Ria Formosa Natural Park
Ria Formosa Natural Park
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Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • Peter C
    Bournemouth, United Kingdom1,053 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fantastic
    The Quinta de Marim is an amazing reserve. To get there we travelled by train from Faro and then walked to the reserve. It is easy. It was tricky to find the way and we wantered around aimlessly until we figured it out - leave the station on the north side and walk east for around 30 minutes keeping the railway line on the right. You will eventurally see a sign pointing right to the reserve. There are a few cafes en-route if you get thirsty. There is a small charge to enter the reserve. There are toilets at the entrance and at the education centre. The exhibition there is a 'must'. The birds are amazing. The first bird I saw was a waxbill sitting on a chainlink fence. Azure winged magies are everywhere. We also saw bee eaters, Kentish plovers, black-winged stilts, Sardinian warblers, hoopoe, cattle and little egrets, spoonbill, avocet. The tidemill is currently being restored and it is worth looking at even now. I would love to go again, duing the migration season. Tip: take pleny of water with you.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 3 June 2023
  • SarahandPaolo
    Surrey, United Kingdom43 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful nature reserve with lots of birds
    The reserve opens at 9am and we got there shortly afterwards to avoid the afternoon heat. We asked for a map at reception, which was in Spanish, but it showed us where everything was. There are toilets in the visitors’ centre, right by the entrance. We took our binoculars and were glad we did because we saw so many fantastic birds: stilts, godwits, common sandpipers, spoonbills, shovellers, choughs, whimbrels, gadwall, little grebe… We also saw lots of the fiddler crabs by the watermill. Sadly, no chameleons for us. We took our time walking round to appreciate all the wildlife and lovely views, and were there for just under three hours. Would definitely recommend if you like your birds and wildlife.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 3 October 2023
  • Otyikondo
    Helsinki, Finland378 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great spot for bird-watching all year round.
    This is a great spot for bird-watching all year round. Easy access with car parking at the end of Av. André Jordan, by the bridge that goes across to Gigi's beach restaurant. There are a couple of bird hides: the one facing a freshwater lake and the San Lorenzo Golf Course was particularly well-stocked, with bitterns, a little grebe, some western swamphens (sultana bird), ibises, and the inevitable egrets and herons, and also a whole crowd of shoveller ducks that had just flown in. Also spoonbills, whimbrels, turnstones, and a lot of plovers. Flamingoes are to be seen a bit further along the Ludo Trail towards Faro Airport. There was also an unexpected sighting of a little owl, hunting in daylight on a cloudy day. Definitely well worth a visit, or several, as the tidal conditions can affect what you see.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 4 December 2023
  • Lynda C
    Wokingham, United Kingdom583 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wonderful natural park close to Olhao
    This is a wonderful natural park bordering Ria Formosa. Full of walks . Map provided, not in English but trails are marked well. Toilets, snacks from machine (not a cafe) and good exhibition in visitor centre so do that 1 st. Small entry fee. Off main road from Olhao to Tavira. Brown sign on right to Ria Formosa. Follow road over railway to end and it is on left. We spent about 3 hours, slow walk with many stops to see the wonderful flowers, birds etc. It was March. Spring flowers were beautiful. Fiddler crabs on yellow path by water past tidal mill building. Many birds including egrets, azure winged magpie, black winged stilt, grey heron and many more. Take snacks, sunscreen, hat, water, rucksack. I got bitten by insects so also have insect repellent. Highly recommended.
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 25 March 2024
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4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles722 reviews
Excellent
346
Very good
211
Average
96
Poor
32
Terrible
37

Lynda C
Wokingham, UK583 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
This is a wonderful natural park bordering Ria Formosa. Full of walks . Map provided, not in English but trails are marked well. Toilets, snacks from machine (not a cafe) and good exhibition in visitor centre so do that 1 st. Small entry fee.
Off main road from Olhao to Tavira. Brown sign on right to Ria Formosa. Follow road over railway to end and it is on left.
We spent about 3 hours, slow walk with many stops to see the wonderful flowers, birds etc.
It was March. Spring flowers were beautiful. Fiddler crabs on yellow path by water past tidal mill building. Many birds including egrets, azure winged magpie, black winged stilt, grey heron and many more.
Take snacks, sunscreen, hat, water, rucksack. I got bitten by insects so also have insect repellent.
Highly recommended.
