Located on a small island that separates Rio Formosa Natural Park from the sea, this undeveloped beach offers calm, clean waters and few crowds.
Find Ilha da Culatra Beach on a traffic-free island only accessible by ferry. Enjoy the back-to-nature vibe of this scenic beach, which is unspoiled by development and construction.
As part of the Rio Formosa Natural Park, Ilha da Culatra Beach has been wonderfully preserved in its natural state with no high-rise hotels or unsightly buildings marring the site. Visit sandy beaches bordering much of the ocean-facing edge of the island.
Find a spot on the beach and enjoy the quiet and solitude. Soak up the sun’s rays and listen to the calming sound of the waves washing in. Because the island is car-free, you won’t be able to hear the sounds of traffic and roaring engines. If it becomes too hot, cool off with a quick dip in the Atlantic waters.
If, after a few hours out in the sun, you feel you need to stretch out your legs, take a barefoot stroll across the sands and take in the ocean views. A wooden walkway extends along the coast, connecting the two main beach areas near Ilha da Culatra and Ilha do Farol. As you amble along, look for the lighthouse near Farol, one of the few landmarks on this mostly undeveloped island.
Reach Ilha da Culatra by taking a ferry from Olhão. Ferries depart regularly during summer; in winter, departures are less frequent. Journey times to Culatra take approximately 30 minutes. The beach attracts more visitors in the summer, so go outside the busiest months of July and August to experience it at its quietest.
There are no paved roads on the island so make your way to the beach on foot via the wooden paths instead. While there are several eating and drinking facilities on the island, with a decent selection to be found in the villages of Culatra and Farol, it is a good idea to bring your own food and drink for a scenic picnic by the sea.