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Birdwatching in the Algarve: Ludo & Quinta do Lago

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Important information:

• Bring plenty of water to drink to avoid dehydration.
• Bring casual clothing and comfortable footwear. During certain periods of the year, a wind stopper and a waterproof coat are useful if not essential.
• A rucksack or backpack is recommended to carry a small snack, sunglasses, a camera, a hat, and a good sun cream.

• Not wheelchair accessible.

  • Location: Marina of Faro
  • Duration: 3H
  • Seats available: -
  • Min. capacity: 1

Algarve Birdwatching Walking Tour in Ria Formosa from Faro: Ludo and Quinta do Lago

If you're staying in the Algarve and you like birdwatching, make sure to join this wonderful birdwatching walking tour through Portugal's stunning Ria Formosa.

Enjoy a 3-hour private birdwatching tour in the protected areas of Ludo and Quinta do Lago and discover the best of the Algarve bird life with an expert local guide.

On this private tour, we depart from Faro to explore the protected areas of Ludo and Quinta do Lago. These two areas are extraordinary places for birdwatching, in fact, some of the best birding spots in the Algarve.

Put on your birding hat and have a great time out discovering one of the best birdwatching spots of the Algarve.

This area is a birdwatchers paradise and your knowledgeable local guide will show you the great diversity of birds and make the most of your time spent in this beautiful protected wetland in the Algarve.

It is made of a mosaic of pine woodlands, saltpans, farmland, marshlands, and freshwater ponds. Some of the local specialties are the Little Bittern, the Purple Swamphen, the Red-crested Pochard, and the exotic Black-headed weaver. These species can be observed in the reedy pool on the edge of freshwater ponds.

Autumn is marked by several migrant passerines, including Melodious and Willow Warblers, Tawny Pipit, and Bluethroat. The reed beds are important for several nesting waterbird species and also for large numbers of migrating passerines during both autumn and spring migration.

All over the year, species like Spoonbill, Black-winged Stilt, Avocet, and Kentish Plover can be observed. Other breeders include Collared Pratincole, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Yellow Wagtail, Woodchat Shrike, and beach-nesting Little Tern.

Winter is quite interesting mostly due to the huge concentrations of waders and ducks that take refuge here. The Caspian Tern, Osprey, Black-shouldered Kite, Marsh Harrier, and Booted Eagle are other regular visitors during the coldest period of the year.

Sightings of reasonable numbers of the Greater Flamingo are common all year round and excellent views of the sociable Azure-winged Magpie, the hard to miss Hoopoe, and the lovely Sardinian Warbler are some of the other highlights.

Ludo and Quinta do Lago are well worth discovering. Join us on a birdwatching tour in this beautiful site. We promise you a memorable day out filled with birds.

Spoken languages:
  • en English

  • pt Portuguese

  • fr French

  • es Spanish


• 3-hour private birdwatching walking tour
• Use of binoculars, telescope, and bird identification guides
• Local guide
• Live commentary by a knowledgeable local guide
• Transfer from meeting point to the starting point of the tour and return


• Hotel pickup and drop-off
• Food and drinks
• Tips (optional)
• All other extras


• A minimum of 1 adult per booking is required.
• A maximum of 4 people per booking.
• Children must be accompanied by an adult.
• Not wheelchair accessible.
• Subject to favorable weather conditions. If canceled due to poor weather, you will be given the option of an alternative date or full refund.
• Safety comes first, please follow the instructions and recommendations of your guide, especially those relating to safety issues.
• The schedules of departures and arrivals, the duration, and itineraries of the activities are subject to change without previous notice due to security determined by the weather conditions, tides, and/or other circumstances beyond our control.
• All tours are accompanied by experienced guides with a profound knowledge of all bird species in the areas visited.
• The main emphasis of these tours is birdwatching, but whilst on tour, we might have opportunities to observe wildflowers, mammals, and other wildlife as well as other aspects of the Algarve’s nature and culture.
• Tours are amended not only to the participants’ interests but also to their level of birding experience from novice to expert.
• Trips may be amended due to weather conditions or the physical condition of the participants should our guides deem this advisable.
• Avoid disturbing birds and wildlife. Please respect the most sensitive periods of the year. During the breeding period, avoid disturbance of nests, breeding bird colonies, and other sites of dependency.
• Respect other birdwatchers and be discreet. Be so kind as to avoid disturbance of birds that are being observed.
• Explore nature’s great outdoors. Take only pictures, leave only footprints.

