Jo’s Monday walk : Ilha da Culatra

Shall we start with a ferry ride?

Shall we start with a ferry ride?

This week’s walk is on the island of Culatra, so you’ll have the added bonus of a ferry ride- always irresistible to me.  But for those of you who are poor sailors, let me assure you of gentle, calm waters.  I referred briefly to Culatra in my I is for Ilhas (islands) post and I thought it might be time to take a closer look. I think you might like it.

Departure points for the ilha are from the city of Faro, the Algarve’s capital, or from the nearby fishing town,  Olhão.  It’s a short 30 minute sailing from the latter.  The ferries depart at 9.00, 11.00, 15.00 and 17.00, so what are we waiting for?  Don’t forget your sunscreen, and flip-flops will be just fine for this trip.

Is this water flat enough for you?

Is this water flat enough for you?

There's always someone who likes to make waves!

There’s always someone who likes a little fun!

The first port of call

Here we are, at the first port of call already!

The ferry docks first at the eastern end of the island, with a busy little marina, the church and a couple of restaurants.  If you like you can get off here and walk along to Farol, but I like to stay on till the second stop, 10 minutes later.  As the ferry chugs alongside the island, the lighthouse for which the settlement is named looms larger.  Often your flight path into the Algarve will carry you over the islands and you have an aerial view of Farol.

Almost there...

Almost there…

Ok, so you’ve indulged me the watery stuff.  Thank you!  Now it’s time to stroll a little.  You’ve probably guessed what we’ll be going to see, haven’t you?


But eventually you come face to face!

But eventually you come face to face!

The lighthouse is situated on a rocky headland, above a small beach, crowded with locals on a weekend.  Continue past that and you have seemingly endless sand.  Off with those flip-flops and away you paddle!

A good situation?

A good situation?

After a while you will see a sign board pointing inland and a boardwalk.  This is your cue to put the flip-flops back on and follow it, over some low dunes.  You will see the first port where the ferry docked ahead in the distance.  Arguably the best bit of the walk starts now.  As you approach the village the path becomes lined with an array of beach houses and their gardens.  All shapes and colours are represented- some tasteful, others… well, let’s say interesting.

Now you’re back at the marina, with its host of little fishing vessels.  There are several small bars and restaurants where you can blend in with the locals while you await your return ferry.  The ticket office only opens 10 minutes before the boat is due, but you might well have bought a return- ide e volta.  The ferry will stop again at Farol so you can do this walk in either direction, or both ways if you’re keen!


The church is at this end of the island, too

The church is at this end of the island, too

Watched over by Our Lady of Fatima

Watched over by Our Lady of Fatima

Then it's farewell Culatra

Then it’s farewell to Culatra

And hello Olhao!

And hello Olhao!

I hope you didn’t mind the boat ride too much?  One of my favourite things about the Algarve is the number of ferry rides I can take. My husband rather meanly keeps count and sometimes I’m rationed!  There were 8 boat rides this visit. (that’s there and back, of course)

Many thanks for your time and your company.  Will you join me next week on a Monday walk? The details are on my walks page or just click on the logo below.

walking logo

Now for the good stuff!  Time to put the kettle on and read my ‘shares’.

I didn’t have Alesund on my ‘list’ till I saw this post.  I do now!  Thank you, Cardinal  :

The City Center of Alesund

Show me a walk by a river?  I’m hooked!  Thanks, Drake  :

Other side of the river

Pauline keeps revealing interesting facets of Canberra  :

Inner city chic : I’m loving Canberra

If you’re a lover of tranquility you can’t fail to love Amy’s garden  :

Portland Japanese Garden

You’ll love this walk with Jude too.  It’s on level ground for one thing!  :

Wild Rye

One last nostalgic stroll with Sylvia…  But, don’t worry- she’ll be back to visit family.  Here’s to new beginnings, Ad!  :

One last nostalgic walk before we leave this paradise

And now, meet Ana.  I’m sure she’s known to many of you and I’m so happy she has joined us this week  :

A guided history walk of Guildford

And last but never, ever least, Yvette is back!  Have you been to West Point, Virginia?  You’ll enjoy this visit.  :

West Point, VA

Thanks again to all my contributors.  Have a happy week!


