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Dolphin Watching, Paddle Boarding & Boat Tours in the Algarve

With a variety of exceptional boat rides, dolphin watching and fun-filled watersports, a holiday in the Algarve can be a wonderfully action-packed break… we’ve put together a short guide to top attractions near to Dona Filipa.

Dolphin Safari in the Algarve

From Vilamoura & Albufeira

The best way to see dolphins around the Algarve is by boat safari. This stretch of the Atlantic Ocean is home to a variety of wild dolphin, the most popular including the Bottlenose, Common, Risso’s and striped species’. Bring the family and take the guided high-speed rib boat from Vilamoura or Albufeira out to sea. As it cruises across the ocean, you have your first awe-inspiring glimpse of the dolphins leaping and hunting.

Also, keep an eye out for the likes of Orca and Fin whales, basking sharks and common turtles. Algarve Xcite is one of the companies offering packages, some of which include the opportunity to explore local caves, take a swim in the sea and soak up views of the Algarvian coastline. 

Pixabay Dolphins
Dolphins in the Atlantic Ocean

The high-speed ribs have comfortable armchair seating which provide safety for all ages… and the crew are highly trained to ensure you enjoy an unforgettable trip.

Paddle Boarding Ria Formosa Lagoon

From the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve

Stand-up paddle boarding is the perfect way to explore Ria Formosa Nature Reserve… and discover more than 500 species of bird and wildlife across its wetlands. In the saltwater lagoon, there are flamingos, herons, ducks and rare butterflies. Along the banks, where chameleons hunt and dragonflies glide – are red-crested pochard, otters, water dog and a stunning display of bee orchids. All this make Formosa the most biodiverse destination in the Algarve, and the best way to discover all these creatures is to glide as silently as possible across its waters.

Pixabay Paddleboarding
Paddle Boarding in the Algarve

After a short lesson on board basics, you will slide between tall rushes where the warblers nest. Standing on open board, you have the opportunity to engage with the surroundings and get up close to the wildlife. You’ll also have the chance to rest on remote coves and trek the islands and salt marshes of this national park. More adventurous souls can sign up for the Coastal Tour, and learn how to ride waves safely using an advanced array of skills.

Four Islands of Ria Formosa by Boat

From the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve

One of the best experiences at Ria Formosa can be had by taking a leisurely boat tour to the region’s four beautiful islands. The Islands 4 You tour begins by boarding a catamaran and setting off across the lagoon to first stop, Derserta Island. Located in the southernmost point of Portugal, the cape St. Mary, visitors have the chance to walk the dunes and relax on the beach.

Next port of call is Farol to visit the lighthouse and beach bars. Then you’ll head to Culatra, an island known for its family-friendly beaches and brightly coloured houses. Then finally it’s on to the cobbled streets and dazzling sands of Armona Island to round things off.

Wiki Commons Sourced Island
Lighthouse at Farol Island

Sailing distances are short and at every anchorage, you can enjoy birdwatching, or island trekking with qualified guides, who have several years experience in the reserve.

‘Farol do Cabo de Santa Maria pan 01’ © JotaCartas| CC License 

Paddle Boarding © dimitrisvetsikas1969 | CC License 

Vale do Lobo, Algarve, Almancil, 8135-034, Portugal, Tel: +351 289 357 200, Fax: +351 289 357 201,