Cancelation policy
  • Bookings of activities and/ or services may be done in a proper form on the website, by email, by phone, through authorized agents and/ or Lands - Turismo na Natureza, Lda Points of Sale.
  • For groups of 20 or more participants, bookings should be done as soon as possible and at least 24 hours before the date of the activity and/ or service.
  • All bookings are subject to availability.
  • Lands - Turismo na Natureza, Lda reserves the right to cancel the activity and/ or services by reasons which fall outside the responsibility of the company. We cannot be held responsible for cancellations due to the following reasons: natural disasters, climate conditions, system failures, or any other circumstances beyond the company's control and also whenever the safety and integrity of participants, equipment, and/ or goods are at risk. The client will be fully refunded, without any compensation or indemnity.
  • The cancellation of activity and/ or services by the participant may be done through a proper form on the website, by email, or by phone up until 24 hours before the start of the activity and/ or services.
  • For groups of 10 or more participants, the cancellation of activity and/ or services may be done through a proper form on the website, by email, or by phone up until 48 hours before the start of the activity and/ or services.
  • If the cancellation does not comply with the requirements above, the activity and/ or service will be charged at the full rate.
  • Once the activity and/or service has started, with the agreement of the participants and the safety and integrity of participants, equipment and/ or goods is not at risk, in the event of a request from the participant(s) to stop or interrupt it due to wind, temperature, rainfall, waves or other factors beyond the company's control, no refund, indemnity or compensation will apply and the activity and/ or service will proceed its usual course.
  • In the case of equipment rental, cancellations should be done up until 24 hours before its start, otherwise, it will be charged at the full rate. In case of deliberate cancellation by the client, Lands will charge the period of use of the equipment or its minimum rental period.
  • The rental and hire of equipment and/ or goods are subject to its terms and conditions.
  • In the event of no show, the full amount charged is non-refundable.
  • Lands reserves the right to change the boats and/or equipment to carry out the activity and/ or service, due to system failures or adverse weather conditions. In that case, another boat and/ or equipment will be used and we will charge the rate and/or prices previously agreed.
  • The meeting point and the departure time are indicated on the voucher or the booking confirmation document.
  • Delay of the participants may imply exclusion from the activity. To prevent the latter from happening please be so kind to be at the designated meeting point on time. There is a maximum tolerance of 10 minutes.
  • Departure time is subject to changes due to weather conditions, system failures, or any other circumstances beyond the company's control.
  • Whenever a stop or free time is planned during the activity, the crew, skipper, and/ or tour guide will inform you of the following location and time of departure. Please be at the location 5 minutes before the announced time of departure.
  • Lands reserves the right to suspend a participant from an activity if the times of departure are not respected. In this case, no refund or compensation is available.
  • Lands reserves the right to suspend a participant from the activity and/ or service if the participant has no physical condition to carry it out or if the participant does not respect the safety recommendations and instructions.
  • The itineraries and the exact timings at the several points of the activity and/ or service are only indicative. They are subject to change due to weather conditions and/ or the physical conditions of the participants and can be amended if the person representing Lands deems this advisable.
  • The schedules of departures and arrivals, durations, and itineraries of the activities and/ or services are subject to change without prior notice due to safety and security determined by weather conditions, winds, tides, and/or any other circumstances beyond the control of Lands - Turismo na Natureza, Lda.
  • Lands - Turismo na Natureza, Lda. promotes ecotourism activities and nature tours of natural, cultural, and environmental interest. We expect our guests and participants to respect the visited natural areas and the local lifestyles. We respect and follow the guidelines of the ICNF's code of conduct and we reserve the right to suspend or cancel an activity if we find the participants' behavior conflicts with this philosophy and code of conduct.
  • During our activities and/ or services, we can take photos and videos to promote our company. If you do not want this information to be used, please be so kind as to previously inform our staff.
  • Lands - Turismo na Natureza, Lda. has available a complaints book and reports directly to ASAE.
  • Lands - Turismo na Natureza is a fully licensed company with the registration No. 35/2003 of the Tourism Board of Portugal.
  • Our activities are certified as Ecotourism by the ICNF - the Portuguese Institute for Conservation of Nature and Forests.
  • We have all the mandatory insurance legislation.
  • Omissions and other questions not covered by these terms and conditions will be discussed with Lands - Turismo na Natureza, Lda and are subject to the applicable Portuguese law.
what clients say

Myself, my wife and my children (aged 14 and 12) enjoyed a fantastic morning exploring the Ludo area near Faro with Lands. Our guide, Barbara, was extremely well informed about the birds, plants and other wildlife of this beautiful and tranquil area. She guided us expertly to just the right places to get the best views of the birds. We saw at least 40 different species of bird in only three hours, including: booted eagles, purple swamphen, hoopoe, azure-winged magpie, Sardinian warblers, blackheaded weavers, avocets, serin, marsh sandpiper and beeeaters to name but a few. Our guide also explained the way the area is managed as both a nature reserve and for the production of salt. We also saw the remains of a Roman settlement. Barbara was careful to make sure that the children got good views of the birds and always felt included. A highlight for my daughter was finding a baby terrapin which had strayed onto the path. I thoroughly recommend this tour. You certainly don't have to be a fanatical birdwatcher to enjoy it. It would really suit anyone with any interest in the wildlife of the Algarve or even just a curiosity about what the region is like away from the tourist resorts. Muito obrigado to Barbara and Lands for such a wonderful experience which was easily the highlight of our short stay in the Algarve.


