Take a long walk accompanied by a nature tour guide, with binoculars available to better spot the vast array of wildlife. This is a very easy walk will show you why the Ria Formosa was elected one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Portugal.
Our walk starts in the Quinta do Lago area with an excellent view over the lagoon, the marshes and the well-preserved dunes of the Ria Formosa, one of the most important wetlands in Europe. During the low tide, one can observe the typical vegetation of the marshlands and the wealth of the fauna. Animals like the Fiddler crab are common, as are the numerous waterfowl that are looking for small organisms on the tidal flats.
The trail continues through areas of pine woodlands where you may encounter many small bird species as well as several aromatic plants. During the tour, there is a possibility to find chameleons – a reptile that only exists in the south of Portugal.
We arrive at the fresh water pond and make a stop at the bird hide. This is an excellent spot to look for the Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) a protected species that was elected the symbol of this Natural Park. After our stop at this excellent site for birding, we continue our trail towards a complex of salt pans where you can learn more about the tradition of salt extraction.
The saltpans in the Algarve are famous due to the quality of its salt and also for the Flor de Sal. While you learn that this area is responsible for an important share of salt production in Portugal, our guide will try to find the colourful flamingos as well as the Black-winged Stilt, Avocet, and the Kentish Plover.
After this last stop, we begin our journey back, passing the local people working in the clam and oyster farms in the wonderful Ria Formosa scenery.
Duration: 3 hours
– Field guide.
– Comfortable clothing.
– 14:00 p.m.