Faro
Off the beaten track

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Our most recommended Faro Off the beaten track

Olhão: 4-Hour Ria Formosa Islands Tour

1. Olhão: 4-Hour Ria Formosa Islands Tour

Navigate the waterways between the barrier islands of Ria Formosa off the coast of Olhão and discover a paradise of nature. Enjoy great views of the Farol Bar and Santa Maria Lighthouse on Farol Island. Stop for lunch in the fishing village of Culatra, home to about 1,000 residents with shops, a school, church, medical office, and even its own football pitch. Savor the local fresh fish at a typical restaurant or go for a nice picnic on the beach. Continue to Armona Bay and island, where you will stop for another 30 minutes to appreciate the nature. Return to Olhão, passing close to several tuna factories and the fishing harbor. See a larger area of Ria Formosa than most other tours, and benefit from the expert knowledge of your skipper to learn about the flora and fauna.

Algarve: Ria Formosa Eco-Friendly Solar Boat Trip from Faro

2. Algarve: Ria Formosa Eco-Friendly Solar Boat Trip from Faro

Commence your journey through the Ria Formosa by departing from the wharf in Faro. With an experienced skipper, you will be guided through this protected area of the Algarve in one of the most relaxing and eco friendly methods available.  During your 45 minute adventure through the Ria Formosa you will have the opportunity to visit the protected marshlands of the Algarve with a perfect viewpoint for spotting some of the native wildlife and birdlife that exist in the area.

From Faro: Ria Formosa Lagoon Boat Tour

3. From Faro: Ria Formosa Lagoon Boat Tour

You set sail on a pontoon boat, and the marina of Faro fades behind you. On this tour you'll feel like a native of the Algarve as we explore the lagoon and numerous birds and wildlife who live in this protected landscape. You will sail through marshes and channels, and enjoy a nice boat trip with beautiful views of the walls of the Old Town of Faro. For anyone passing by Faro without much time to explore, this is the perfect way to get an overview of this fascinating city. The Ria Formosa is one of Portugal's Seven Natural Wonders, and you'll soon discover why! Come out and spend a beautiful time on the water.

Faro Bike Tour through the Beautiful Ria Formosa

4. Faro Bike Tour through the Beautiful Ria Formosa

The biodiversity of the Ria Formosa is truly marvelous. Noted as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Portugal, you will discover this rich landscape by bike! Under the watchful eye of your expert guide, we will explore the surroundings from saltpans to beaches on a fun and comfortable ride! As we set off, you will be treated to sights of birdlife and the incredible range of wildlife these protected lands have to offer. Your guide will help explain this unique environment as you visit the Saltpans -- a truly marvelous place to stop and enjoy some birdwatching. With binoculars in hand, you'll be invited into a world of Flamingos. Next up, we'll pedal our way to the marshlands of the Ria Formosa, where you will get a great sense of how these channels and small islets make up this rich landscape. After continuing along, you will arrive at the Praia de Faro (Faro Beach). All of your efforts pay off here as we have some of time to relax on the beach and enjoy a refreshing drink. The azure blue waters invite you to take a swim before continuing your journey back to Faro.

Algarve: 2-Hour Ria Formosa Kayak Tour from Faro

5. Algarve: 2-Hour Ria Formosa Kayak Tour from Faro

This 2-hour kayak tour in the Ria Formosa Nature Park will take you on an adventure of exploration along the channels and marshes of this spectacular wetlands area. With your guide you'll discover the enormous abundance of wildlife and learn about the history and local economic activities of one of the most important protected areas in the Algarve. You'll head out on a leisurely paddle through the peaceful waters of the Ria Formosa Park and stop at one of its islets for a break and a chance to take in the beauty of the unique habitats. After your rest stop you’ll paddle back as you enjoy stunning views of the old town of Faro along the way. All tours are accompanied by experienced instructors. The kayaks are double, sit-on-top models, and are safe, comfortable, and glide along easily. No previous paddling experience is required to enjoy this nature activity.

