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Culatra Island

  • Water activities
  • Day trips
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Top sights near Culatra Island

Culatra Island: Our most recommended tours and activities

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

1. 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.

Olhão: 4-Hour Ria Formosa Islands Tour

2. 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.

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

3. 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 to take in a picnic lunch, or you can visit one of the local restaurants to dine at. Culatra Island has beautiful swimming areas too if you prefer to play in the water instead of eating here.  Next, you’ll arrive at either Armona Island or Deserta Island, depending on the season. In the summertime, Deserta Island hosts a beautiful beach, wild with no buildings. Explore either the Ria Formosa for a swim, or take in the Atlantic Ocean side of the island.

Faro: Deserta Island and Farol Island Catamaran Boat Trip

4. 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

5. 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.

Ria Formosa: Desert Beach & Culatra Island Half-Day Cruise

6. Ria Formosa: Desert Beach & Culatra Island Half-Day Cruise

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: Ria Formosa Boat Cruise

7. 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, 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. 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 make a short visit to Praia Deserta and enjoy the serenity of a tranquil location accessible only by boat. While there, enjoy some time for a swim and take photos before returning to Olhão.

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.

Algarve: Private Yachts Rental

9. Algarve: Private Yachts Rental

Live a luxurious life and take a private charter along the Algarve coast. Admire the beautiful rock formations and learn of the secrets behind each place. Swim, snorkel, or just relax in the lounge or solarium. Have a drink and experience nature. Climb aboard the unique Sunseeker Predator 55 yacht, and make memories you can't forget. Customize your tour and discover the most famous secret in Europe, on your own terms. Witness vivid colors, smells, and vibrant scenery, unrivaled by anywhere in Europe. Gain the perfect mix between luxury and exploration. Party with your friends, snorkel with the fish, and even enjoy some authentic Portuguese cheese and charcuterie.

Olhão: Private Boat Tour to Ria Formosa

10. Olhão: Private Boat Tour to Ria Formosa

Discover some of the most beautiful places at the Natural Park of Ria Formosa on this private tour with your family or friends. Embark on a private tour together with an experienced skipper that will take you to the best places of this beautiful area which is considered one of the 7 natural wonders of Portugal. Go for a swim in crystal clear waters, explore the island´s picturesque villages, or take a stroll on one of the many beautiful sandy beaches. Listen to the information your skipper can share in Portuguese, English, Spanish, and French. Benefit from a pleasant and comfortable way to explore this little paradise while enjoying cold drinks on board. The boat has capacity for 12 passengers.

Other Sightseeing Options in Culatra Island

Want to discover all there is to do in Culatra Island? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Culatra Island

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 176 reviews

Great trip. Our captain was very knowledgable about the Ria Formosa. As well as information about why the lagoon is important for a number of species, he explained how the cockles & clams are harvested. We had ample time for a swim In the lagoon, and to have lunch. On the way back he recounted what the way of life is like for the fishermen of the lagoon, and told us what it was like growing up there. The.best trip I e been on, by far

Carlos was one of a kind, friendly and informative. The time on desert Island was refreshing after a hot day in the city. The time on culatra was authentic and it was amazing to see this community and the spirit there. We really enjoyed the information about the seahorses, sea cucumber and everything else. Experiencing the sunset on the sea was nice and we enjoyed the music on the way to the harbour. Muito obrigado

A busy day with a lovely and cheerful guide. Visit of several islands where he gave us time to visit and swim. Everything is beautiful and the boat ride is awesome. I had a 7 month old baby and he was treated with care. Well done and thank you

We had a great time. Louis, our guide, was perfect. We were able to discover 3 pretty islands, lined with magnificent beaches. I recommend!

Excellent experience visiting the islands. Great boat and excellent guide!