  1. Jo, that lighthouse is a stunner, and so unique. I’ve seen lots of lighthouses but never one with a structural design like this one. I don’t know if they built it that way to make it stronger or cheaper to build, but either way, it’s a beautiful sight. Your photos look like your walk had a huge variety of sights: the best kind. Being able to catch so many ferries for close-by destinations must be wonderful. ~James


    1. Thanks so much for reading this, James. I think I’ve done 3 or 4 Monday walks on Culatra and probably the same on neighbouring Armona. They are beautiful places that always have my heart. I wish that water were my element- I’m a poor and timid swimmer, but I love to be beside, or on, water, and as you so rightly point out there are many opportunities here. My primary reason for a home in Tavira. 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A beautiful place to go wandering, Jo, and I do love boat rides. That red and white lighthouse has just made me feel rather homesick, but I’ll get over it…….one day. The “quirky” backyard is very different, isn’t it? 😕 You do get to see some amazing places on your walks. xx 🙂


    1. Are you up to your ears in renovation stuff in Florida, Ad, or do you still have time to enjoy it? I’ll pop in on you shortly. I’m home based for a little while, unfortunately. How can I be feeling restless again so soon? I just got back from Lisa’s yesterday. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not up to my ears, but hubby is. I’ll get involved when all the messy stuff is done. At the moment, I’m a ‘renovation widow’, while he goes off every day to strip out the other house. He’s done extremely well, to say we haven’t even been back a week yet. I’m sure we’ll still have time time for some fun. I’ll make sure of that. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I bet you’re not in the mood for strolling, Madhu! Bet you’re bursting with excitement 🙂 I have some monkeys to get you in the mood on yesterday’s post but you can’t possibly have time. Have a fabulous trip! 🙂


      1. I have it open in front of me Jo, But am being distracted by a million last minute chores. Winding up the house is the only unpleasant part of travel for me 🙂


      2. I know just what you mean! I’m at the other end of the spectrum with beds to change and the washer whirling. And trying to book insurance for 86 year old Dad for his trip to Spain next week! Have a brilliant time. I’m excited about the photos already. 🙂


  3. Oh Jo – enjoyed this seaside stroll! and like your other readers – it is my sorta walk too!! 🙂

    The “flat water” photo was my fav – cos it also had the glisten and feel of the vast and open sea – but really who can pick a favorite photo from any of your walks??? – so forget that I said it was my fav – I like them all.

    and the collage with the flowers and rooftop shots all fit in with the diff beach angles. and what a unique lighthouse – I like the geometric grid design they gave it.


    1. Hi Yvette! 🙂 Welcome to the strollers! I spent rather a lot of time around beaches this holiday so I’m glad you liked this. The sandbars make it a fascinating part of the world for me. Thanks for your contribution. I’ll have to come and see what changes you’re going to make after your hols? 🙂


  4. jo carissima mi sei molto mancata, tu e le tue bellissime passeggiate, le tue foto, le tue simpatiche ed attente recensioni e descrizioni, finalmente posso riprendere a viaggiare in tua compagnia.spero tutto bene per te e per ituoi cari, così è per me
    un grande abbraccio, a prestissimo

    jo dearest I you are very missed, you and your beautiful walks, your photos, your nice and careful reviews and descriptions, I can finally resume travel to your company. I hope all is well for you and ituoi dear, so it is for me

    a big hug, coming soon


  5. What a great looking day out with all that sparkling water, golden sand and crisp white buildings….topped off with a lighthouse. Just wonderful Jo…..and for the record I don’t think ferry rides souls ever be rationed….there’s something so dreamy about travelling across the water 🙂


    1. There are two very similar islands like this one, Dianne, and would you believe the other, Armona, is even better (in my opinion). And then there’s Tavira Island too- my home turf (sand, I should say). Lucky, or what? 🙂


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