A wetland of international importance, the Ria Formosa is a labyrinth of canals, islands, marshes and sandbanks, which extends along 60 km of the Algarve coast, between the beaches of Garrão and Manta Rota.
This diversity of ecosystems attracts a varied fauna that includes numerous species of birds. One of the rarest is the sultan’s hen, a symbol of the Natural Park, which cannot be found anywhere else in the country. If you want to admire this bird of showy plumage and know everything about the protected area, start your visit at the Marim Environmental Education Center, which will show you the most appropriate walking trails and observatories where you can hide to enjoy the day-to-day. day of the various species. The Park also organizes tours in a traditional boat formerly used for tuna fishing.
One of the nicest species you can find here is the Portuguese water dog. It is a breed of long-haired dogs, which helped fishermen in their work, diving and catching the fish that was trapped in nets.
In addition to fishing, the extraction of salt and the harvesting of mollusks and bivalves are the traditional activities of the people of the Ria who, with wisdom and art, have created delicious gastronomic specialties, such as fish soup or razor clam rice, which you can enjoy in peace. at the seaside restaurants.
Who likes sun and sea, find in the islands of Ria Formosa true paradises. From west to east, the islands of Faro, Barreta, Culatra, Armona and Tavira follow one another, with extensive, little frequented sands. To finish off the tour, visit Cacela Velha, a white village with a notable historical heritage. Go up to the fortress, and look around. The landscape in which the blues of the estuary, the sea and the sky are mixed is breathtaking.