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WorldNorth AtlanticPortugalFaro
Port of Entry
36°58.490'N, 007°52.360'W Chart icon.png
lat=36.97483 | lon=-7.87267 | zoom=11 | y
View of Parque Natural da Ria Formosa (Faro is at top of picture)

Faro, the capital of the Algarve region of Portugal, is situated at the southern end of the beautiful Parque Natural da Ria Formosa between Vilamoura 15 miles to the west and Vila Real de Santo Antonio on the Portuguese-Spanish border 30 miles to the east. There was already an important settlement here during the Roman era, when it was known as Ossonoba. From the 8th to the 13th centuries it was under Moorish rule, which only ended with the defeat of the Moors at the hands of King Alfonso III in 1249. The town’s position - at the head of a tidal channel protected by the natural breakwater of Ilha da Barreta - saved it from the worst effects of the 1755 earthquake and tsunami and the administrative centre of the Algarve was consequently transferred here from Lagos. The old town has some attractive squares and buildings, although most land-based visitors here pass quickly through the town’s airport on the way to their Algarve holiday hotels. Cruising visitors, however, have ample opportunity to appreciate the beauties of the natural lagoon of the Ria Formosa nature park with its sheltered anchorages and spectacular bird life.


Please provide a good map or chart that clearly shows details (depths, where to dock, scale etc.) of the harbor.

Give charts applicable to this port or refer to a Chart section of another page (Country or Region) that lists the charts.

Chart Number - Chart Name
Chart Number - Chart Name
Chart Number - Chart Name


See Portugal.


See Portugal.


The islands of Faro, Barreta, Culatra, Armona, Tavira and Cabanas lie off the towns of Faro, Olhao and Tavira, protecting the channels leading up to them from the open sea. Depending on draft, yachts can anchor in idyllic and peaceful surroundings inside several of the islands (see below).


Add here VHF channel for coastguard, harbor masters. etc.

Also see World Cruiser's Nets.


The channel up to Faro is entered via a 200-metre wide gap through two training walls/wiki/Faro#training_wallsWorld icon.png training walls [[Faro#training walls|training walls]] 36°57.440'N, 007°52.120'W . Although it is possible for all but deep-draught yachts to navigate the channel up to Faro at any state of tide, it is best to arrive at half tide and enter with the flow. While the channel up to Faro is buoyed (except for the last 500 metres up to the anchorage) it is easy to run aground and therefore it is less frustrating to enter on a rising tide. If arriving on the ebb, be aware that the tidal current can run at 3-4 knots at springs.


Faro iis a port of entry/exit to Portugal.

Please submit details about facilities for checking-in, location of immigration & customs, etc.


Marinas & Yacht Clubs

None (the marina at Faro is suitable for small motor boats only).


The anchorage at Faro is identifiable by the boats on moorings in the pool. Anchor in the channel clear of the moorings in 4.0 - 5.0 metres. The holding is excellent in heavy mud. There is a wooden jetty on the waterfont under the old town walls where dinghies can be left during a trip ashore.

There are also numerous well-protected anchorages inside Barreta and Culatra islands, which lie to seaward of the channels up to Faro and Olhao respectively. Other anchorages lie inside the islands of Tavira, Armona and Cabanas. For more details of anchoring in the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa follow this link: Ria Formosa in the Algarve - Portugal.


Water ?
Electricity ?
Toilets ?
Showers ?
Laundry ?
Garbage Take it with you
Fuel None. Bring your own
Bottled gas ?
Chandlers ?
Repairs Quinta do Progresso Boatyard north of the anchorage (Give details needed).
Internet N/A (Not Available).
Mobile connectivity ?
Vehicle rentals ?


Provisions shops in old town.

Eating out

Give the name of recommended restaurant, tavernas, pastry stores, etc.


List transportation (local and/or international.)



Give a short history of the port.

Places to Visit

The old town of Faro is still protected on the seaward side by the 9th century Moorish walls, constructed on Roman foundations. The main square of the old town, once the Roman forum, is dominated by Faro’s 13th century cathedral (not especially interesting unless for the storks nesting in the belltower). The archaeological museum in the nearby former 16th century convent is worth a visit. The church of Nossa Senhora do Carmo contains some wonderful gilded wood carving and a chapel lined with the bones of over 1,200 monks. Near the small marina of Faro is a modest maritime museum which displays a number of interesting relics of the town’s maritime history. For lovers of the natural world, however, perhaps the area’s most enduring appeal is the Ria Formosa lagoon, a nature reserve extending to over 17,000 hectares and a haven for dozens of breeding and migratory bird species including black storks, flamingoes, little egrets and even the occasional kestrel and osprey. Otters are also regularly spotted here at quieter periods.

Faro from the anchorage
Faro dinghy landing at low water
Storks nests galore in Faro


Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)


  • Faro at the Wikipedia
  • Faro at the Wikivoyage


See Portugal.


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

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Names: Lighthouse, Athene of Lymington

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