Faro, in the Algarve region of Portugal, has some really beautiful beaches for visitors to enjoy. With the weather in the area so good, and for so much of the year, some of the best beach experiences in the whole of Europe are found here on Portugal’s southernmost tip.

Many of the beaches near Faro city are known as ‘ilhas’, basically, sandspits that make up the edges of the lagoons and marshlands of the Ria Formosa. Many of the beaches are reached by ferry boat, travel by which can be an interesting and scenic experience in itself.

However, the main beach near Faro City, known as the Praia de Faro, is connected to the mainland with a road, making it probably the most accessible of the lot. This is also the closest beach to the airport, so is probably the first one you will see on arrival in Faro.

Also known as Faro-Mar or Ilha de Faro, this is basically an island, with an awful lot crammed onto it. With a lagoon on one side and the sea on the other. The lagoon is popular with water sports enthusiasts and swimmers. On the ocean side, the beach is long and golden, with a paved promenade that makes it very accessible.

Ilha da Barreta, sometimes known as Ilha Deserta, is one of the better known of the sandspit beaches in the area. This is a 30 minute or so ferry trip from ther mainland, with the ferry usually running daily throughout the year. This is a largely uninhabited beach area, apart from one resturant, and is therefore popular with day trippers who are looking for somewhere peaceful and quiet.

The Ilha da Culatra is reached by taking the ferry to Farol, which runs more often than that to the Ilha Deserta and there are also 24 hour water taxis operating here. The beaches here are attractive but a little more lively than at other locations. There is also a great variety of places to eat and drink and this is a great place to come to socialise.

These three beaches form a nice contrasting choice of options for anyone holidaying near Faro. Whether you want to spend a day on the sand, bronzing in the sun while reading quietly, or you would prefer to splash around in the water with plenty of friends, you will be able to find somewhere to suit you near Faro.