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Game and Nature 

Nature Reserve of Ria de Alvor

Nature Reserve of Ria de Alvor:  Each spring and autumn the estuary of the Alvor river becomes a staging post for thousands of migrating birds. The estuarine ecosystem is also rich in many other ways, and supports numerous animals, plants and insects. Its profound importance to wildlife, both resident and migrant, has been recognised by its designation as a Natura 2000 site, giving it special environmental and conservation protection. The site covers 1454 hectares, and there are numerous walks of varying lengths which explore its diverse habitats, not just along the beach (or the extensive boardwalk there), but also along the cliffs at Quinta da Rocha and inland along the Alvor river towards the village of Mexilhoeira Grande. Walks away from the beach can be reached from beside the church in the town of Alvor, and along the beach or boardwalk from the beach car park


Nature Park of do Vale do Guadiana: There are many reasons to visit this beautiful part of Portugal: in spring the wildflowers are wonderful, in autumn the fungi are fabulous, but whatever time of year you visit, the birds are brilliant, and this is what the region is most famous for. The park itself is designated as a SPA – Special Protection Area. It is a large area around the little town of Castro Verde, which lies off the western edge of the Park. The countryside is a mixture of wooded hills clad with pine or introduced eucalyptus, grasslands studded with holm oak trees under which the famous black pigs forage for acorns in the autumn, and the largest area of rolling steppes in Portugal. Even in high summer, when the overall impression is of a desert, the landscape of Parque Natural do Vale do Guadiana is unforgettable.


The Ria Formosa Natural Park is one of the most amazing places of the Algarve, not only for its variety of landscapes but also because of its unique location. Recently elected as one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Portugal, this is one of three protected areas not to be missed during your holidays in the Algarve. This is a unique coastal lagoon which is constantly changing due to the continuous movement of winds, currents and tides. Classified as a Natural Park in 1987, the Ria Formosa encompasses an area of about 18 000 hectares, and is protected from the sea by 5 barrier-islands and 2 peninsulas: the Peninsula of Ancão that the locals call island of Faro, the Barreta Island also known as Ilha Deserta, the Culatra Island (where the lighthouse of Santa Maria is located), the Island of Armona, the Island of Tavira, Cabanas Island and, finally, the Peninsula of Cacela.