The Algarve coast is highly diverse. You will find steep cliffs by the sea, extensive stretches of sand, lagoons, marshes, dunes and more. From Aljezur, in the west side, to Vila Real de Santo António, by the Spanish border, you can find different boat tours that will allow you to see the coast from another perspective.
1. Boat Tour in Ria Formosa Natural Park
Ria Formosa Natural Park is a lagoon system, that stretches for 60 km along the coast of the eastern Algarve. It is the most important wetland in southern Portugal and features a wide variety of habitats: barrier islands, marshes, sandbanks, dunes, saltpans, freshwater and brackish lakes, water courses, scrubland and farmland. These high variety of habitats are home of rich fauna and flora.
A boat tour through the channels of Ria Formosa will allow you to learn more about the nature and culture of the place, while enjoying unique views, spot amazing birds and observe the men working at the shellfish nurseries. A stop at one of the barrier islands will reveal unspoiled beaches and tasty regional cuisine.
There is a high variety of tours, most of them start in Olhão or Faro. You can choose from 1h30 to all-day trips.
2. Benagil Cave
The Benagil cave is located in Lagoa. It is one of the greatest natural attractions in the south of Portugal. This cave has been in lots of magazines, probably being the most famous sea cave in the country. The Benagil cave is a fascinating rock formation with a gap in the middle. The hole in the ceiling of the cave allows the sun to reach the tiny beach inside the cave. But Benagil cave is only one stop of the tours! On the way, you will find spectacular views of the cliffs and beaches.
There is a high variety of tours starting at different points. When preparing your tour consider that this is a highly touristic and opt for an early tour or out off season. This will allow you to have a more pleasant experience.
3. Dolphin and whale watching in Sagres
The coast of Sagres is the best spot in the Algarve to do dolphin watching. During all year is possible to observe Common Dolphin, Bottlenose Dolphin and the Harbour Porpoise. Orcas, Risso`s Dolphins and Striped Dolphin are also frequent spotted. Some whales pass by Sagres coast during their migratory route, such as Minke Whale and Fin Whale. Not easy to observe, but also present in these waters are: Moonfish, Hammerhead Shark, Blue Shark, Basking Shark and Loggerhead Turtle.
The sea conditions in this area can be rough, but it is worth the experience. These tours are not suitable for children under 3 years old. Also, take in consideration that as the animals are in the wild, to spot them is not 100% guarantee. Nevertheless, the amazing coast of Sagres will always offer spectacular views and birdlife.
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