Beaches in and around Faro
Faro is sometimes overlooked as beach destination in favour of the Algarve’s more well-known resort towns. But the beaches here can make for a lovely relaxed day out, so it’s definitely worth knowing about them.
There are three sandbar islands surrounding Faro which serve as beaches.
Only the main beach, Praia de Faro is accessible by land although it is easy to access all three if you are interested in seeing them.
Praia de Faro
Praia de Faro, or simply Faro Beach, is the closest beach to the city of Faro. It can be easily accessed by bus from the town centre or by car.
It is a developed beach which is popular with both locals and tourists, but it doesn’t get as crowded or busy as some of the Algarve’s more renowned spots. As with the other two beaches, Praia de Faro has fine golden sand which makes it perfect for families.
The fact that the beach faces South West means that it is exposed to waves from the Atlantic.
This makes it a fantastic spot for all forms of watersports including bodyboarding and surfing.
While it does get busy in the high season, you can usually walk a little way in either direction to find a spot with more space.
Ilha Deserta Beach
Unlike the fairly developed Praia de Faro, Ilha Deserta’s beach lives up to its name.
Often deserted, the beach is even quiet during the high season. This is due to the fact that you need to take a ferry over from Faro to the island to enjoy the shoreline.
The beach stretches for 9 kilometres and if you walk for a little way you should be able to find somewhere without another person in sight – a real rarity for Algarve beaches.
Also known as Ilha da Barretta, there is no public transport here which means it is very tranquil and relaxed.
Ilha da Culatra beaches
With no roads or cars, Ilha da Culatra is even quieter than Ilha Deserta.
Once again, the sandbar cannot be reached by land so you will need to take a boat over if you want to visit.
There are two small villages and a long stretch of sand – and that really is all.
The most interesting feature is the lighthouse that towers over the village of Farol.
It feels remote and quiet, which will sound like paradise to some holidaymakers but won’t be lively enough for others.
There are also plenty of beaches that are within easy travelling distance of Faro if you are interested in day trips to experience the rest of the Algarve.
You can easily hire a car and explore the area.
Some of the most popular and beautiful beaches include:
- Praia de Marinha, Lagoa – less than an hour’s drive from Faro, this is one of the Algarve’s most iconic spots with dramatic limestone cliffs forming a splendid backdrop.
- Meia Praia, Lagos – drive an hour or so west of Faro and you’ll find the town of Lagos known for a vibrant atmosphere and nightlife, the beach here is developed and popular and will definitely suit those looking for fun.
- Ilha de Tavira – if you head east along the coast you’ll soon discover Tavira, from this town you can take a boat to Ilha de Tavira which has a lovely stretch of sand along with great wildlife and beachside bars.
- Praia da Arrifana, Aljezur – one of the Algarve’s premiere spots for scuba diving and surfing.
Photo credits: gawein82, Tiago Macarlo