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Things to do in Ilha do Farol

Our most recommended things to do in Ilha do Farol

Faro: Ria Formosa Faro Islands Catamaran Tour

1. 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

2. 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.

Olhão: 4-Hour Ria Formosa Islands Tour

3. 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 Faro: 4 Stops, 3 Islands in Ria Formosa Catamaran Tour

4. From Faro: 4 Stops, 3 Islands 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 Olhão: Ria Formosa 3-Island Full-Day Tour

5. 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.

Olhão: 3-Hour Ria Formosa Boat Tour

6. Olhão: 3-Hour Ria Formosa Boat Tour

Observe the nature reserve of the Ria Formosa while being navigated through its channels.  Stop on a desert island where you can swim, relax, and walk on its white sandy beach. You can also stop at one of the island communities Ilha do Farol or Ilha da Culatra. Explore the Ria Formosa area and listen to the detailed explanations that your skipper has to share throughout the tour. Learn about the fauna, flora, and fishing activities.  Discover this unique coastal lagoon that is constantly changing due to the continuous movement of winds, currents, and tides. It is also one of the most important areas for ornithology in Portugal, hosting more than 20,000 birds during the winter season.

From Faro: Island Tour by Boat

7. From Faro: Island Tour by Boat

Tour to Deserta, Farol and Culatra islands. Stop at Culatra Island for lunch. About Tour in the natural park of Ria formosa through the breeding and harvesting ponds of shellfish and oysters, visit the islands and stop at an island for lunch. On this tour visit the following islands: - Desert Island - Lighthouse Island - Culatra - Armona

Olhão: Private Boat Tour to Ria Formosa

8. Olhão: Private Boat Tour to Ria Formosa

Discover some of the most beautiful places at the Natural Park of Ria Formosa on this private tour with your family or friends. Embark on a private tour together with an experienced skipper that will take you to the best places of this beautiful area which is considered one of the 7 natural wonders of Portugal. Go for a swim in crystal clear waters, explore the island´s picturesque villages, or take a stroll on one of the many beautiful sandy beaches. Listen to the information your skipper can share in Portuguese, English, Spanish, and French. Benefit from a pleasant and comfortable way to explore this little paradise while enjoying cold drinks on board. The boat has capacity for 12 passengers.

Olhão: Sightseeing boat Tour to Ria Formosa

9. Olhão: Sightseeing boat Tour to Ria Formosa

Embark on an adventure and go on a sightseeing boat tour to Ria Formosa.  Swim in crystal clear waters, explore the picturesque villages of Armona and Culatra. Take a walk on one of the many beautiful sandy beaches and take in a unique atmosphere. Explore this beautiful area while enjoying cold drinks on board. Relax on this comfortable and private boat that has capacity for 12 passengers. Customize this private tour that you can plan with an experienced skipper. Discover some of the most beautiful places in the Natural Park of Ria Formosa on this private tour with your family or friends.

Available activities

  • Guided tours
  • Water activities

Top sights in Ilha do Farol

Other Sightseeing Options in Ilha do Farol

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What people are saying about Ilha do Farol

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 2,391 reviews

Miguel was knowledgeable, entertaining and ensured that all of us had a great time. The duration of the tour is perfect and we had a pretty awesome experience watching the sun sets towards the end of the boat tour which completes the icing on the cake. Would love to go on this tour again if I’m ever at Faro.

We have adored! Niko was very funny and the atmosphere was perfect for our group of 12 girls. Recommended activity to visit the Ria Formosa.

We had a lovely time. The skipper and the rest of the staff were helpful and super friendly. Highly recommend it.

The guide Miguel was excellent. The boat was comfortable and nice. The tour was well planned and managed

The activity was really something else! Thumbs up to the guide Fernando! I’d definitely recommend it!