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Faro Island tours

Our most recommended Faro Island tours

Faro: Ria Formosa Faro Islands Catamaran Tour

1. 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. See the imposing Santa Maria Lighthouse in Farol and enjoy time to explore and try island cuisine. In Deserta, admire the rolling dunes and unique landscapes. Look out for unique flora and fauna, including the chameleon. Enjoy plenty of swimming opportunities on both islands, with secluded beaches and pristine shores. On board, learn about the islands and the park with insightful commentary from your guide in various languages.

Faro: Deserta Island and Farol Island Catamaran Boat Trip

2. 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.

Olhão: 4-Hour Ria Formosa Islands Tour

3. 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 Faro: 4 Stops, 3 Islands in Ria Formosa Catamaran Tour

4. From Faro: 4 Stops, 3 Islands 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: Ria Formosa Boat Cruise

5. 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 during low tide. 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, visit Armona Island and enjoy the serenity of a tranquil location accessible only by boat. While there, enjoy some time to explore the island or for a swim and take amazing photos

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

6. 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 for a picnic lunch or visit one of the local restaurants. Culatra Island has beautiful swimming areas, if you prefer to play in the water instead of eating here. Stop on the island for 2 hours to enjoy lunch and to explore the village. Next, make your way to Armona Island or Deserta Island, depending on the season. In the summertime, Deserta Island hosts a beautiful, wild beach with no buildings. Explore either the Ria Formosa for a swim, or take in the Atlantic Ocean side of the island. The beautiful Armona Island is inhabited all year-long with locals and vacationers. Discover its deserted beach and take in the tranquil surroundings.

Olhão: 3-Hour Ria Formosa Boat Tour

7. 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.

From Olhão: Ria Formosa Sunset Tour

8. 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.

From Faro: Dolphin Watching & 2 Islands Tour

9. From Faro: Dolphin Watching & 2 Islands Tour

Discover the beauty of Faro’s coastline on this epic sea adventure that navigates along the Ria Formosa waters, passing between Deserta Island and Farol Island and across the Cape de Santa Maria. Marvel at scenic views where the waters of the Ria Formosa meet the Atlantic Ocean and gaze out towards the vastness of the open blue sea. After a glide around Ria Formosa Natural Park, ride along the coast in search of a pod of dolphins swimming in their natural habitat. These magnificent creatures often spend their mornings feeding in the clear and crystalline waters off the coast of Faro. Although there is no guarantee that dolphins will be spotted on the trip, there is a 90% chance of finding the sea creatures. After dolphin watching, begin discovering the islands. Head to Farol Island and then Culatra Island for lunch at a restaurant or an optional picnic. Then, discover the oyster culture on Hangares Island, before finally visiting Deserta Island for snorkeling.

Ria Formosa Boat Tour : Explore Armona & Culatra Island

10. Ria Formosa Boat Tour : Explore Armona & Culatra Island

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.

  • Guided tours
  • Water activities
  • Hop-on hop-off tours
  • Multi-day trips
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What people are saying about Faro

Overall rating

3.9 / 5

based on 384 reviews

The communication was perfect. The night before I was contacted by WA and all details were sent through it. Meeting point, photo with it, everything necessary to have a stress free preparation. When we arrived, a bit late, the skipper was waiting for us. His name is William, a great character with a lot of experience sailing the region. Every minute it was safe and although we booked 4 hours we were in total 5 hours on the journey. 3 islands, great info/food! I recommend these guys! Really local and good value!

The tour with William was excellent. We enjoyed learning about the Ria Formosa and clam and oyster farming, and exploring a few islands. There was plenty of time to wander, enjoy the beaches and relax. The fresh fish lunch was excellent. Highly recommend.

We had a lovely time. The skipper and the rest of the staff were helpful and super friendly. Highly recommend it.

The guide Miguel was excellent. The boat was comfortable and nice. The tour was well planned and managed

great day thanks to Guilherme, top captain. Beautiful discoveries a good meal was perfect! goodbye