work left as inheritance by the ancestors offering every day the best in terms of quality of fresh sea products satisfying several local restaurants and markets. 

In the 10th  and 11th  centuries Carvoeiro was historically part of the Taifa of Silves, an Independent Principality born by a territorial subdivision in the large Al-Andalus Reign with some small Emirates established after the collapse of the Umayyad Caliphate of Cordoba in 1031.

Since 1048 the family of the Banu Muzayn governed the local lands with a succession of three Emirs such as Isa II al-Muzzafar, Muhammad II al-Nassir and Isa III al-Muzzafar who was the last ruler before that Emirate was conquered in 1063 by Abbad II al-Mu' tadid, iconic member of the Abbadid dynasty elevated as King of Seville.

That event produced the ascent of the new emergent Berber Almoravids who governed the Al-Gharb with successful results until 1063 when all the power moved  the Almohads.

The 12th century was a time of cultural, political decline mainly highlighted by defencive purposes of the territory as major priority due to the constant attacks by the crusades, times in which the military operations of the Moors became more relevant than other activities as art and architecture very active in previous times.

The 13th  century was well known for the Christian reconquest by King Afonso III of Portugal with the capitulation of the Moors time when the village was incorporated in the new Portuguese Reign.

In 1544 Carvoeiro was theatre just some kilometres offshore of  the local coast of a big naval clash between the Spanish-Portoguese fleet led by Admiral Pedro da Cunha and the Turkish corsair Xarramet, a mercenary at the service of the and the Ottoman Empire.

In the 16th century it said that the former village was victim of several pirates incursions including those linked to one of the most popular as the former British Admiral Francis Drake who was also well known to be named by Queen Elizabeth I of England as Commander of the English fleet in the war against the Spanish Armada in 1588.

The local history with the separation from the  Reign of Spain in the 17th century represented the golden ages of Portugal with the ascent of a relevant Kingdom and its notorious navigators which consecrated that Southern European Nation as one of the continental powers.

In that period along all the Portuguese territory was developed a very strong defencive network which also included a large part of the national coasts, in the meantime born considerable artistic movements which saw protagonists the advent of fine  Baroque, Rococo and the iconic Manuelino style producing all around the country great, architectural masterpieces.

That superb era endured until the mid 18th century having a pretty sad decay due to to that tragic event consisting in the terrible earthquake of 1755 with epicentre Lisbon which destroyed a large part of the national territory. 

Many centres were totally devastated and that natural disaster included Carvoeiro which suffered several damages.

The recovery was pretty slow despite the fishing Industry continued to be the economic engine while in more recent times the advent of the tourism mainly started the 60's with the construction of new accommodations occupied an outstanding position receiving many tourists mainly coming from North Europe so glad to spend more than enjoyable holidays delighted by an incredible number of sunny days a year, competitive Hotel rates.

That pretty interesting consolidation on national scale made Carvoeiro  a destination of prominent figures such as the Irish artist Patrick Swift who decided to live there for over twenty years.

The talented painter, writer and illustrator Lima de Freitas, former Prime Minister Francisco Manuel Lumbrales de Sá Carneiro and his wife a famous, Danish journalist Ebba Merete Seidenfaden well known as Snu Abecassis also decided to fix their residence in the resort.

The fall of the dictatorship which ended its course with the notorious Revoluçao dos Cravos, the notorious Carnation Revolution which took place on 25th  April 1974 increased furthermore the desire tov start a brilliant start-up with new proposals as a wind of change trying to conquer a dimension of relevance in Europe.

In 1975 the resort had a constant development of its fisheries industries mainly highlighted by the famed sardines and the tourist demand had a further growth with many visitors coming from Great Britain also due to the advent of Golf, a sport very rooted in the United Kingdom which generated convenient packages with a good number of flights from different British Airports.

In the following decade that centre developed as a Freguesia of Lagoa became an independent Parish with its own autonomy achieved in 1985.

That was a period in which it increased its capacity in terms of incoming hospitality structures and much more when it raised the status of Vila in 2001 elevanting itself as a centre with autonomous activities despite it continues to be part of the municipality of Lagoa. 

In more recent times, concretely in 2013 a new administrative stature created the União das Freguesias de Lagoa e Carvoeiro linking the boundaries of both sites in a unique union.

