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Ria Formosa, Olhao

4.1
#4 of 10 in Wildlife in Olhao
The Ria Formosa lagoon, located in the Algarve, in southern Portugal, is a system of barrier islands that communicates with the sea through six inlets. Five of these inlets are natural and have mobility characteristics. The sixth is an artificial inlet that was opened with the purpose of allowing easier access to the port of Faro.Presently the main inlet of the system is the Faro-Olhão inlet, which was artificially opened. The process started in 1927 but only in 1952 were the engineering works completed and it assumed the present configuration.Within the Ria Formosa system, different and sometimes antagonistic uses may be found. Part of the system is a Natural Park but Ria Formosa also plays an important role in the region's economy. Beyond the tourist use the system also supports other economic activities like seafood farms (including grooved carpet shell harvesting) and the port of Faro.The Ria Formosa is also a designated Natural Park of over 170 km² and a stopping place for hundreds of different birds during the spring and autumn migratory periods.The most important cities near the Ria Formosa are Tavira, Faro and Olhão.There are also some towns in this area, whose names are: Fuzeta (which belongs to the municipality of Olhão), Santa Luzia, Cabanas de Tavira (these last two belonging to Tavira) and Cacela Velha (which belongs to Vila Real de Santo António).
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Ria Formosa Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
413 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Despite the mediocre reviews still wrist height. And have no regrets. Nice park where you can make a fine walk. The route marked with yellow posts and info signs was easy to follow or. Lovely to do on a sunny morning.
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  • Great ballad in the middle of swamps, a beautiful loop 4 km with a pass on the edge of the golf course. Various waders and flamingos still rose not on the other hand we're not in the Camargue looks like yet.
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  • This is not the most sophisticated Natural Park but it is a lovely site and there are many attractive features. The tidal mill building - restored in the 1980s and an example of many that existed prio...  more »
Google
  • With all of the beautiful things to see in the Algarve I would skip this park. Mainly interesting for bird watchers.
  • A lovely mixed habitat for nature lovers to explore. Plenty to see. There is a charge at the gate to park your car, but I saw plenty of people walking around, who had wanderd in from other none gated parts obviously without paying. The toilet facilities are basic, bu there is running water for hand washing. There is a picnic area under the shelter of the trees. Two birdwatching hides, one overlooking the tidal mudflats, the other a pond surrounded by reeds, mainly to attract the rare Purple Swamp Hen. There is also a wildlife hospital onsite. This is not open for the public to see the animals, but has a very infomrative reception area that is open when there is someone in the hospital. We visited twice within a few days, once it was open and the other time not. Like any other reserve anywhere, there are lots of other places to visit to see the same wildlife, but maybe without the amenities that this area has to offer.We didn't see the Swamp Hen on either visit, but that is wildlife watching for you.
  • Nice umbrella pines, a variety of habitats, birds, interesting selection of historical artefacts. Probably at certain times it is much better for birds than when I was there in February.
  • Nice walk with great bird-life for photography Coyotes flamingos,cormorants all wildlife noticeboards in Portuguese one bird viewing hut away from lagoon
  • Fantastic, an unique place with a great nature. Hope it will stay safe
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