Hiking in the Ria Formosa Natural Park, Faro

View of Ria Formosa from the Cathedral of Faro
Scenic view from the Cathedral of Faro, Algarve


Faro is an historic treasure often overlooked by those visiting the Algarve. But to pass it by would be a mistake. Few places have as much cultural and natural beauty to offer side by side. And of all the jewels of Faro, the natural park of Ria Formosa is perhaps the most sparkling. 

Here at Lands, we treasure the rich ecosystem that we are a part of. We’re dedicated to protecting this incredible land now and for the future which is why we are focused on helping people explore this place whilst having zero environmental impact on it. With that in mind, here are some of our tips for hiking in the Ria Formosa Natural Park.


Pick a Route

Ria Formosa offers great costal walks in the Algarve
Guided Walking Tours in the Algarve


It sounds pretty simple – hiking in a park – but the Ria Formosa is a dense network of ever-changing creeks, lagoons, marshes and sandbanks. This is part of its wild charm. 

We’ve written about the Top Walking Trails in the Ria Formosa and Faro, so that’s a great place to start if you want to find a route that suits the time you have and the environment you want to explore. 

Alternatively, if you want to find out as much as possible about the place straight from an expert, you could try our Guided Walking Tour of Ria Formosa


Dress Accordingly

São Lourenço Walking Trail in Ria Formosa, Faro
Ria Formosa lagoon seen from Ancão, Algarve


Most people like to hike the Ria Formosa in spring, but this place is perfect to explore all year round! 

So if you find yourself in Faro in any other season don’t worry. You can enjoy Faro Activities and Trips, such as kayaking, bike tours, boat trips or hiking whatever the season. 

Just check the weather, put on your most comfortable walking boots, and dress accordingly. 

Respect the Environment

 Greater Flamingos flying over Ria Formosa, Algarve
Greater Flamingos flying over Ria Formosa, Algarve


We follow the rule – Take only photos, leave only footprints. The Ria Formosa is a natural wonder and an area of extreme importance to local flora and fauna. It demands the utmost respect. Come here to enjoy the beauty and ecological diversity, not to make any changes of your own! 

One of the most exciting aspects of the natural park is how rich it is with migrating birdlife. If you have any interest in birds then our Ria Formosa Birdwatching Tour from Faro is an absolute must! 

Our guides will make sure you find the best spots to catch sight of some of the parks most famous denizens such as the purple swamphen (a local) and the greater flamingo. 

A lot of birds shelter in this area during the winter so the natural park of Ria Formosa is genuinely brimming with life all year round and we definitely want to keep it that way. 

If this sounds like a brilliant time and you’d like even more options, check out our sunset Ria Formosa boat trip or perhaps our Ria Formosa birdwatching tour.


Be Prepared

Source: Image


As with any activity, you want to make sure you have everything you need. When it comes to hiking it’s important to stay hydrated and to keep your energy up so make sure you have enough water for the duration of your hike, and pack a few snacks so that your blood sugar doesn’t drop. We also recommend you go to the bathroom before you head out on any hike. 

Of course, if you consume anything while you’re out hiking, or if you find you need to go to the bathroom, make sure you don’t leave any rubbish behind. Carry a bag for your waste and make sure you are considerate of your environment and all the other people who are out there to enjoy it. 


Enjoy Yourself!

Little Tern in Ria Formosa, Algarve
Little Tern in Ria Formosa, Algarve


Finally, and very importantly, you should enjoy yourself out there. Hiking is a good way to get away from the buzz of your daily life and the natural park of Ria Formosa is one of the most perfect places to enjoy a good hike. So breathe in nature, try to remember all the beautiful sights, and have a great time. And if any of our tours took your fancy, or if you have any questions about the area please don’t hesitate to get in touch!



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