Tourist’s guide to Carcavelos, a beach town near the capital of Portugal

The small town of Carcavelos (Portugal) is located just 12 km from the heart of the country of Lisbon. This resort town gained popularity recently when surfers and gastronomic tourists discovered it. And if the former highly appreciated the long coastline with noticeable tides, the latter went to Carcavelos to taste the famous Portuguese wine and appreciate the gastronomic delights in numerous local restaurants. Over time, the popularity of this Portuguese resort has increased, now in Carcavelos lively and cheerful atmosphere at any time of the day or year.

Photos of the settlement

Holidays in Carcavelos: what is important for tourists to know?

When is the best time to go?

Numerous photos of Carcavelos explain why tourists here are so popular. The once tiny town located on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean attracts the Portuguese and visitors of the country with a long coastline and a clean sandy beach.

Monthly sea water temperature

The climatic conditions of Carcavelos allow you to relax here on the beach from the beginning of June until the end of October (to enlarge the picture, click on the image). Although the water temperature finally warms up only by the end of July, some do not refuse to take ocean baths even at a temperature of 18 degrees.

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Monthly air temperature

Carcavelos has a convenient location. Its borders pass at the mouth of the Tagus River. The waters of the Atlantic warm up in the winter months to + 13 … + 15 degrees, in spring the temperature reaches + 15 … 16 degrees, and in the summer months and until the end of October, the water temperature is around + 18 … + 19 degrees. As you can see, water in this part of Portugal is never like fresh milk, but you can still swim.

Where to stay and how much does accommodation cost?

The village of Carcavelos itself is small, but there will be no problems with housing. Nevertheless, if you intend to visit the resort in high season, book hotel rooms in advance, at least 3 weeks in advance. The settlement has about 30 hotels, you can also rent apartments from the local population.

Photo: Riviera Hotel
Riviera Hotel 4 *

The number of 4 * hotels in Carcavelos itself is only 2, but in its vicinity the choice is much greater. The cost of living in these hotels is approximately the same – for a night of stay you will have to pay from 80-90 EUR, in the high season – from 110 EUR.

Prices for apartments in Carcavelos and rooms in guest houses vary greatly. The cost depends on the season, distance from the beach, size of housing and the availability of various amenities – the condition of the furniture, the availability of air conditioning, Wi-Fi, parking, etc. The average price per night is 70-80 €, in the summer months – 110-130 €. But you can find an apartment for both 50-60 € per season, and for 350 € / night. When booking an apartment for a period of 7 days, you can count on a 10-20% discount.

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Where to eat and food prices
Taverna D's Pereiras
Restaurant at the resort

Numerous restaurants, cafes and bars await guests of Carcavelos. No. 1 by traveler reviews – Taverna D’s Pereiras – offers European and Portuguese dishes at reasonable prices.

In the resort you can find an institution for dinner for every taste, but the famous Portuguese wine, which is made right in the town, always remains a star. One of Portugal’s most famous drinks is made from several grape varieties. Almost all wines are dry, but connoisseurs will be able to try a special fermentation drink – afabad, it is prepared using special technology and aged in barrels for 3-5 years. Experienced tourists advise guests of the resort to try the Curry Mozambique shrimp in olive oil.

The menu of one of the best restaurants in the town (Marisqueira Atlantico) is shown in the photo (click once on the photo to enlarge). The translation is automatic, but you can understand. Prices are average for Carcavelos.

Restaurant menu Marisqueira Atlantico

On average, for a meal for two you will need to pay 30-35 €, including wine. If you move a little away from the most visited tourist places, the bill will drop to 22-27 €. The cost of a salad or a hamburger in a middle-class establishment will be 8-10 €, a main meat or fish dish – 13-20 €, soup – 3-7 €. Often there are favorable offers of the “menu of the day”, in fact, this is a comprehensive lunch. You can eat tightly and the prices are quite attractive – as a rule, 11-15 €.

Meat prices

Be prepared for the fact that you will bring snacks and bread that you did not order. It can be olives, sliced ​​cheeses or jamon. Know that this is not a treat, if you try them, you will have to pay (1.5-3.5 €).

The budget option is to have a bite to eat in a cafe that serves fast food. A grilled fish with vegetable filling in a bun will cost a tourist only 3-4 €.

Things to do?

The few attractions of Carcavelos are visited by all travelers. Here guests are waiting for the fort and the castle, a local picturesque park. In your free time you can take sunbaths, swim in the ocean, lazily lie on the beach or conquer the wave by surfing.

Every fourth in the city opens a market located near the station. Here you can buy quality items, souvenirs and other goods for a reasonable price. Fans of shopping can treat themselves to a trip to Cascais or the capital of Portugal, Lisbon , where a train ticket costs about 2.5 – 3 euros.

Carcavelos Beach

Photo: Carcavelos Beach

Only one, but a fairly large beach awaits vacationers. Basically, the inhabitants of Lisbon come here to swim. In Carcavelos, the beach is convenient for water sports – beach volleyball, windsurfing and surfing. Here you can drive football and go fishing. Surfing equipment rental points are open on the embankment; schools that teach this sport work. Two hours of training with a professional instructor will cost 25-30 €.

In early summer and late spring, the ocean is quite cold, therefore only surfers in special equipment can swim for a long time. Vacationers can stroll along the sandy beach. The sand here is well trodden, but clean enough.

By the way, Carcavelos Beach is one of the best beaches in the vicinity of Lisbon .

Sights of Carcavelos

Travelers choose a town not only to admire the ocean waves and try their hand at surfing. Connoisseurs of history and archeology are happy to go sightseeing tours.

Fort San Julian da Barra (São Julião da Barra)
Fortress São Julião da Barra
Fortress in Carcavelos

Once a prison for political prisoners, now the fort of São Julião da Barra is located at the mouth of the Tagus, it was built of large stone. The main feature of the fort is its round tower, as well as the amazing view that opens from here. It was built in the 17th century from wood, but already in the 19th century, wood was replaced by stone.

Note ! Try to set aside a day for sightseeing in Sintra , just a 25-minute drive away. And then you can meet the sunset on the westernmost point of Europe – Cape Roca .

Quinta da Alagoa Park

This place of Portugal attracts tourists who seek to relax in the shade of trees by a small lake. Flocks of ducks and geese, turtles found their shelter here. Guests will be able to look at the peacocks who freely walk in the park and feed the pigeons. The park has restaurants and cafes; you can play tennis on the free court.

Palace of the Marquis de Pombal
Attraction: Marquise Pombal Palace

It was erected in the XVIII century, located not in Carcavelos itself, but not far – in the nearby town of Oeiras. The palace welcomes guests with semicircular arches and Chinese cornices. The landscape design and interior design of the palace should be appreciated not only by experts in the field of architecture, but ordinary curious tourists. The cost of visiting is 3 euros.

See also: What to see in Lisbon – the main attractions .

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How to get there?

To get to Carcavelos (Portugal), you can use:

  • Rail – train departs from Lisboa – Cais do Sodre stations in Lisbon. You need to pay 2.25 € per ticket. Travel time is 40 minutes. Trains run every 12-30 minutes from 5:30 a.m. to 01:30 a.m. Current prices and timetables can be viewed on the website
  • Car – several agencies offer car rental. The cost of the service will depend on the class of transport, the rental period.
  • Taxi – you can take it directly at the airport of the capital. The fare is about 20 €.

The prices and schedule on the page are for May 2019.

All objects that were mentioned in the article are marked on the map of Carcavelos (Portugal).

Video shooting of the resort of Carcavelos from the air – what the city and the beach look like.

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