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Algarve - Alvor or Carvoeiro??

24 replies

ElspethFlashman · 14/09/2021 12:48

Have never been to Portugal before and I've narrowed it down to these two towns for next year.

Has anyone been to both and does anyone have a preference?

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Geamhradh · 15/09/2021 07:26

I've been to Alvor. It's lovely, but pretty quiet, a small town centre, fab restaurants, beautiful long beach, lots of possibilities for further excursions out etc. We went to Lagos for the day and said if we returned to the area we'd probably stay there.
There is a MN lives in Carvoeiro, @costacoffeeplease
(I think that's her username, let's see if the @ picks her up!)

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AuntieMarys · 15/09/2021 07:28

Carvoeiro is lovely...when dcs were small we stayed at Rocha Brava for about 10 years. Lovely beaches in the vicinity...Silves is a great place to visit

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Costacoffeeplease · 15/09/2021 07:40

Hi, yes I live in Carvoeiro, so I’m slightly biased 😄

It depends what you like and want from your holiday. Alvor town is quite a long way from the beach, in Carvoeiro the beach is in the heart of the village.

Carvoeiro has very few hotels, and much more self catering villas and apartments.

Carvoeiro is very hilly, but a more dramatic coastline, Alvor is flatter - they both have pros and cons really

I’m happy to answer any questions

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ElspethFlashman · 16/09/2021 00:34

Hi,

We're going B&B probably. I suspect Carvoeiro may have more options for eating outside the hotel?

We're definitely not looking for nightlife, but having restaurant options would be important if it's B&B. I don't know how easy Alvor would be in that regard as it's smaller.

There seems to be a lot of hotels in Alvor but they're all very mixed on the review front. Pestana this and Pestana that. Some poor reviews for all of them frankly which is worrying.

We've been offered a Tivoli package in Carvoeiro which has better reviews (or rather the main problems seem to be sun lounger hogging which is universal) but I worry it sounds like a huge soulless corporate bohemoth of a hotel. In other words you may be in the Canaries!

I am a big cave fan, and we are fit so hilly is not a problem, but does Alvor have any similar attractions that may override the mixed hotel reviews?

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Geamhradh · 16/09/2021 06:18

There are loads of really great, and very good value restaurants in Alvor, but they are in the main town, which is a good (but gentle flat along the beachfront) 15-20 minute walk from where the main stretch of hotels are.
We stayed in Pestana Dom João and I was "oh lordy" when reading TA reviews. It was great- (there's a 5 star review from me on there somewhere Grin) The other two Pestanas were more expensive I recall. I don't know if Covid had had a knock on effect on quality or service but I couldn't fault it. This was 2018. (As a result I've added Pestana to my list of go-to hotel chains for search purposes- there were also lots of Portuguese people staying which I take as a good sign!)
We went on a day boat trip which incorporated caves, there are loads of these trips sold along the beachfront in Alvor, and I guess all of the resorts.

We travelled round a lot, and it's a beautiful area. Tbh, I don't think you can go far wrong anywhere. I'll be back sooner rather than later and I'm always wel-jel of Costa for living in such a gorgeous place!

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shanghaismog · 16/09/2021 07:01

How is the weather in both places for end October half term? Is it still beach and pool weather? The averages look ok but is it a pretty mixed bag?

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Costacoffeeplease · 16/09/2021 16:04

@shanghaismog You take a chance at the end of October, it could be nice early 20ish, or it could be wet and windy.

@ElspethFlashman Loads of choice of restaurants in carvoeiro and the Tivoli is a nice hotel in a good location which has just had a massive refurb. We had brunch there a few weeks ago. It’s also within easy walking distance of the village, downhill to the beach but not horrendous going back up, plus there’s the boardwalk nearby. Personally, I’d go for the Tivoli GrinBlush

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Costacoffeeplease · 16/09/2021 16:05

A local has just released a book about moving to carvoeiro, available on Amazon

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TheDogsMother · 16/09/2021 16:07

Both of those towns are nice, as is Ferragudo. I do like the Eastern Algarve around Tavira too. It's much flatter than the West but has beautiful lagoon type beaches.

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BringMeTea · 16/09/2021 18:00

I love Carvoiero. I have been at October half term and it was hot and sunny. Sea too rough for entering but definitely spent time on the wee beach. Lots of restaurants. Going back a good few years. Presume even more now!

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ElspethFlashman · 16/09/2021 21:39

Thank you Costa!

I think I prefer the sound of it and will likely go for that one.

I think our dates are end of April. Not sure what the weather is like but we live in coastal Ireland so it's bound to be better than here!

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awonderfuladventure · 16/09/2021 21:42

Been to both, preferred the beach at Alvor. Loved the boardwalk and the restaurants on it. Carvoeiro was lovely but beach v small.

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Costacoffeeplease · 16/09/2021 23:39

The town beach is a cove but there is a bigger beach at Centeanes, (the Tivoli is about half way between the two) and at Praia Grande near Ferragudo, about 10 mins drive.
Both have good beach restaurants too.

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AuntieMarys · 17/09/2021 06:16

Is O Stop still there?

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Singingsausage · 17/09/2021 20:01

I’ve been to the Tivoli and thought it was lovely, really not big and soulless at all and a good walk to town/restaurants. We’re also going to Lagos at half term and hoping for nice weather!

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Costacoffeeplease · 17/09/2021 20:22

Yes O Stop is still there 😊

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Carusa123 · 17/09/2021 23:42

Hi, hoping to jump on this thread and pick your brains @Costacoffeeplease and other Portugal experts.
We are 5 women looking for a luxury break along the Algarve to celebrate a significant occasion. Looking for villa with private pool, either stand alone or part of hotel complex; nice beach close by and walking distance to some good restaurants. I've never been to Portugal at all so would love some suggestions to research. Thank you!

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Costacoffeeplease · 17/09/2021 23:49

Hi @Carusa123 there are lots of villas in carvoeiro, I think a stand alone villa with pool would be best. If you check out rental listing sites I’m happy to advise on location etc.

You could arrange for a private chef, or beauty therapist to visit, or arrange boat trips through the caves. Lots of options for a special celebration.

You could also look at the Golden Triangle around Vilamoura, Vale de Lobo, Dunas Douradas, Quinta do Lago, which are the more ‘high end’ areas

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LightDrizzle · 17/09/2021 23:51

Alvor.

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Carusa123 · 18/09/2021 07:27

Thank you @Costacoffeeplease, I will check out some of those suggestions. How would we hite chef etc? Luxury holidays are new to me...I'm usually to be found in a tent on my holidays, sheltering from the lashing rain Grin

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Costacoffeeplease · 18/09/2021 07:32

You could look at some fb groups like expats in Portugal or specific groups for the area you decided on, and ask for recommendations.

If it was local to here I could recommend some beauty therapists that would come to the villa for a spa day, we’ve also had a ‘chef at home’ service a few times, and there are outside catering companies, sometimes attached to restaurants.

The villa manager could probably also help with making arrangements

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ThroughThickAndThin01 · 18/09/2021 07:32

Just clicked on the thread to reminisce with myself. Spent so many happy holidays in Carvoerio when our dc were young - but about 15 years ago now 😮. Spent many happy hours at the O Stop and Julios. Ah, great times.

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AuntieMarys · 18/09/2021 08:33

Oh I'm glad O Stop is still open. Always a favourite...and Julios.

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gg321 · 18/09/2021 20:32

@shanghaismog October is still definitely beach and pool weather, been a few times in late October and always had good weather, maybe the odd cloudy day with slight rain but you should be fine for the most of it. Carvoiero lovely

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