Rent kayaks and surfboards to ride the waves lapping this narrow stretch of sand, which serves as a wall between ocean and river.
Faro Island Beach is one of the area’s most picturesque and popular sandy stretches. Cafés, restaurants and watersports operators sit along the strand, which lines 3 miles (5 kilometers) of a narrow sand bar. Enjoy the unobstructed views of the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Formosa River on the other.
Most of the activity takes place in the central section of the beach. Stay at one of the small hotels and dine at the seafood restaurants here. Escape to the southern and northern ends of the beach to bask in tranquility and seclusion. Find a patch of sand to call your own for the day and lay down a towel for sunbathing or picnicking with your family.
Go swimming in the seawater, which is clean, clear and refreshing. In summer, lifeguards patrol popular parts of the beach. Bring buckets and shovels to let your kids build sand castles in front of the dunes that pockmark this peninsula.
Note that the waves at this beach are fairly strong and consistent, providing excellent surfing conditions. Rent boards and get lessons from the surfing school. You can also take out kayaks and stand-up paddleboards from the beach’s nautical center.
At the strand’s eastern limits lie the mudflats and saltwater lagoons of Ria Formosa Natural Park. Spot migratory birds and other aquatic creatures roaming this picturesque area. At low tide, fishermen and beachgoers often search the wet sands for shell fish.
Close to the city’s international airport, Faro Island Beach is a long and narrow barrier that stands between the Atlantic Ocean and the Formosa River. Regular buses to the airport also bring passengers here. To reach the beach on foot, walk southwest from the city for less than 1 hour, crossing the river via a bridge. Spend time at neighboring bays, such as Barrinha Beach, Quinta do Lago Beach and Ancão Beach.