Ilha da Culatra is an island in the natural park of Ria Formosa, near the town of Olhão. This island is one of the islands that separates the sea from the Ria Formosa. Ilha da Culatra is about 6 kilometres long and about 100 to 900 meters wide. The island is permanently inhabited by around 1000 people, who mainly live from fishing and tourism. Ilha da Culatra is also highly rated on TripAdvisor, who states that it is the #1 thing to do in Olhão.
The island consists of three parts: Culatra, Farol and Hângares. Culatra is a small fishing village, that is mainly inhabited by fishermen. Farol is a small village with a lighthouse (Farol in Portuguese), with a nice and quiet beach. This part of the island is sometimes called Ilha do Farol, suggesting it is another island than Ilha da Culatra, but actually it is a different part of the same island. Culatra and Farol are the only villages on the island. Hângares is a more quiet area, with very little infrastructure and few tourists. All three of these of a great beach, quite comparable to one another. There is a ferry to Culatra and another one to Farol, so these can be easily reached. If you want to go to the beach of Hângares, you will have to walk there.