This October, bird watchers and nature lovers are invited to experience the Algarve Bird Watching Festival.
Taking place from October 5th-7th, the annual festival takes place in Sagres in the western Algarve and is in its third year.
Each year tourists flock to the Algarve for its stunning coastline, warm temperatures and beautiful scenery yet the region has even more to offer its visitors, particularly those interested in observing local wildlife.
Due to its geographical position, the Sagres peninsula becomes the main migratory corridor in Portugal between mid-August and November and offers a perfect location for observing migratory birds.
Thousands of birds can be seen crossing the sky in this part of the region, where it is common to see over 190 different species.
These include eagles, falcons, vultures, kites, sparrowhawks and harriers.
Annually, over 4,000 raptors from more than 20 species fly over the Sagres area during their southward migrations.
Beyond Sagres, there are number of fantastic bird watching locations in the region:
Castro Marim Natural Reserve
The Castro Marim reserve on the western coast is a wetland of international importance, located in the Guadiana river’s estuary.
The landscape here is dominated by salt marshes.
Several species of aquatic birds can be observed here such as the Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber, Dunlin Calidris alpina, Little Stint Calidris minuta and Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus.
More information here.
Parque Natural da Ria Formosa
This ria is composed of a long stretch of coastal dunes, several barrier islands, peninsulas, marshes, canals, islets, sandbanks, mudflats, salt ponds, freshwater ponds, streams, woods and pine forests.
This rich diversity of biotopes supports an equally rich bird fauna, such as the Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope, Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata, Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola, Dunlin Calidris alpina and Red Knot Calidris canutus.
Lagoa dos Salgados
Included in the national list of Important Bird Areas, Lagoa dos Salgados is one of the most interesting places for bird watching in the Algarve.
Over 200 species have been recorded there, in particular waterfowl.
It is one of the few places in the region where the Ferruginous Duck can be seen regularly and the only one where the Greater Flamingo, a species that can be seen here almost all year round, has attempted to breed.
The Algarve has plenty of species, landscapes and experiences to offer keen bird watchers, so visit during October and experience this fascinating festival in Portugal’s sunshine region.
For more information on the Algarve please visit the official website.
World Travel Awards
The highlight of the tourism calendar for any region, the World Travel Awards will visit the Algarve later this month for the annual Europe Gala Ceremony.
Taking place at the new Conrad Algarve, the event will welcome the leaders of the European tourism industry to a red carpet event designed to select the best-of-the-best.
World Travel Awards president Graham Cooke said: “We are delighted to host our first ceremony in the Algarve, a decision that reflects the crucial role that tourism plays in the region and its overall contribution to the Portuguese economy.”
He added: “The Algarve is also one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the world, and the new Conrad Algarve will set a new precedent for luxury in the region.
“Our Europe Ceremony will provide a perfect forum to showcase its facilities to travel’s top decision-makers.”
Take a look at the official site for more information.