When swimming is no option…

How to get to the islands of the Algarve? Well, get into the water and start to swim. But what if you want to take a dry towel and/or don’t fancy getting swept away by the current into the Atlantic Ocean? Here are three easier options.

See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine May 2017


By ferry

From Cabanas, Tavira, Fuseta, Olhão and Faro (Porta Nova Pier), regular ferries depart to the islands of Cabanas, Tavira, Armona, Culatra (either Culatra or Farol) and Barreta. Ferry schedules, ticket boots and up-to-date timetables can be found in each harbour (near the ferry pontoon).

Pro: Cheap. Want to go from Olhão to Armona and back again? Only €3,70 per person. A return from Tavira to Ilha de Tavira? €1,90. From Fuseta to Armona and back? €1,70. Children are even cheaper. In high season, departures are frequent.

Con: Fixed times and destinations. Some ferries stop running altogether in low season. Also: your dog isn’t allowed on (most of) the ferries unless it’s in a special transit box.


Take a water-taxi

Water-taxis bring you to whichever island whenever you want, so also to the deserted beaches that aren’t accessible by ferry. Find them in the harbour, close to the ferry departure point. Alternatively, there are many guided boat and catamaran tours that will show you the Ria Formosa and drop you off at the island of your choice (no need to find them, their touts will find you).

Pro: More flexible, both in terms of times (when you’ve missed the last ferry, the water taxi will be happy to come and get you, just give them a call) and in terms of places (want to be taken to Praia da Barra Nova or Praia do Homem Nu? No problem). Also: you can take your dog.

Con: More expensive than the ferry. Whereas a ferry ticket only costs a couple of euros, a water taxi will charge anywhere between €10 and €35 for the same trip.


Go paddle

Want to be completely independent on your journey to the island? Grab a paddle, get into a canoe or kayak or jump on a board, and use those arm muscles.

Pro: It’s literally whenever, wherever; just drag your canoe into the water, hop in and go. Also, it’s free and great fun as you can explore the entire Ria Formosa. And, very important: you can take your dog along for the ride.

Con: If you don’t have a canoe, (stand up paddle)board, kayak or something else that floats, you’ll have to rent one, which is more expensive than a ferry ticket and probably also more costly than a water-taxi. Don’t be tempted to buy a cheap inflatable gecko from the China-shop to make the crossing on. It won’t last.


See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine May 2017

Posted in Activities.