The Nature Park of Ria Formosa (translated to “beautiful Ria” or “beautiful Estuary”) starts in the area of Quinta do Lago (Praia do Ancão) and stretches for about 60 km all the way to Praia da Manta Rota. It is a body of salty water and marshes that separates the main land from the Atlantic Ocean, led by the formation of several barrier islands. These islands are long white sand beaches, filled with gorgeous shells by the clear ocean water. Waves are usually small and the water temperature is warmer than in the area further west.

The Ria Formosa system plays an important role in the local economy, both for touristic reasons as for sea food farming reasons (such as the grooved carpet shell harvesting). More recently, and with the extensive research being led in the University of Algarve (UAlg), it is being developed, as well, some biotechnologies that use the natural resources of the lagoon system and that may prove very lucrative in the near future.

But, most importantly, if you like to just watch nature unfold in front of you, keep  in mind that the nature park is an important stop in the migratory route of many birds. In fact, in Quinta do Lago itself, you’ll find shelters (arguably efficient) for birding, just right on the edge of golf courses. If you’re an experienced birder from northern parts of Europe, you’ll notice the difference in the colours of the birds, since the light makes a huge difference on the way we perceive birds’ colours.

Golf in Quinta do Lago with the view over the Ria Formosa

Whether you’re coming for a short period or you’re already sold out to Ria Formosa Nature Park and the central and east part of Algarve, make sure to check out our portfolio of luxury villas in Monte da Quinta, Quinta do Lago, Vale do Lobo, The Crest and many other locations. We’re here to help, so feel free to call or drop us a line.