Rio Formosa

Finally, we could go sailing after all the boat work, first stop was Portimao just around the corner from our home port Lagos, which we wrote about in last blog. Next, we went to Rio Formosa.

Rio Formosa Approach

Kerpa approaching the entrance to Rio Formosa, a national park, a rather large area sheltered by barrier sand islands with a few places to anchor a boat. Enjoying the tidal-area who dramatically change face two times a day, well worth watching.

Rio Formosa

At low water, a big area emerges where local fishermen quickly use the time to harvest mussels and sea snails.

Rio Formosa 4Rio Formosa 3Rio Formosa 2

And just a few hours later vast areas are again covered by water and it is almost water as fare as one can see, as in most directions the surrounding land is very low

Rio Formosa anchorage

Rio Formosa 6

Interesting to explore by dingy a calm day

Many odd boats can be seen

Rio Formosa Boat 2Rio Formosa Boat 1

As well as several villages where Culatra probably are the most interesting


Culatra harbor 1Culatra harbor 4

Just entering the old harbor is a treat for the soul.

Culatra Village 3

Walking around exploring the village

Culatra Village 5Culatra Village 2Culatra Village 1

Seeing some quirky houses and gardens. Across the island fantastic beaches meets you with white beautiful sand

Culatra beach 2Culatra beach 1

They have become more popular lately so when opening after Corona there will soon be rather many people on them, but as they are very long no risk for crowding

There are several cafes and restaurants where one can enjoy good food and wine to attractive prices

Culatra Kerstin

Here with full view of Kerpa

Culatra Kerpa

And at night the most stunning sunsets


It was midsummer when we were there and of course we had to celebrate that with a Swedish Smorgasbord

Culatra Midsommar 1

Size small but tasty, followed by

Culatra Midsommar 2

Coffee, Swedish homemade cinnamon bun and traditional Swedish Punch (a very sweet drink based on vodka, sugar and arrak), usually consumed in large quantities by students at the major university cities together with other alcoholic beverages followed by a hangover “category 5”



Is a small and lively town about 3 Nm by dingy at low water but only 1 Nm at high water. Before we started the trip I filled gasoline in the tank, I thought the two stroke oil looked a bit strange but well it was a new bottle so assumed no problem. Just 50! meters from a pontoon at Ohlao the engine stopped! I could start the engine again but it stopped as soon as I gave throttle. At least we got enough power to get into the pontoon.

Usually Portuguese people are very friendly, but this time they claimed we needed to move, I explained the situation about our engine not working properly, I insisted and was allowed to stay for a short period. The cause of the problem was dirty fuel probably from the oil, so get rid of the old fuel and get some new, but where to dispose the old fuel? I was directed fare away, but it was a hot day and I was not in mood for a long and maybe unfruitful walk. To make a long story short I found a shop where I could buy a jerrycan and a funnel, back to the jetty where there was a small fuel station, pored the dirty fuel into the jerrycan, the care taker for the fuel station was more than happy to take care of the old gasoline and the new jerrycan. New gasoline and new oil, and the engine was alright again, no residual in the carburetor (sometimes one is lucky, the engine have now worked fine for several weeks). Now we had to find a place to put the dingy, but again we were not welcomed at any place except the major wall, difficult to climb from the dingy, but we managed. A short walk and we found a very nice plain restaurant for lunch

Ohlao Restaurang

The RestaurantOhlao Chef


The ChefOhlao Fish

The Fish

Ohlao Guest

“The Kerstin”

Three beers a lot of fish, potatoes, salad, bread, olives, forgot the cost but ca 20 Euro, excellent. On the way back we found a shellfish shop, which solved our evening dinner problem

Ohlao Crab

A crab, bread and wine, delicious.


Faro is the major town on the Algarve coast with about 60.000 citizens with the airport to use when visiting Algarve, the southern part of Portugal.

It is a longer trip with the dingy around 6 Nm. Further up there are some narrow anchorage, but mainly permanent moorings, nothing for us with our draft.

Towards Faro 1Towards Faro 2

Rather low tide when we approached Faro

Towards Faro 3


Faro mooring 1

Not always easy to find a place for the dingy, very shallow, but tide was rising so no problem this time, sometimes tide cause more problem parking the dingy than anchoring the mother ship. The stairs where we landed was very slippery, but we managed.

Faro mooring 2

High tide when back.

Unfortunately, we took no photos when in Faro, the main objective with the trip was to visit Decathlon a major retailer for sports and outdoor activities (probably the best). Unfortunately, in Corona times the shelf’s were rather empty, but we found at least one important thing, a pocket shower

Pocket solar shower

We are very keen on saving  water on the boat and we do not like to shower inside. It was good we found the pocket shower because our electric motor for our water-maker would not start any longer, do not know what the problem is, save it for later when we are on the hard.

Pocket shower in action, it is definitely a water saver we can recommend for water consumption concerned cruisers

Next stop will be Gibraltar to pick up our new sails, will follow soon


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2 Responses to Rio Formosa

  1. Håkan Isberg says:

    Hej o trevlig läsning om våra kommande hemtrakter.Powershower var något nytt en bra innovation för cirkulär vattenekonomi.Kan nog även passa till vår Uttern.Decathlon som ni besökte i Faro ligger nära vår lägenhet.Det ser ut som vi får flytta in 1 september!Vi hörs.


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