Barreta Island (Ilha Deserta)
Hop on a ferry to reach Ilha Deserta independently, or visit with one of the many boat tours available from Faro and other nearby towns. Some half-day excursions stop at Ilha Deserta as part of a tour of several national-park islands—including Armona, Culatra, and Farol—while others concentrate on Ilha Deserta and Farol, and many include time for swimming or snorkeling off the boat. On the island itself, options include hiking, swimming, and especially bird-watching: The uninhabited island is a haven for such avian species as flamingos, terns, and purple swamphen.
Things to Know Before You Go
Ilha Deserta is a must for bird-watchers, nature lovers, and travelers who like to get off the beaten path.
Wear a hat and sunscreen—the island has little shelter from the sun.
There are few marked paths on the island, so access may be difficult for people with limited mobility.
A restaurant/café on Isla Deserta sells refreshments.
You can rent sunbeds and umbrellas on-site.
How to Get There
Ilha Deserta is accessible by ferry, speedboat transfer, or as part of a guided boat trip, and boats operate year-round. Most depart from the mainland just east of Olhão, near Faro.
When to Get There
Located in southern Portugal’s Algarve region, Ilha Deserta enjoys pleasant weather all year round, with warm days possible even in winter. Most visitors take advantage of the Mediterranean climate to visit during the summer months, when sunbathing and swimming are popular activities.
Golf in Faro
The Algarve capital of Faro is renowned across Europe for its excellent golf courses—from beginner greens to challenging technical courses. Most courses are open to outside visitors, and some offer Mediterranean views from the fairway. It’s easy to rent golf clubs once you arrive, too, so you don’t need to worry about bringing yours over on the plane.
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