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Faro

Day trips

Our most recommended Faro Day Trips

Faro: Deserta Island and Farol Island Catamaran Boat Trip

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

2. 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.

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: Eco-Friendly Ria Formosa Bird Watching in Solar Boat

4. Faro: Eco-Friendly Ria Formosa Bird Watching in Solar Boat

Ria Formosa is a place of extreme nature, with an environment that is always different at every hour of the day. This is due largely to the fact that the sea level rises and falls about 3 meters every 6 hours. Whilst there, you will discover a complete self-regenerating ecosystem, which allows a part of the local population to develop fishing and shellfish production. This provides all of the ingredients for the varied diets of the migratory birds that continue returning to this area year after year. Watch the hunting of predatory birds, or enter into a maze of canals where the only thing that you will hear is the sound of the birds calling and their interactions with one another. At the conclusion of your tour, you will return by boat to your tour's point of origin.

Eastern Portugal: Day Trip to Faro, Olhão, Tavira, & more

5. Eastern Portugal: Day Trip to Faro, Olhão, Tavira, & more

Take a full-day trip around the best of the east of Portugal. Benefit from pickup from your hotel, transportation around the historic sights, and take time to immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere. Begin your day with convenient pickup before heading to Faro. Admire the capital of the Algarve as you tour the historic 13th-century city center. Next, move on to the Moorish fishing town of Olhão. Stroll around its bustling streets or shop for local products in its traditional markets. Continue your tour to Tavirna. Explore a town of cobbled streets, picturesque churches, and visit its Roman Bridge. Climb up to its castle and photograph the views from its observation point. Take advantage of some free time for lunch in one of its many restaurants (own expense). Conclude your tour with stops at Villa Real de Sto- Antonio and Cacel Velha. Discover a village where the Ria Formosa meets the Atlantic Ocean. Finally, head back on the bus for the return journey and drop-off at your accommodation.

Algarve: Countryside and Vineyard Tour with Wine Tasting

6. Algarve: Countryside and Vineyard Tour with Wine Tasting

Taste the finest wines while exploring the countryside and culture of the Algarve region on this guided day trip that includes hotel transfers. Stop in Silves, the former capital of the Algarve, and admire its Arabic architecture. Go all the way up to Fóia, the highest mountain in the area. After a hotel pickup, head to Silves, which was once the capital of the Moorish Kingdom of the Algarve. Get free time to visit Silves Castle and Silves Cathedral, both built with the red sandstone characteristic of the area. Next, make your way through the Monchique mountains to Fóia, the highest point in the Algarve. Take pictures and enjoy an opportunity to taste one of the liqueurs typical of the region. Then, descend to a viewing point and stop for lunch (not included). Continue to the family-run wine estate of Quinta dos Vales, set amid rolling vines, stylish villas, tennis courts, and outdoor pools. Take a guided tour of the vineyards and cellars. Taste the locally produced wines and enjoy the flavors of homemade bread along with olive oil.

From Faro: Dolphin-Watching & Wildlife

7. From Faro: Dolphin-Watching & Wildlife

Discover the wildlife in Faro's waters on a dolphin-watching cruise aboard a speedboat. Have the opportunity to see dolphins, birds, and, if you're lucky, turtles and small sharks. Learn about the marine animals with the onboard marine biologist. After making your own way to the meeting point, board the boat and cruise through the Rio Formosa Natural Park. Admire the landscape of winding waterways as you make your way to Cape Santa Maria, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Rio Formosa river. Upon arrival at the ocean, keep your eye out for local dolphins. Enjoy the best chance of seeing them on this morning cruise because the dolphins approach the coast looking for food at this time. As well as dolphins, look out for birds, turtles, and harmless sharks, and feel free to ask the marine biologist questions about the wildlife. On the way back to Faro, enjoy different views of the natural park due to the changing tides of the Rio Formosa.

