Faro Nature & adventure

Our most recommended Faro Nature & adventure

From Faro: Benagil Cave and Marinha Beach Guided Day Trip

1. From Faro: Benagil Cave and Marinha Beach Guided Day Trip

After gathering at the tour meeting point, your van will depart from Faro for the approximately hour-long journey after which you will arrive to Benagil Beach. It will be from this location, together with your instructor, that you will enter the cave. It will take between 5 and 10 minutes to enter the cave, after which you will have 40 minutes inside to enjoy its unique environment. You can choose to spend your time taking photos, swimming, and just generally relaxing. It will soon be time to head to Marinha Beach, which is considered the most beautiful beach in Portugal. At this location you will have an hour to discover the amazing cliffs and views, following which you will head back to Faro.

Faro: Ria Formosa Faro Islands Catamaran Tour

2. Faro: Ria Formosa Faro Islands Catamaran Tour

Sail to the beautiful Ria Formosa Natural Park by catamaran, with regular departures scheduled from Faro. The journey follows the Ria Formosa channels and includes stops at the magical islands of Farol and Deserta. See the imposing Santa Maria Lighthouse in Farol and enjoy time to explore and try island cuisine. In Deserta, admire the rolling dunes and unique landscapes. Look out for unique flora and fauna, including the chameleon. Enjoy plenty of swimming opportunities on both islands, with secluded beaches and pristine shores. On board, learn about the islands and the park with insightful commentary from your guide in various languages.

Faro: Deserta Island and Farol Island Catamaran Boat Trip

3. Faro: Deserta Island and Farol Island Catamaran Boat Trip

When you’re in Portugal make sure to experience this exciting catamaran boat to Deserta and Farol islands that will take you through the spectacular nature of the Ria Formosa. Come see why this region was elected one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Portugal. Depart from the Marina of Faro sailing slowly through the channels of the Ria Formosa to fully enjoy the beautiful landscape. Along the tour you will see birds like the Grey Heron, the White Stork and many other birds that use this area as a feeding habitat. As you approach the islands and beaches you see the lighthouse of Culatra Island where you make our first stop. Looking around, one can observe the hard work of the people in the oyster and clam farms. A closer look towards the coastline and you will notice the market of the city of Olhão - an important fishing town. And off toward the ocean you can glimpse one of the most important sea entrances of the Ria Formosa. The next stop is Farol Island. Here, you can enjoy a walk around the streets of this small but friendly community. When passing by the lighthouse, go on until the very end to admire an extensive beach of fine white sand washed by calm warm waters. Leave the Farol Island and make your second stop at Deserta Island. This island is also known as Barreta Island. Here lies the most southern point of Portugal - the Santa Maria Cape. In this second stop you can choose to explore the fauna and flora of the island by an easy walk or simply enjoy the sunshine and bathe in the clear waters of the beach.

From Faro: 4 Islands, 4 Stops in Ria Formosa Catamaran Tour

4. From Faro: 4 Islands, 4 Stops in Ria Formosa Catamaran Tour

Enjoy a tour on a comfortable Catamaran, taking in the fauna and flora of the Natural Park of Ria Formosa. Cross the channels of the park and stop for 45 minutes at Deserta Island, where you will the opportunity to take a swim. Then, proceed to Farol Island where you will have another 45 minutes to discover its lighthouse and take photos. Sail to Hangares and see the culture of oysters and the military reserve. Lastly, arrive at Culatra Island where you will have 1.5 hours of free time to explore the traditional fishing village. You will also have the option to have lunch in a typical restaurant on Breech Island where the main course varies between fresh fish or seafood.

From Faro: Ria Formosa Lagoon Boat Tour

5. From Faro: Ria Formosa Lagoon Boat Tour

You set sail on a pontoon boat, and the marina of Faro fades behind you. On this tour you'll feel like a native of the Algarve as we explore the lagoon and numerous birds and wildlife who live in this protected landscape. You will sail through marshes and channels, and enjoy a nice boat trip with beautiful views of the walls of the Old Town of Faro. For anyone passing by Faro without much time to explore, this is the perfect way to get an overview of this fascinating city. The Ria Formosa is one of Portugal's Seven Natural Wonders, and you'll soon discover why! Come out and spend a beautiful time on the water.

Olhão: 4-Hour Ria Formosa Islands Tour

6. Olhão: 4-Hour Ria Formosa Islands Tour

Navigate the waterways between the barrier islands of Ria Formosa off the coast of Olhão and discover a paradise of nature. Enjoy great views of the Farol Bar and Santa Maria Lighthouse on Farol Island. Stop for lunch in the fishing village of Culatra, home to about 1,000 residents with shops, a school, church, medical office, and even its own football pitch. Savor the local fresh fish at a typical restaurant or go for a nice picnic on the beach. Continue to Armona Bay and island, where you will stop for another 30 minutes to appreciate the nature. Return to Olhão, passing close to several tuna factories and the fishing harbor. See a larger area of Ria Formosa than most other tours, and benefit from the expert knowledge of your skipper to learn about the flora and fauna.

