Here at Lands, we love anything related to Ria Formosa Nature Park, and we consider it our greatest privilege to live and work in such a special part of the Algarve. Holidays, road trips, and adventures are all comprised of special moments — of unforgettable days spent experiencing new places and creating new memories. We would like to take a small amount of time today to make a case for why you ought to visit Ria Formosa, and we’d like to do this by offering some of the many moments and memories you can look forward to once you arrive. Here are our 5 reasons to take a day trip to Ria Formosa Nature Park!
5) Ria Formosa is Paradise for Birdwatchers
It’s difficult 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 is also what makes each trip exciting, as no two days are completely the same. With our birdwatching tour of Ria Formosa, our fully qualified biologist guides take guests out 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
While some things in Ria Formosa are best experienced in the moment, with your phone and your 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 take a photograph of any of the charming and enigmatic birds living in the lagoon, but you can also capture some of the area’s distinctive landscapes. 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 particularly beautiful sunset, but that’s so special it deserves a section all to itself!
3) Experience Perhaps the Greatest Sunset in the Algarve
This claim is perhaps more subjective than the others in this blog, as beauty really 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, listening to the waves lapping against the boat, smelling the sea air, noticing 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
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. As it’s suitable for children five years and older (sharing a boat with an adult), kayaking is a fantastic family activity!
1) Take an Eco Boat Tour of Ria Formosa
Lastly, we’d like to talk about our eco boat tours of Ria Formosa. There’s nothing quite like gliding smoothly, almost silently, across the lagoon, taking in the serene atmosphere while listening to an expert guide tell you 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 has always provided enough incentive for people to opt for an environmentally friendly option. At Lands, we go above and beyond when it comes to 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 the wildlife.
If you have any questions about this blog or about 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!