The Ilha do Farol is probably one of my favourite places in the Algarve, at least from what I´ve seen so far. This southern stretch of Portugal has unfortunately (but quite deservedly) made a bit of a reputation for itself as being cheap, trashy and full of drunk Brits on holidays… you don´t need to spend more than 5 minutes in Albufeira to know what I´m talking about. (Quick tip… don´t ever, ever go to Albufeira.) But the Ilha do Farol is none of these things… this long thin island off the coast of Olhão is only accessible by boat and there are no cars once you get there.
The island was originally used by fishermen who built a ramshackle collection of shacks and huts to live in during the summer fishing season. Since then it has evolved into a holiday spot, mostly for locals, but things are still very simple and you need to bring everything with you as there aren´t supermarkets or any modern conveniences. We visited towards the end of last summer, ate fresh fish for lunch and spent the day exploring. I would love to spend a few nights here, I´ve head that the stars are quite amazing… it´s on my list of things to do. 😉