Ria Formosa
Family-friendly Activities

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Our most recommended Ria Formosa Family-friendly Activities

Faro: Kayak Hire in Ria Formosa Natural Park

1. Faro: Kayak Hire in Ria Formosa Natural Park

Paddle through the Algarve's famed blue waters in a kayak. The Rotomod sit-on-top kayaks are stable, safe, comfortable, and easy to use, making them the perfect way for you to explore the waters of the Algarve. You don’t need any experience to get the most out of your very own kayaking adventure. Various types of kayaks are available for rent. The first is the Rotomod Ocean Duo, a comfortable double kayak that can seat up to 2 adults. There is also the Rotomod Ocean Quattro, perfect for families. This kayak can seat up to 2 adults and 1 child. The Rotomod Tango is a heavy duty solo kayak, ideal for bigger paddlers or people travelling with a lot of heavy gear. If you don’t have that much gear, then the Toromod Mambo might be for you, with excellent maneuverability from this solo kayak. Just for your safety, your kayak hire will also include light paddles and comfortable safety vests.

Faro: Hop On Hop Off City Tour by Tourist Train

2. Faro: Hop On Hop Off City Tour by Tourist Train

Relax and enjoy a Faro tour on a special tourist train. During this tour, you will visit beautiful and important monuments of the city, including Old City, the Jardim Manuel Bivar, Igreja da Misericórdia, Sé de Faro, Teatro Lethes, Igreja do Carmo, Igreja São Pedro, Zona Comercial da Baixa de Faro, pass by the lagoon Ria Formosa and the new town. Via a multilingual audio system, learn curious facts and secrets as you pass by each location. Your ticket is valid for a full day, so you can stop at any of our stops, explore the surroundings and hop back in to the next stop. The stops are: Praça D. Francisco Gomes (where our tour starts), Jardim da Alameda, Ermida de Santo António, Mercado da Cidade e Igreja do Carmo.

From Olhão: Ria Formosa 3-Island Full-Day Tour

3. From Olhão: Ria Formosa 3-Island Full-Day Tour

Begin your island-hopping trip with your captain who will act as your tour guide. First, stop at Lighthouse Island, where you can visit its village, get a drink, go to the beach, and explore the neighborhoods of beautiful houses. Continue on to Culatra Island for a few hours to take in a picnic lunch, or you can visit one of the local restaurants to dine at. Culatra Island has beautiful swimming areas too if you prefer to play in the water instead of eating here.  Next, you’ll arrive at either Armona Island or Deserta Island, depending on the season. In the summertime, Deserta Island hosts a beautiful beach, wild with no buildings. Explore either the Ria Formosa for a swim, or take in the Atlantic Ocean side of the island.

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

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

Explore the Ria Formosa in the Algarve with an experienced guide. Respect your natural surroundings as you glide along on an eco-friendly boat, powered by solar energy. Commence your journey through the Ria Formosa by departing from the wharf in Faro. Head into the protected marshlands of the Algarve on this relaxing boat tour. During your 1-hour adventure through the Ria Formosa, visit the protected marshlands of the Algarve and spot some of the native wildlife and birdlife that exist in the area. The comfortable, solar-powered boat never leaks oil and doesn't contaminate. What's more, your trained guide is experienced in traveling through this beautiful area without leaving any trace whatsoever.

Faro: Ria Formosa Boat Tour with 2 Island Visits

5. Faro: Ria Formosa Boat Tour with 2 Island Visits

Sail to the beautiful Ria Formosa Natural Park on an enchanting sightseeing cruise. The journey follows the Ria Formosa channels and includes stops at the magical islands of Farol and Deserta. The modern, comfortable boat provides a pleasant and comfortable way of exploring the islands. The guide on board will provide commentary on the natural park and the islands you visit in Portuguese, English, French, and Spanish. Don't forget your swimsuit and towel, as there will be plenty of breaks for swimming.

Faro: Speed Boat Tour

6. 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.

From Faro: 2-Hour Guided Bird Watching Boat Trip

7. 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.

From Faro: Family-Friendly Boat Trip

8. From Faro: Family-Friendly Boat Trip

Enjoy a family trip to Ria Formosa Natural Park for 1 hour. Cross the channels of the Ria Formosa, where you can observe nature and birds including storks, spoonbills, egrets, grey herons, oystercatchers, and with some luck, flamingos. When the tide is low you can watch fishermen catch seafood. The Ria Formosa is a marsh situated in the Algarve province of Portugal, which extends through the municipalities of Loulé, Faro, Olhão, Tavira and Vila Real de Santo António, covering an area of about 18,400 hectares along 60 km. 

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What people are saying about Ria Formosa

The guide Jose was very friendly, informative and seemed to enjoy himself. Made the trip very relaxing and fun. He was fluent in English and French. The entire process was very well handled.

We had a wonderful time. Very individual and very exciting. Our skipper Jose made the trip informative, fun and unforgettable. We would book again immediately.

Superb day, excursion with a pure local guide who takes us with a small group on his small boat to discover the islands of the Ria Formosa.

If you don’t mind the push and shove to get on the train go for it!! The tour itself is lovely and informative.

Wonderful experience, the staff is very kind and professional!! We're very happy and satisfied!!