The Ria Formosa lagoon stretches along the Eastern Algarve coast, from Faro International Airport to the village of Cacela Velha – near Tavira, and has been classified as a Natural Park since 1987. This unique coastal lagoon is constantly changing due to the continuous movement of winds, currents and tides. It is also a paradise for birdwatchers; it provides shelter for colourful flamingos, oystercatchers, egrets, ibis, cranes and the Purple Swamphen, which is one of the rarest birds in Portugal.
The natural park designation also means that certain endangered species of wildlife are protected, as are the small fishing communities which rely on traditional and environmental fishing practices that otherwise would be lost.
There are various boat trips available along the lagoon making this is an ideal, fun way to see all that Ria Formosa lagoon has to offer. The local captains are very knowledgeable and passionate about the area and are a fund of information.