BIRDS, BIRDS, BIRDS!

The perfect tour for the extra-enthusiastic birdwatcher

For the extra-enthusiastic birdwatcher, we have the perfect tour: a week committed to discover and enjoying 120 species of birds, maybe more, in the Algarve and southern Alentejo.
This tour has been designed to give you the maximum time birding and we will take you to some of the richest bird spots in south-west Portugal.

However, if you are organizing a group visit, we are happy to discuss any of your suggestions and tailor the tour to suit the interests of your group.

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Price
From only £ 1,305 p.p., for all this feast!

What’s included?
 • A friendly and experienced guide to help take the most out of your trip
• All transportation within Portugal
• All insurance in Portugal
• Accommodation in en suite twin or double bedrooms
• All meals and picnics during trips
• Your flight if you choose so

What’s not included?
 • Extra drinks & other items of a personal nature.

Carbon offsetting?
May we suggest that you offset your flights carbon emissions with Climate Stewards?
We will offset ourselves all the mileage done during your staying with us.

Number of participants?
Maximum of 8.

Note: Day trip visitors are also most welcome and maybe present on the outings. Please get in touch if you wish to be or bring a day visitor.

Or phone us:

From the UK: 01223 91 1076

From elsewhere: +351 282 968 380

Or Skype us:

Tour Programme

Arrival and Ria Formosa

Arrival and Ria Formosa

Arrive at Faro airport in the afternoon. Drive to Santa Luzia salt pans, near Tavira, in the Ria Formosa Natural Park, for the first birdwatching trip of the week.

There it will be possible to see a big variety of waders and Flamingos. This is also the best site for the Slender-billed Gull, and a good one for Audouin’s Gull.

After a couple of hours birdwatching, we drive to the A ROCHA Portugal field study centre, Cruzinha, in Mexilhoeira Grande, between Lagos and Portimão where the group is accommodated during the tour.

The day ends with dinner at Cruzinha, where there is never a lack of good food and animated conversation.

Sagres

Sagres

After a good night’s sleep, the group starts the day by travelling to the most western point of the Algarve: Cape St Vincent in Sagres. Ancient people thought that this was the end of the world because you cannot see anything on the horizon besides the sea. It is, for sure, an excellent place to see a good variety of species such as Blue Rock Thrush, Thekla Lark, Little Bustard, Chough and Southern Grey Shrike.

Lunch is a picnic prepared specially by the A ROCHA Portugal team, full of regional and typical Portuguese food. This is also be an excellent opportunity to enjoy the landscape and carry on birdwatching.

During the afternoon, we continue exploring the area.

We return to Cruzinha at the end of the day for dinner, rest and relaxation.

Note: Between early March and mid-April, it is possible to stop on the way to see orchids, depending on the group's preferences.

Monchique

Monchique

Because the Algarve is not only beach and sea, this 2nd day is spent in the Monchique hills, famous for its beautiful landscape and Cork Oaks. After spending part of the morning birdwatching at the top of the hills, the group drives down to Caldas de Monchique, a charming spa village, to have our picnic.

The afternoon is more relaxing, spent walking in Caldas de Monchique and looking for species of passerines not seen during the day (Grey Wagtail, Firecrest, Nuthatch), and we finish the day enjoying a drink at the nice open-air cafe of the village.

Abicada and Alvor Dunes

Abicada and Alvor Dunes

The day starts with a walk from the Montes de Alvor dam to the Roman ruins of Abicada, which has an excellent view over the Abicada and Alvor marshes. This is a good opportunity to see and photograph Flamingos on the lake. Winter is an ideal time to see Spoonbills, ducks and Bluethroat here, but in the spring you can also see Purple Heron, Black-winged Kite and hear Quails.

We have our picnic near Alvor beach, and in the afternoon discover the incredible bird richness of the dunes. This fragile place is the breeding place of threatened species such as the Little Tern or the Kentish Plover.

As we are on the beach, if you choose a trip in the hotter months (between May and early October), you will be able to enjoy a swim or an ice cream before going back to Cruzinha.

Salgados Lagoon

Salgados Lagoon

In the morning, the group is invited to take part in the activities happening at the A ROCHA Portugal field study centre as it opens to the public, such as moth identification, a walk on the nature trail, bird ringing demonstrations, and getting to know what A ROCHA is and stands for.

In the afternoon, the group explores Salgados Lagoon, a hidden but still threatened wetland. This place does not have any legal protection status but the diversity of bird seen here over the last few years (more than 160 species) makes it a very important birding place. It also one of the only places in Portugal where Flamingos have been known to breed, with 2 nests discovered by our guide.

We take the opportunity to relax and enjoy the beautiful sunsets here, and (of course) you can continue to photograph the birds and landscape around us.

Castro Verde

Castro Verde

On Friday, we travel to the Alentejo, or more precisely the pseudo-steppes around Castro Verde. This is a completely different landscape from the Algarve, with very different bird species from the ones seen until now.

In the morning, we spend some time in the Liga para a Proteção da Natureza (a partner conservation NGO) property, where we are able to see Lesser Kestrels and Rollers in spring and Great Bustards all year round. In the afternoon, we explore the area around Castro Verde, looking for more species such as Harriers, Kites or Vultures.

Before returning to Cruzinha, we enjoy dinner in a local restaurant, as the Alentejo is well known in Portugal for its cuisine. It’s also a great opportunity to send the message that bird conservation can be good for the local economy.

Ponta da Piedade

Ponta da Piedade

On Saturday morning we go to the cliff near Lagos for a short walk. It is one of the only places in Portugal where wild Rock Doves breed. There, it is also possible to see Peregrine Falcon and sometimes Gannets so close that you do not need binoculars.

The afternoon is free to either enjoy walking in Lagos, go shopping or even book a boat trip in Lagos bay to see marine birds. This is not included in the tour, it costs 45€ per person and is subject to weather conditions and availability of the boat.

Ria Formosa and departure

Ria Formosa and departure

On this last day of the trip, before going to the airport, we spend the morning visiting the West part of Ria Formosa, one of the protected wetlands of the Algarve.
This is certainly one of the best places to see Little Bittern and Purple Swamphen, as well as terrapins, and in the winter the lagoons host a great variety of ducks.

Or phone us:

From the UK: 01223 91 1076

From elsewhere: +351 282 968 380

Or Skype us:

This post is also available in: French

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