Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal

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Carvoeiro is a cluster of whitewashed buildings atop gold-tinged cliffs and backed by gentle hills. Shops, bars and restaurants rise steeply from the small arc of beach that is the focus of the town, with holiday villas sprawling across the hillsides beyond. It's prettier and more laid-back than many of the Algarve's bigger resorts, but its diminutive size means that it gets full to bursting in summer.

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