The Algarve city of Faro is famous for its many beaches. With 20 beaches within the city limits, Faro boasts an impressive amount of seaside attractions for just about every taste.
The coastline of Faro is actually a collection of small islands, each with its own stretch of sand and unique attractions that make it appealing to a wide range of visitors.
Take a look through our guide to the beaches of Faro and find out which one will be your favourite.
Best for families
The majority of Faro’s beaches are now designated as accessible beaches. This means that most of the beaches have ramps to allow pushchairs and wheelchairs to get onto the sand and have facilities that will make life much easier for families with young children to enjoy the seaside without sacrificing the convenience of the city.
The unspoilt beauty of the Ilha de Faro beach
Faro’s main beaches on Ilha de Faro are the closest to the city centre and have plenty of attractions and places to keep the kids entertained on a day trip to the coast. With lots of cafes to suit every taste, you’re bound to find something that will tempt everyone’s palate along the sea front and the paved promenade makes it an easy ride for youngsters in buggies who are too small to get out and play in the sand. It’s great to have a hire car to visit the various beaches, click this link for details.
Best for water sports
Ilha de Faro also offers the widest variety of watersports of any of the beaches around the city. Waterskiing, jet-skis and windsurfing are all offered on the island.
The Hidroespaço Dive School and Dive Centre, a well-respected centre based in the centre of Faro city, has an excellent reputation for offering guided diving trips, dive training and trips to some of the shipwrecks and artificial reefs off the coast of Faro. The centre is the only one with permission to dive in the Ria Formosa – the lagoon that lies between the Faro mainland coastline and the islands – in the habitat of one of the largest populations of seahorses in the world. With certification to offer PADI dive training, the centre offers the chance to get your diving stripes in some of the most beautiful waters in Europe.
Best for peace and quiet
On the island closest to mainland Portugal lies Ilha Deserta, or “Desert Island”, a spit of sand curving around the coastline directly in front of the city. It is easily accessible from several points on the shoreline of mainland Faro either by ferryboat or using one of the many private water taxi services.
Some of the fascinating flora and fauna on Ilha Deserta
Part of the Ria Formosa National Park, Ilha Deserta boasts a 10km stretch of golden sand approached via a labyrinth of wetland channels. On your trip through the wetlands, you can admire the wildlife including flamingos that guard the marshes and terns swooping over the water.
If lying on the beach isn’t your style, there’s a nature trail you can follow to see some of the flora and fauna up close, or the water is shallow and safe for swimming. There’s also a café on the promenade that affords beautiful views over the beach and offers freshly cooked food at reasonable prices.
With 20 beaches to choose from, including those along the Ria Formosa and those in the open sea, there is a beach to suit everyone and activities to keep all-comers entertained. Whether you’re looking for a place to build sand castles with the kids, a deserted stretch of golden sand or somewhere to explore the underwater wonders of the Portuguese coastline, Faro’s beaches have all angles covered.
Image Credits: GreenLakeBlue Photography and Fernando Sacasa.
Author: Victoria is an avid traveler and travel writer who likes to share information about various destinations.