Birding in the Algarve – Lagoa dos Salgados

Just south of Pêra you can find one of the better sites for bird watching in the Algarve. Lagoa dos Salgados is a typical coastal lagoon separated from the sea by the extensive Praia Grande dune system. Covering an area of about 50 hectares there are several good viewing points for the extensive variety of waterfowl in particular which can be found here.


Listed in the national list of Important Bird Areas, over 200 species have been recorded here. It is also known as a good area to spot rarities and other less common species such as the Ferruginous Duck and the Squacco Heron. Other interesting species like the Greater Flamingo, Eurasian Golden Plover, Pied Avocet, Ruff and Eurasian Spoonbill are spotted regularly.


Access is easy from the N125 at Alcantarilha and following the N269-1 and then the M526 from which you can see the marsh and spot the turn off. The best approach is from the north side of the lagoon where there are easy parking areas, open trails and good viewing points across the marsh. Tourismo de Portugal has produced a terrific online “Birdwatching Guide to the Algarve” that shows this and many other sites in detail.


Between the lagoon and the dune system is a band of fields and scrub which provide good viewing areas for a number of birds. We enjoyed a picnic amongst the bushes this winter and had several nice sightings while eating our lunch. To finish your visit a short walk across the dunes will bring you to beautiful Priai Grande de Pêra.




As we are still relatively new to European birding we added several “lifers” to our list on our first two visits here. Whether you are a serious birder, a casual observer or just want an accessible and pleasant walk you won’t be disappointed spending a couple hours here.


About Tim & Anne Hall

We sold almost all of our belongings and left our home in Nova Scotia in April 2016 to experience as much of the world as we could. We spent over a year slow traveling in Latin America and Europe, and are now living happily in the Portuguese Algarve, Portimao to be specific. We are gradually chnging the focus of our site to feature images of Portugal. Stay tuned - its a work in progress.
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6 Responses to Birding in the Algarve – Lagoa dos Salgados

  1. Mary Jane says:

    John Wilson and his wife Debbie are also here in Lagos for the winter. We just spent 5 days in Porto with John. Let us know a convenient time to share a glass of wine.
    Mary Jane

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Joe says:

    Bird sightings and identification is such an challenging and rewarding avocation. I am always so impressed with the knowledge of bird watchers. I am very much of a novice, but can appreciate the thrill of sighting a new species. The Algarve looks like an excellent place to expand your knowledge.

    Liked by 2 people

    • timannehall says:

      Hi Joe. We have always enjoyed birding as a hobby as it gets us outdoors, connects us with the area we are in and the more we can learn about our natural surroundings the better. We have been fortunate to visit many very productive and exciting natural areas – in fact that has always been one of our main decision points. We are still amateurs by the standards f serious birders but we really enjoy it.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m fast becoming an enthusiastic although novice bird watcher and am looking forward to some future walks with you guys. Thanks for the terrific link to the Algarve Birds. I’ll bet I can even find a hoopoe in there! 🙂 Anita

    Liked by 2 people

    • timannehall says:

      This wetland is very close to your new place so you should be able to enjoy it often. It has a great range of birds for you to practice your identifications skills and makes a nice walk as well. Enjoy moving day!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Katy hickridge says:

    Good for purple swamphen too.

    Liked by 1 person

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