The Ilha da Armona, on which the Praia is situated, is one of three islands off the coast around Faro that form part of the extensive Ria Formosa National Park, a small archipelago of lagoon islands that stretches east 50km from Faro to the Spanish border. Armona, Culatra and Farol, known as the sandbank islands, all feature long, sandy beaches, made peaceful by their relative inaccessibility.
The Praia da Armona is reached by a ferry that leaves from Olhao, a town just east of Faro and the Algarve's largest fishing port. Olhao, home to a vibrant market and enticing back streets, is a great place to base yourself if you wish to discover the sandbank islands upon which, thankfully, accommodation options are very limited.
The ferry, which takes half an hour to reach its destination, departs every fifteen minutes in summer. Passengers are dropped at the southern end of the island's sole settlement. From here it's a fifteen minute walk to the beach, which stretches in either direction as far as the eye can see, sandy and characterised by attractive dunes.
The island's only campsite is equipped with facilities for a variety of water sports and the main part of the beach is patrolled by lifeguards in summer. There are a couple of restaurants and toilets here, too, which are closed out of season, while for those of you who love solitude a short walk in either direction will ensure you have the place to yourself.