One of the many secrets of the Algarve lies on five of its most beautiful places. Five wonderful islands, waiting for your visit, anytime of the year.
Ilha de Tavira: at one of the ends of the Algarve, the one closest to Amendoeira Golf, is Tavira. Take a car or shuttle to Quatro Águas peer (2 km away from the city), and enjoy the ride along River Gilão. For nearly 2 euros, the boat will take you to Tavira´s Island and to an array of activities, such as water sports, boat trips and overall natural landscape you must see. The water is calm and warm on the estuary side, ideal if you’re travelling with children.
Ilha da Culaltra: if you’re into something calmer, away from summer craze, this is a great option. Located south of Faro and Olhão, Culatra is one of the jewels of Ria Formosa’s national park. There’s no paved roads, no traffic lights, none of the things we want to avoid on holidays. The only way to get there is by ferry and it´s the perfect beach to enjoy warm and crystal waters and golden sand. There are two small fishing villages, Culatra and Farol. But if you want to escape the crowds, even in peak summer, this is the place to be.
Ilha de Cabanas: further east of Tavira’s Island is Cabanas, another gem of the Algarve and another great option for a well relaxed holiday season. It´s located in front of Cabanas, the town that lends its name, also known by the quality of its tuna fish, which fishing vessels you can visit by walking on the seaside promenade. The best way to reach the island is by boat, although you can swim there when the tide is low. Once there, expect to find warm waters, sandy beaches and a sense of paradise. Going back to the hotel, make sure you stop and taste the fish and seafood plates in any of the restaurants of the promenade.
Ilha de Armona: with its nine kilometres long, Armona is owned and managed by the Ria Formosa national park. Take the car or shuttle to Olhão, the region´s biggest fishing port, and then the boat to Armona. It´s a 15-minute ride, the right amount of time between crowed beaches and blissfully empty ones. All motor traffic is forbidden and the ferry dock has only a couple of buildings and a couple of coffee shops. Once you leave them behind, it´s just deserted beaches, even in summer time.
Ilha Deserta (ou Barreta): Deserta means “deserted” and it pretty much sums it all. Some say it’s the most beautiful island in the Algarve and who are we to disagree? Near Faro, it’s known for its untouched and unspoiled nature, with a 7 kilometres wide beach, ideal for people who like that remoteness feel of being far away. There are no houses on the island, the water is crystal clear and it´s a peaceful and idyllic location for a day trip.