Faro offers a choice of beaches just a short distance from the city.
All the beaches around Faro are located on islands, part of the natural park of Ria Formosa.
The only island that can be reached on foot or by car is Praia de Faro. The other islands can only be reached by boat. From Faro you can also visit Ilha da Culatra and Ilha da Armona. Boats leave from Cais das Portas do Mar, situated close to Faro marina.
The best beaches in Faro, include…
Considered the main beach of Faro, Praia de Faro is a 5km (3mi) stretch of soft, golden sand that extends along the seaward side of the Ilha de Faro.
On one side is the Atlantic Ocean and on the other side is the Ria Formosa.
As a city beach, Praia de Faro is popular with local residents and may get crowded, especially during summer. However, the further you walk away from the bridge, the more quiet and unspoiled the beach becomes. You can also sunbath naked on a section designated an unofficial nude beach.
Praia de Faro is access via a narrow bridge. The area around the entrance is also the most developed, where you can find several bars, restaurants and shops.
Praia de Faro is perfect for long beach walks and is backed by dunes. To the east, you can walk all the way to the end of the island, to a area called Barrinha.
Praia de Faro is good for surfing and kitesurfing. Watersports equipment for hire, include jet skis, kayaks and body boarding.
There is a direct bus service from Faro city to Praia de Faro.
For an even more quiet beach near Faro, head to Ilha Deserta.
Leave the crowds behind on this soft, white-sand beach that stretches for around 7km (4mi) along Ilha Deserta (Deserted Island) – the only uninhabited island in the Algarve.
Ilha Deserta is one of the five barrier islands of the Ria Formosa. The other four islands being Culatra, Armona, Tavira and Cacela. The island is typically peaceful and idyllic and perfect for a day trip from Faro.
Also known as Ilha da Barreta, Ilha Deserta is the perfect spot to enjoy unspoiled nature, take long beach walks in peace and quiet to the sound of the Atlantic Ocean in the background. The sea is clean and very clear. The only structure on the island is a restaurant.
A wooden walking path, called the Santa Maria boardwalk, offers easy access along the sand dunes from where you may spot native birdlife.
You can stroll all the way to the southernmost point of continental Portugal at a spot known locally as Cabo de Santa Maria (Santa Maria Cape).
Santa Maria Cape is part of the beach, and is located about 2km (1.2mi) from where the ferry boat arrives. It is marked with a wooden structure. You can reach it either along the beach or via the boardwalk.
Ilha Deserta is one of a few beaches in Portugal that is officially classified as an naturist beach. This section of the beach is situated on the western side of the island, about 30 minutes walking from the ferry dock.
Most of the day-trippers stay on the part of the beach near the restaurant and sunbeds. There's also a pier, with a small lighthouse.
Ilha Deserta is only accessible by boat, which transits several times a day. There are no roads or cars on the island.
Latest update: Best Beaches in Faro: 23 December, 2019
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