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Feb 13 2018

Culatra Island: Algarve

Having had such a good day on Armona island, it was too tempting not to visit another island. Well, why not when it’s so close. So the following day, off I went, once again, to the marina in Olhão. I bought my ticket and boarded the ferry to Culatra.

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I was a little confused because I thought there were three islands. That’s because I could have bought a ticket to Farol. As it turns out, Farol is part of Culatra Island.  Culatra and Farol are villages at opposite ends of the island.

It took about 30 mins to get there.  On arrival, I headed off exploring straightaway. At first, I wasn’t sure I would enjoy it as much as Armona because that is such a beautiful island.  Having said that, Culatra is part of the Ria Formosa Natural Park, so a large part of it is untouched, and I do enjoy being surrounded by nature.  It was disappointing not to see the abundant wildlife I had read about.  Maybe that was due to the time of year.  I have no idea.

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After walking for a bit, I spotted what seemed like an abandoned village. As it turned out, only a few of the houses were abandoned and in a state of disrepair. There was life elsewhere in the village – dogs and people.

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That was enough exploring.  It was time to find a magnificent beach.  Armona Island had set the standard. Would I find a beach anywhere near as good as the day before?  I had spotted a lighthouse in the distance on my arrival.  I decided to walk to the lighthouse in my search for a beach.

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When I got to the lighthouse, I was in Farol.  I walked the short width of the island and, my, oh, my, the beach!  Seriously, it took my breath away.  Long, deserted, wide, and, once again, the weather had improved to T-shirt weather. Was I fortunate or what?

I walked and walked and walked. I thought it was a longer island than Armona, but it isn’t. I didn’t dilly dally as much as I did the day before, though.

Having spent the day on the island, I can honestly say that I love it.  Apart from the beach, I liked the fact that there are two villages on the island. It isn’t just for tourists.

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Connecting the beach to Culatra, the village where I started exploring the island of Culatra, is a long, wooden walkway, which protects the undergrowth. Back in plenty of time for the ferry, I sat at a local cafe.

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The ferry back must have taken about twice as long as the journey there because it stopped at Farol before heading back to Olhão.

It was extremely cold on the way back, but I was prepared with a hat, scarf, and gloves. Just be warned if you go in winter!  It might be T-shirt weather on the beach, but it can get very cold on the ferry.

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