Ilha da Barreta (Ilha Deserta)
Desert island on the Ria Formosa in front of Faro
Ilha da Barreta opposite Faro is part of the island chain of the Ria Formosa that extends from Faro to Cacela Velha east of Tavira, protecting the unique lagoon system against the rough Atlantic Ocean.
The island Ilha da Barreta, also known as “Ilha Deserta“, i.e. desert island, is adjacent to Ilha de Faro on the eastern side. It can only be reached by boat from Faro and stretches over a distance of 10 km. The island is completely uninhabited and the ideal place to observe the unique flora and fauna of the Ria Formosa. The southernmost point of the Portuguese mainland, Cabo de Santa Maria, is located on the island at N 37º57'0", W 7º53'17".
The beach Praia da Barreta at the eastern corner of the Ilha da Barreta opposite Ilha da Culatra, disposes of an infrastructure (restaurant, toilets, sunshades) and is supervised during the summer season. The ferry from Faro leaving from the quay Porta do Sol during the summer season and on special request docks nearby.
The shipping lane between the two islands is the only access to the open sea for the boats and ships which put down anchor in Faro.