Ria Formosa Natural Park
The “Algarvian Queen”
an iconic paradise
you want to explore
when visiting Algarve
Renowned worldwide for having the best beaches and a mild climate, the Algarve also offers one of Portugal’s Seven Natural Wonders – the Ria Formosa Natural Park, the most important wetland on the South of Portugal, a rich environmental and socio-economic heritage, the Algarvian Queen.
Due to its geographical location, it has a high biodiversity and natural richness that is of extreme importance for wildlife, especially for water birds. Reflecting its international importance, the Ria Formosa lagoon system has been included since 1980 in the prominent Ramsar Convention, a standing position given to the most important wetlands on heart. Additionally in Europe, the lagoon was declared an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) and included in the Natura 2000 network of special protected sites.
This natural system has about 18000ha and is formed by a cord of golden sand dunes composed of peninsulas and islands that protect the lagoon from the Atlantic Ocean, on the inside there are marshlands and mudflats producing beautiful landscapes of natural and wild paradise sceneries. There are also places with fishing communities that have established since the ancient times and have survived to our days mostly living from the lagoon´s natural resources. On the lagoon’s outskirts, closer to the mainland, there are the famous salt pans, agricultural land and pine woods.
There are many things to do in this Natural Park and many ways for you to explore the beauty and diversity of the Algarvian Queen, get a water taxi or hop-on hop-off a public ferry to visit a picturesque village on one of the Islands, join a group of people on a boat trip for some birdwatching, seeing the beautiful natural inlets or closely observing the locals clam picking and the famous oyster farms in activity.
There are small typical boats, pontoon boats and others. For a more eco-friendly boat tour you will also find solar boats providing delightful experiences. For does looking for something safer and more exclusive, there is ALGARVE WOW providing unique experiences with their private charters.
The neighborhoods you can’t miss when you visit Faro are, Faro Old Town to climp the church tower for the great views of the Ria Formosa and to see the wonderful tiled roofs. Olhão and its fruit, vegetable and fish markets. The little Estoi village and the roman ruins, and a bit further up towards the hills a small town called São Brás de Alportel with its very interesting costume museum and fantastic exhibitions.
If you are visiting Algarve on a motorhome or campervan, you’ll find in São Brás de Alportel one of the most reputable and recommended motorhome parks in Algarve, quiet, very spacious and with facilities, it is in the centre of the Algarve and close to the airport, Motorhome Eco Park will probably become a very handy motorhome park for you and any friends visiting!
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