From fishing to boating

It has been a fishing village since ancient times and it owes its name to Caboiere, a word with Arab-medieval origins.

Carvoeiro is a landmark in the municipality of Lagoa, which holds some of the most touristic beaches of the Western Algarve. Near Alfanzina, Cabo Carvoeiro is mentioned in the most ancient geographic maps of Portugal. Tuna and sardine traps thrived here since the days back to Prince Henry; in the first half of the 20th century they were followed by canning factories. Since then, tourism, a more profitable and less harsh activity, replaced the declining fisheries.

Fishermen quickly adapted to these new conditions.  Especially in summer, many began providing boat trips to tourists, taking them to the nearby sea caves of Carvoeiro. In 2000, there were only two registered boats and an equal number of fishermen. By then, this was the smallest fishing community of south Portugal. Currently, the few boats remaining in Carvoeiro are exclusively operating within nautical tourism. Yet, fisheries still take place in the neighbouring villages of Benagil and Ferragudo.


A cuisine inspired by fishing products still persists in dishes like fish soup, fish stew (caldeirada), beans with whelks, corn porridge (xarém) and skinned horse mackerel.


Nossa Senhora da Encarnação Fortress, Nossa Senhora da Encarnação Chapel,  Alfanzina Lighthouse, Sítio do Algar Seco, Praia de Carvoeiro.

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