During a recent trip to the Algarve, I decided to do a bit of island-hopping. Ilha da Armona was the first island I visited, and what a great start to the trip it was! Knowing very little about the islands, I got on the first ferry to leave the Marina in Olhão, which happened to be a ferry to Armona.
It only took about 15 minutes to get there. Because I was there in January, there were only four ferry departures to the island per day. I took the 12pm ferry. It seemed a bit late in the day, but the last ferry from Armona wasn’t due to depart until 5.30pm, so that gave me time to explore.
As soon as we landed, there was no time to waste, so off I went. It was a bit cold and windy to begin with, so I wasn’t sure I’d be there for long. However, the weather just got better and better and, suddenly, it was T-shirt weather. Thinking it was a tiny island, I had the notion I could just walk around the island in the time that I had. The thing is, once I hit the beach, it was so beautiful. I just couldn’t stop taking photos of the vast expanse of soft sand, and was surprised at the fact that I had the beach all to myself.
Other than the seagulls, of course. They were there en masse, enjoying the peace and tranquility, as I was. Oh, the joy of travelling in low season!
It was relaxing to just wander this deserted beach aimlessly, with not a care in the world, examining all the shells and sea life washed ashore.
I came across what seemed like rock. It wasn’t. It was merely an illusion created by the vast expanse of sand.
This deserted beach seemed never-ending. Seriously, when I got to a place on the island called Fuseta, it was time to consult Google. I needed to know whether to continue on for a bit or head back. It was time to walk back, and fast, if I wanted to get the last ferry back.
On my way back, I got to see a different side of the island. No one was still to be found, just hares and rabbits hopping about.
I made it back in time to catch the last ferry back. That was a relief because missing that would have meant paying €30 to get a water taxi. Considering the ferry only cost €3.40 return, I didn’t want to have to do that.
The bonus for getting the last ferry was the sunset. It was truly magical to be on the ferry as the sun was setting over the Algarve.
After this experience, I was keen to explore more islands. The next one was Culatra.