That picturesque fishing village along the course of its history grew over the last decades and its beauty is especially highlighted by the presence of marvellous, golden beaches protected by magnificent, scenic cliffs which are part of a stunning frame which has always been one of its successful pictures to show with pride.

The centre is developed behind a long artery called Estrada do Farol which runs from east to west immediately behind Estrada do Algar Seco, a hallway leading to the coastline very close to the local Tourism Office, ideal place to collect all the suitable, useful information to plan different, varied visits in the immediate surroundings.

From there along a street named Rua do Barranco you can easily reach the picturesque core of Carvoeiro, that artery continues embracing Rua Dos Pescadores, the street of the fishermen because in the past it was totally inhabited by people devoted to that activity which is an artery leading to the northern boundaries of the resort.

That scenic village literally hangs over the Atlantic is located atop of a steep cliff with a group of picturesque houses which mostly reflecting the typical architecture inherited by the Arab-Berbers consisting in low, white constructions highlighted by decorated doors, shutters with architectural elements painted in red, green or blue tonalities increasing the captivating charm of that seductive place.

At the foot of that group of those very appealing buildings occupying an area called Monte Carvoeiro because it is the highest part of the resort lies one of the main local attractions: Praia do Carvoeiro.  

That magnificent beach is a spectacular stretch of soft, golden sand ideal to enjoy sunbaths admiring from it the endless oceanic horizon, great to practise water sports and boasting since a long time ago a deserved blue flag.

A magnificent highlight of that spectacular arched bright stretch is definitely the beautiful view of the scenic and stupendous cliffs on its sides shaped by the sea weathering, their presence seem as two majestic walls erected to protect that sandy heaven. 

Alll that is greatly highlighted also at evening by that indisputable salubrious daily, cool breeze which transmits very pleasant feelings facing that stunning image protagonist in spectacular sunsets with striking reflections falling on the rocks which took tonality close to a light red.

On the outstanding cliff on which is situated the hearth of the village you will notice the presence of the rests of the walls of the Fortaleza da Senhora da Conceição, the fortress of the Lady of Conception dating back the 17th century which represents one of the most historic renmants of the local community.

That construction commissioned by the Algarve Governor and Count of Val Dos Reis Nuno de Mendonça was elevated in 1670 at an altitude of approximately 100,0 metres of altitude above the sea level as strategic check point just two years after the Portuguese Independence.

 It was a time in which that new Kingdom was very busy to establish fortified sections all around its territory and it was completed five years later by another noble figure called Nuno Da Cunha de Ataide, Count of Pontevel who provided that defencive bastion with an arsenal and an artillery battery.

The destiny of that fort after the earthquake of 1755 which generated many damages had a pretty tumultuous destiny. 

At the beginning after that sad event it was abandoned the project of reconstructions of the destroyed walls for a lack of funds  due to a priority to save other structures as the residences of the locals.

Some works of preservation were managed  by the Coronel and Commander António Silvestre Tavares but with pretty unsuccessful results due to severe damages not just in the architectural layout and central body of that complex but in its foundations.

In 1821 the Officer Gregório António of the Military Engineers Corp tried with a further attempt to re-give the former aspect to the building  but he detected that the mission was pretty complicated, he decided to leave just one cannon of the former battery which remained there until 1840.

In those years that old stronghold was considered not operational and officially deactivate as military base, it was preserved as a check point with a service of guard until 1861 becoming ten years later a headquarter of the Guardia Fiscal, a special military force part of the Ministry of Finance.

Today what remains of that imposing fortress consists in just one preserved gate of the original building while inside you can admire the hermitage of Nossa Senhora da Encarnação, a Religious shrine dedicated to Our Lady of the Incarnation.

Tha Sacred site was originally erected in the 17th century some years before of that fortified structure in a period in which Portugal lived a notable artistic boom highlighted by a splendid architectural revival with numerous outstanding works which embellished the entire country including with a notable activity in tiny centres.

After the earthquake of the 18th century also that small Church suffered big damages and after some unsuccessful attempts of restoration dated 1825 that shrine was totally re-arranged in a Neo-Baroque style in 1942 with operations led by the Captain Josino da Costa.

Developed on a rectangular base it currently shows a very sober aspect consisting in a white building with a nave, a gable roof surmounted by a cross and in corner was placed a small belfry containing one of the original bells. 