From Faro: 2-Island, 2-Stop Ria Formosa Catamaran Tour

8. From Faro: 2-Island, 2-Stop Ria Formosa Catamaran Tour

On this 3-hour tour in a comfortable catamaran through the most beautiful waters of the Algarve, always with professional guide telling you about the fauna and flora of Ria Formosa Natural Park.  Discover the two main islands of Deserta Island, 11 kilometers of beach at the southern most point of Portugal and Farol Island, a holiday island with a lighthouse. Cross the channels of Ria Formosa Natural Park until Deserta Island, where you will make a 45 minute stop, then travel to Farol Island with another 45 minute stop to see the lighthouse and its community. During the tour, observe the resident birds and when the tide lowers, the shellfish.

From Faro: Private Ria Formosa Sailing Trip

9. From Faro: Private Ria Formosa Sailing Trip

Enjoy the pleasure of sailing in a magnificent place. Visit the Ria Formosa salt marsh in the Algarve in Portugal, covering an area of about 18,400 hectares along 60 kilometers from the river Ancão to the beach of Manta Rota. In 1978, it was established as a nature reserve and at the end of 1987, it became a natural park. Most of its area corresponds to the lagoon system of the Ria Formosa, composed of islands and sandy peninsulas arranged parallel to the coast, protecting a lagoon.  At the park, discover the natural habitat of several rare species such as the common cayman, the flamingo and the round-winged eagle. Another inhabitant of the park, almost extinct in Europe, is the chameleon. Go deep inside this ecosystem, while enjoying the pleasure of sailing. If you like, the skipper will teach and mentor you on how to perform some of the sailing tasks, so you can feel like part of the crew. Choose your itinerary, and if you would like to, stop at some of the barrier islands.

From Albufeira: Eastern Algarve Full-Day Private Tour

10. From Albufeira: Eastern Algarve Full-Day Private Tour

Discover the regions of Moorish and Roman heritage on this full-day tour starting from Albufeira to Eastern Algarve. Visit Faro, the capital of the Algarve province. Go to Olhão, a key site for fishing, and explore the furthest Eastern town in the Algarve. After being picked up from your accommodation, travel to your first destination, Faro, with its 13th century city center. Afterward, visit Olhão, where you can find the most famous market in the Algarve. Move on to the city of Tavira to explore the castle and the various typical churches, and take a break for your lunch. Cross the Roman Bridge that leads to the Castle where you can experience one of the most breathtaking views over the city. Enjoy the village of Cacela Velha with its famous whitewashed houses which is located in the area of the Ria Formosa Natural Park. End the tour in Vila Real de Santo António, the furthest Eastern town in the Algarve before arriving in Spain. Notice the architectural similarities to that of Lisbon, as it was built in the same way, by the Marquês de Pombal, after the 1755 earthquake.

Other Sightseeing Options in Faro

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

What people are saying about Faro

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 740 reviews

We booked a day trip to Seville from the Algarve. Jorge was an outstanding tour guide & he made the day truly memorable. Incredibly professional and always went out of his way to accommodate us (providing water, breaks, recommendations, bridging the language). Jorge is brimming with knowledge, & his enthusiasm for the city is infectious as he guides you through the streets & landmarks! An amazing photographer too - truly unique that he takes professional photos for you, capturing memories from your trip. Without him, we wouldn't have gotten to experience Seville to the fullest, in just a day alone!

Fantastic day exploring the beautiful countryside of the Algarve. Our guide was Domenica and driver was Paulino and both could not have been more accommodating and ensured the day ran smoothly. Very professional and well-run tour. Definitely one of the highlights of our holiday and would strongly recommend to any other tourists - also very reasonable at £40 per head for a full day’s tour.

I loved the Eco-Friendly Ria Formosa bird watching tour. The solar boat is very quiet and allows you to get closer to the wildlife, it's also much better for the environment. The guide was knowledgeable as well and we had a very lovely relaxing and informative time.

Our guid was Claudio. His is really nice guy. Highly recommended. Experience was amazing. It was raining for some time. And our discussion to continue was perfect. We finished trip with sunshine. Many thanks Mante and Lukas!

best boat trip ever! captain was so warm and friendly, you were in safe hands that's for sure! would recommend to anyone looking to visit the islands around faro.