Open ticket €25 for the day (some companies charge €30)
Starts and ends at Faro Marina (just a couple minutes walk from it). Many companies offer the same deal so just go with your gut.
Speed boat so you can get to and from in record speed. Check the timetable before getting off the first boat so you know when you can hop back on.
Ilha Deserta (Deserted Island)
First island on the hop on hop off boat tour. Approximately 30 minutes to arrive. Great views the entire journey. The boat is comfortable and very fast. It was here where I had myself a mini photoshoot, purely for fun and because it really was deserted. All you need is a camera and a. tripod. There is a nice restaurant and snack bar if you’re feeling peckish or just want a drink.
Note: I would suggest eating at Ilha do Farol because it is cheaper and has more of an atmosphere. Plus there are many more options.
Check out the walking trail. You will catch some wicked views. You will also see some more beaches, also deserted. The wooden pathway has some nails sticking out and some of the wooden boards are missing so I would avoid walking barefoot or even in flip flops (some walking sandals will be okay – I wore Keen sandals)
Ilha do Farol (Farol Island)
15 minutes on the boat from Ilha Deserta. In my opinion this is the island to beat! It is buzzing with people, music and fun. I sat with a view of the beach whilst enjoying nachos with spicy salsa dip and of course a cold beer to wash it down. This is a good place to distract yourself from your thoughts because you are constantly surrounded by people. As a solo traveller, this is also the best island because you can mingle with other people. I made some friends within minutes of finding my table.
Ilha da Culatra (Culatra Island)
Very pleasant place and home to many fishermen. I personally enjoyed just walking around to see the local style homes with their colourful exteriors and wacky gardens. The walk from the port to the beach area is fairly long through sand dunes and desert but there is a pathway making it a very nice stroll.
Note: Walk a bit further than the beach and you will see a lagoon. I did not personally make it to the lagoon as I was quite sunburnt and wanted to get back to shower and cover myself in aloe vera haha
Island Hopping Tips
- If you’re travelling with an expensive camera or even just your phone, invest in a waterproof case or bag just in case. Better to be safe than sorry.
- Allow yourself a full day – get yourself up early and come back on the last boat.
- Pack a small bag of supplies: sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, bottled water, cash (not card), some snacks, sarong or beach towel. I would even suggest a light change of clothes just in case (I did not have that and regretted it).
- You need comfortable shoes if you intend to explore. Even if you just have walking sandals you will be fine. The trails are not ideal for barefeett or flip-flops (lots of nails sticking out of the wooden planks).
- Go with a friend if possible as most people on this tour are in family groups (children included) or couples so solo travellers you may not make friends easily – I got lucky as I helped someone so they maybe felt inclined to be my friend haha.
- Lastly, you may need a light jacket or even a sarong or scarf for the last boat ride as the sun will have started to go down and its choppy and nippy at sea – anyone unlucky enough to have super fair skin and has caught the sun, this is where you want to avoid adding insult to injury.
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