Barreta Island is an island in the Algarve, about 7 kilometres long and 50 to 600 metres wide. Barreta is known as Deserta, Deserted Island or Santa Maria Cape Island. Is one of the more isolated islands of Algarve. There is a public ferry line reaching the island everyday, all year round or you go there by renting or owning a boat. In this island is located the southernmost point of continental Portugal: The Santa Maria Cape. A beach on the island is used by naturists. Cabo de Santa Maria
Faro is a municipality and bishopric, the southernmost city and seat of the district of the same name, in the Algarve region of southern Portugal. With a population of 64,560 inhabitants in 2011, the municipality covers an area of about 202.57 km2.. The Ria Formosa lagoon attracted humans from the Palaeolithic age until the end of prehistory; the first settlements date from the fourth century BC, during the period of Phoenician colonization of the western Mediterranean. At the time, the area was known as Ossonoba, was the most important urban centre of southern Portugal and commercial port for agricultural products and minerals. Between the second and eighth centuries, the city was under the domain of the Romans the Byzantines, Visigoths, before being conquered by the Moors in 713. From the third century onwards and during the Visigothic period, it was the site of an Episcopal see, the Ancient Diocese of Ossonoba; the Byzantine presence has endured in the city walls' towers that were built during the Byzantine period.
With the advent of Moorish rule in the eighth century, Ossonoba retained its status as the most important town in the southwest corner of the Iberian Peninsula. In the 9th century, it became the capital of a short-lived princedom and was fortified with a ring of defensive walls. At this time, in the 10th century, the name Santa Maria began to be used instead of Ossonoba. By the 11th century, the town was known as Santa Maria Ibn Harun. During the 500 years of Moorish rule, some Jewish residents of Faro made written copies of the Old Testament. One of Faro's historical names in Arabic is; the Moors were defeated and expelled in 1249 by the forces of the Portuguese King Afonso III. With the decline of the importance of the city of Silves, Faro took over the role of administration of the Algarve area. After Portuguese independence in 1143, Afonso Henriques and his successors began an expansion into the southern Iberian territory occupied by the Moors. Following the conquest by D. Afonso III, in 1249, the Portuguese referred to the town as Santa Maria de Faaron or Santa Maria de Faaram.
In the following years, the town became prosperous, due to its secure exploitation of salt. By the beginning of the Portuguese Age of Discovery, the town was well positioned to become a leading commercial centre. In the 14th century, the Jewish community began to grow in importance. In 1487, Samuel Gacon began printing the Pentateuco in the first book printed in Portugal; the Jewish community of Faro had long been a dominant force in the region, with many artisans and merchants contributing to the economy and city development, but this level of prosperity was interrupted in December 1496 by an edict of Manuel I of Portugal, expelling those who did not convert to Christianity. As a result Jews no longer remained in Portugal. In the place of the Jewish village of Vila Adentro, the convent of Nossa Senhora da Assunção was founded and patronised by Queen Leonor, wife of the king. Manuel I promoted the expansion of the city. By 1540, John III of Portugal had elevated Faro to the status of city in 1577, the bishopric of the Algarve was transferred from Silves, which retains a co-cathedral, to the present Diocese of Faro.
In 1596, the city was sacked by English privateers led by 2nd Earl of Essex. The resultant fires damaged the walls and other buildings. At the same time, English troops seized the library of the Bishop of Faro Fernando Martins de Mascarenhas, which became part of the collection of the University of Oxford's Bodleian Library. Among the looted books was the first printed book in Portugal: a Torah in local Hebrew, printed by Samuel Gacon at his workshop in Faro. Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, the city was expanded, with a series of walls during the period of the Restoration Wars, encompassing the semicircular front to the Ria Formosa; the western city of Lagos had become the capital of the historical province of Algarve in 1577, but this all changed with the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. It affected many settlements across the Algarve, including Faro, which suffered damage to churches and the episcopal palace, in addition to the walls, castle towers and bulwarks, guardhouses, warehouses and prison.
Much of the greater devastation across the coastal and lowland regions was caused by a tsunami, which dismantled fortresses and razed homes. All the coastal towns and villages of the Algarve were damaged by the tsunami, except Faro, protected by the sandy banks of the Ria Formosa lagoon. With the capital Lagos devastated, Faro become the administrative seat of the region the following year, 1756; the municipality of Faro is divided into two distinct areas, the coastline, part of the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa and the barrocal, characterized by hills and valleys, populated with typical Algarvan vegetation. The nature park was created by Decree-Law 373/87, on 8 December 1987, is considered one of the seven natural wonders of Portugal, with a beach, around 7 km from the downtown, it includes the river and a lagoon system, interspersed with dunes, forming a small islands and peninsulas, that