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Help please from Algarve experts! Which one do you think is better: Alvor or Carvoeiro?

(15 Posts)
BranchingOut Sat 12-Apr-14 12:55:05

We are thinking of going to the Algave in early July, so looking for your wisdom lovely mumsnetters!

2 adults, 4 year old and possibly a grandmother

Our priorities are:

Easy access to lovely soft sandy beaches with the ability to park close by
Low key resort with good restaurants
Preferably slightly upmarket or traditional in feel
A couple of local attractions for a day trip
Lovely scenery
I also like waves for a bit of body-boarding!

Which resort do you think meets our needs best?

I understand that the beaches near Carvoeiro can have lots of steep steps etc which might be a bit much with all the beach luggage and four year old. On the other hand, there is a bit of ugly beach-side development in Alvor....Is this easy to ignore or get away from?
Which area do you think is more scenic or enjoyable?

Many thanks.

RufusTheReindeer Sat 12-Apr-14 13:04:10


The village itself has no steps to the beach and there is another where you can park close to the beach

Having said that alvor is probably more accessible, haven't been there myself although I have friends that have been

(Prefer Carveiro grin)

3catsandcounting Sat 12-Apr-14 14:28:46

I loved Carvoeiro - yes, it does have a steep climb either side of the beach, but if you're careful finding accommodation you should be fine. I liked the 'compactness' of the town, safe, friendly, loads of bars/ restaurants, free evening entertainment on the square at the beach with small funfair rides etc. Land-train to another village (kids loved that). Coach that transports to a nearby Waterpark, and the most beautiful walk down to a little cove (Algar Seco) with an outdoor bistro next to caves and crashing waves (it's a bit of a hike back up the steps but so worth it!) Never been to Alvor so can't compare!

Onykahonie Sat 12-Apr-14 15:12:56

I'm off to Alvor this week, so I'll let you know when I get back!

yourlittlesecret Sun 13-Apr-14 14:56:49

I've been to Alvor twice but not Carvoeiro.
It has the biggest most most beautiful beach, good waves and parking.
The town is busy and traditional. Quaint cobbled streets and a harbour with fish restaurants.
Loved it.

Ruthiebabes Sun 13-Apr-14 21:53:29

Alvor is absolutely lovely for a family holiday.

tipsycat Tue 15-Apr-14 18:32:30

I'm in Carveiero at the moment, we have an apartment here, and have been coming here since DCs were very small (now 12 & 11). It's very family friendly and no steps to town beach. We love it here. Feel free to ask anything....

BranchingOut Thu 17-Apr-14 08:43:36

Thanks. It does sound as if neither would be a bad choice!

We are thinking of either the Rocha Brava complex near Carvoeiro or the Alto Country Club in Alvor. Any thoughts?

Is there much parking near Carvoeiro town beach? Am
I correct in thinking that Centianes beach is the other very accessible one?

Costacoffeeplease Thu 17-Apr-14 08:46:33

I live in carvoeiro so obviously vote carvoeiro!! Rocha Brava is a nice development but not walking distance to the village, however you can walk to centeanes beach from there

Costacoffeeplease Thu 17-Apr-14 08:48:02

Parking can be an issue in peak season but there are spaces near algar seco which just means a short walk down to the village

Ruthiebabes Thu 17-Apr-14 09:12:21

We stayed at Alto Country Club last August with our 2 boys 9 and 7. It's an immaculate complex with 2 pools and loads if space.

Walk into Alvor in a few mins. The harbour area is lovely in the evenings, had some great meals.

Beach wise we drove to Prainha as it was stunning, but you could walk to Alvor main beach in about 10-15 mins.

We had been to Lagos several times, but now prefer Alvor.

Enjoy wherever you choosesmilesmile

tipsycat Thu 17-Apr-14 18:35:25

What time of year are you thinking of going? Parking in town is no problem at the moment, but obviously more difficult in the Summer holidays. We've stayed at Rocha Brava in the past and liked it. There are plenty of restaurants within walking distance, although it's too far to walk to town. There is a road train which goes from Rocha Brava to Carvoiero town several times per day in the high season, my kids used to love that! Zoomarine and Slide & Splash are great days out and very close to Carvoiero. It's a lovely little town with no rowdy discos or nightclubs.

BranchingOut Thu 17-Apr-14 20:30:30

Early July, so hopefully before the worst of the rush?

Costacoffeeplease Thu 17-Apr-14 20:37:48

Yes early July shouldn't be too busy - the road train doesn't let you on or off at rocha brava though, it's a round trip from the square

Onykahonie Sat 19-Apr-14 22:40:09

Just back from our trip and must say we really liked Alvor.
Not sure how busy it gets in high season, but there was a great range of family-friendly bars and restaurants, a big supermarket and a massive, sandy beach. All were quite low-key and not too touristy.

The ugly development is at the far side of Alvor, not near the actual 'town' and isn't a main strip like some big resorts, just a cluster of high-rise blocks.

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