Birdwatching and Wildlife Tour in the Ria Formosa is a Self-Drive Birdwatching Tour designed by keen local birders.

Rightly famed for its golden beaches, golf courses, and wonderful year-round climate, the Algarve is also a secret destination for great birding. At almost any time of the year, there is something of interest to see!

Birdwatching Algarve Black-headed Weaver

Birdwatching Algarve Black-headed Weaver –  Photo Peter Dedicoat

Whether you be an experienced birder or a first-timer, birdwatching is always a pleasure. They are such fascinating creatures, and there is always something new to discover or to smile at! This tour is designed to be enjoyable, no matter your level of birding ability and expertise.

Centred in the Ria Formosa Natural Park, a complex of saltwater lagoons and barrier islands, with mudflats, sandbanks, dune systems, and saltmarshes, the tour extends to another wetland area, in the Castro Marim Nature Reserve.

The Ria is a Special Protection Area under the Ramsar Convention, being of great importance for numerous species of breeding, wintering, and staging waterbirds.

Birdwatching Algarve Collared Pratincole

Birdwatching Algarve Collared Pratincole –  Photo Peter Dedicoat

It’s a place of astonishing beauty and natural interest, where it’s not unusual to spot 40 or more bird species in just a few hours. At the right time of the year, you get to see hundreds of them! Our local birders know where they nest and feed, giving you valuable hints to make the best of your birding holidays.

Between year-round residents and wintering species, we can find Black-tailed Godwits, Ringed Plovers, Little Stints, Little Bittern, Purple Swamp-hen, Purple Heron, Red-crested Pochard, Collared Pratincole, Kentish Plover, European Bee-eater, Red-necked Nightjar, Woodchat, Southern Grey Shrikes, Little Tern, and Marsh Harriers. Booted Eagles are a regular sight during winter.

Birdwatching Algarve Ria Formosa Greater Flamingo

Birdwatching Algarve Ria Formosa Greater Flamingo –  Photo Peter Dedicoat

In the largest area of reed beds in the Algarve, you can see Ferruginous Ducks, Purple Herons, Black-winged Kites, Penduline Tits and Blackheaded Weavers, when in season.

This self-guided tour includes simple and easy-to-use route notes, and you can carry it at your own pace and will. Every itinerary has maps, descriptions, and hints about the most interesting species to be found, with valuable tips.

We’ll make sure you have an unforgettable experience: don’t waste time looking for places to stay, arranging transports, or researching the best birding spots!

Our tour is complete, includes all the services you need, and, most of all, is perfectly thought through and organized!