Ilha de Faro (Peninsula de Ancao)
Westernmost link in the chain of islands of the Ria Formosa
The Ilha de Faro is the most western island of the Ria Formosa, protecting the lagoon system of this unique natural and cultural landscape against the rough Atlantic Ocean.
The Ilha de Faro, whose correct name is Península do Ancão, is located on the western border of the Ria Formosa, stretching from Ancão beach near the world famous Quinta do Lago golf resort to Faro. It is known as Faro Island, despite being a peninsula. A wooden pedestrian bridge leads to the beach of Quinta do Lago and the well known seafood restaurant “Gigi”.
Faro International Airport is located opposite Ilha de Faro, separated only by the lagoon. When arriving by plane you can see the unique landscape with its dunes, lagoons and salt marshes. A one lane bridge connects the island to the mainland and traffic is regulated by traffic lights, leading to significant delays in the high season. The road to Ilha de Faro leads from the roundabout opposite the airport to the right in southerly direction, past the edge of the Ria Formosa.
The western part of the island is mostly inhabited by fishermen, the eastern side has more modern holiday villas and apartments. The extensive beach Praia da Ilha de Faro on the sea side is very popular, and there are also several restaurants and sports and leisure facilities. The protected shore of the lagoon is ideal for water sports, even for beginners. The next island to the east, separated by a narrow water channel, is lha da Barreta, also known as Ilha Deserta, i.e. desert island because it is uninhabited.