Carvoeiro was a traditional, small fishing village surviving on the tuna catches but has, not surprisingly, become an incredibly popular resort with visitors and has developed to keep pace. There are lots of residential areas around the village. But it is all in keeping - this isn't an area of high rise buildings and apartment blocks.
The center of Carvoeiro isn't very big and there are just two roads leading down into the town where they meet in a small square behind the beach. There is no parking in the square since it was given a re-vamp in 2009 so be prepared to find parking up one of the side streets away from the center.
There are plenty of shops in the town for your everyday needs and because they are used to catering for British visitors you will be able to find most of your normal groceries. There is also a large Intermarché and two other supermarkets on the Lagoa road on the outskirts of Carvoeiro for even more choice.
The town beach, Praia do Carvoeiro is a beautifully sheltered sandy bay and spreads out just in front of the square with cliffs protecting it on either side. There are bars and cafés ideally placed around the square to still enjoy the view when you leave the beach!
Watersports like jetskis and pedaloes are available at the beach for those who like messing about on the water and there are a couple of diving schools based in Carvoeiro if you prefer to be under the water. The local fishermen also make use of their boats during the day to offer visitors the chance to take boat trips around the coastline and to see the caves.
The cliff tops around Carvoeiro offer plenty of scope for walking and some great views. You may also come across some 'algares' which are holes in the cliff where the sea has eaten it away from underneath - there are some near the lighthouse at Cabo de Carvoeiro - luckily they are fenced around and it just shows how fragile the cliffs can be.
The beach, Praia do Carvoeiro, is small, but there are a few other beaches not far from the center, Praia de Vale de Centianes and Praia da Marinha, both more to the east side.