What is very interesting is that in its architectural arrangement there is a great respect of the spaces between an element and another despite it has a pretty austere aspect but the structure boasts well marked lines loyal to an artistic concept rooted in the contemporary schools which took as inspiration the late Baroque as instrument of revival.

Every detail was inserted with criteria looking at more the functional, architectural aspect focused to create a balanced layout.
Around the square portal was developed a small portico with two lateral  pilasters and a small red sloping roof. Over it in the middle of the front side you will notice three thin long rectangular windows established with excellent symmetry in perfect harmony with the other elements.

In the interior you can admire some important works as an image depicting the Christ Crucifixion dated the 19th  century next to another dedicated to the Patroness, the Virgin Our Lady of Incarnation dating back the 17th century.

Continuing the visit I suggest you a more than pleasant walk along the coast, approximately 750, 0 metres from the inhabited centre you can admire Algar Seco which is a very special local highlight located at the foot of Cabo Carvoeiro, the famous, marvellous cape which is also an ideal site to enjoy spectacular Atlantic panoramic views.

In that magnificent corner you can admire a series of caves formed at the base of a high cliff. that striking marvel is accessible by stairs carved into the rock or reachable by a boat trip if you want to see them from another spectacular perspective.

 It represents in its kind one of the most astonishing natural attractions of the resort but also of the Algarve, something absolutely unique in its kind so do not miss that superb chance to see that very special marvel.

Part of that natural network of immense beauty there is also tunnel named Boneca consisting in stunning marine cave which begins in the inland directly ending over the Ocean close to the beach, another stunning attraction which deserves to be immortalised in several unforgettable pictures.

The immense beauty next to Algar Seco is much more highlighted by a scenic, splendid succession of inlets with a magnificent bay enclosed between two beautiful small promontories, a spectacular corner to be delighted by the captivating bright colours of the coast at sunset when the cliffs take a tonality absolutely unforgettable lining wonderful turquoise waters. 

Apart the stupendous charm of those magnificent attraction I recommend you another great site located before to enter in the village along the road M540 which changes name entering in the resort embracing Estrada do Farol, in that concrete point you will have the opportunity to face another spectacular marvel all to contemplate for hours showing all its marvellous fascination.

That point is a great attraction to notice the spectacular formation and diversity of the cliffs with a notable presence of several kinds of shaped spurs appearing as painted or sculpted visible from a rounded headland dominating a beautiful gulf flanked by some scattered, picturesque inlets.

Not far do not miss to take a look to Farol da Alfanzina, the local Lighthouse situated in the eastern boundaries of the resort.

 It is one of the oldest lighthouses erected in Southern Portugal and it was among the most important in the Western Algarve to indicate the routes to the navigators and several local fishermen returning home after their long trips across the Atlantic.

Another special place I suggest you is taking Estrada do Paradiso, approximately 10 minutes walking from the Tourism Office, that street leads to a marvellous, small promontory formed by three small rocky tips.

Once there you will have the chance to admire some beautiful tiny coves showing you one of best local images, symbols of the most captivating Algarvean coastline with those natural  marvels which are a sort of landmark of that stupendous land next to Praia do Paraíso, the beach of Paradise beneath a spectacular cliff. 

In the case you are interested there are some Boat Tours with departure from the nearest Portimão and other resorts such as Albufeira or Vilamoura, they represent an excellent service to discover the beauties of many coastal corners absolutely not visible from the mainland, special places with incredible charm some of them totally hidden offering image absolutely astonishing and unforgettable.

The resort also provides some boat services managed by locals who with a very short visit of approximately 15/20 minutes will take you to admire an enchanting corner just behind the cliff on which on the top is situated the village. 

Once reached that special place you will see a spectacular vertical rocky wall and the formation of small marine caves generated by the erosion, strength and power of the Oceanic waves.

Despite the resort has a small Marina it offers many opportunities to enjoy water sports and diving lovers will also find a well equipped facilities.

 Very close to Carvoeiro there are other beautiful beaches  and I recommend you that of Carvalho situated in the centre of the local bay but also Praia do Vale dos Currais and Praia do Padre Vicente are very suggested.

For all those who are looking for fun connected with sea and water spending an alternative day of tourism you can enjoy Zoo Marine located in Guia visiting the Aquarium and the Dolphinarium or also trying the emotions and vibrations of different kinds of games. 

