The Algarve, in the south of Portugal, has a mild climate all year round, with plenty of sun. With its white sandy beaches, golden cliffs, semi-deserted islands, little bays, blue warm waters, perfect waves,… if you like the sea you have found paradise!
The Rota Vicentina stretches 400km along the West coast of the Algarve, along one of the most beautiful and best preserved coastal areas of Europe. The sea, endless beaches and little fishing villages on one side; green fields with cattle and wild flowers on the other. Here is the Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina, the finest preserved stretch of European coastline, covering over 100km. Many bird species can be seen here, such as the rare fishing eagles. Only here will you see the white storks nesting in the seashore rocks. And it is the only place in Portugal where you might be lucky to see otters in a marine environment.
Further south, the Parque Natural de la Ria Formosa is a labyrinth of canals, islands, marshland and sandy beaches, with calm waters that shelter a great variety of birds, such as the purple swamphen, the symbol of this protected area, which can only be found here of all Portugal. Further east you will find Portimao, one of the landmark destinations of the WILDSEA Atlantic Ocean Heritage Route (WAOH! Route) - a scuba diver's dream.
Diving, snorkelling, dolphin-watching, surfing, hiking, swimming…a visit to the Algarve is truly a dip into the Ocean!