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Ilha Deserta Boat Tour

Planning to visit Ilha Deserta while on vacation in Faro?

Ilha Deserta is one of the 5 barrier islands in Ria Formosa Nature Park. The question that is often asked is whether the island is called Barreta or Deserta. Barreta is the island’s geographical name. Deserta means desert or deserted, appearing as a nickname among the fishermen. The only way to see these barrier islands is by boat tour and we offer Ilha Deserta boat tours for visitors who want to explore this amazing stunning islands.

Animaris has created several products in the field of Nature Tourism. Since we started in 1986, our focus has been on respecting and preserving the environment, especially the Ilha Deserta boat tour. At present it is still the only uninhabited barrier island of Ria Formosa.

The Estaminé Restaurant, recognized and awarded for its gastronomic quality and energy efficiency, is the only structure on the island. Open every day of the year, with beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean and Natural Parks, we specialize in fresh products from the sea and the Ria, such as fish and seafood.

We also manage beach concessions on the island, with support services such as sunbeds and sun shade, and a coast guard team during the bathing season (June to September).

Our fleet, for transportation and boat tours, consists of various types of ships (semi-rigid, speedboats and catamarans), with capacities ranging from 10 to 200 passengers.

Our multilingual team is experienced in guided tours, personalized experiences for families, business groups, school groups, tourists and residents.

Why choose our Ilha Deserta Boat Tour?

The Ilha Deserta boat tour is the most popular tour on the Algarve. Animaris boat tours has more than 30 years of experience in tourism with a team of certified professional marine biologists and skippers, multilingual and friendly staff, timeliness and safety, our Ilha Deserta boat tour also gives guests the freedom to spend time on the island and choose your return  schedule!

How to get to the island by Ilha Deserta?

Ilha Deserta can only be reached by boat. You can buy Ilha Deserta boat tour tickets online on our website. This will save you time at the ticket desk in Faro, and guarantee you a place on the boat. During the Ilha Deserta boat trip, it is possible to see several species of birds, such as flamingos, in Ria Formosa Natural Park. The Ilha Deserta boat trip adventure adds to the experience of visiting a desert island.

Our Ilha Deserta boat tour fleet departs every day, all year long, from Faro (Porta Nova Pier). We have various types of boats, suitable for a number of group sizes, and prepare for different weather conditions that we can find throughout the year.

Our fleet has all navigation and safety equipment that complies with coast guard regulations, insurance, and provisions required by law.

Our concept is to give you a perfect vacation day: after a boat tour along Ria Formosa Nature Park, you will have the opportunity to enjoy a gastronomic experience at Restaurant Estaminé, with fresh fish, local seafood, and some Portuguese wine, and finish on the beach lying in the sun lounger.

You must be wondering what am I gonna do on a desert island? Well .. Ilha Deserta is the first thing you have to do while you are visiting Faro, Portugal.

But the following are the best things to do in Ilha Deserta:

The Beach

Ilha Deserta Beach stretches for about 7 kilometers. The main attraction of this beach is its remote location and unspoiled nature. The beach on the island is one of the most remote beaches on the Algarve. There is no house on the island, only one restaurant. The sand on this beach is completely white and soft. It feels very nice to walk on this sand. At the beach you can enjoy the sun and swim in the sea calmly. There is not a lot of things to do on this beach. In fact, the water on this beach is clean, you can swim that sometimes you can see clams on the ocean floor. In summer, the water can even reach 24 degrees Celsius.

Deserted island

The official name for the island is Ilha da Barreta. Among the fishermen, it is commonly known as Ilha Deserta. Ilha Deserta is one of the five barrier islands of Ria Formosa. The other four are Culatra, Tavira, Armona and Cacela. Ilha Deserta is the only uninhabited island among them. The only building on this island is a restaurant. In the evening the people of this restaurant also left the island, making the island completely deserted.

In terms of people, Ilha Deserta is a really quiet stunning beach. Even in summer there are only a handful of people on this island. This is a perfect alternative escape from the crowded beaches that you can find in other parts of the Algarve. This deserted island is a peaceful and beautiful location and is perfect for day trips.

Take a walk on the beach

Because Ilha Deserta stretches several kilometers, this is the perfect place to take a walk on the beach. It’s so peaceful to just walk here, along the sea.  If you walk far enough, you will reach an area where you will see almost no one else on the beach. You will be complitely alone at the beach

Walking trail

There are also footpaths on the island, which consist of wooden paths along the flora and fauna. This is called the Santa Maria causeway and was built in 1999. You will see a walking trail when you arrive on the island.

The trail runs about 2 kilometers and takes you along the sand dunes. The nature trail will allow you to see interesting wildlife, especially birds. It´s also possible to go here with our local guide.

Estaminé restaurant

One Restaurant, One Island Original Taste of Ria Formosa.

Surrounded by the tranquility of the island, Estaminé Restaurant offers an authentic gastronomic experience, quality service with spectacular panoramic views.

The restaurant is the largest building on the island and is located in the eastern part of the island, near the arrival / departure point. It is run by our Ilha Deserta boat tour (Animaris) The restaurant is open all year. Prices are decent, especially considering the fact that it is the only restaurant on the island. Book your table now!

Ria Formosa Natural Park

Ilha Deserta is part of Ria Formosa Natural Park. This is one of the most beautiful pieces of nature in the Algarve. You will see so many species of birds here. More than 300 species of birds have been found on the island. The whole island is a hotspot for biodiversity and this place is ideal for birdwatching.

Sunset Watching

There is sunrise and sunset every day, and they are absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them! The sunset seen from this beautiful island will surely amaze you. But make sure you don’t miss your boat back to Faro.

Those are the best things to do during your Ilha Deserta Boat Tour accirding to Animaris.

However, a visit to Ilha deserta cannot be missed while visiting Faro and it is very much worth a visit!

What are you waiting for? Book your Ilha Deserta boat tour with us now!