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Culatra Island

Culatra Island: Our most recommended tours and activities

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

1. 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 Desert beach , depending on the season. In the summertime, Deserta beach 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.

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

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

Enjoy a catamaran tour in the Ria Formosa Natural Park. Discover its 3 islands with 4 stops included. Swim and snorkel in crystal clear waters, explore a traditional fishing village and see how oysters are farmed. Start your tour by crossing the channels of the Ria Formosa to observe the seabirds feeding on the edges of the marshes. Enjoy your first stop for 45 minutes at Ilha Deserta and swim and snorkel in the crystalline waters. Then, head to the next stop, Ilha do Farol for another 45 minutes to discover the lighthouse and take pictures of the typical Algarve houses around it. Sail towards Ilha da Culatra for the third stop, a fishing community, for 2 hours of free time. Enjoy the option to have lunch at a traditional restaurant on the island where the main course varies between fresh fish and seafood. Finally, make your last stop where you can observe oyster farming in the Hangars. Admire the tide changes at the Ria Formosa.

From Faro: Ria Formosa Hop-On Hop-Off Island Cruise

3. From Faro: Ria Formosa Hop-On Hop-Off Island Cruise

Discover 3 of Ria Formosa's barrier islands and admire the wonderful world of the fauna and flora of this part of the Algarve coast. Travel by hop-on hop-off boat and enjoy the flexibility to choose the time you want to spend at each of the islands. A professional team of boat skippers will be here to guide you and provide all the necessary information ensuring you'll have a pleasant and enjoyable stay. With regular departures scheduled from the pier in Faro, aboard a speedboat or ferry boat heading in direction of Desert Island which will be your first stop. Spend the day exploring the only uninhabited island and enjoy the tranquility of this peaceful place. Relax on the beach, observe the wildlife, or walk to Cape Saint Mary. Swim in the ocean’s clear waters, sunbathe or enjoy a memorable meal at Estaminé during your visit to Desert Island. Next, visit Farol Island and the small village of Farol. Take a stroll along the sea wall, visit the island's namesake lighthouse or enjoy a drink at one of the beach bars. At the last stop, visit the small fishing village of Culatra Island. During low tide, observe the oyster farms that are exported internationally. Visit the church and school, meet the locals, and observe traditional fishing gear before heading back to Faro.

Olhão: 4-Hour Ria Formosa Islands Tour

4. 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.

Faro: Deserta Island and Farol Island Catamaran Boat Trip

5. 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 Olhão: Ria Formosa Sunset Tour

6. From Olhão: Ria Formosa Sunset Tour

After boarding your boat, head out into the sheltered waters of Ria Formosa. Depending on the season you will get to discover one of two islands. In May, stop on Armona Island and drink a coffee on the beach or take a swim and explore the island. From May to September your first stop will be at Praia Deserta, one of the most pristine beaches in the Algarve. From the beach, head to the village of Ilha da Armona and enjoy a refreshing drink while you contemplate the amazing views. The final stop on your tour is at a deserted beach on Culatra Island, a small community of 1000 people that is to be a sustainability project by 2030. Here you can relax and, in summer, enjoy some swimming. After about 40 minutes to enjoy the beach and the sunset, you'll board your boat for the return trip to Olhão.

Olhão: Ria Formosa Boat Cruise to Armona and Culatra

7. Olhão: Ria Formosa Boat Cruise to Armona and Culatra

Set sail from the port of Olhão and travel through the Ria Formosa National Park. Discover beautiful scenery and rich biodiversity with your expert crew. Learn more about the national park and local culture with your expert captain. Cruise by marshes, barrier islands, islets, dunes, and sand bars which are home to a rich variety of flora and fauna. Spot local birds, marine life, and beds of clams and oysters during low tide. Stop at Culatra Island where 1000 people live and no cars are allowed; experience this European sustainability project that will be completed by 2030. Then, visit Armona Island and enjoy the serenity of a tranquil location accessible only by boat. While there, enjoy some time to explore the island or for a swim and take amazing photos

Ria Formosa: Armona and Culatra Islands Boat Tour

8. Ria Formosa: Armona and Culatra Islands Boat Tour

In this wonderful boat trip you will get a vast knowledge of the Ria Formosa and the Islands. Learn about the history and rich biodiversity of the region from the captain as you sail through its natural waterways. Leaving Olhão, sail through the channels to observe the nature of the Ria Formosa and stop at the Desert Beach for 1 hour. Next, visit Culatra Island and take 1.5 hours to explore the fisherman's island, home to only 1,000 people all year. Sample delicious local cuisine in one of the cafés or restaurants, your captain will be happy to recommend the best spots. Then, sail through another channel towards the city of Olhão and observe more of the Ria Formosa natural park.

Olhão: 3-Hour Ria Formosa Boat Tour

9. 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: Dolphin Watching & 2 Islands Tour

10. From Faro: Dolphin Watching & 2 Islands Tour

Along our Algarve Coast we have the Atlantic Ocean, where we can get away from Human life and discover the Wild Life. In this Combi-Tour we have the privilege of being able to watch dolphins and observe seabirds as well as discover 2 islands: Ilha Deserta and Ilha do Farol. The tour starting at 8h30 with the crossing of the Ria Formosa channels to Cabo de Santa Maria, which is described by the junction of the Waters. We sail in the Ocean to discover Dolphins and other similar species. Then we return to the Ria Formosa Natural Park where we stop at Ilha do Farol to be able to visit the small community around the Farol. We resume navigation to Ilha Deserta where you can bathe in its crystalline waters. Finally, we return to the starting point with a completely different scenario, as the beauty of the Ria Formosa changes according to the tides!

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What people are saying about Culatra Island

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 1,513 reviews

Myself and the people in the tour were taken to two islands in Ria Formosa and it was such a beautiful experience being able to see the scenery and view all around. Being able to witness and see the sunset was wholesome and heartwarming. I was in awe of the atmosphere and the way our tour ended such beautifully

It was a wonderful experience, the guide is super friendly and explains a lot of interesting facts about the islands visited. We would do it again and again!

People were very attention and nice. the boat was very punctual on time, and the islands are amazing. It's really worth taking this tour.

Great trip, great value for money. Great way to spend a few hours before sunset

Very nice experienced 2 Portuguese old men. Thank you