Ria Formosa

Dolphin & Whale Watching

Going to visit Ria Formosa? Discover the best things to do on your trip to the Algarve. Top tours, travel tips and verified reviews!

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Have you ever been to Ria Formosa?

The Ria Formosa lagoon, located in the Algarve, in southern Portugal, is a system of barrier islands that communicates with the sea through six inlets. Five of these inlets are natural and have mobility characteristics.
You can visit during the whole year, since the waters are naturally protected by the islands sand and flora.
Exploring Ria Formosa by kayak or small boat is a must and you will love to discover what each island has to offer.
If you like to observe the birds and maritime life, Ria Formosa is also one of the best places in the world due to the diversity of resident species.
If the reason for the visit is botanical, the area is of great interest, especially for the vegetation of the dune and marsh areas; if it is from the point of view of fauna, the interest is not less, since it is a place of passage of migratory birds between North Africa and Europe and wintering place of birds from the North and Center of the European continent. The cayman or hen-sultana is the emblem of the park and one of the rarest species in Europe, living only in Spain and Portugal, here in the Formosa rim and at the mouth of the Quarteira river. Flamingos, round-winged eagles, galinholas and ranchers are other birds that can be observed here. But you can also "chase" chameleons, privileged inhabitants of the park, almost extinct in Europe!

What People Are Saying

"we tried 2 times to see dolphins with different companies and we understand it's not guaranteed...but after this trip I understand that many companies are just tourist traps...here, no caves or anything but just a nature lover (alfredo) who loves to explain you about dolphins and who respect them a lot....even when we found them, we stayed 20,30 min to not stress them while other boats would even follow them if they swim away from you...so in the end, they recognise boats from their noise....and will go more easily near the boats who never bothered them.....like the one of alfredo ! so we have seen dolphins, but even if we wouldn't have seen any, I would have put 5 because I could compare with other companies.....and they were the most respectful of nature, animals...it deserves to be said! thank you !"
"Amazing trip for watching dolphins near Faro. Very friendly skippers Alfredo and Fernando - tought us with wild life of dolphins and how to protect the endangered ocean life. Love it. Thanx."
"Partis pour aller voir des dauphins, nous avons d'abord pu voir un poisson-lune et puis soudain... 2 puis 3 baleines se sont montrées (des rorquals communs, fin whales, d'après le guide). Unique! Extraordinaire! Magnifique! La visite devait durer 2 heures mais les guides ne comptent par leurs heures et au bout de ces deux heures à suivre les baleines, nous avons quand même été à la rencontre des dauphins... Bref, souvenir inoubliable... Soyons honnête la venue des baleines est très rare mais la vue des dauphins est quasi assurée...un tout grand merci aux accompagnateurs pour leur gentillesse et leur professionnalisme ."
"Juste parfait !!! Le temps , le personnel , les dauphins et les explications sur tout ce qui nous entoure ! Les guides ont étaient juste parfait merci encore mille fois car des personnes aussi dévouées pour leurs métier et passion c’est rare . Moments parfait avec dauphins qui étaient bien au rendez vous . Juste un bonheur ! Merci encore à Alfredo et son coéquipier de folie continuez comme ça vous êtes au top !"
"PARFAIT ! Rien à redire, Alfredo est passionné, pédagogue, disponible et surtout très respectueux de l'océan et de ses animaux. À faire les yeux fermés si vous souhaitez découvrir les dauphins et avec un peu de chance d'autres espèces telles que requins,thons etc Merci à Alfredo et son acolyte du jour pour cette balade pleine de forte émotions !"
"The trip to see dolphins was absolutely amazing. Alfredo the guide was very knowledgable and we were able to watch dolphins jumping out of the water. It was wonderful."

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