Armação de Pêra – Salgados – Armação de Pêra

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Sadly, many visitors to Salgados get no farther than the extensive boardwalk system alongside the lagoon and the magnificent Praia Grande de Pêra beach.

This easy circular walk starts at the easterly end of Armação de Pêra's promenade and explores the diverse landscapes and habitats to be discovered in this relatively small but very special place which lies between the dune system and the road to Albufeira.

The scenery at Salgados changes dramatically according to the season. In early spring, the landscape is ablaze with wildflowers and the long grass billows in the breeze. By June, the landscape is parched and looks quite different, although the footpaths do become more distinct (and there is no likelihood of mud).

This route passes several abandoned stone mills which date back to earlier times when this flat, fertile land was used for agriculture. Even now, there are still dry orchards and vines growing. Neither is it unusual to encounter large flocks of sheep and goats grazing here, watched over by a shepherd (and several well-trained dogs).

Lagoa dos Salgados (Salgados Lagoon) is an important freshwater wetland which attracts a large variety of birds, some relatively rare. The route passes an open hide with information boards to help you identify some of the species you will see, including water birds like greater flamingo, Eurasian coot, little grebe and the moorhen.

Join boardwalks lined with bulrushes and common reed to head east across the extensive sand dune system behind Praia Grande, eventually joining the beach at the dry sandy channel separating the lagoon from the ocean. Here, you'll join the beach and not leave it again until you reach wooden steps and the start of the boardwalks.

Follow a sandy route hugging the dune system and head west to a smaller lagoon at the mouth of the Alcantarilha stream. Here, you may see cormorants, sanderlings and herons wading in the shallow water. Depending on the tides, time of year and winds, you may have to do some wading yourself to cross the entrance to the lagoon.

More boardwalks direct you off the beach and back to the promenade at Armação and the end of your walk.

Portugal - South Portugal - Central Algarve - Silves

Features

Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Flowers, Great Views, Mostly Flat, Public Transport, Sea, Toilets, Wildlife