Faro
Island Tours

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Our most recommended Faro Island Tours

Faro: Deserta Island and Farol Island Catamaran Boat Trip

1. 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.

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From Faro: Ria Formosa Faro Islands Catamaran Tour

2. From 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. Don't forget your swimsuits and towels - there will be plenty of breaks for swimming! The guide on board will provide information in Portuguese, English, French, and Spanish. The modern catamaran has a capacity of up to 11 passengers and provides a pleasant and comfortable way of exploring the islands.

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

3. 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.

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Olhão: Ria Formosa Boat Cruise

4. Olhão: Ria Formosa Boat Cruise

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, sand bars, and saltpans which are home to a rich variety of flora and fauna. Spot local birds, marine life, and beds of clams and oysters. Make a short stop at Praia Deserta and enjoy the serenity of a tranquil location accessible only by boat. While there, enjoy some time for a swim and to take photos, before returning to Olhão.

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

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

Explore the islands of Ria Formosa in Olhão and Faro for an unforgettable and rich experience. Start in Culatra, an island located in the Natural Park of Ria Formosa with about 750 inhabitants, most of them fishermen. Learn about the local history and visit all the small streets and typical houses of the region. Discover the lighthouse and continue to the most peaceful beach in the Algarve on Culatra, which separates the dark blue of the Atlantic Ocean and the light blue of the Ria Formosa. Dive, swim, relax and enjoy the sun. Don’t stress about bringing anything for your beach relaxation, as everything you could need will be provided.

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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. Your first stop will be at on Praia Deserta at 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 where you can relax and, in summer, enjoy some swimming or snorkelling. From the beach, you can also enjoy beautiful views of the sunset over the ocean at the end of the day when your group will almost certainly have the beach to yourselves. After about 30 minutes to enjoy the beach and the sunset, you'll board your boat for the return trip Olhão.

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From Olhão: Ria Formosa & Culatra Island Half-Day Cruise

7. From Olhão: Ria Formosa & Culatra Island Half-Day Cruise

Depart from the port in Olhão and sail through the Ria Formosa Natural Park. Learn about the history and rich biodiversity of the region from the captain as you sail through its natural waterways. Spot local fauna and flora with the binoculars provided. Visit the barrier island of Culatra located in Ria Formosa, which is home to about 750 inhabitants. Take 45 minutes to wander around the streets of the village and learn about its traditions and customs. Sample delicious local cuisine in one of the cafés or restaurants, your captain will be happy to recommend the best spots. After exploring the village, continue to one a desert beach in the Algarve region on the island. Enjoy some time swimming and taking photos in a tranquil location before returning to Olhão.

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Olhão: 3-Hour Ria Formosa Boat Tour

8. 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.

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Faro: Ria Formosa National Park Boat Tour

9. Faro: Ria Formosa National Park Boat Tour

Departing from Faro, head into the Ria Formosa lagoon to discover the marshlands and their inhabitants on your way to the Barrier islands. While cruising, admire the breathtaking views that surround you and listen to your guide as they give you information about the Natural Park and its local fauna. With the help of your guide, spot local bird species flying overhead. Enjoy 30 minutes of free time at the beach in Deserta Island. Go for a swim in the bay’s crystal clear waters or simply take a walk around the island. Later, enjoy 1 hour of free time to discover Culatra Island. Explore the island’s picturesque villages or take a stroll on one of the many sandy beaches before cruising back to Faro.

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From Faro: 2-Island, 2-Stop Ria Formosa Catamaran Tour

10. From Faro: 2-Island, 2-Stop Ria Formosa Catamaran Tour

On this 3-hour tour in a comfortable catamaran through the most beautiful waters of the Algarve, always with professional guide telling you about the fauna and flora of Ria Formosa Natural Park.  Discover the two main islands of Deserta Island, 11 kilometers of beach at the southern most point of Portugal and Farol Island, a holiday island with a lighthouse. Cross the channels of Ria Formosa Natural Park until Deserta Island, where you will make a 45 minute stop, then travel to Farol Island with another 45 minute stop to see the lighthouse and its community. During the tour, observe the resident birds and when the tide lowers, the shellfish.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Faro

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What people are saying about Faro

Overall rating

3.9 / 5

based on 384 reviews

The tour was was well run and Guilherme a knowledgeable captain and guide. Good observance of Covid measures. The weather was not great but the direction of travel was adjusted slightly to minimise choppy seas. There was ample time to spend on each island and observe the differences. An excellent opportunity to compare how the island beaches compared to those of the mainland.

It was an unforgettable day with a very careful and experienced skipper :-). I would do the tour again at any time and can only recommend it to everyone.

Really friendly skipper and a nice boat. The trip showed some of the highlights and the time was sufficient to see them.

Wonderful, very warm welcome and a top captain thank you to you and the whole team

everything was very good for the visit we ate well we are well taken care of