Ilha Desserta beach Ilha Desserta beach, Eastern Algarve, Portugal

'Desserta' by name, desserta by nature...

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Ilha Desserta beach is the southern-most tip of Portugal, 'Cabo de St.Maria'. The 'Ilha' is a long curve of perfect sand backed by dunes and the lagoon, and as the name suggests, is desserted. There is nobody resident on the ilha, only day trippers brought by the ferries. Thus the beach is empty for miles. The other beaches of the Ria Formosa are special for their length, purity and emptiness in high season, but Ilha Desserta beachis exceptional. You are unlikely to find a more pristine beach with such few people on it anywhere else in Southern Europe. The only bind is being stuck with the ferry timetables.

There is nature walkway across the dunes which you can follow which leads you back to the quay and the single restaurant (open in season).

Access to Ilha Desserta beach

Access to Ilha Desserta beachis by ferry from the pier outside the walled town in Faro. Park in Largo de San Fransisco (always some space) and walk around the outside of the walled town between the walls and the railway line. Or from the marina in the centre of Faro, walk away from the marina with the walls to your left and the train line to the right.

There are two ferries, one cheap and quick, one expensive and slow. The cheap one is just a ferry and whisks you straight out there through the Ria Formosa. It takes about half an hour. The expensive one is actually a tour, so it dallies longer in the Ria Formosa and has commentary about the birdlife, but ultimately ends up at the same place.

Don't miss the last ferry back (unless you mean to)...

Facility Comment
cafe YES
Facility Comment
restaurant YES

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