5 Reasons to Take a Day Trip to Ria Formosa Nature Park

If you’ve been thinking of taking a holiday to the Algarve, this is your sign to go for it! As one of Portugal’s Seven Natural Wonders, this southernmost part of the country is full of delights for travelers who love getting back to nature. 

Here at Lands, we love all things related to Ria Formosa Nature Park, and we consider it our most incredible privilege to live and work in such a special part of the Algarve. That’s why our Eco Boat Tours in the Ria Formosa offer tourists a chance to experience the beauty without worrying about their eco-footprint. 

While a visit to Ria Formosa sells itself, we’ve rounded up the top five reasons to take a trip to visit this beautiful part of the world. If you’d like any further advice, please drop us a line!

But, for now, let’s look at the top five reasons you should visit Ria Formosa in the Algarve!

5) Ria Formosa is Paradise for Birdwatchers

Little tern Sternula albifrons - a white bird with black markings - flies in a blue sky.

It isn’t easy to conceive of anywhere in Portugal that offers more to birdwatchers than Ria Formosa. This is because this verdant, fertile lagoon is home to a staggering array of birdlife, with 200 bird species living in or visiting Ria Formosa throughout the year. 

Of course, birds come and go to this great lagoon, but that seasonality makes each trip exciting, as no two days are entirely the same. With our birdwatching tour of Ria Formosa, our fully qualified biologist guides take guests on a gentle hike through Ria Formosa, pointing out many of the most exciting birds and wildlife.

We also offer a birdwatching boat tour of Ria Formosa if you’d prefer to explore the lagoon by boat.

4) Some of the Best Photography Opportunities in the Algarve

Ria Formosa viewed from above. A series of verdant lank networks in a blue ocean studded with boats.


While some things in the Ria Formosa are best experienced at the moment, with your phone and camera in your bag, this stunning lagoon offers some of the best photo ops in the Algarve, making it the perfect spot for amateur and professional photographers. 

Of course, you can photograph any charming and enigmatic birds living in the lagoon, but you can also capture some of the area’s distinctive landscapes. The Ria Formosa is unlike anywhere else in Portugal, and its uniqueness is a constant source of inspiration for photographers. 

You can even attempt to capture the gorgeous sunset, but that’s so special it deserves a section all to itself!

3) Experience the Greatest Sunset in the Algarve

See the Algarve Sunset on this Faro Boat Tour

This claim is perhaps more subjective than the others in this blog, as beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That said, based on the feedback from guests on our Sunset Ria Formosa Boat Tour, we’re very confident that Ria Formosa’s sunsets have enough wow factor to justify our claim! 

While there are some incredible photographs and videos of sunsets over the lagoon, nothing compares to being here in person. 

Kick back and listen to the waves lapping against the boat, smell the sea air, and watch the hundreds of nuanced shades and hues of pinks, oranges, and peaches in the sky that no camera can ever quite capture.

2) You Can Explore Ria Formosa by Kayak

Rent a kayak in the Algarve and have great fun at your own pace and in your own time.

Whether you decide to rent a kayak in Ria Formosa or take a Ria Formosa kayak tour, you’re guaranteed to have an incredible time. For some people, there’s nothing quite like getting out on the water in their own kayak, deciding how fast you go and where you explore. 

Kayaking in Ria Formosa also offers a completely different perspective of the lagoon as you see it right from the surface of the water. It’s suitable for children six years and older (sharing a boat with an adult), making kayaking a fantastic family activity!

1) Take an Eco Boat Tour of Ria Formosa

A white solar-powered boat with an awning sits between the shore and the water. The sky is blue and the boat has two solar panels on its rear.

Lastly, taking one of our eco boat tours of Ria Formosa is a fantastic way to enjoy this part of the world. There’s nothing quite like gliding smoothly, almost silently, across the lagoon, taking in the serene atmosphere while an expert guide shares facts and stories about the nature park. 

While any boat tour of the lagoon is guaranteed to impress, the unique beauty and atmosphere of this special place have always provided enough incentive for people to opt for an environmentally friendly option. 

At Lands, we go above and beyond regarding our boat’s eco-friendly features: they are completely solar powered, with electric engines — meaning there are no fossil fuels released into the air or hydrocarbons emitted into the water. Our boats are also incredibly quiet, and they are designed to move as smoothly as possible over the surface so as not to harm or disturb wildlife.

If you have any questions about this blog or the Ria Formosa tours and activities we’ve mentioned, please feel free to get in touch

Wherever you stay along the Algarve, it’s always worth visiting Ria Formosa, near Faro, and we hope we’ve convinced one or two readers to add it to their next great Portuguese adventure!

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