at the Ria Formosa
Beaches in the Ria Formosa Natural Park
Beautiful beaches lie in the vicinity of our holiday homes in the nature reserve "Ria Formosa" – a tideland with sandy beach-islands off the coast. The wadden sea floods every 6 hours – but since the altitude difference between ebb tide and high tide is just 1 yard to 3,5 yards it is completely safe to go for walks, in opposite to the North Sea, for instance.
The tideland is actually a bird paradise and ideal for hiking, also with children. You will enjoy watching a beautiful variety of animals living there, and small tide-ways with warm, shallow water invite young and old for a completely safe and pleasant swim.
The beach-islands off the coast have magnificent dunes and almost endless sandy beaches which even in the busy summer months leave more than enough space for everybody.
If you prefer quietness you will probably nestle at one of the lonely beaches off the track, if you are looking for comfort and entertainment you will find beaches with everything you want: taverns, surf schools, boat rentals, guarded sectors etc.
Here a few tips:
|Livramento||Pedras De'l Rei (Praia do Barril)|
|Ilha de Tavira||Ilha da Fuzeta|
|Ilha da Culatra / Farol||The western Algarve|
When the tide is out you may like to hike to the great tide-way – starting from the small fishing harbour it is a beautiful 30 minutes walk. Or you take the short way of about 5 minutes via the saline at Fialho. There you will find our boat* and if you like you paddle with it to the Ilha Tavira, the gorgeous beach-island off the coast of Tavira.
Hiking in the tide-land is totally safe for 4 hours during ebb-tide – two hours before and after the lowest level (you will find a tidal calendar in each of our holiday homes)
When the flood water comes back in you will find it very pleasant to swim at the little island.
During high-tide, about 2 hours before and after peak level, you may want to paddle with the canoe (available for our guests*) to the great islands "Ilha de Tavira" and "Ilha de Armona". We even have life jackets for children and people who cannot swim. More detailed tips you will find in the info-sheets in our holiday homes.
If you click at the photos they will enlarge.
* Rowing boats and canoes are available to our guests on payment of a fee for maintanance and according availability. Please inform you on site.
Pedras De'l Rei (Praia do Barril)
Pedras De'l Rei is a small tourist village between Luz de Tavira and Santa Luzia, about a mile away from Livramento (approx. 700 yards after you have passed the village you turn left). A small bridge crosses the tide-way bringing you to a little path leading through the Ria and ending at the beach - those who like a little ride may take the small train with its warning bell.
Decades ago tuna fishers lived in the village and its is a very beautiful and well-tended complex with bar, restaurant, showers and restrooms, surf school, pedal boat rental, sunshade and desk-chair rental at a guarded beach. If you want to evade the hustle and bustle of tourism just walks a few yards along the beach and you will find lonesome places. Those who enjoy taking extended walks at the beach may go from here to Livramento or in the opposite direction to the beach of Ilha de Tavira and have a snack there.
This beach is also accessible for handicapped.
Ilha de Tavira
From Tavira or Quatro Águas small ferryboats bring you to Ilha de Tavira (Island of Tavira). There is a campsite there with a small supermarket (Minimercado) and several beach taverns and restaurants - exactly the right beach for all who enjoy a more lively and vibrant setting.
The beach as such is beautiful, the water is clear and when the wind blows from south-east you will see a beautiful groundswell at the mole. By no means you should miss to get a "Bolinha" ("Berlin-Doughnut") from Marinho or one of his colleagues who carry them in closed baskets and sell them at the beach! The Ilha is a hot tip also because of its night life: in summer time the taverns and restaurants are open until 2 o'clock in the morning and an aqua-taxi rides all night. The Ilha is particularly popular among the local teenagers.
Ilha da Fuzeta
Fuzeta is a small, snug fisher village with rather few tourists. From the harbour you can go with the ferry to the Ilha da Armona and to the beach "Praia da Ilha da Fuzeta". The beach is guarded and has a small tavern - everything has a very local and original flavour here.
Ilha da Culatra / Farol
Taking the ferry from Olhão's fisher harbour you come to the islands Armona and Culatra. In Culatra you will find a small fisher village with good restaurants.
The western Algarve
Without doubt worth an excursion are the rocky beaches at the West-Algarve around Albufeira (Praia da Galé, Santa Eulália, Evaristo, Salgados, Forte de São João, Oura), Carvoeiro and in the vicinity of Armação da Pêra. The landscape of the beaches is gorgeous, the water is clean and clear (however a few degrees colder than in the east). The disadvantage: almost the entire area is overcrowded and spoilt by too many houses.
From Lagos on the situation becomes more quiet again and along the entire coast-line up to Sagres (the south-westernmost point of Europe) and then to the north until Aljezur one beach is more beautiful than the other: pure and untouched nature. A disadvantage is the harsh climate of the Atlantic Ocean, even in the summer the water is very cold and all the time a cool wind is blowing.
Casa Bela Sombra Casa Barrada Casa Palmito
|Environment||Beaches||Birdwatching||Things to do||Location||Contacts|