Faro and its neighbour Olhão are cities often overlooked when planning a holiday in the Algarve. However, they are an excellent touristic destination, especially because of their beautiful beaches located on practically deserted islands, which grants them a certain aura of mysticism.  

 

 

Faro Beach (Praia de Faro)  

Faro Beach is Faro’s most popular beach. This huge beach that culminates in Quinta do Lago Beach is located on the Island of Faro. Although it may seem too crowded during high season, the truth is that you just have to walk a few meters to one side or the other to find an area with fewer people. There are several bars and restaurants along the beach, where you can enjoy a beer while watching the sunset.

How to get there? By car, bus or boat. The route from Faro to the beach is quite easy. Upon leaving Faro, take the IC4 towards São Brás de Alportel. At the roundabout, take the N125 towards Faro Airport. At the airport roundabout (the one with the statues looking at the sky), take the first exit and continue to Faro’s Beach. 

Parking- Yes, one on the Island and another at the entrance of the island 

Access- There are stairs leading to the beach 

Lifeguard – Yes, during summer 

Tips- Try out canoeing or sailing at Ria Formosa, on the opposite side, to the beach, of the Island 

Are there sunbeds for hire? – Yes 

Are there showers and toilets? – Yes 

In the area- There are plenty of bars and restaurants 

Good for – Couples, groups of friends and families (the beach is so big that all these groups can coexist without disturbing one another) Faro BeachFaro Beach –  Photo from Wikipedia

 

Culatra Island Beach (Praia da Ilha da Culatra) 

This charming beach is the main beach of Culatra Island, an island inhabited all year round by fishermen. In summer the island is visited by Portuguese tourists, who are familiar with the secrets about the beauty of the island. 

How to get there? By boat. You can catch the ferry to Culatra Island at Faro Marina or Olhão Marina. 

Parking- Yes, at Faro Marina and Olhão Marina, from where you can take the boat to Culatra Island 

Access- There are boardwalks which lead to the beach 

Lifeguard – Yes, during summer 

Tips- Great for enjoying a relaxing Summer day away from big touristic crowds 

Are there sunbeds for hire? – Yes 

Are there showers and toilets? – No  

In the area- Bar and restaurant 

Good for – Families and friends (try renting a house for a few days on the Island with your friends and family) 

 CulatraCulatra Island Beach – Photo from Portugal – Conheça o Mais Belo País da Europa

 

Farol Beach (Praia do Farol 

The delightful Farol Beach (or lighthouse beach in English), also located on Culatra Island, features thin white sand and a calm, translucent sea. The Lighthouse of Cabo de Santa Maria, built in 1851, gave rise to the name of the beach. There is a spectacular view over Ria Formosa Natural Reserve from the top of the lighthouse.  

How to get there? By boat. You can take a ferry from Olhão’s Marina or Faro’s Marina. 

Parking- Yes, at Faro’s Marina and Olhão’s Marina 

Access- There are boardwalks that take you the beach  

Lifeguard – Yes, during summer 

Tips- Take a lilo or inflatable ring and enjoy the gentle currents 

Are there sunbeds for hire? – Yes 

Are there showers and toilets? – There are showers 

In the area- There are bars and restaurants 

Good for – Families with young kids

Farol Beach
Farol Beach

Beach of the Hangars (Praia dos Hangares) 

Praia do Hangares served for years as a base of the Portuguese army and navy. There still is an old bunker and barbed wire close to the beach. It is also the most discreet and secluded beach on the island of Culatra, which means that it is usually practically deprived of people, even during high season. 

How to get there? By boat. You can take the boat at Olhão’s Marina or Faro’s Marina. 

Parking- Yes, at Olhão’s Marina and Faro’s Marina 

Access- There are boardwalks which lead to the beach 

Lifeguard – No 

Tips- Take lunch from home and enjoy a picnic with your romantic partner 

Are there sunbeds for hire? – No 

Are there showers and toilets? – No  

In the area- About 15 minutes away there are a restaurante and a bar 

Good for – A romantic getaway

Hangars Beach Hangars Beach – Photo from Aludecor

 

Barreta Beach (Praia da Barreta 

Located on the Deserted Island (Ilha Deserta), Barreta Beach is the ideal beach for those who seek to avoid society for a day. The lack of people and infrastructure will make you feel like Robinson Crusoe on your own deserted island. 

How to get there? By boat. You can catch the ferry at Faro’s Marina 

Parking- Yes, at Faro’s Marina 

Access- Yes 

Lifeguard – Yes, during summer 

Tips- Take food and drinks from home with you as there are no bars or restaurants nearby 

Are there sunbeds for hire? – Yes 

Are there showers and toilets? – No  

In the area- Nothing! 

