Ilha da Culatra
Island of the Ria Formosa opposite Olhão
Ilha da Culatra opposite Olhão is part of the island chain of the Ria Formosa that extends from Faro to Cacela Velha east of Tavira, protecting the unique lagoon system against the rough Atlantic Ocean.
Access to Faro is on the western corner of the island. The lighthouse which guides shipping gives its name to the beach Praia do Farol. Access to the beach with basic infrastructure is by ferry boat from Faro (during the summer season only) and Olhão (all year round). The small settlement nearby is made up of fishermen’s cottages and holiday accommodation, facing the lagoon.
Further to the east on Ilha da Culatra there is the beach Praia dos Hangares, so called from the former hangar for marine seaplanes, the remains of which can still be seen. On the shore towards the lagoon another small settlement of fishermen’s cottages is located, which nowadays is also used by holiday makers.
The beach Praia da Culatra is located on the eastern end of the island. The nearby fishing village has some facilities and services for visitors. The beach can be reached by ferry boat from Faro (only during the summer) and Olhão (all year round).