It is undoubtedly a great experience very suggested for families with children to spend an enjoyable day with something of different.

Slide & Splash situated in Vale de Deus, Estombar is a further destination to have enjoyable times at a very short distance from Carvoeiro.

 It is a splendid water park which will offer you the chance to overcome the vertigo of big slides at high speed on the Tornado, enjoying in addition other different attractions such as falconry and reptile shows, exhibitions of macaws, parrots and much more. 
  
For golf and tennis lovers the local area is very convenient to practise those two sporting activities. Very close to the resort there are three golf courses such as Paint, Gramacho and Vale do Milho as well as the famous Carvoeiro Tennis Club offering excellent facilities for all people who loves those sports enjoying them during a stay.

The resort is also linked to the name of Patrick Swift, that famous Irish Painter but also writer, poet who lived in Dublin, the artist fell in love with that place and he decided to live there since 1962 until his death in 1983. 

He founded in 1968 with the Portuguese illustrator, painter and ceramist Lima de Freitas the Porches Pottery in the civil Parish of Porches part of Lagoa, an Institution focused to re-launch the value of the pottery industry of the region which was losing its iconic appeal due to the advent of new techniques and choices of modern decorativeexecutions

During those 21 years in that place Swift produced some relevant works such as the sets for the Merry Wives of Windsor at the National Theatre of Lisbon in 1977, some portraits depicting the former Prime Minister in the 80s Francisco de Sá Carneiro who was a friend of him.

 In addition that eclectic Irish character was protagonist of some exhibitions with some of his masterpieces displayed in the Diario de Noticias Gallery of Lisbon in 1965 and 1970 and  protagonist in an important exhibition in 1974 which took place in the Galeria Sao Mamede in the Portuguese Capital.

The immediate surroundings also offer many chances to discover other great places and not only enjoying the local stupendous beaches.

In a few of kilometres you can reach different points in which you can take hundreds of panoramic pictures reaching beautiful rural spaces highlighted by a pleasant local vegetation, scenic scattered olive groves, local shrubs in a natural environment absolutely superb and unique, for that I suggest you all the areas around Cerro Gordo and Vale da Pinta.

The local gastronomy also plays an important role delighting all the visitors who are looking for the exquisite flavours of a cuisine well known for its superb variety completing also in that aspect an enjoyable holiday.

The excellent quality of a vast range of  dishes reflecting a culinary art extremely rooted in a secular seafaring tradition is mainly highlighted  by the daily fresh catch of fish and seafood, among them worth a special mention  the superb barnacles, shrimp, prawns and crab very appreciated by the most exigent palates.

Some of the most traditional specialities are the famed  Bacalhau Salgado, a delicious plate made by salty cod  and the renowned Sardinhas Assadas, the iconic delicious grilled sardines, a divine local delight you can not miss..

If you are interested living a great, cultural experience, you go in an early morning to the fishing harbour having a nice chat with some local fishermen who always have the best sea products ready to go to the markets.

That is also a suggestion I recommend you, part of the genuine beauty of Carvoeiro and why not if you are spending your holidays in a private accommodation as an apartment equipped with kitchen that is a superb option buy something of superb to cook and enjoy great delights which totally satisfy your appetite.

You can also taste many other local delicious plates such as the very tastefully Cataplana, consisting in a fish and seafood stew very traditional in the Algarve.

That name derives from a special cookware used to prepare that recipe since the Moorish times, traditionally made by copper and shaped like two clam shells hinged at one end and able to be sealed using a clamp on either side of the assembly and so the denomination is for both, the gastronomic speciality and the utensil in which is prepared.
(I wrote something in other posts about it)

Other delectable dishes are the excellent Arroz de Marisco, a tastefully seafood rice  seasoned with spices and herbs while a superb variant consists in the Arroz de Peixe in which the rice in its preparation is combined with fresh fish.

Another popular and typical recipe with rice as main ingredient is the Arroz de Polvo à moda de Santa Luzia in which that product is cooked very slow adding octopus, seasoned with onion, garlic, tomato, pepper, salt, cloves, coriander with a final touch of fine white wine.

Simply excellent is the Bife de Atun, an extraordinary tuna steak prepared with extra virgin olive oil and aromatic herbs flavouring a product of very high quality. 

