Praia do Barril is approximately half way along Tavira Island. It is a thin strip of fine, white sand. To get there, you just have to cross a small footbridge that takes you over one of the estuary’s channels and then either take the mini-train or walk for about 1 km.
Along the way, you should definitely take the opportunity to observe the fauna in the banks of silt, especially the bocas (a crab typical of these marshes) and, as you get closer to the beach, the plant life on the dune fields, where you can smell the intense aroma of curry released by the small curry plant.
And there is also a nature trail, along which you will find information about the Ria Formosa’s environmental riches. The tourist facilities on the beach were adapted from a former tuna-fishing facility and you can still see the original buildings and some of the fishermen’s paraphernalia, as well as a set of large anchors on display in the space around the beach.
The beach is immense, and if you walk along it for 2 km you will come to Praia do Homem Nu (Naked Man’s Beach), a deserted, totally unspoilt beach that stretches for a further 3 km, all the way to Praia da Barra Nova in Fuseta. Part of Praia do Homem Nu is classed as an official nudist beach.