A Guide to Eco Tours in Ria Formosa, Portugal

If you’re planning a trip to Portugal’s beautiful Algarve region but are conscious of keeping your eco-footprint minimal, look no further! At Lands – Turismo na Natureza, responsibly sharing the Algarve’s natural beauty is our biggest pleasure, especially Ria Formosa Natural Park.

Enjoy the mild climate and sunny days all year round at Ria Formosa. The area is nestled between former fishing villages and beaches with popular bars, restaurants, and friendly locals. The park itself is protected by barrier islands and filters into the Atlantic Ocean. Ria Formosa is also home to a whole host of colourful creatures, as we’ll see in this post, including pink flamingos, seahorses, otters, and a whole host of marine birds. If you’re interested in plants, check out our handy guide to the flora and fauna of Ria Formosa. As the Algarve’s leading eco-tourism experts, we show you the splendour of Ria Formosa with a minimal carbon footprint on our environmentally friendly tours.

From solar-powered boat trips to kayak and walking tours, you can explore one of Portugal’s seven natural wonders guilt-free. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch! We’ll happily answer your questions about all the eco-boat tours we offer. But for now, read on to find out more about what to expect on one of our Algarve boat tours.

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Birdwatch on an Eco Tour in Ria Formosa

Identified as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International, Ria Formosa is a key stop-over point in migration routes between Europe and Africa. In the winter, the park hosts more than 20,000 birds. While we can’t promise you’ll see all 20,000, there are plenty of birds who inhabit the park year-round, such as the Spoonbill, the Black-winged Stilt, and the Avocet. 

Our intimate 3-hour birdwatching tour explores Ria Formosa’s mosaic of pine woodlands, marshlands, and freshwater ponds on foot. The small tour of you and three others, plus a guide’s live commentary, ensure you get the most out of the telescope and bird identification books we provide for novices and experts. 

But if you’d like to birdwatch by boat, you can! Our bird-watching boat tour is 2.5 hours long and provides visitors with high-quality binoculars. Guided by our expert guides, you’ll receive plenty of bird-spotting tips for beginners and experts alike. Keep your eyes peeled for colourful flamingos, spoonbills, egrets, as well as many species of waders.


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Soak up the Sunset on a Calming Eco Boat Tour

After a long day of sightseeing and walking around the nearby times, what better way to unwind than on a sunset boat tour of Ria Formosa? Sit back and relax with beautiful views over the Old Town of Faro as you experience the majestic sunset on the calm waters of Ria Formosa. As you cruise back to the Marina of Faro, keep an eye out for nocturnal marine and avian life that inhabit the park. With a diverse ecosystem above and below the waters, you can never fully predict what exciting creatures will cross your path.

All of our boat tours are solar-powered and quiet. Meaning you can explore the serene scenes and creatures inhabiting them without leaving any environmental impact. Our trips are limited to a maximum of 10 sailors plus our guides, ensuring an intimate experience with excellent views. 


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Eco Walking Tours of Ria Formosa

If you’d prefer to explore the park by foot, our Guided Walking Tour of Ria Formosa around Faro ventures into the protected areas of Ludo and Quinta do Lago. This 3-hour walk features stunning views over the freshwater lagoon, with regular breaks and time to search for the Purple Swamphen — this beautiful bird is the symbol of the park. Walkers can also keep their eyes peeled for more fabulous birdlife, such as the White stork and Marsh Harriers. 

As well as insights into the wildlife of Ria Formosa, our local guide will lead you to the picturesque saltpans and explain traditional salt extraction and clam farming — two important economic activities within the region.

Enjoy an Eco Kayaking Tour Around the Ria Formosa

For a more active environmentally friendly excursion, why not try our Ria Formosa Kayaking Tour from Faro? Meet the area’s wildlife from a new angle while enjoying this family-friendly adventure in one of the Algarve’s gems.

Our 2-hour tour includes a quick lesson on how to handle your kayak, before letting you loose to explore the channels and marshes of Rio Formosa’s spectacular wetlands. All of our tours are run by trained local guides who know the area like the back of their hand. So hop into one of our double sit-on-top kayaks and glide through the water at your own pace in comfort. Who knows what feathery friends you may meet on your journey?


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Explore the Ria Formosa with Lands…

Whichever eco tour you decide to take to explore Ria Formosa, we hope you enjoy experiencing the diverse wildlife and types of land within the natural park. 

As a team of trained guides, we know how important it is to enjoy the world sustainably. That’s why our tours focus on minimal environmental impact and educating visitors about the park’s ecosystem.

Whether you’re an amateur birdwatcher or want to try something new, like kayaking, let the team at Lands make planning your adventure easy. If you’re thinking of booking a tour but want a little more information, get in touch! We’re happy to help answer any of your questions.

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