5 star rating: Highly Recommended 32 Reviews

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  • Address: Luz de Tavira, Portugal
  • Hours: Open daily 9am - 12.30pm and 2pm - 5.30pm
  • Admission: € 1.50

The Algarve ATTRACTIONS See all

Ria Formosa Natural Park Tours

Like Porto’s Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês, the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa is a Portuguese national treasure created for the preservation of the the Algarve’s unique marshland and its flora and fauna. It encompasses a large lagoon area hugging almost 60 km (37 mi) of coastline between Manta Rota and Vale do Lobo. This lagoon’s diverse topography includes dunes, dune islands, marshland, saltpans and inland lakes. These wetlands are in turn a protected habitat for many species of birds.

What makes this park unique is its two distinct types of wetlands, the salt marshes and the freshwater lagoons. The latter is dotted with observation hides, and bird (and other critter) watching is a popular activity.

In addition to the birds, the park is home to Portuguese water dog kennels. This somewhat rare breed, known for its webbed feet and proclivity for swimming are bred and trained here, saved from the brink of extinction by dedicated dog-lovers and preservers of Portuguese culture.

Practical Info

The park boasts a number of nature trails, and its visitor center, located at Quinta de Marim, about 3 km (1.5 mi) east of Olhão is highly informative. Within the boundaries of the park are the ruins of the Roman town of Balsa. Most of these are inaccessible to visitors as they reside on private property, but five Roman salting plants are available for exploration near the freshwater lagoons. Dating back to the 2nd century, the salted fish produced at these plants were delivered all over the empire.

Tours & Tickets

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Ilha Deserta by Ferry from Ria Formosa, Faro, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 1

Ilha Deserta by Ferry from Ria Formosa

4 star rating: Recommended 1 Review

Explore the Ilha Deserta (Deserted Island) in the Algarve and observe native Portuguese birdlife in its natural habitat on this 1.5 hour (two-way), small group ...  Read more

Location: Faro, Portugal
Duration: 90 minutes (approx.)

From USD $12.52
Half-day Ria Formosa Natural Park Four Islands Boat Cruise from Faro, Faro, Kid Friendly Tours & ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Half-day Ria Formosa Natural Park Four Islands Boat Cruise from Faro

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 19 Reviews

Sail through the Ria Formosa Natural Park on this 4.5-hour sightseeing cruise from Faro. Journey through the Ria Formosa channels on a 12-person catamaran and ...  Read more

Location: Faro, Portugal
Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $37.56
Ria Formosa Catamaran Trip from Faro, Faro, Day Cruises
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Ria Formosa Catamaran Trip from Faro

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 9 Reviews

Discover Portugal’s exotic natural wonders during this 3-hour catamaran trip to Ria Formosa from Faro. Board a comfortable catamaran with a small-group and ...  Read more

Location: Faro, Portugal
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $31.30
Ria Formosa Natural Park Bike Tour, Faro, Catamaran Cruises
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Ria Formosa Natural Park Bike Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

Two and half hours tour at Ria Formosa Natural Park, enjoy the beauty of this paradise, learn about the flora and fauna and the amazing birdwatching. ...  Read more

Location: Faro, Portugal
Duration: Flexible

From USD $43.82
Ria Formosa Natural Park Two Islands Boat Trip, Faro, Bike & Mountain Bike Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Ria Formosa Natural Park Two Islands Boat Trip

Sail through the Ria Formosa Natural Park on this 2-hour sightseeing cruise from Faro. Journey through the Ria Formosa channels on a 12-person catamaran and ...  Read more

Location: Faro, Portugal
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $31.30
Ilha Deserta - Guided Nature Tour - Ria Formosa, Faro, Day Cruises
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Ilha Deserta - Guided Nature Tour - Ria Formosa

4 star rating: Recommended 1 Review

Explore the Ilha Deserta (Deserted Island) in the Algarve and observe native Portuguese birdlife in its natural habitat on this 1.5-hour tour of the Ria ...  Read more

Location: Faro, Portugal
Duration: 90 minutes (approx.)

From USD $37.56
Bike Tour in Ria Formosa Natural Park, Faro, Eco Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Bike Tour in Ria Formosa Natural Park

Journey through the heart of Ria Formosa National Park on this 3hour guided bike tour. Venture out into Portugal’s wilderness with your expert guide, who will ...  Read more

Location: Quarteira, Portugal
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $62.60
Bird Watching Guided Boat Trip in Ria Formosa from Faro Algarve, Faro, Bike & Mountain Bike Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Bird Watching Guided Boat Trip in Ria Formosa from Faro Algarve

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

Embark on an ecotourism experience in Ria Formosa on board a “Saveiro” (a traditional boat). In the company of a nature tour guide, this boat trip will help ...  Read more

Location: Faro, Portugal
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $31.30
Small-Group Adventure: Cycling in Ria Formosa Natural Park, The Algarve, Eco Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Small-Group Adventure: Cycling in Ria Formosa Natural Park

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

Join this small-group biking tour and explore various regions outside of Tavira over the course of 8-hours. Explore our Route between forts and castles and ...  Read more

Location: Tavira, Portugal
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $56.34
Moncarapacho - Tavira mountain and hybrid bike tour, Albufeira, Bike & Mountain Bike Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Moncarapacho - Tavira mountain and hybrid bike tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

Scenic bike tour in the quiet and unspoilt eastern Algarve region. An interesting combination of beautiful countryside and a gradual descent to the coastal ...  Read more

Location: Faro, Portugal
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $37.56

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