From Olhão: Ria Formosa 3-Island Full-Day Tour

7. From Olhão: Ria Formosa 3-Island Full-Day Tour

Begin your island-hopping trip with your captain who will act as your tour guide. First, stop at Lighthouse Island, where you can visit its village, get a drink, go to the beach, and explore the neighborhoods of beautiful houses. Continue on to Culatra Island for a few hours for a picnic lunch or visit one of the local restaurants. Culatra Island has beautiful swimming areas, if you prefer to play in the water instead of eating here. Stop on the island for 2 hours to enjoy lunch and to explore the village. Next, make your way to Armona Island or Deserta Island, depending on the season. In the summertime, Deserta Island hosts a beautiful, wild beach with no buildings. Explore either the Ria Formosa for a swim, or take in the Atlantic Ocean side of the island. The beautiful Armona Island is inhabited all year-long with locals and vacationers. Discover its deserted beach and take in the tranquil surroundings.

Faro: Eco-Friendly Ria Formosa Bird Watching in Solar Boat

8. Faro: Eco-Friendly Ria Formosa Bird Watching in Solar Boat

Ria Formosa is a place of extreme nature, with an environment that is always different at every hour of the day. This is due largely to the fact that the sea level rises and falls about 3 meters every 6 hours. Whilst there, you will discover a complete self-regenerating ecosystem, which allows a part of the local population to develop fishing and shellfish production. This provides all of the ingredients for the varied diets of the migratory birds that continue returning to this area year after year. Watch the hunting of predatory birds, or enter into a maze of canals where the only thing that you will hear is the sound of the birds calling and their interactions with one another. At the conclusion of your tour, you will return by boat to your tour's point of origin.

Faro: Dolphin and Wildlife Watching in the Atlantic Ocean

9. Faro: Dolphin and Wildlife Watching in the Atlantic Ocean

Discover different species of cetaceans, birds and other marine life on this exciting experience in the Algarve. Leaving from Faro, cross through Ria Formosa Natural Park towards the Atlantic Ocean. Enjoy the views of the Barrier Islands (Deserta and Culatra) or the marshlands as you cruise to the coastline. Once you reach the ocean, spot wildlife such as dolphins, whales, and porpoises. Whale season is between February and May, while dolphins are resident all year round. You will also see birds such as gannets and shearwaters flying overhead. When it comes to fish, spot species such as ocean sunfish, blue sharks, and hammerhead sharks, as well as a few marine turtles. A team of two marine biologists will help you find as many species as possible during your time on the ocean, and give you facts and information about the fauna and the surroundings.  After spotting a group of dolphins, enjoy 30 minutes free to watch the group. Feel free to ask any questions regarding dolphins and other marine life to one of your guides and take the opportunity to learn more about how biologists collect data for scientific research on dolphin populations. Once your observation time is over, return to Ria Formosa and cruise back to Faro.

Boat trip from Faro to Ilha Deserta by Ferry

10. Boat trip from Faro to Ilha Deserta by Ferry

Discover a hidden paradise of the Algarve on a catamaran cruise from Faro. Climb aboard to journey through the channels of the Ria Formosa Natural Park on a 45-minute trip to see seabirds and native plants. Then, dock at Ilha Deserta (also known as Barreta Island and Santa Maria Cape Island). Only accessible by boat, the island remains unspoiled and it’s hard to believe such a natural jewel still exists in Europe. Go to a unique beach at the southernmost point of Portugal and sample the traditional flavors of the Algarve at the environmentally-friendly Estaminé Restaurant. Opt to stay on the island for a few hours or the entire day, and return to Faro whenever you want. Avail of a number of return crossings for your convenience.

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What people are saying about Faro

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 1,602 reviews

I'm very glad we booked this tour. It was a very relaxed paced cycle with plenty of stops for photos and a quick look at the beach before we returned. It was the first time we had seen flamingoes in the wild and the salt pans were beautiful. Philippe gave an excellent commentary. It was good to learn about the seahorse programme.

The only thing that bothered me was the finding the meeting point. On the other hand, the tour guide was great. Knowing so much to talk about nature. The whole tour went in calm rhythm without rushing, there was plenty of free time to enjoy the great weather and the powerful ocean. Worth to visit.

This is an excellent tour. It was lovely to get out on the water. The pace was very relaxed and our guide, Andre, was very engaging and informative.

Although the weather didn't fully worked out, the trip was quite nice and interesting. Carlos is also a great guide. Highly recommended.

This was a great trip. The hosts were so friendly and made sure to keep you safe! It was very fun and nice to meet other travelers :)