Ria Formosa Natural Park

Ria Formosa Natural Park which includes general coastal views and a sunset

Ria Formosa Natural Park

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Discover one of Portugal’s natural wonders by bike, boat, kayak or on foot and find barrier islands and snaking waterways that provide a haven for flora and fauna.

The Ria Formosa Natural Park is a large reserve on the Algarve coast that stretches between Garrão Beach and Manta Rota. With its intricate system of wetlands, canals, marshlands and beaches, the nature reserve shelters a vast diversity of coastal plants and animals. Explore this 37-mile (60-kilometer) stretch of landscape by boat or kayak. Join a guided walking tour and learn about the local fishing traditions that continue amid the resource-rich wetlands.

A good place to start your exploration of the park is by visiting the Centro de Educação Ambiental de Marim (Environmental Education Center of Marim). This information center gives an insight into the park’s fascinating ecosystems and gives details on a range of hiking trails and viewing areas. Pick a trail or join a tour and begin your journey through the pristine park.

Birdwatchers will love exploring the hotspots in this protected site. You might see flamingos and purple swamp hens among the 20,000 birds that spend the winter period in this important migratory area. Join a boat tour and learn about the traditional fishing customs still practiced in this region. Mussels, oysters and razor clams are hauled in daily, with the aid of the Portuguese water dog.

If you are traveling by water, you can explore some of the park’s pristine islands. Faro, Barreta, Culatra, Armona and Tavira islands have rolling sand dunes and stunning Atlantic coastlines. Tavira Island is renowned for its lifeguard-patrolled swimming beaches.

Check out the park’s historic landmarks, such as the fortress at Cacela Velha, Forte do Rato and Forte de São João de Barra. Go to the towns, such as Faro, Olhão and Tavira, surrounding the park to find tasty local fare in waterfront restaurants.

The Ria Formosa Natural Park is located on the coastline of the Algarve region. The largest nearby towns are Tavira and Faro. Visit during fall and winter for the best wildlife encounters or visit in summer to relax on the beach.

Top Trending Hotels Near Ria Formosa Natural Park

Pure Formosa Concept Hotel
Pure Formosa Concept Hotel
Av. da República 34, Olhao, Faro, 8700-310
The price is £69 per night from 23 May to 24 May
Stay at this hotel in Olhao. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast and on-site parking. Popular attractions Faro Old Town and Olhao Harbour are located nearby. Discover ...
4.9/5 Exceptional! (39 reviews)
"We loved the hotel especially the rooftop, wonderful views and bar and pool. The staff we all excellent very helpful, personable and polite. The decor was lovely and all very cle an. It was a fantastic and peaceful stay at the hotel no noise disturbance. We loved Olhao too. Many thanks."

Reviewed on 22 Apr 2022

Pure Formosa Concept Hotel
A piece of heaven in the Algarve with a lovely outdoor spaces and sea views
A piece of heaven in the Algarve with a lovely outdoor spaces and sea views
Olhao, Faro District
Stay at this holiday home in Olhao. Enjoy WiFi, barbecues and 2 bathrooms. Popular attractions Ria Formosa Natural Park and Ilha da Armona Beach are located ...
A piece of heaven in the Algarve with a lovely outdoor spaces and sea views
Algarve between OLHAO and FUSETA 4 guests apartment
Algarve between OLHAO and FUSETA 4 guests apartment
Olhao, Faro District
Stay at this apartment in Olhao. Enjoy on-site parking, a TV and a kitchen. Popular attractions Ria Formosa Natural Park and Ilha da Armona Beach are located ...
5/5 Exceptional! (2 reviews)
Boa estadia
"Tudo na perfeição. 5 estrelas"

Reviewed on 26 Aug 2021

Algarve between OLHAO and FUSETA 4 guests apartment
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Top Hotel Deals

Pure Formosa Concept Hotel
Pure Formosa Concept Hotel
Av. da República 34, Olhao, Faro, 8700-310
The price is £69 per night from 23 May to 24 May
Pure Formosa Concept Hotel
A piece of heaven in the Algarve with a lovely outdoor spaces and sea views
A piece of heaven in the Algarve with a lovely outdoor spaces and sea views
Olhao, Faro District
A piece of heaven in the Algarve with a lovely outdoor spaces and sea views
Algarve between OLHAO and FUSETA 4 guests apartment
Algarve between OLHAO and FUSETA 4 guests apartment
Olhao, Faro District
Algarve between OLHAO and FUSETA 4 guests apartment
Holiday Home ‘Casa de Mar’ with Sea View, Wi-Fi, Air Conditioning & Garden; Street Parking Available
Holiday Home ‘Casa de Mar’ with Sea View, Wi-Fi, Air Conditioning & Garden; Street Parking Available
Olhao, Faro District
The price is £859 per night from 31 May to 1 Jun
Holiday Home ‘Casa de Mar’ with Sea View, Wi-Fi, Air Conditioning & Garden; Street Parking Available
1 Bedroom Townhouse in Aldeia de Marim, Olhão
1 Bedroom Townhouse in Aldeia de Marim, Olhão
Olhao, Faro District
1 Bedroom Townhouse in Aldeia de Marim, Olhão
Three Bedroom Villa With Pool Near Olhao
Three Bedroom Villa With Pool Near Olhao
3 out of 5
Olhao, Faro District
Three Bedroom Villa With Pool Near Olhao
Jasmin House peaceful country side
Jasmin House peaceful country side
Olhao, Faro District
Jasmin House peaceful country side
Lavander House- beautiful views of the islands
Lavander House- beautiful views of the islands
Olhao, Faro District
Lavander House- beautiful views of the islands
Monte Da Bela Vista- Margarida House
Monte Da Bela Vista- Margarida House
Olhao, Faro District
Monte Da Bela Vista- Margarida House
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.