There's a desert island for you to discover in the Algarve

Desert Island
Par Joana CIDADES Il y a 7 ans
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The Desert Island is part of the Ria Formosa Natural Park


If you are looking for paradisiacal islands with little or no human intervention and thinking about visiting the Algarve, then you should go to Barreta Island, better known as Desert Island. This is the southernmost point of mainland Portugal. The access to this island is made by sea, from the Porta Nova dock (Portas do Mar), and when crossing you can see small sand mazes, canals and marshland. It is worth paying attention to the many birds that feed here.


This island is close to civilization, however it is preserved and immaculate. It has an entire beach with few bathers, in a much smaller number than anywhere else in the Algarve. The Desert Island has only one inhabitant, owner of Estaminé, considered one of the best restaurants in the Algarve coast. The restaurant is located in a wooden building, situated on the dunes, resembling a boat´s hull. Their menu features clams, prawns, fresh fish and good wines.


Barreta beach extends for a total of eleven kilometers, where the quiet and peace prevail. The sand is full of life, mollusks, clams, whelks and many other shells. The line of dunes keeps preserved its original vegetation and flora finds its maximum splendour hiding on the hillside the most fragile species. In Desert Island inhabit sandpipers, terns, garajaus, gaivinas and chiretas, local bird species.



Ilha Deserta



What is Ria Formosa?


The Ria Formosa Natural Park is one of the greatest natural wealth of the Algarve, both for their variety of habitats and for its unique location. Recently voted as one of the 7 Portugal's Natural Wonders, it is one of the three protected areas that you should visit on your holidays in Algarve. It is a unique and constantly changing lagoon system, due to the continuous movement of winds, currents and tides.


Classified as a Natural Park since 1987, it has an area of about 18,000 hectares, and is protected from the sea by five barrier-islands and two peninsulas: the Island of Barreta or Desert island, as it is better known, The island of Culatra (where Sta Maria meets the Lighthouse), Armona Island, Tavira Island, Cabanas Island, peninsula of Ancão and finally the Cacela Peninsula. This entire area extends over 60 km from the leeward coast of the Algarve through the municipalities of Loulé, Faro, Olhão, Tavira and Vila Real de Santo António, from the peninsula of Ancão to the Manta Rota beach.



How to get there:


By boat – every day, all year
Duration: 35 min.

10am, 11.30am, 1.15pm, 3pm, 4.45pm, 6pm

10.45am, 12.45pm, 2.30pm, 4pm, 5.30pm, 7pm



Restaurante Estaminé


Ilha da Barreta, Ria Formosa
Tel.: 917811856
Opening hours: Das 10h30 às 19h00. Não encerra.
Average price: 45 euros