Are you looking for a sweet escape from all the hustle and bustle of the city streets? If you are, then take a tour to Ria Formosa Natural Park. It is one of the most relaxing places found in Algarve. It has nature-crafted landscapes which made it one among the seven Natural Wonders of Portugal. There are three reserves found in Algarve and Ria Formosa is among those. It is situated adjacent to a coastal lagoon that is home to many aquatic plants and animals.

Before reaching the Ria Formosa Natural Park, the long golden sandbars of Faro islands will greet you first. The Ria Formosa is actually a series of lagoons of salty water. This protected area

Ria Formosa photoPhoto by joaoa

Within the bounds of this park are the ruins of this town of Balsa. Five Roman salting crops are offered for exploration near the freshwater lagoons, although the majority of them are inaccessible to visitors as they reside on the private land. Dating back to the 2nd century, the salted fish produced at these plants were sent all over the empire.

This lagoon topography includes dune islands deserts, marshland, saltpans, and inland lakes. These wetlands are in turn into a habitat for all species of birds.

Boat Trip: Birdwatching in Ria Formosa (2,5h)

Ria Formosa photoPhoto by joaoa

On this wonderful birdwatching boat trip, Natura Algarve offers you the chance to observe. Considered the most important wetland in Portugal for birds, it is among the places to see if you enjoy birdwatching. We sail on shallow and secondary channels, without bothering them, allowing excellent views of birds in distances.

A zone of significance, the Ria Formosa estuary is a labyrinth of canals, islands, sandy and marshland beaches which extend 60 km along the Algarve coast between the shores of Manta and Garrão Rota.

The Ria Formosa encompasses an area of approximately 18 000 hectares, and is protected from the sea from 5 barrier-islands and two peninsulas: the Peninsula of Ancão that the locals call the island of Faro, the Barreta Island also Called Ilha Deserta, the Culatra Island (where the lighthouse of Santa Maria is situated), the Isle of Armona, the Isle of Tavira, Cabanas Island and, ultimately, the Peninsula of Cacela. This awesome area extends throughout the municipalities of Loulé, Faro, Olhão, Tavira and Vila Real de Santo António.

Though Parque Natural da Ria Formosa Centre is not signed from anyway and can be difficult and frustrating to discover, this important wildlife website (it’s designated under the RAMSAR convention as a wetlands reserve of worldwide significance) is very well worth a trip.

Ria Formosa has habitats: salt marshes, barrier islands, sandbanks and lavender, dunes, salt marshes, freshwater ponds, brackish water lagoons, rivers, forests and agricultural areas, which enabled a massive diversity of fauna and flora.

With this Nature Park, we could find endangered species such as the chameleon – a reptile that exists at the south of Portugal and the seahorse, where we now have one of the biggest populations of seahorses on the planet.

The Natural Park of Ria Formosa can be seen during the year, the best time to visit can vary in accordance with your objectives. If your trip is related to values, any time of year is appropriate, although you need to avoid if you’re looking for peace and tranquility.


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