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Prefer walking or watch birds?

Both a nice walk and bird-watching are becoming increasingly popular.

Consequently, the surroundings are great. There are lots of hiking trails and the many species of birds reside here throughout the year....

You can walk almost all year round in the Algarve. Where the Western Algarve is distinguished on the coast by steep rock cliffs, you will find two  important natural parks;  the first is the Sapal de Castro Marim e Vila Real de Santo António Nature Reserve, famous among other things for its salt pans. The other area is the Ria Formosa,  consisting of so-called 'wetlands'.   


Water-rich areas often have a unique environment with great food richness. The Ria Formosa is an oasis of tranquility. The lagoon consists of a labyrinth of salt marshes, mud flats, tidal marshes, salt pans, sand islands and canals. The islands and peninsulas with low dunes protect the area from the ocean. You can enjoy fantastic walks in both nature parks.

The Serra, the Portuguese hinterland of the Eastern Algarve, is also ideal for beautiful walks. In terms of natural vegetation, you will find typical elements of Mediterranean vegetation in the Algarve  such as cork oak, pepper trees, almond trees, carob trees, oleander and strawberry tree. You walk inland through villages where time seems to have stood still.  

There are also beautiful walks along the border river with Spain, the Guadiana.

The ANWB has published a walking route guide Algarve with beautiful walks on the coast and hinterland.

Check our  Facebook page for various walking routes.  

Birds and birdwatching in the Eastern Algarve

There are two nature reserves in the Eastern Algarve, both of great importance as breeding, transit or wintering sites for many bird species. Ria Formosa Nature Park and the Sapal de Castro Marim nature reserve. 

In these areas, the salt pans and wetlands are very important for a large number of bird species that live around the water. Looking for food or safe shelter. The Wetlands are scarce. This makes the birds that live there vulnerable. If the Wedland disappears or the habitability deteriorates, it is almost impossible for these birds to find a new place. 


Ria Formosa Nature Park, which became a protected national nature park in 1987, covers an area of 14,000 hectares. It consists of dunes and sand barriers and stretches no less than 60 km along the coast of the Eastern Algarve. Besides permanent residents such as flamingos, spoonbills and storks, it is also a very important place for migratory birds to or from Africa especially in winter.


The protected nature reserve Sapal de Castro Marim e Vila Real de Santo António consists of 2000 hectares of marshland created from 200 salt pans. It is a real bird paradise and therefore ideal for birdwatchers. During the spring migration period from March to May and the autumn migration period from August to September, you will see many ducks, songbirds and waders. But there are also many birds to spot in winter.


There is a comprehensive guide to birding in the Algarve. 

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