Tours, Excursions and Experiences
Sunset Cruises, Jeep Safaris and Dolphin Watching Await Your Discovery
This section of our Algarve guide gives you an idea of tours that the destination offers its visitors, from romantic sunset boat trips to adventurous jeep safaris... the Algarve becomes more than just soaking up the sun!
Oyster Tasting Tour
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 (from October to June).
Before arriving at your destination, the 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.
Cork Factory Tour
Spending your summer holiday at Dona Filipa Hotel, and inspired to do something completely different? The cork factory tour can be a perfect combination to any holiday stay, it's a fun and educational visit. Located near São Brás de Alportel, this family company - founded in 1935 - enlightens visitors on how cork is harvested, transformed and used in many ways and forms; other than just bottle stoppers. one thing you can be sure of: you'll never look at cork the same way you did before you walked into this cork factory in the Algarve countryside.
For the adventurous, or those wanting to see that there's more to the Algarve than just beaches... Algarve jeep safari tours. From half day to full day tours, this is the perfect way to discover the hidden Algarve. Venturing into the countryside in a 4WD jeep, you'll see the most beautiful landscapes, small "forgotten" villages, stop at beautiful waterfalls for a swim in crystal clear water and experience the true taste of traditional gastronomy! From honey tasting, licours to visiting old firewater distilleries to get a taste of the famous medronho (traditional firewatter made from the arbutus berry).
Sunset and Moonlight Gin Tours
Though Ria Formosa may be dazzling by day - as the labyrinth of saltwater marshes, sandy beaches, freshwater lagoons and spontaneous islands collide to emit a kaleidoscope of colour; during sunset the natural park emits an almost dreamlike aura, as the lowering late-afternoon sun alters the landscape minute-by-minute. Sunset boat tours add 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.