The Ria Formosa Natural Park covers an area of around 16,000-hectares, and consists of coastal lagoons, vast areas of tidal flats, saltmarshes and saltpans that are enclosed by a belt of sand dune islands and peninsulas. It is of particular importance as a wintering area for many birds from northern Europe and as a resting and feeding station for birds migrating between Africa and Europe. Classified as Nature Reserve in the 70s, this protection status was elevated to a Natural Park in 1987. The Ria Formosa is also classified under the Ramsar Convention as a Wetland of International Importance and as a Special Protection Area under the EU Directive on the Conservation of Wild Birds.
Amongst those occurring in notable numbers are Black-tailed Godwits, Ringed Plovers and Little Stints. There is also a diverse population of breeding birds that includes Little Bittern, Purple Swamp-hen, Purple Heron, Red-crested Pochard, Collared Pratincole, Kentish Plover, European Bee-eater, Red-necked Nightjar, Woodchat and Southern Grey Shrikes and Little Tern. Marsh Harriers are resident as are a small number of Booted Eagles, now a regular sight in winter. To the west is the largest area of reed beds in the Algarve, where in season, Ferruginous Duck, Purple Heron, Black-winged Kite, Penduline Tits and Black-headed Weaver can be found.
Why take a boat tour in the Ria Formosa with SequaTours?
We offer a personalised service of a local driver, with deep knowledge of the Ria Formosa.
We are a local company, support the local economy and know the area intimately, guaranteeing you the best routes, activities and seamless services.
The limited number of clients on each tour gives you the personal attention you deserve.
You will experience the Ria Formosa in a relaxed, enjoyable manner lead by experienced local drivers.
Our company is fully-licensed and accredited by the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forest - ICNF and the Portuguese Tourism Board, and is covered by all the insurances and requirements demanded by the law and the good sense.
Beware of really cheap sounding tours and promises to see animals as if they were in a zoo (e.g. dolphins!), the operator may not be licensed or insured and may be operating illegally.
We prioritise responsible travel all the way, we are committed to leaving a light footprint on the places we visit and we demand the same respect from our clients.