Good for – People looking to get away from it all 

Barreta
Barreta Beach – Photo from Turismo do Algarve

 Quinta do Lago Beach (Praia da Quinta do Lago) 

With its golden sand and silvery blue sea, Quinta do Lago Beach is a reputed beach in the luxury resort area of Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo. It’s common to run into a celebrity on this beach, but the real reason why thousands of people visit it every year is the tranquillity emanating from its dunes. 

How to get there? By bicycle, through ludo (a dirt track in Ria Formosa Natural Reserve that connects Faro Airport to Quinta do Lago). Another option is to take the IC4 when leaving Faro through Forum Algarve. Continue on IC4 to N125 and then turn left onto Estrada do Ludo. Follow Estrada do Ludo until you reach Avenida André Jordan and continue until you reach Rua Douro, which will take you to Quinta do Lago Beach. 

Parking- Yes 

Access- Yes. A long boardwalk that goes over the Ria Formosa Natural Reserve allows access to the beach. There is also a wooden walkway that stretches along the beach 

Lifeguard – Yes, during summer 

Tips- Take a kite and have fun making it fly  

Are there sunbeds for hire – Yes 

Are there showers and toilets? – Yes 

In the area- There are bars on the beach and, buried in the dunes, there is the Gigi’s Beach Bar, a magnificent wooden restaurant whose food is simply divine. 

Good for – Friends and family Quinta Do Lago BeachQuinta Do Lago Beach – Photo from Viagens e Férias

 

Ancão Beach (Praia do Ancão) 

Ancão Beach is one of our favourites in the Algarve. It has an extensive golden sand, a sparkling blue sea and during high season it manages to be free from big crowds of people unlike other popular Algarve beaches. It has good access, bars and a floating raft in the middle of the sea which delights visitors.  

How to get there? Ancão Beach is just next to Quinta do Lago Beach. To get there, start by taking the IC4 at the Faro exit (after Forum Algarve) until you reach the N125. Turn left towards Estrada do Ludo and then right towards Rua Manuel Francisco Aleixo. Turn right onto Estrada da Quinta do Lago and continue to Avenida do Ancão. Follow Avenida do Ancão until you reach Ancão Beach.  

Parking- Yes  

Access – Yes. There are several walkways that allow access to the beach and there is a wooden path built along the beach  

Lifeguard – Yes, during summer  

Tips- The best Bolas de Berlim (a Portuguese doughnut) are sold at Ancão Beach, so make sure you do not miss the opportunity to try them  

Are there sunbeds for hire? – Yes  

Are there showers and toilets? – Yes  

In the area – Restaurante 2Passos, which precedes Ancão Beach, enjoys a magnificent view over the Ria Formosa Natural Reserve. The establishment is also known for its fish cuisine and a superb wine list.  

Good for – Friends and family 

Praia Do AncãoPraia Do Ancão

Armona Island Beach (Praia da Ilha da Armona 

Armona Island Beach must resemble heaven on Earth. Its transparent waters seem to hide treasures stranded in its depths and the placid extension of its sands makes us feel deeply at peace. Armona Island has no cars, thus escaping pollution, and has a relaxing silence that makes us believe that we are the only ones on the island.  

How to get there? You can catch a boat at Olhão’s Marina  

Parking- Yes, at Olhão’s Marina  

Access- Yes  

Lifeguard – Yes, during summer  

Tips- Take food with you and have a picnic in one of the most beautiful places on the planet. 

Are there sunbeds for hire? – Yes  

Are there showers and toilets? – Yes  

In the area- There are some restaurants on Armona Island such as Restaurante Tolinhas, Restaurante Santo António or the A3 Wine Bar. Typically Portuguese, in these restaurants the cuisine revolves around fish dishes. The wine is great, the salads incredibly fresh and the entrees amazing.  

Good for – A romantic getaway

D.tifArmona Island Beach

 

Fuseta Beach (Praia da Fuseta) 

Fuseta Beach sits in the middle of the Ria Formosa Natural Reserve, separated from the mainland. At low tide, it is possible to reach the beach by foot, but it is usually necessary to take the ferry that departs from Olhão’s Marina. The white-color sand seems to have never been trampled by a human, but it is the crystalline waters that surprise us the most. 

How to get there? By foot (on low tide) or you can catch a boat at Olhão’s Marina. 

Parking- Yes, at Olhão’s Marina 

Access- Yes 

Lifeguard – Yes, during summer 

Tips – Try snorkelling in the transparent clear waters of Fuseta Beach 

Are there sunbeds for hire? – Yes 

Are there showers and toilets? – Yes 

In the area- There is a bar at Praça Francisco Rodrigues Lobo in the middle of Fuseta Beach. The bar is the ideal place to have a beer or a glass of wine while watching the sunset 

Good for – Water sports 

small pieces of sand forming Fuseta Island with flutuant house
Fuseta Island
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