Other specialities among the most appreciated are the Choco frito, fried squid also prepared in sauce and baked, sublime is the Lula, cuttlefish cooked in different styles.

The local Caldeirada de Peixe is an exquisite fish stew including sardines, eel, sea bram, clams, shrimp, sea bass, ray combined to a notable variety of vegetables such as tomatoes, onions, peppers, potatoes, completed in its process of preparation by black pepper, parsley, oregano, coriander and paprika. 

Depending of the style and familiar traditions it can be added in that recipe white wine but also Porto wine to give more flavour to that very complete plate absolutely excellent.

Also meat is present for who desires more gastronomic variety ,in the culinary panorama pork meat is the most relevant with the traditional Cozidos, special stews which includes that kind of meat next to chickpeas, beans, bacon, lard, potatoes and other ingredients as Chorizo.

The Assadura à Monchique is another famous gastronomic vaunt consisting in a barbecue of grilled pork meat seasoned with Piri piri sauce, salt, olive oil, garlic, onion and served with salads or potatoes. 

There is in the nearest interior a good production of a homemade Morcella, a dark blood pig sausage very similar to the Spanish Morcilla often served in snacks, appetizers or used in casseroles combined with vegetables and potatoes.

Excellent is also goat meat and a plate very famous related to that is the Cabrito à Bicho or about lamb try the Perna de Borrego consisting in lamb leg prepared with spices, a good quantity of wine accompanied by roast potatoes.

The Frango which translated means chicken is prepared in many styles used in cozidos, soups, different kinds of casseroles, very famous is the delicious Frango Piri piri seasoned with that very spicy sauce greatly appreciated by many people.

Carvoeiro apart the local Portuguese restaurants which offer all the best specialities and more also has some good ethnic establishments.

 Walking along Estrada Farol in direction of the beach you can find Italian, Indian and Chinese gastronomic establishments, in addition you can enjoy an English Gastropub just five minutes walking from the square close to the waterfront beneath the village.I

In that area you can also find a fine Italian restaurant next to an excellent Spanish Tapas Bar in the case you desire some culinary variants and Carvoeiro offers all that in terms of gastronomic choices.

The local wines also deserve a mention, simply superb the selected grapes of Lagoa area definitely of high level, Algar Seco, Trincadeira, Negra Mole, Arinto, Siria are among the most representatives wines produced by the local vineyards but there is a very wide  selection of excellent quality offering you a very varied choice.

The reds are generally very smooth, savoury with body, texture a superb colour, result of that sunny and mild climate with approximately 300 days a year next to the fcool Oceanic breeze and an ideal soil which supports the maturation of the grapes cultivated on hills at an ideal altitude.

That is the great sum of those aspects is linked to a supreme and fruitful harvest with naturally a long tradition started a long time ago.

The fine white wines are simply outstanding produced by a careful choice of resistant grapes perfectly cultivated and adapted to a subsoil rich of special compounds and properties. 

The stunning straw colour of them is immediately loved and appreciated in a while, elevating a glass admiring in transparency its limpid and light tonality boasting a very savoury taste they are highly palatable and also very versatile. 

Faro International airport is just 45 minutes driving away. You can find in Carvoeiro a network of buses taking you all around the Algarve reaching Albufeira, Portimão, Lagos, Lagoa and the wonderful Praia Da Rocha

In the case you are thinking in that resort as future destination, I added some links  useful to plan your stay with some Hotels pretty recommended.

If you have the intention to spend future holidays in that beautiful land called Portugal and he divine Algarve, searching a peaceful place eternally kissed by a warm sun offering you comfort, many facilities in terms of tourism, leisure, shopping and outdoor activities that place is undoubtedly perfect for you.

The pleasant atmosphere with gorgeous beaches flanked by those picturesque, unforgettable cliffs are only a part of that scenic frame of that beautiful territory in which close to those unique highlights you will find a paradise ready  to be discovered metre by metre.

You will be more than enchanted facing those marvels spending enjoyable times in a site which eternally offers sunny stays all year always able to transmit an inviting desire to return  as soon as possible once again.

Francesco Mari


Recommended Hotels in Carvoeiro 

Hotel Pestana Palm Gardens 
Hotel Mirachoro Praia
Hotel Tivoli Carvoeiro 
Hotel Monte Santo Resort 


Useful links