Carvoeiro - Excursions and Places of interest
Information updated 19 Mar 2015
The stunning Algarve coastline is best appreciated from the water and there are plenty of opportunities to board one of the many boats offering cruises that last from an hour to a whole day. The magical hidden caves and grottos between Carvoeiro and Albufeira are a joy to explore and with the longer boat trips you can include a lunch stop at a secluded beach, a swim and, if you’re lucky, a chance to spot dolphins frolicking in the wake of your boat.
Cleverly combining education with heaps of fun, Zoomarine is both an animal conservation centre and family theme park located at Guia, less than half an hour’s drive east from Carvoeiro. The park introduces visitors to exotic habitats and an array of sea and land animals from tropical birds and birds of prey to dolphins, seals and sharks, with shows and presentations throughout the day. Book in advance for a chance to interact with dolphins in person in the unique Dolphin Emotions experience. Besides its wonderful animal encounters, the park provides hours of entertainment with its own waterslides, wave pool and river rafting as well as fun fair rides and a 4D cinema. Open daily from March to October with its own transport service from most of the Algarve resorts.
Slide and Splash Water Park
Just a few minutes’ drive from Carvoeiro off the main N125 coast road is one of Europe’s largest water parks, covering some seven acres and offering fabulous fun for all ages. Huge lagoon-style pools are interspersed with gigantic water slides, tubes and tunnels that vary from gently undulating to fast and furious. Guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s faces, this is one treat you and your family won’t want to miss. Open every day between 1 April and 31 October, the park also runs transport from the main resorts so you don’t even need to take your car.
Regions to visit
Head inland just 12 kms to the historic riverside town of Silves with its ubiquitous orange and lemon trees and the best preserved hilltop castle in the Algarve. There are wonderful views across the countryside from the castle’s battlements while next door is the town’s striking gothic cathedral and a maze of narrow cobbled streets to meander around and soak up the wonderful ambience.
An hour or so’s drive inland through rolling hills, citrus and olive groves and flowering meadows brings you to the Serra de Monchique, a mountain range that separates the Algarve from its neighbouring region, Alentejo, It’s a world away from the Algarve’s beach culture, with quaint hillside hamlets, lush farmland and spectacular panoramic views. Monchique is a pretty market town nestling between the peaks of Foia and Picota with two beautiful churches and a convent as well as a bustling monthly market. Nearby, just 6 kms to the south, lies the peaceful Caldas de Monchique, home to natural springs of 32ºC that are recommended for their therapeutic properties even today. Both are well worth a visit.
Carvoeiro tourist train
A real hit with the children, the Carvoeiro tourist train is a charming way to take a look around the resort. Leaving every 40 minutes from the square at the bottom of the hill, it runs non-stop on a 30 minute journey to the Rocha Brava Village Resort and back daily between 10am and 10pm.
The train operates a special trip on Tuesdays and Fridays taking visitors for a tour of the picturesque village of Ferragudo and a chance to explore at leisure for a couple of hours. Built alongside the mouth of the River Arade with traditional whitewashed houses and cobbled streets, it’s a lovely spot to enjoy a coffee or have lunch along the quayside before heading back on the tourist train.