Faro’s beaches are located between the Ancão Peninsula and Culatra Island, along the extensive dune chord that is characteristic of the Ria Formosa Natural Park.
This Park being a rich and complex aquatic ecosystem it is formed by a cluster of barrier islands, marshland and channels. The barrier islands form the dune chord that separates the Ria Formosa from the Atlantic Ocean.
Faro beach ("Praia de Faro") is just near to the airport and the turning for the beach is sign posted from the roundabout in front of the airport. The road passes pine forests on one side as it skirts around the airport before arriving at the single lane road bridge to Praia de Faro. From the beginning of June to the end of September a ferry also runs to the beach from the town at Porta Nova pier - just around the corner from the fire station near the marina.
Barreta Beach/Ilha Deserta Island
Ilha da Barreta (also called Ilha Deserta) and Ilha da Culatra are the sandspit island beaches around Faro. They are only accessible by ferry, but there are regular trips departing from the town and they are well worth a visit.
Ilha Deserta is an uninhabited ilha with just one very popular restaurant on it ("Restaurante O Estaminé" offering traditional flavours from the Atlantic and Ria Formosa) - if you want to lunch here we would suggest you book a table before or as soon as you arrive on the ilha! The beach on the seaward side is a beautiful sandy bay, just a couple of minutes walk from the quay.
Culatra Beach/Culatra Island
The main attraction of Culatra Island is the natural scenery and abundant wildlife that is combined with the great empty beaches that run the length of the Island. Ilha da Culatra has two small villages, one on the western side called Farol and the second on the northern banks called Culatra, both villages traditionally supported small fishing fleets but today tend for the tourist trade.
Farol Beach/Farol Island
The Farol Island is a small fishermen village filled with colourful small houses, always reminding the importance of the oceans, with its beautiful Lighthouse that names the Island (Farol literally means Lighthouse).
This is an unique idyllic place, with crystalline warm waters, and astonishing landscapes with natural vegetation that can be observed in all the extension of the island.