A guide for activities and experiences in the region of Castro Marim and The Algarves.

ecotourism activities

While you are here, you may chose between the most diverse activities. To observe birds in the Natural Reserve, to stroll among roman Salinas, visit the castles of Castro Marim, Cacela Velha or Alcoutim, even participate in the process of fruit collecting, salt flower extraction, or even enjoy our herds of donkeys and horses. If you choose so, you may walk through the extensive sand plains of nearby beaches or visit Ayamonte (Spain) 6km away. Everything calmly, very calmly.

Book a birdwatching tour here.

castro marim nature reserve

birdwatching

while you're here...

enjoy your stay

There is lots to do in the area and we would be more than happy to help you find what you are looking for during your holiday!

Read more about our vision.

pine forest

Enjoy a quiet and peaceful walk or bike ride through the pine forest in between Monte Gordo and Vila Real de Santo Antonio. 

Visit the island of Tavira by boat! There are lots of types of boat rides that take off from the town of Tavira.

a bike ride

This area provides many interesting bike routes that pass through various highlights. Check them out here.

A unique spa day awaits you in Castro Marim! Enjoy a clay and salt bath in the original salt pans of the area!

Walk, bike, or drive to the closest beach, only 5km away, and stroll along the extensive sand plains by the ocean. 

Visit the castles in Castro Marim and have a drink at the local  medieval tavern that takes you back in time. 

Explore the rest of the eastern Algarves. Take the train to Tavira or Vila Real de Santo Antonio!

Take a day to enjoy the hundreds of variety of birds that reside in the natural reserve close by. Spot the flamingos!

nature reserve

nature

The Natural Reserve of the sapal from Castro Marim and Vila Real de Santo Antonio is located in the delta of the Guadiana river and it is one of the most important humid areas of Portugal: it is formed by salty swamps, bodies of brackish water, Salinas, and river arms that host a great number of vegetable and animal species. It is a fundamental habitat for thousand of aquatic birds that find here good conditions to nest and to spend the winter, fully justifying the status given by the Ramsar Convention as a humid area of international importance.


The marshlands are also important as a shelter and reproduction place for numerous fish, mollusks and crustacean species, working as a natural nursery. Beyond the humid zone that covers 65% of the 2089ha of protected area, there are also dry zones that correspond to the hillside of the algarvian mountains with its own vegetable and animal species.
It is therefore in this variety of existing biotypes that consists the wealth of the protected area, as attractive as sensitive to any misconducted human intervention.

culture

Whoever climbs to the castle of Castro Marim, a templar castle that king D. Dinis transformed in the Order of Christ from night to day, keeping the same warrior monks, sees the see on one side and on the other the round shapes of the surrounding hills that reach until the horizon. These are the hills that challenge those who enjoy big open spaces, who are interested in identifying plants and birds, who enjoy walking or cycling, or getting in contact with nature. On the way you will find small villages with low and white houses, surrounded by farming fields, the refreshing spots of the big lakes formed by Odeleite and Beliche dams, the profiles of old windmills on the top of the hills. Then you have the curvy course of Guadiana river, crossing isolated mountains.


The sun is king in Castro Marim’s landscape. It shows itself every day, warms the nature, tans the skin, brings life to the beaches. Altura, Alagoa, Cabeco, Verde and Retur beaches, united by a vast sand plain, are some of the most beautiful in the entire Algarve coast. Surrounded by pine trees and aromatic herbs, are paradises to be discovered. They are laid along a deep blue coast and soft and white sands, that slip between your fingers. With a very temperate climate, these beaches of calm and warm waters, cuddle us to the sound of soft waves.

Image credits: 

1. Cover Image: sergojpg 2. Castro Marim Nature Reserve 3. Birdwatching: Peter Dedicoat 4. Unknown 5. Castro Marim: Likedplaces.com 6. The region: here 7. Flamingos 8. Nature 9. Pine Forest Vila Real de Santo Antonio 10. Tavira Island 11. Bike Ride 12. Salt Pan Spa/Salinas 13. Culture: Medieval Festival