“Can't imagine how it could have been bettered” My wife and I, along with about 20 others, were on a birding holiday organised by our local travel agent on our behalf and they had selected Lands to take care of our boat trip and birding walks. The first thing to say is that there was good planning going on in the background - boat trip at low tide to increase our chance of seeing birds, walks in the relative cool of morning and late afternoon, plenty of lunch time in the heat of the day etc. So what about the performance of the front line staff? We did a boat trip in the Ria Formosa, split into two groups and the feedback from both boats was very positive. The guides were knowledgeable and funny with a nice lightness of touch which most of us enjoyed. It was made easier by there being lots of birds to see including some specials such as a short - eared owl and ospreys. The quiet coasting back to Faro sometimes just drifting with the tide was almost other worldly - very atmospheric and we sat in silence letting it happen until the SE owl started mobbing an osprey. A lovely expereince. Then there were the walks led by our two guides. We were blessed to have Bárbara and Andre. Andre is a very pleasant young man, learning his trade, and at first was a little daunted by our noisy, confident, very experienced birders but he quickly hit his stride, grew in confidence and played his full role, in particular spotting the bird of the week, the purple heron at Salgados Lagoon among many others. Bárbara was just a consummate professional in all aspects of her role. Where does one start? There might be something she doesn't know about the wildlife of the Algarve including birds, trees, plants and flowers but we didn't find any gaps in her knowledge. Her insisting that we ALL saw ALL the birds, her extraordinary ability to find the birds by sight or sound, her continuing enthusiasm (just as keen to find the corn bunting she heard on the last day as the first day) made her an ideal guide for our group of birders. Add to this her engaging personality and humour and it was a recipe for a lovely successful experience. I trust Lands realise what a treasure they have there. We all grew to enjoy the company of our guides and it was with real affection that we said goodbye at the end of our week. There were many birding highlights - the eagles, the blue rock thrush, the purple swamp hen but the real star bird was the purple heron seen gliding slowly and without any perceptible wing movements across the sky right in front of us. What a bird! This was seen at Salgados Lagoon which is a beautiful site with many species including glossy ibis and purple heron but which is under serious threat from development. There is a petition to preserve its status. If you have any interest in wildlife please google “Save Salgados Lagoon” for further information. My wife and I would like to say a huge thank you to Lands for providing us with guides who transformed what was always going to be an enjoyable holiday into one which was truly memorable. It was also heartening to see these young people engaged in the care of the wildlife of their country. Keep up the good work.


"Birdwatching on foot" Three-hour walking tour was very worthwhile with Lauro's expert guidance. Actually took a bit longer but we did not complain about that. Included some ten minutes by car to starting point. Binoculars and telescope of very good quality (we are not experts). Saw species common to the area but in many cases new to us (about 35 in all). Learnt about a bit about history of region, including salt making. Easy flat walk all the way.


"The best way to explore the Ria Formosa!" There are several very good reasons why Lands is probably the first name you'll hear if you ask about kayaking, sailing, guided walks or birdwatching in the Faro area: they've earned a great reputation for running these activities over a long period of time and they really care about the fascinating environment of the Ria Formosa. What might look at first like a flat expanse of mud and water, to the untrained eye, becomes an amazing wonderland waiting to be explored when you're with one of Lands's brilliant guides. My partner and I spent a fun afternoon kayaking in the lagoon with Francisco, who was very entertaining and clearly knew his stuff. His sense of humour and obvious enjoyment of his job made our experience one to remember. I'd have no hesitation in recommending Lands if you want to see a different side of the Algarve, and only regret that we didn't have time to try some of the other activities they offer.

Jenny R

"Fantastic birding!" Our guide, Barbara, took my husband, myself, and adult daughter out for a wonderful morning of birding. We met at the marina and drove a short distance to the Ria Formosa, where we both drove and walked to see a variety of birds (we also enjoyed seeing the salt works there). Barbara was very knowledgeable and a great spotter. We saw many new species of birds and also learned about the botany of the area. The trip was affordable and well worth it! Highly recommended, we loved it!

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