Ria Formosa is a region located on the Eastern coast of the Algarve in the South of Portugal. It is a lagoon which hosts a system of barrier islands connected to the Atlantic Ocean through a series of channels which are subjected by tides and currents among 6 beautiful inlets.
The town of Faro lies in the northwest corner of Ria Formosa and is famous for its ancient architecture and its old town is particularly attractive with its Roman walls.
The town of Olhao lies in the northeast corner of the Rio Formosa and like its neighbor, it is famous for its Moorish-style architecture and hosts a major port and the largest fishing port in the Algarve.
Ria Formosa is a renowned yacht charter location in the Algarve and the marina of Olhao offers good shelter once you are inside the sand dune, however the entrance is quite narrow and approaching at night might be difficult due to strong winds.
You will also find some good anchorages to the southwest of the Doca de Recreio in Faro. During your visit in the area, you come across Culatra Island which lies on the entrance of the channel between the 2 cities.
The island is worth visiting and hosts some beautiful beaches, and there is also a small village with a few cottages, café bars and a small hotel.
During your yacht charter holiday in Ria Formosa, you can start your exploration from the beach of Ancao which lies in front of Quinto da Lago and visit the village of Cacela Velha.
The village stretches over an environmental treasure which is internationally known as the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve. The entire area is dotted with peaceful waters, vast expanses of sand and some deserted islands which are within easy reach.
It is a quiet place to enjoy most of the beaches and the village of Cacela Velha is particularly renowned for its traditional dishes based on cockles, clams and shrimps which are caught fresh in pots from the numerous nurseries beneath the water.
You will also have the opportunity to visit the most southerly island in the region of Faro, Barreta, which is a real haven for yacht owners and visitors who want to catch a river taxi to explore the area.
You can also visit Armona which is reputed for offering some spectacular sunsets.