A Guide to Boat Tours and Activities in the Algarve

When you picture Portugal’s Algarve region, it’s likely that azure waters and golden sandy beaches are the first things that come to mind. And, given their beauty, there’s a very good reason for that! But, as a nuanced region packed with culture, history, fun activities and a joyous lust for life, the Algarve has so much more to offer visitors.

Any trip to the southernmost part of Portugal can take in rugged coastlines overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, mysterious caves, world-class golf courses, lively resort towns and traditional fishing villages.

Boat tours in Ria Formosa Natural Park are one of the most popular things to do in this coastal area. Visitors also love the range of exciting activities and trips in Faro, such as kayaking, guided walks and birdwatching.

At Lands – Turismo na Natureza, we take pride in being the Algarve’s foremost eco-tourism specialists. Whether you join us on one of our eco-friendly Algarve tours or not, we know you’ll enjoy your visit to our beautiful home.

We’re always happy to answer questions about our tours and activities, so please contact us for more information about what we do.

But for now, please read on for a guide to the Algarve’s boat tours and activities.

velha ocean ria formosa portugal lands

Tourists Love Boat Tours in Ria Formosa Natural Park

Located near Faro, Ria Formosa Natural Park is one of the most fascinating landscapes in all of Portugal, let alone the Algarve.

As a complex of islands, lagoons and tidal flats running along the Atlantic coast between Ancão and Manta Rota, it is home to a diverse network of ecosystems, not to mention stunning landscapes.

The park is teeming with wildlife too. As a key point of the migration route between Europe and Africa, Ria Formosa provides sanctuary for as many as 20,000 birds at certain points of the year.

Common sightings on Ria Formosa birdwatching tours include the purple swamphen, a creature that was once one of the rarest bird species in Portugal.

If you’re lucky, you may even see flamingos!

For a truly educational experience, you can tour Ria Formosa with one of our trained guides, all of whom are focused on protecting this abundant natural environment.

Whether you intend to visit the park for birdwatching or to explore all the other wildlife and nature on offer, there’s no better way to learn about Ria Formosa than through the insights of a genuine, passionate specialist.

You can even start learning now with our helpful guide to the flora and fauna in Ria Formosa.

Private Eco Boat Tour in Ria Formosa out of Faro, Algarve


Explore the Algarve’s Beauty in a Kayak!

On arrival in the Algarve, many visitors look for kayak rental services in Faro. There really aren’t many better feelings than getting out on the water and navigating the Algarve’s coastline at your own pace.

If you’re worried about too much physical exertion ruining your relaxing holiday, think again! Kayaking involves surprisingly little energy. What’s more, the sheltered waters of Ria Formosa guarantee smooth sailing.

Picture yourself gliding quietly at a slow pace rather than huffing and puffing!

The relative serenity of kayaking allows you to enjoy your time exploring the channels, waterways, beaches and stunning scenery.

But there are many reasons to take a guided kayak tour in Ria Formosa too. The team at Lands provides Ria Formosa kayaking tours from Faro that are family-friendly, eco-friendly, educational and entertaining.

With one of our guides leading the way, you won’t miss a thing!


Top Off Your Day with a Stunning Sunset

With hundreds of miles of coastline and tropical weather, the Algarve sees more than its fair share of beautiful sunsets. But for an even more magical experience, why not take one of our sunset boat trips in Ria Formosa?

While watching the sunset is an unforgettable part of these tours, it’s far from the only highlight.

Departing from Faro Marina, one of our experienced skippers guides a quiet electric boat through the lagoon’s marshlands and channels, taking in the scenery and wildlife.

Watching the sun set over the lagoon is a wonderfully relaxing way to end the day, and the beautiful views over Faro’s Old Town only adds to the experience. With a maximum boat capacity of 10 people, our sunset tours offer an intimate experience like no other.

Private Ria Formosa Boat Trip at Sunset with Lands


Relax in Faro and Explore the Region Beyond

When planning your upcoming trip to the Algarve, consider Faro as your central base for exploring the region. Most importantly, Faro is the closest town to Ria Formosa, making it the perfect gateway to this natural wonderland.

Unlike nearby Albufeira, which is less than an hour’s drive away, Faro is not a typical tourist destination. As such, it offers a much more authentic Portuguese experience.

With a pedestrianised city centre and quality restaurants (many with outside seating), Faro is a quiet sanctuary with a genuine touch of local life. And as your local guides, we can recommend all the best things to do in Faro.

With trains and buses connecting to all surrounding locations, as well as the A22 motorway passing to the north, adventure is never hard to find. For one example alone, the A22 takes you most of the way to the world-famous Benagil Caves in under an hour.

You can find Lands at the Faro Marina, which is where all our activities and trips in Faro and Ria Formosa begin.

View of Ria Formosa from Cacela Velha - Algarve


Make Ria Formosa the Highlight of Your Algarve Itinerary

The appeal of Ria Formosa Natural Park spreads far and wide. It holds status as one of the “7 Natural Wonders of Portugal”. The park was also included on the list of “wetlands of world-wide interest” and is both an IBA (Important Bird Area) and part of the Natura 2000 Network.

The Algarve region rewards exploring, but as one of the jewels in its crown, there’s no better way to start your adventure than with a boat trip in Ria Formosa.

Are you ready to book your Algarve boat tours and activities now? We hope this guide was helpful as you plan your trip to our beautiful part of Portugal. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any queries about our eco-friendly Algarve adventures.

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