For bird lovers I give excellent descriptions of various birding sites near our Villa, of course there are other places in the Algarve, but I assume that the people who read this info will stay with us and will not travel to spot birds too far away. Our villa is also ideal for an active winter holiday, with temperatures of 15 to 18 degrees and a lovely spring sunshine the almond trees bloom in late January. Algarve is an ideal place for long walks along the small beaches with rugged cliffs or wander snuggle with your binoculars along tidal areas, salt marshes and wetlands in search of the hundreds of bird species that the Algarve has to offer.
Parque Natural Da Ria Formosa:
Near the airport of Faro lies this park which is of great importance for migratory birds, the area covers an area of over 18,000 ha!. It forms an important link between Europe and sub-Saharan Africa. Even as a breeding area it is important for various bird species such as the very pretty purple coots.
Large parts of the area are only accessible by boat, but the area described below is on the West side of the city of Faro, near the airport. It is one of the most beautiful parts of the park and within easy reach ny car, furthermore you should explore the area by foot. You can select the area to the west by approaching from the direction of Almancil Quinta do Lago to drive. Follow all six roundabouts in the golf area of Quinta do Lago to the nature reserve and park over the last roundabout your car at the parking near the sea. Now you have the ability to walk a small or large tour on the basis of the folder that I made you decide how far you want to walk yourself.
Iff find the walk too far you can also explore the other side through the east side. Then keep coming from the N125, 'Faro' and then the direction of 'Airport'. At the large roundabout, just before the airport, turn right direction 'Praia da Faro. Where the building stops on your right, and the forest begins, turn immediately right into the big asphalt road (this road runs diagonally back). Turn of left after a few hundred meters into a wide dirt road. After about two hundred meters on the left is a sign indicating nature area. Drive the dirt road all the way to the Ludo farm near the salt mountains (a few km.) You can walk to a sand hill, on the card referred to as spotters hill, in this great area you will find Red Kites, Blue Magpies, eared Owls, Storks, Booted Eagles, Peregrine Falcons, Osprey, and rare in the Algarve, the Black-winged Kite. Also this natural area is located close to the sea so you can also just walk on the beach.
Parque Ambiental de vilamoura
In addition to small-scale and organic farming you find in this area a wet brushwood with puddles. By two pools is a bird observation desk. Along the south side flows the river Quarteira that in many places is covered with Spanish cane, the walking area has a marked trail. The entrance is quite difficult to find. Take the shortcut from Albufeira (526) towards Vilamoura. After Pata de Baixo you pass a bridge. Soon after the bridge on your right is a BP petrol station. At the station turn right (Vilamoura) and go strait away at the small roundabout, there you find the entrance to the sports center and Parque Ambiental. On your right you will find the information centre.
This is a relatively small nature area with an area of about 200 ha, where you will find a lot songbirds and raptors such as the Marsh Harrier, Peregrine, Booted Eagle, Kestrels and Black-winged Kite. On this map, I opted to show the perimeter of the area, because there's a walking trail that you can follow.
Laguna Da Salgados (Praia Grande)
This nature reserve is located only 6 km from us, it is a small area but very rich in birds, so highly recommended. It is near Armacao de Pera between the golf courses of Vale de Parra, Alcantharilha the river and the ocean. It consists of rifts, lagoons, marshes, dunes and extensively managed agricultural land.
There are two large lagoons but for birders is the Lagoa dos Salgados on the east side of the area's most interesting. This lake has an open connection to the sea and is one of the rare transition areas in the Algarve from fresh to salt water. The total area is on the signs referred to as Praia Grande. If you come from the direction of Armacao de Pera the landscape gets open, here turn right at the first roundabout (for camping Canelas), here after follow Praia Grande already indicated at the 2nd roundabout, if you follow the road you will reach the lagoon.
It is crawling in the lagoon of the waders, Little Grebe, Snipes, Godwits, Avocets and various species of ducks, Pintails, Cormorants, Storks and several Herons and many other birds. Very nice are the plenty of Flamingos that stay here, sometimes accompanied by over 100 Spoonbills, and the cattail stems are filled with Purple Coots. The trail starts along the lagoon and then at the end of the lake turn left, then walk through the bird hide towards the beach, on the way you can spot kingfishers on the overhanging branches across the street. At the end of the lagoon is enclosed by a low wall of sand from the ocean, by prolonged rainfall this is stabbed and runs more empty. Walking further along the beach to the west, drink some at the beach pavilion and then walk up the dunes as you follow this path you will be taken back to your starting point back. Or enjoy a bit of a dip in the sea, for lovers of nude sunbathing you are also just right, you walk even further after the beach bar, behind some rocks you will find people sunbathing nude, not officially, but like on more beaches in Portugal allowed.