Faro's main beach is a long, narrow sandy bar reached by a road that crosses the lagoon just south of Faro airport. A typical 'ilha' beach, Praia de Faro is a long sweep of sand with both a sea-facing side and a sheltered lagoon-facing side.
This beach is not for lovers of peace and solitude. Its proximity to Faro and the airport mean that it gets very overcrowded in summer and the narrow strip of sand is stuffed to bursting with restaurants, bars and villas. Known as a party beach, and possibly the busiest on the Algarve, Praia da Ilha de Faro is connected to the mainland by a bridge and accessible by buses that leave every 45 minutes from the harbour gardens and the main bus station in Faro.
Facilities abound on the island, with numerous options for watersports, drinking and dining. If you want to escape the crowds, however, you're better off taking a ferry to one of the other sandbar beaches such as Farol or Armona.