Join us on this tour and appreciate a unique landscape in the East Algarve. The Castro Marim Nature Reserve is a true realm of serenity, far from the hustle and bustle of the beach resorts. A haven for countless bird species, as the flamingos, regular visitors in this charming patchwork of green-blue marshes and crisp white saltpans. Don’t forget your camera!
Just before ending its 850km journey into the sea in Vila Real de Santo António, on the frontier with Spain, the Guadiana River winds its way through the plains, branching out into creeks and canals that flow into lakes, marshland and salt pans.
Here lies the oldest humid zone in Portugal, the Nature Reserve of Castro Marim and Vila Real de Santo António, a privileged shelter and nesting place for aquatic birds and for various species of fish, molluscs, and crustaceans. It is also an internationally recognized Ramsar Site, under the guardianship of UNESCO.
An array of bird species can be found here, as the black-winged stilt, the symbol of the Nature Reserve, the pied avocet, black-tailed godwit, common flamingo, common ringed plover, white stork, spoonbills, and Caspian terns, to name but a few.
The land is a charming geometric patchwork of grassy hills, dry scrubland, farmland, orchards, which contrast with the traditional salt pans, glistening fiercely under the sun.
For many centuries, salt, or “white gold”, was the main source of income in the region. The saltpans occupy around one-third of the protected area, and salt is still harvested using artisanal methods, producing a high-quality product, favoured by renowned chefs.
From the salt pans, you’ll have a privileged view to the Castle, the Fort, and the walls of Castro Marim, one of the oldest communities in the Algarve, and an important centre of Arab power until 1242.
Take advantage of this tour and enjoy the beauty and tranquillity of a unique landscape in the East Algarve.
Find secret places and special moments off the beaten path and discover the Algarve others do not know about!