Tours Ria Formosa
does exactly what it says - offers fantastic tours around the beautiful natural park of Ria Formosa! From OlhÃ£o, join boat trips, go dolphin watching
, find seahorses
, explore a deserted island
and enjoy delicious, traditional algarve food
. Tours Ria Formosa has a fleet of boats, including a glass bottomed boat
, that can take you out to sea to search for dolphins, or meander the waterways and lagoons of the Ria Formosa
Based in the coastal town of OlhÃ£o
, which is famous for its amazing fresh fish and produce market, Tours Ria Formosa
offers a range of tours that allow you to discover the wonderful world of the Ria Formosa. A protected area and natural park, many people only see the Ria Formosa from a distance - usually as the plane comes into land at Faro airport. The park is an area of stunning natural beauty, that stretches from Quinta do Lago to Tavira, and should be high on your list of places to discover during your stay in the Algarve.
Tours Ria Formosa
take you along the waterways and lagoons, where you can explore the series of islands and inlets, sandbanks and saltpans. The area has a significant sea horse population and is also an important breeding ground for many coastal birds and a favourite resting spot for migratory birds
. Seafood and shellfish is also plentiful here, with Ria Formosa oysters
being particularly prized. The barrier islands, Culatra
are traffic-free havens with small year round populations that swell during the summer months by visitors attracted by the incredibly clear waters, long, fine sand beaches and easy pace of life. Deserta
island is, as the name suggests, an uninhabited island and a unique beach day experience.
The trips run by Tours Ria Formosa depart from OlhÃ£o harbour and include:
Glass Bottom Boat Tour
- 2 hours duration
Board a glass bottomed boat for the best views into the underwater world of the Ria Formosa. The water here is usually very clear, so this trip really allows you to appreciate the unique beauty of the area. Time for a cruise and 30 minutes snorkelling.
Dolphins and Seahorse Tour
- 4 hours duration
Speed boats take you out to sea some miles from the coast to search for dolphins in the wild. These magical mammals exert a huge fascination and are regular visitors to Algarve waters. Then, back among the calm waterways of the Ria Formosa, learn about the local seahorse population and take time for some snorkelling to see if you can spot these small creatures.
Traditional Islands Tour
- 5 hours duration
This tour gives the best overview of the Ria Formosa area as you explore the barrier islands of Culatra, Armona, Farol and Deserta. Learn of the local fishing communities and their traditions while enjoying cruising the calm waters in typical OlhÃ£o boats. The trip includes serveral stops at the islands and is a relaxed way to discover the area. There's time too to sample some of the fresh seafood and shellfish at a local restaurant on Culatra island. Simple yet totally delicious food that tastes of the sea.
Private boat hire
Hire a speed boat or a traditional boat for a day or afternoon of relaxed cruising, stopping at will, enjoying a refreshing swim, some great food and some local wine.
Tours Ria Formosa also offer birdwatching tours, visits to oyster and clam plantations as well as walking tours of OlhÃ£o. Transport can be arranged from your accommodation to Tours Ria Formosa starting point. See the website for pricing and tour details.