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“I often wonder why we locals do not visit it more often...” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ilha da Culatra

Ilha da Culatra
Olhao, Portugal
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Ranked #1 of 4 Attractions in Olhao
Type: Islands, Outdoors
Attraction details
Faro, Portugal
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
21 attraction reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
“I often wonder why we locals do not visit it more often...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

I often wonder why we locals do not visit it more often...the only good excuse I find is that we are definitely spoiled when it comes to beaches.
The island of Culatra (actually Culatra is the name of one of the only 2 settlements on the island, also called Farol [lighthouse], the name of the other settlement at the westernmost end of the island) is a truly unique place.
During the year there are not so many scheduled boat trips to the island but in season you have maybe up to a half dozen per day. Typically the boats will do a triangular route touching at the island's 2 settlements and then returning to Olhão (mainland). Chances are you'll do at least one of these legs with a stop on the way to or back from the island.
I enjoy getting off at the first stop (whichever) and taking my time walking to the other one - meaning finding a nice spot at the beach (usually one where you don't see a leaving soul a mile out) taking a nap, swimming and moving on to the next spot until eventually reaching the other settlement.
You can enjoy/swim the lagoon (north) side but the ocean (south) is definitely the best.
Forget the settlements which are uncharacteristic although some people may find there a pleasant third worldish character kind of, and go for the truly unspoilt beauty of the rest of the island.
Bring whatever you need and enjoy. I always do.

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Glasgow, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Try the funky little beach bar”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

Near the lighthouse, very cool, great people. Careful, you'll want to stay there all day long. There's also a lovely family run little fish restaurant, with great home cooked food and a lovely helpful waitress.

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bookman55
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Nice day out”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

Go to Pingo Doce, buy yourself a big picnic and go to Farol. Sit on the beach and sleep or birdwatch. Walk to Culatra, have a beer or a coffee and get the boat home.
Or just have lunch in Culatra. Wonderful relaxing day out, away from the noise of the traffic (and in the off season away from everybody else as well!)

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winchester, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Simply Stunning . . .”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

We recommend catching the ferry to Farol and then strolling through Farol towards the lighthouse, and then stroll back along the Big Beach to Culatra

If you enjoy birdwatching and get the tides right you can then stop for a while in the small estuaries/lagoons to watch Storks, Egrets and waders.

or perhaps stay on the beach go for a paddle/swim in the Atlantic

On returning to Culatra have a late lunch at one of the many cafes, before catching the ferry back to Olhao.

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotland
Top Contributor
114 reviews 114 reviews
76 attraction reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
113 helpful votes 113 helpful votes
“Beautiful Natural Scenery”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

The ferry boat trip out to Culatra was interesting, although no commentary is given. The island is reached in 25-30 minutes. On landing there are some cramped houses many of which are holiday homes with the remainder belonging to locals. Potentially there are about a dozen cafes, and a mini market. However, as it was during the Christmas period only one cafe and the mini market were open.
The real beauty is, however, the natural surroundings. The beaches are long and clean, and it is pleasant to walk along them even in December. Regretfully, when it rains, there is little shelter, and the ferry boat has long intervals before returning. Best for a warm day with settled weather.

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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