Written 25 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Otyikondo
Helsinki, Finland378 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
This is a great spot for bird-watching all year round. Easy access with car parking at the end of Av. André Jordan, by the bridge that goes across to Gigi's beach restaurant. There are a couple of bird hides: the one facing a freshwater lake and the San Lorenzo Golf Course was particularly well-stocked, with bitterns, a little grebe, some western swamphens (sultana bird), ibises, and the inevitable egrets and herons, and also a whole crowd of shoveller ducks that had just flown in. Also spoonbills, whimbrels, turnstones, and a lot of plovers. Flamingoes are to be seen a bit further along the Ludo Trail towards Faro Airport. There was also an unexpected sighting of a little owl, hunting in daylight on a cloudy day. Definitely well worth a visit, or several, as the tidal conditions can affect what you see.
Written 4 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SarahandPaolo
Surrey, UK43 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
The reserve opens at 9am and we got there shortly afterwards to avoid the afternoon heat. We asked for a map at reception, which was in Spanish, but it showed us where everything was. There are toilets in the visitors’ centre, right by the entrance.
We took our binoculars and were glad we did because we saw so many fantastic birds: stilts, godwits, common sandpipers, spoonbills, shovellers, choughs, whimbrels, gadwall, little grebe…
We also saw lots of the fiddler crabs by the watermill. Sadly, no chameleons for us.
We took our time walking round to appreciate all the wildlife and lovely views, and were there for just under three hours. Would definitely recommend if you like your birds and wildlife.
Written 3 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ShazF7
Shefford, UK1,414 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Couples
Views were amazing it was really hot and we probably should have not visited. Didn't manage to see any wildlife to photograph. The reason for the very low review was we paid 3e each, no map, just told follow green arrows. Expected a toilet at the picnic area. Spent the whole 2 hours trying to find where the toilets might be. Am happy having a wee anywhere but I NEEDED the toilet. It completely ruined the experience and the heat meant no wildlife to be seen... Maybe 3 small birds, 3 ducks that flew away from the lake.. And that was it! A much better morning was spent at the salt pans. I'm sure had it been a different season and toilets available then it could have been much better!
Written 30 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Peter C
Bournemouth, UK1,053 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Couples
The Quinta de Marim is an amazing reserve. To get there we travelled by train from Faro and then walked to the reserve. It is easy. It was tricky to find the way and we wantered around aimlessly until we figured it out - leave the station on the north side and walk east for around 30 minutes keeping the railway line on the right. You will eventurally see a sign pointing right to the reserve. There are a few cafes en-route if you get thirsty. There is a small charge to enter the reserve. There are toilets at the entrance and at the education centre. The exhibition there is a 'must'. The birds are amazing. The first bird I saw was a waxbill sitting on a chainlink fence. Azure winged magies are everywhere. We also saw bee eaters, Kentish plovers, black-winged stilts, Sardinian warblers, hoopoe, cattle and little egrets, spoonbill, avocet. The tidemill is currently being restored and it is worth looking at even now. I would love to go again, duing the migration season. Tip: take pleny of water with you.
Written 3 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rebecca B
94 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Family
Incredible . The board walk along the Ludo trail was brilliant. Buggy friendly. We saw brilliant wildlife and at the end is a beautiful beach. Saw flamingoes which impressed the children. Only £8 from Faro old town to start of boardwalk.
Written 9 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cici47
Glen, NH56 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023
A boat ride through the Ria Formosa National Park was enjoyable & very informative. We especially liked learning more about seahorses.
Written 27 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BrookeMorales
London, UK1,240 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Friends
Take some time to explore this beautiful part of the Algarve. There is much to see and do in the Rio Formosa park. The Ludo walking trail goes through this park, which is great for biking, walking, and bird watching. Many species to be seen.
Written 14 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LizzieS057
Gloucester, UK16 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022
The man who operates the reception area was lovely and friendly and was so enthusiastic about the park. Only issue was maps not in English but we managed in French.
We were there off peak so not enough volunteers to open the bird hospital so we shouted “Get well soon” over the fence.
Tide Mill was interesting as I’ve never seen one before. Fresh water lake hide was lovely and calm and we spent a while here watching the ducks.
We were told there was a cafe but we seemed to end up in the canteen of the people who worked there and they were happy enough for us to be there.
We were told there were a lot of chameleons around but we didn’t see any, maybe they were just very good. We didn’t look that hard.
It’s a lovely walk, people had brought picnics to spend the day.
It’s cheap to go in so please visit and support.
Written 4 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mike Goldberg
Lisbon, Portugal21 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022
Walking through this park is almost an adventure. As you follow the main trail in an irregular-rectangular loop you will come on so much to see. If you are fascinated by nature you can truly immerse yourself in it here. From Cork Oak to Palms to Prickly Pear Cactus, from fish, shellfish and fowl to chameleon lizards you can find so much cool nature to watch and visit. We spent between 2 to 3 hours the first visit and will go back for at least one more to catch what we didn't on the first go round. Take some time here it is worth it.
Written 26 October 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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RIA FORMOSA NATURAL PARK: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Ria Formosa Natural Park



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