From Faro: 2-Hour Guided Bird Watching Boat Trip

6. From Faro: 2-Hour Guided Bird Watching Boat Trip

When you’re in Portugal make sure to be a part of this ecotourism experience that will take you through the spectacular nature of the Ria Formosa by boat. Come see why this region was elected one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Portugal. Considered one of the most important wetlands for aquatic birds in Portugal, during the tour we observe birds like the White Stork, Little Egret and the Spoonbill. Waders are most abundant during winter, although birds like the Whimbrel, the Turnstone and the Grey Plover are a constant presence. The trip continues towards the islands of the Natural Park through oyster and clams farms. Here you will have the opportunity to see one of the most important economical activities in the Algarve and also very interesting species such as the black-tailed godwit, the oystercatcher and many others. During wintertime we often observe the sandwich tern and the greater flamingo. Towards the point where the lagoon meets the sea, we make a stop so you may enjoy this small paradise. During our trip back we will have many opportunities to observe other species while our boat sails calmly through the channels of this Natural Park in direction to the city of Faro.

Faro: Speed Boat Tour

7. Faro: Speed Boat Tour

Check in at the Faro Marina and meet your skipper for your safety briefing. The skipper will tell you the details of your itinerary before departing. Strap on your life jackets and embark on your speed boat tour. Discover the beauty along the Ria Formosa Natural Park and make your way to a desert island, where you’ll have time to explore the desert beaches. After your time at the beach, continue to discover Ria Formosa’s wonders before heading back to the Faro Marina. Choose from a 1- or 2-hour shared tour, or upgrade your experience to a private 1-hour tour by selecting the relevant option when booking.

Ria Formosa National Park: Kayak Trip

8. Ria Formosa National Park: Kayak Trip

The protected land of the Ria Formosa on Portugal's southernmost tip is a marvel of wildlife, landscape and natural beauty. There are many ways to explore this biodiverse paradise, but surely the most fun is by kayak! On this tour you'll discover the white beaches, the clear waters, and the incredible bird and sea life with which the park teems. Your professional guide will help you get the most out of your kayaking adventure. Whether you're a seasoned pro or it's your first time, the calm waters and beautiful landscape are the perfect backdrop for your visit to this national park. Depart Faro and travel towards the lagoon of the Ria Formosa for a quick lesson on how to handle your kayak. With no waves here, it is the perfect place for learning before you head into the marshes and islets. Keep your eyes open for the hundreds of varieties of birdlife to which the park is home! Once you reach the national park, pass people working in the clam farms and head straight towards a small islet with your friends! Spend the day on the water in a fun and safe kayak while you get to know one of the world's most beautiful natural enclaves.

Ria Formosa 3-Hour Bike Tour

9. Ria Formosa 3-Hour Bike Tour

The tour through Ria Formosa or along the Algarve Costal Ecovia is the right tour for those who love cycle tourism and nature. Ria Formosa's spreads itself through the councils of Loulé, Faro, Olhão, Tavira and Vila Real de Santo António, and is comprised of around 18.400 hectares along 60 kilometers from Rio Ancão to Manta Rota Beach. Ria Formosa is considered to be one of the most beautiful areas in the Algarve and was granted the status of a natural park making it a protected area. Ready to pedal in these trails filled with interesting ecosystems and biodiversity? Do you have your senses on alert? Come and breathe fresh air and relax on this pleasant tour. Your guide will provide information in an interesting and relaxed way. Your questions are more than welcome!

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What people are saying about Faro

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,031 reviews

Had a wonderful time kayaking with Luis in Ria Formosa. He was very knowledgeable about the wildlife in the lagoon and we could tell his love for nature and the sea. We had a picture-perfect morning despite the recent rains in the Algarve, saw a great variety of birds, and did not want our kayaking tour to end.

We did manage to see dolphins, which was an amazing experience. The cabes are also spectacular and worth seeing. I would recommend to dress appropriately for a windy boat trip an cover from the sun.

Great experience! Bruno was very knowledgeable about the local area and enthusiastic. Definitely recommend it

Amazing tour guide ! Found a lot of dolphins Definitely worth the money!

Fast & bumpy speedboat. Nice caves and coastlines!