Ria Formosa Natural Park

The Ria Formosa Park is one of the most beautiful natural wealths of the Algarve, both for the variety of its ecosystems and for its singular location. This incredible natural paradise spreads along 60 km, from the Ancão area (belonging to Loulé council) to the Manta Rota zone (on the Vila Real de Santo António council) and is the shelter for migratory and rare bird species.

There are only 2 rivers that feed the lagoon all year round. The rest of the streams and rivers are seasonal and dry up during the summer. The areas exposed in the lagoons can be completely submerged due to tidal influences. Islands in the area are sensitive and unstable and vary from 500 metres to 2 kilometres.

The area is used for mussel and oyster farming, though traditionally it was used for salt production as well as agriculture.
The objectives of the park are to preserve and develop natural resources. This helps in the preservation of natural habitats of wildlife. Although there is human activity in the park, it does not alter the equilibrium of the ecosystem as everything is done in a traditional way.

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