A Guide To Faro Beaches

Faro’s coastline is a sight to behold, with golden sands stretching beside azure waters. The lagoons of the Ria Formosa Natural Park spill out into the ocean and provide a natural highway to more remote beaches. 

You will be spoilt for choice with beaches in Faro. Our team at Formosamar spend a great deal of time along this coastline through our boat tours to Ria Formosa and know first-hand how spectacular these beaches are. 

We’ve put together a guide to Faro beaches, breaking down where to go and what to expect. If you’re want to learn more about our boat tours, feel free to contact us!

Relax at the popular Praia de Faro

Praia de Faro is arguably the most popular beach in Faro. Located on Ilha de Faro, it’s the closest beach to the city and a magnet for locals and tourists in the summer. Luckily, the sands extend for over 5 kilometers, giving you plenty of space to soak up the sun. You’ll soon see why this beach tops our list of 5 Best Beaches in Faro as Recommended by Locals

How to get there: You can easily reach Praia de Faro by car. The journey is just 15 minutes from the city center and there are a number of parking spots available. It’s also possible to take a bus if you want to avoid searching for parking. Alternatively, you can even take the ferry. The journey takes 30 minutes but makes for a picturesque day out.

Amenities: There are plenty of amenities at this beach, including public bathrooms and showers. Sun beds and parasols are available for rent.

Watersports: Praia de Faro is safe for swimming and surfing, and there are lifeguards on duty keeping everyone safe. It’s also popular for watersports like wakeboarding, waterskiing, and stand-up paddleboarding. You can rent equipment from stores at the beach. A handful of surfing schools can also be found at the beach, making Praia de Faro a great place to learn. 

Restaurants: If you work up an appetite during all your activities, you can grab a bite to eat from one of the numerous restaurants which serve up fresh seafood and cocktails.


Escape to Ilha Deserta 

As the name may suggest, there is not much to be found at Ilha Deserta – except endless sand, sea, and sun. Only accessible by boat, it’s a pristine and uninhabited beach that’s ideal for a peaceful escape.  

How to get there: To reach Ilha Deserta, you’ll need to take a boat shuttle or ferry from Faro. Formosamar offers a shuttle service to and from Ilha Deserta. The trip takes between 20 and 30 minutes. You can also make use of the ferry service by Animaris.

Amenities: There are only bathrooms available at the restaurant on the island. Sun beds are available for rent.

Watersports: While you can go swimming under the watch of a lifeguard, watersports are not an option at Ilha Deserta. However, this beach is popular for birdwatching and nature walks, with a boardwalk running through the sand dunes. 

Restaurants: There is one restaurant at Ilha Deserta, called Estaminé. This solar-powered eatery offers a menu of delectable Portuguese cuisine and has beautiful outdoor seating overlooking the beach. If you don’t want to dine out, make sure you bring food with you to the beach.


Explore fishing villages at Ilha da Culatra 

Beside Ilha Deserta is the sandbar Ilha da Culatra. Made up of small fishing villages, approximately 700 people live here. The main beach is Praia da Ilha da Culatra, which offers a tranquil atmosphere thanks to the relative seclusion of this island.

How to get there: The only way to reach Ilha da Culatra is by boat. Formosamar offers a shuttle service to the sandbar, with trips taking between 30 and 45 minutes.

Amenities: Bathrooms are available on the beaches and sun beds and parasols are available to rent. 

Watersports: With its calm seas and lifeguards on duty, Praia da Ilha da Culatra is ideal for swimming. It’s also a prime location for snorkeling thanks to the excellent water visibility.

Restaurants: Small restaurants and bars are located near the beach, but you’ll find plenty more eateries in the village of Culatra.


Find the southernmost point at Praia da Farol 

Down the shore from Praia da Ilha da Culatra you’ll find Praia da Farol. It’s named after its iconic lighthouse, Farol do Cabo de Santa Maria, which marks the southernmost point of mainland Portugal. You can climb to the top for panoramic views and admire the bustling beach below.

How to get there: Since it is located on Ilha da Culatra, you can reach Praia da Farol by boat. However, you can take a ferry to the village of Farol instead for easier access. Formosamar provides a shuttle boat here, and the journey takes from 20 to 30 minutes.

For an adventurous day out, you can also join our Boat Tour to Deserta and Farol Islands in Ria Formosa and visit two stunning islands in one trip!

Amenities: Bathrooms are available at the beach and sun beds are available for rent. 

Watersports: With lifeguards on the scene, Praia da Farol is safe for swimming and snorkeling. You can also rent equipment to go stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking. 

Restaurants: There are plenty of restaurants near to the beach, including one bar right on the sands which serves seafood and cocktails.

Farol Island

Have fun in the sun at Praia da Quinta do Lago 

Near the luxury resort town of Quinta do Lago you can experience one of the more exclusive beaches in Faro. Praia da Quinta do Lago has soft sands, plenty of space for lounging, and gentle waves for some fun in the sun.

How to get there: From Faro, you can drive 30 minutes to the paid parking lot near the Ponte da Quinta do Lago. You’ll then have to walk over this bridge to reach the beach. Spanning lagoon waters, it makes for a beautiful stroll.

Amenities: Sun beds and parasols are available to rent and bathrooms are nearby. 

Watersports: You can do just about any watersport at Praia da Quinta do Lago, including swimming, surfing, stand-up paddlebaording, kayaking, windsurfing, and even jet skiing. Grab your equipment from the local store and hit the water as lifeguards keep watch.

Restaurants: There is one main restaurant at Praia da Quinta do Lago that has become synonymous with the beach. Gigi’s has operated for 20 years and cooks up some of the freshest fish in Faro.


Discover nature at Praia do Ancão 

Forming part of the Ria Formosa Nature Park, Praia do Ancão abounds in natural beauty. Backed by sand dunes, this beach is quiet in the off seasons, perfect for admiring the flora and birds that inhabit this coastline. 

How to get there: Located half an hour from Faro, you will have to drive to Praia do Ancão. Parking lots are available near the boardwalks, which you will use to reach the beach. You can also walk here from Praia da Quinta do Lago.

Amenities: Bathrooms can be found at the beach and sun beds and parasols are available to rent. 

Watersports: The warm waters here are ideal for swimming, and equipment for activities such as kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and wakeboarding are available to rent. 

Restaurants: There are two main restaurants located near the beach, The Bold Octopus and 2 Passos. Both offer delicious seafood and have blissful views over the ocean. 


Explore more of Faro’s coastal beauty

One of the best ways to experience Faro’s beaches is through a boat tour. Sail on the waters of the Ria Formosa and anchor near the shores for a relaxing swim. Our team is also happy to arrange a private boat charter in the Algarve for you and your loved ones to explore as you wish! Get in touch with us today and we’ll make your trip to Faro one to remember. 

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