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Boat Tours and Experiences from Dona Filipa Hotel

Sunset Cruises, Secret Caves and Majestic Coastline Await Your Discovery

Sail one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Portugal as the sun sets, embark on oyster tasting tours and discover one of the world’s most exotic beaches in secret sea caves on a variety of Boating Expeditions by Algarve WOW… all of which can include transportation to and from Dona Filipa Hotel.

Oyster Tasting Tour

October to June

As well as being one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Portugal; the Ria Formosa Natural Park is also responsible for 60% of the shellfish produced in the country – which you can experience first-hand on the Oyster Tasting Tour.

Before arriving at your destination, the 3 hour trip takes you through the stunning saltwater marshes and azure lagoons of Ria Formosa; where you can familiarise yourself with inhabitants of the nature park. In particular, birds abound in the diverse ecosystems – with the numbering pink flamingos the easiest to spot… and those with a keener eye may be fortunate enough to see the rare Purple Swamphen.

After a spell of sightseeing it’s time to nourish another of the senses, where a true taste of the ocean awaits as oysters are served in the accompaniment of Vinho Verde. As you get to grips with the magnificent mollusc, expert guides will be on hand to tell you about the process of oyster breeding, farming and exporting to the finest markets around the world. You may be shocked when you hear the prices some markets and restaurants charge for a Ria Formosa oyster.

After you’ve had your fill of oysters and Vinho Verde, there is time for you to visit the picturesque village; which is also home to an attractive soft sand beach.

Oysters SmallOysters Served with Lemon

‘The Algarve's Majestic Coastline’

The Algarve’s sightly shoreline is among the most beautiful in the world; where ochre cliffs, scalloped bays and unique rock formations grow out of the cerulean expanse of the Atlantic, to create Southern Portugal’s inimitable coast.

Departing from Faro, the 7 hour boating experience first voyages through the channels of the Ria Formosa Natural Park before arriving at the estuary; where the waters of the Ria Formosa surrender to the power of the Atlantic. Once onto the open sea, it’s time to take in your surroundings; which can be viewed from the comfort of your sofa. This one however is inflatable… and if the mood takes you, feel free to navigate your way west as you are towed along at great speed.

After admiring the Algarve’s natural beauty from afar, it’s time to explore the numbering sea caves and secluded beaches up close. With no fewer than 30 caves hidden along the Algarvian coast you are more than spoilt for choice; but the Benagil Cave is a must – with the isolated beach housed within the rocky orifice rated among the most exotic beaches in the world.

Once you’ve soaked up the sun on storybook beaches, grab a snorkel and discover the Algarve’s underwater world. The turquoise waters allow for unobscured views of the marine life swimming below you; where you can see the likes of flora and fauna, cuttlefish, starfish and occasionally the odd octopus.

Benagil Cave by Bruno Carlos via Wikimedia CommonsBenagil Cave

‘Sunset’ and ‘Moonlight Gin’

There is a reason why the Ria Formosa Natural Park is one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Portugal; as the labyrinth of saltwater marshes, sandy beaches, freshwater lagoons and spontaneous islands collide to emit a kaleidoscope of colour; intensified further by the hued inhabitants of Ria Formosa – ultimately creating a picturesque patchwork of outstanding natural beauty.

However, though Ria Formosa is dazzling by day; the natural park during sunset emits an almost dreamlike aura, as the lowering late-afternoon sun alters the landscape minute-by-minute. The Sunset Boat Tour also adds another dimension to the diverse wildlife on display; where silhouettes of herons and kingfishers can be seen swooping in the distance, as they attempt to make their last catch of the day. What’s more, you will be able to take in the twilight in the accompaniment of complementary champagne.

If you’re wondering what is entailed in Moonlight Gin, you will be pleased to know that it largely involves moonlight and gin… with a hint of tonic. This evening boat tour again takes you out into the majestic Ria Formosa, as you sip G & T’s under the stars in the amiable Algarve air. Nightfall brings on yet another transformation of the natural park, as serenity prevails over the usually bustling landscape… with the only light provided by the moon and moored boats, which is projected onto the glistening Ria Formosa waters.

Algarve Sunset SmallAlgarve Sunset

‘Bespoke’

For the ultimate tailor-made boating experience; opt for Algarve WOW’s Bespoke Tour. Whatever it is you desire – whether it be watersports, oyster tours, sunset cruises, birdwatching voyages, marine life expeditions, sailing trips in the depths of the Atlantic or lounging in the sun on a chartered yacht; Algarve WOW will go above and beyond to ensure that your day is perfect.

Istock Ria Formosa FlamingosRia Formosa Flamingos

See the Algarve WOW website for a full itinerary of their Boat Tours and Experiences.

'Benagil Cave, Algarve' © Bruno Carlos | CC License

Vale do Lobo, Algarve, Almancil, 8135-034, Portugal, Tel: +351 289 357 200, Fax: +351 289 357 201, donafilipahotel@jjwhotels.com