One of Portugal´s seven wonders - It´s beauty should be shared, visited and preserved!
The Ria Formosa is a marsh extending through the municipalities of Loulé, Faro, Olhão, Tavira and Vila Real de Santo Antonio, covering an area of about 18,400 acres along 60 kilometers from the Ancão River to Manta Rota beach.
It is considered one of the most beautiful parks in the country, due to its great wealth of fauna and flora.
It is also a wetland of international importance as a habitat for waterfowl, hence its designation as an IBA - Important Bird Area.
It is an area protected by law, namely the Natural Park statute and founded in 1987. Previously, the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve status was established in 1978. Much of the area corresponds to the Ria Formosa lagoon system, a string of sandy islands and peninsulas which are parallel to the coast, protecting a lagoon that forms a maze of marshes, canals, and small islands.
Due to the variety of fish, shellfish and molluscs that live there, the Ria (as it is known locally), is also of great economic importance for the region, especially for the city of Olhão, known as the capital of the Ria Formosa, where fish and seafood are an integral part of the local economy (where fish and seafood are a major industry)
In fact approximately 80% of all clams exported from Portugal are cultivated right here in the Ria Formosa. But clams are not the only thing in abundance in the Ria. The gildthead bream (also known as the sea bream), sea bass and shrimp are also abundant. The Ria Formosa serves as a source of income to 10,000 habitants of the area.