A Day Trip To Explore The Carvoeiro Algar Seco Cliff Boardwalk
We wandered the beach town and explored the Carvoeiro Algar Seco cliff boardwalk on a day trip on our stay in the Algarve in Portugal.
On our cruise from Barcelona to Lisbon we had one day in Portimao on the Algarve Coast. Day trips to the Benagil Caves were available as cruise ship excursions. We passed on doing the trip from the cruise ship since we knew we would be back in the Algarve after we docked in Lisbon.
One day we planned a day trip to the Carvoeiro area for a boat trip into the Benagil Caves. While we did not get a boat trip, we saw the amazing cliffs and caves in that area. We walked along the boardwalk to Algar Seco and explored the shoreline cliffs and views. It was a great way to enjoy the caves and cliffs along the Algarve Coast.
Heading To Carvoeiro Beach
When we researched places for a tour of the Benagil Caves, we found several options from Carvoeiro Beach. We checked out the tour schedules and saw the tours were not fully booked. So we decided to arrive very early and just book a boat tour when we arrived.
We left from our hotel and headed to Carvoeiro. While we loved to travel on the smaller, local roads it quickly became clear that there was no road that ran all along the coast in the Algarve. So we stayed off the A22 toll highway and travelled along the N125 road. When we got close to Carvoeiro we headed towards the shore.
We approached the town centre on the local coast road high above the town and found a parking lot at the top. From that point we got our first view down over the small town of Carvoeiro and the beach. As we walked down the steep road we stopped at the cute boat paintings on the wall.
Wandering In The Beach Town
When we hit the beach we saw the tour boats all lined up on the beach. The waters looked quite calm to us. So we searched out the tour company we wanted to use. When we talked to the operator, we were told that the sea was too rough for a tour to the Benagil Caves.
Disappointed and a bit surprised, we spent a little time enjoying the waves as they hit the beach. From the sea level we looked down the shore and were teased by the steep cliffs. The limestone cliffs were all pockmarked. So it was easy to see how caves formed on this coast.
When we arrived, the beach was deserted. But by the time we left, we saw many more people had set up spots. We were amused when we saw a sign with a chart for how busy the beach could get.
When we looked around we saw a typical tourist town with restaurants and stores at beach level. It was still very early in the day and the small beachfront community was just starting to open up. So we headed back to the car.
Our trip to Carvoeiro Beach for cliffs and caves along the Algarve Coast started with disappointment.
Cliffs And Caves From The Carvoeiro Algar Seco Cliff Boardwalk
We walked back up the steep road to our car. At the top, we checked out what looked like a small chapel beside the parking lot. We later learned that this was a re-constructed part of the Forte de Nossa Senhora da Encarnação (Fort of Our Lady of the Incarnation) that once served as a minor fortification on the coast. Most of the fortification was destroyed during the 1755 earthquake that caused serious damage to much of Lisbon. Only a small section of the original walls remained.
From that point we saw a wooden boardwalk that went along the top of the cliffs. When we checked out the sign, we learned that the Carvoeiro cliff-top boardwalk went for about 570m to the Algar Seco rock formations. We knew this was a chance to see some of the cliffs and caves along the Algarve Coast.
Heading Down The Cliff Side
We walked on the boardwalk and enjoyed the views out to see. While our boat tour did not run, we still saw lots of other tour boats on the water. We wondered if a mid-week visit did not provide enough people to make the tour worthwhile from Carvoeiro.
About halfway along the boardwalk we saw a set of stairs that went down. And more rock steps far below.
We slowly made our way down and clambered over the rocks. The limestone rocks were fascinating. It was easy to see how the caves were hollowed out of the cliffs by pounding waters.
When we climbed back up to the Carvoeiro Algar Seco cliff boardwalk, we continued towards Algar Seco.
Exploring “A Boneca” At Algar Seco
At the end of the Carvoeiro Algar Seco cliff boardwalk, the Algar Seco presented an interesting set of cliff formations carved out of the limestone bedrock. We walked slowly along the top for a view and saw the top of the large limestone pinnacle. This was known as “A Boneca” or “the doll” because it looks like a doll from the sea.
We found a steep set of stairs that went down. On the left side on the bottom, we stopped and watched the water as it splashed into the sinkhole. While this was a tempting spot for a swim, the pounding waves made this spot quite dangerous.
The Boneca Bar was at this level but it was not open when we visited. We kept going to the cave at the bottom of “A Boneca”. We walked through the cave passage into a small chamber. Inside the cave we found two eroded arches with views out over the ocean. From the water side the two openings looked like the eyes of “the doll”.
It was definitely worth the climb back up the stairs for this view of the cliffs and caves along the Algarve Coast.
A Snack At Algar Seco
At the end of the boardwalk, we found a restaurant at the Algar Seco Parque Residencial that was open to the public. The resort view over the multiple pools to the sea beyond was stunning. We ordered a snack and relaxed after our trek along the Carvoeiro Algar Seco cliff boardwalk.
When we finished, we walked back along the boardwalk and got our car. The windy roads took us down into the town and then back up on the cliffs on the other side. We pulled into a spot and got out for one final view of Carvoeiro and the boardwalk that went along the cliffside.
But we were not finished with the cliffs and caves of the Algarve Coast on our day trip. From Carvoeiro we moved along the shore to Lagos. After we enjoyed some time in this harbour town, we headed for the stunning cliffs at Ponta da Piedade.
A Great Day To Enjoy The Carvoeiro Algar Seco Cliff Boardwalk
We were so glad we started our day at Carvoeiro. We loved this small beach town so much we wanted to return on another visit. It might even be a base for a long stay in Portugal for us.
The views along the Carvoeiro Algar Seco cliff boardwalk were stunning. We were happy we climbed down the cliff and got views from the bottom. The cave at A Boneca was a real treat.
Carvoeiro was definitely a great spot for cliffs and caves along the Algarve Coast.
Did you explore the Carvoeiro Algar Seco cliff boardwalk? Did you find get to tour the Benagil Caves?
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