There’s no better feeling than completing a long hike; you’ve been outside in nature, got some exercise and usually have a pretty great view to enjoy somewhere along the way!
Ria Formosa is well known for its hiking trails and walking paths, whether you’re looking for a high-octane paced trek or a chilled stroll. When you’re visiting southern Portugal, take a trip through the intricate marshland, dunes and lagoons of Ria Formosa.
Fancy something at a more relaxed pace but still want to see the sights? Then, take a look at our Ria Formosa Boat Trips instead! If you have any questions about this beautiful part of Portugal, please feel free to contact us.
Guided Walking Tour of Ria Formosa Around Faro
Our guided Faro walking tour is one of the best ways to experience Ria Formosa. Over three hours, our helpful guides will take you through the woodlands, marshes and saltpans that make up Ria Formosa.
Our tour doesn’t stop there – we also visit the world-famous lagoon and our knowledgeable guides will tell you about the local clam farming business. Clam farming plays a vital role in the economic structure of Ria Formosa.
You’ll also get the chance to see birds like the Greater Flamingo in their natural habitat. It’ll make for a fantastic IG post!
Did you know? Greater Flamingos get their distinctive pink colour from a pigment present in the algae and crustaceans they eat. Don’t worry, though; you won’t turn pink if you eat our clams!
Praia de Faro
Praia de Faro is a beach and nature trail in Ria Formosa, near Montenegro. If you’re an outdoorsy type, then this is the place for you. Let loose on their vast, sandy beaches and feel your feet sink into the sun-soaked sand before hitting that trail.
There are many ways you can spend the day at Praia de Faro! You could work up a sweat on the trail running paths keeping your eyes peeled for exotic birds, or spend the whole day on a hike — whatever works for you!
Top Tip: The hike itself measures up to 7.6km, so make sure you pack a bottle of water and sunscreen, as you’ll be outside for quite a while.
A definite perk of Praia de Faro is its remoteness. If you’re looking for an opportunity to unplug and escape the hustle and bustle of daily life, then Praia de Faro should be on your list.
If you want to escape the crowds completely, December is the perfect time to visit.
Culatra Island Trail
Culatra Island is located in the middle of Ria Formosa. It’s considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the Algarve. You’ll get to explore miles of dunes and views of the crystal clear water that surrounds it on the trail.
The island is also home to rare flora and fauna; keep an eye out for curry plants and Portuguese thyme.
Also, whilst you’re on this hike, remember to take a moment to appreciate how different the landscape is on this island compared to the rest of Portugal, which usually has cliff backed beaches.
Top Tip: If you can stay for sunset, we highly recommend it; you can’t beat a sunset at Culatra Island.
Ria Formosa Birdwatching Tour
If the above section captured your imagination, we think you’ll love our Ria Formosa Birdwatching Tour.
Consider yourself a veteran twitcher or a complete newbie hoping to see some exciting wildlife? Whatever your experience level, our birdwatching tour is guaranteed to help you spot some bird species like the Iberian Azure-winged Magpie and the Hoopoe and Purple Swamphen.
Explore the protected areas of Ludo and Quinta do Lago in the Algarve and hopefully spot some birds you’ve only seen in textbooks.
Our guides are fully-qualified biologists with a passion for Ria Formosa, so they’ll be on hand to answer any questions you may have about our Portuguese oasis.
If you’re wondering what sort of birds you’ll see on our tour, some birds are there all year round! Keep your eyes peeled for the Spoonbill, the Sardinian Warbler, the Black-winged Stilt and the Kentish Plover.
This area is also the largest forest in Faro, comprising of pine woodlands, reed beds, meadows and Mediterranean ponds.
These ponds are significant for the biodiversity of the region and are protected, so future generations can enjoy the wonder of Ria Formosa, too!
If you’d like to learn more about the biodiversity and why it’s so important to us, take a look at our Guide to the Flora and Fauna in Ria Formosa.
Top Tip: Bring a pair of binoculars to spot things the naked eye may not!
Marim Centre of Environmental Education Walking Trail
If you want a walking trail in Ria Formosa that’s equal parts beauty and education, then look no further than the Marim Centre of Environmental Education Walking Trail. This space is home to exhibitions, observatories to spot local bird species, and an animal research centre that is open to visitors!
The trail itself measures 2.5km and takes up to 2 hours to complete; we’d argue you should spend longer to make sure you can take in the beauty of your surroundings!
Lose yourself (but not literally, hopefully) in its 60 hectares of sprawling forests, babbling brooks and the peaceful chirping of protected birds.
Top Tip: If you want a great view, climb to the top of the hydraulic mechanism, which uses millstones to grind cereal for production.
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the hikes and walks around Ria Formosa as much as we enjoyed writing about them. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but we’ve included the cream of the crop for you to ensure you get the best trip ever to Ria Formosa.
If you like to learn more about our Portugal experiences, please get in touch.