Name of company
Natura Algarve, Olhão
What type of activity is it?
Boat trips to explore the unique flora, fauna and traditional way of life of the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve, including the marshlands, lagoons and outlying islands.
What makes it special?
Choose from the speed of the 200HP power boat the Albacora, or the more leisurely pace of the 80HP motor boat the Farrusska for a variety of trips, including pleasure trips, island shuttles, nature tours, birdwatching, fishing, or dolphin-watching. Boat hire also available.
Where do you participate in this activity?
Trips are out of Olhão, and depending on your choice, take you through the channels of the Ria Formosa and/or out to the islands of Ihla Deserta, Armona and Culatra.
Got to see/got to do?
Isla Deserta lives up to its name, with no full-time inhabitants. Culatra is a local community, well worth exploring. The islands are a paradise with spectacular long beaches and hardly anybody else around.
The Albacora is a full-on speed boat that whips through the water, and is designed for boat trips to visit the hidden beaches of the Nature Park or navigate along the Algarve coast. The more gentle Farrusska, which has a covered awning, tends to be used for the sightseeing and special interest trips.
Why do you like it?
The Ria Formosa is a unique environment in the Algarve, and one you really have to explore in depth. You might try it out just for the day, but you’ll be back to see more.
When to go?
Try to avoid the heat of the day in the middle of summer and opt for a morning or late afternoon trip, unless you’re on the speed boat and just want to get to one of the islands quickly. Trips run year-round, weather-permitting.
Take a snack if you want to on the sightseeing trips, or eat/drink on one of the islands when you get there. Culatra has a number of basic cafes, and Ihla Deserta has a restaurant. Or just pack a picnic and spend the day on the beach.
The beaches are fantastic, so don’t miss out on the chance of a dip in the sea. Pack a swimming costume if you’re going to Culatra. You won’t need one on Isla Deserta!
Varies depending on the type of trip you choose.
Sample prices per person: birdwatching (2.5 hours, €35), nature tours (2.5 hours, €25), dolphin watching (2 hours, €45), barrier islands tours (5.5 hours, €52), boat rental (all day, from €350). The company also runs walking tours of the Algarve.