Discover Ria Formosa Natural Park, one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Portugal

If you are planning to stay at Domes Lake Algarve, do not miss Ria Formosa Natural Park, one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Portugal.

Just 30 minutes from the Domes resort, Ria Formosa is a natural wetland paradise that constantly changes due to the continuous movement of winds, currents and tides.

This amazing park is a sanctuary to white beaches, blue lagoons, and rare species. It attracts adventurers, and wildlife enthusiasts as well in its area of about 18 000 hectares. After all, Ria Formosa is an important bird area (IBA) and is part of the Natura 2000 Network. This is one of the most important areas for aquatic birds in Portugal, hosting on a regular basis more than 20,000 birds during the wintering period. The area is also very important as stop-over point in the migration routes between Europe and Africa and it provides shelter for rare species in Portugal such as the Purple Swamphen, the symbol of this Natural Park and for other emblematic species like the colorful flamingos.

A Natural Park since 1987, Ria Formosa is protected from the sea by 5 barrier-islands and 2 peninsulas. The Peninsula of Ancão that the locals call Ilha de Faro. The Barreta Island also known as Ilha Deserta. The Culatra Island where the lighthouse of Santa Maria is located. The Island of Armona. The Island of Tavira. Cabanas Island. And, finally, the Peninsula of Cacela.

With its constantly shifting landscape, Ria Formosa is a beautiful tapestry of colors and textures that you have to see to believe it.

You can also choose to enjoy a leisurely sail along the picturesque coastline in a traditional tuna boat, meet welcoming locals and learn about the history and culture of fishing, visit traditional farmhouses, mills, and even Roman ruins. And don’t forget to try your hand at gathering the region’s acclaimed clams and oysters, sold to executive chefs around the world that use great skill to create their gastronomic marvels.

Last but not least, you will love your once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the fun and friendly Portuguese water dogs, a breed native from the Algarve and almost threatened with extinction some decades ago.