Spend four days enjoying nature and the Algarve coast on this relaxed itinerary. Enjoy sweeping views of the coastline from Lagos to Albufeira, taking in stunning rock formations and pristine beaches, stopping to snorkel, swim, and paddleboard as you like. End the trip in Faro after sailing through the Ria Formosa Natural Park, spotting endemic wildlife, exploring islands, and picnicking on Culatra Island.


  • Dine out in the historic walled town of Lagos
  • Swim, snorkel, and paddleboard off the coast of the Algarve
  • Sail through the inlets of the Ria Formosa lagoon
  • Enjoy a picnic on the beach of Culatra Island
  • Take in the Portuguese sunset from aboard your sailboat each night

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Lagos Lagos
Day 2 Sail to Albufeira Albufeira
Day 3 Sail to Culatra Island in Ria Formosa Culatra Island
Day 4 Explore Culatra Island; Sail to Faro; Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Lagos

Lagos Marina
Meet your captain at the Lagos Marina

Make your way to the Lagos Marina mid-afternoon and board your home for the next three nights. After settling in, the captain and crew will serve you a welcome drink, introduce themselves, and give you a tour of the boat and your cabins. Afterward, head out to explore Lagos' marina before venturing to the historic town center to find a bite to eat. Return to the boat, falling asleep to the gentle rhythm of the rolling waves.

Day 2: Sail to Albufeira

Praia do Castelo, Albufeira, Algarve
Discover stunning beaches along the Algarve, like Praia do Castelo 

Wake up early to enjoy breakfast on board before listening to the captain's security briefing. You'll set sail mid-morning toward Albufeira, taking in the striking rock formations along the way, like the Ponta da Piedade cliffs and the Benagil Caves. Drop anchor for a fresh and light lunch, continuing your journey alternating between sailing along the coast and going further out in search of wild dolphins eager to race. You'll drop anchor once more close to the old fishermen town of Albufeira. Enjoy a sunset drink on board followed by dinner.

Sailing distance & time: ± 22 NM ± 5 hours

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Day 3: Sail to Culatra Island in Ria Formosa

Sky view of the Ria Formosa
Sky view of the Ria Formosa

After breakfast, set sail to Culatra Island, a favorite spot among locals and foreigners to anchor. Part of the protected Ria Formosa Natural Park, one of Portugal's Seven Wonders, the island is located between sandbanks that provide protection from the waves and is home to a large number of bird species. Explore the area by paddleboard or swimming, or join a dinghy tour. Cap off the evening with dinner and drinks aboard the sailboat and enjoy another relaxing evening with the setting sun for a backdrop.

Sailing distance & time: ± 25 NM ± 6 hours

Day 4: Explore Culatra Island - Sail to Faro - Depart

Portugal - Ria Formosa Natural Park - Culatra Island
Enjoy a picnic lunch in an idyllic setting on Culatra Island

With a view overlooking Culatra Island, enjoy your last breakfast on the boat before taking the rest of the morning and early afternoon at your own pace. Stroll along the sandy shore, sunbathe, swim and enjoy a picnic lunch. There's also the option to visit the fishermen town of Olhão, where the captain will bring you there by dinghy. When it's time, you'll board the vessel and continue your journey to the Faro Marina, sailing through some of the Ria Formosa tributaries to get there. 

Say goodbye to the crew and disembark in Faro for your onward journey home or to your next destination.

Sailing distance & time: ± 9 NM, ± 3 hours


Map of Sailing the Algarve: Lagos to Faro - 4 Days
Map of Sailing the Algarve: Lagos to Faro - 4 Days
Written by H ., updated Feb 18, 2021