On this 90-minute tour, we will visit the Ria Formosa, a true sanctuary of nature and a National Park visited by 30 thousand birds annually! The morning will be spent searching for birds using traditional methods which are 2000 years old. Sign up for this relaxing, stimulating and educational adventure and you'll bring back photos and memories of the most beautiful landscape and wildlife, that will last a lifetime!
The Ria Formosa Natural Park covers an area of around 16,000-hectares and consists of coastal lagoons, vast areas of tidal flats, saltmarshes, and saltpans that are enclosed by a belt of sand dune islands and peninsulas. It is of particular importance as a wintering area for many birds from northern Europe and as a resting and feeding station for birds migrating between Africa and Europe. Classified as Nature Reserve in the 70s, this protection status was elevated to a Natural Park in 1987. The Ria Formosa is also classified under the Ramsar Convention as a Wetland of International Importance and as a Special Protection Area under the EU Directive on the Conservation of Wild Birds.
Amongst those occurring in notable numbers are Black-tailed Godwits, Ringed Plovers, and Little Stints. There is also a diverse population of breeding birds that includes Little Bittern, Purple Swamp-hen, Purple Heron, Red-crested Pochard, Collared Pratincole, Kentish Plover, European Bee-eater, Red-necked Nightjar, Woodchat and Southern Grey Shrikes and Little Tern. Marsh Harriers are resident as are a small number of Booted Eagles, now a regular sight in winter. To the west is the largest area of reed beds in the Algarve, where in season, Ferruginous Duck, Purple Heron, Black-winged Kite, Penduline Tits and Black-headed Weaver can be found.