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Photographer's Note

The Ria Formosa Natural Park is one of the most amazing places of the Algarve, not only for its variety of landscapes but also because of its unique location. Recently elected as one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Portugal, this is one of three protected areas not to be missed during your holidays in the Algarve. This is a unique coastal lagoon which is constantly changing due to the continuous movement of winds, currents and tides.

Classified as a Natural Park in 1987, the Ria Formosa encompasses an area of about 18 000 hectares, and is protected from the sea by 5 barrier-islands and 2 peninsulas: the Peninsula of Ancão that the locals call island of Faro, the Barreta Island also known as Ilha Deserta, the Culatra Island (where the lighthouse of Santa Maria is located), the Island of Armona, the Island of Tavira, Cabanas Island and, finally, the Peninsula of Cacela. This awesome area extends along the leeward coast of the Algarve through the municipalities of Loulé, Faro, Olhão, Tavira and Vila Real de Santo António.

Due to these natural features and its geographical location it was included in the list of wetlands of world-wide interest defined by the Ramsar Convention. In this protected area you may witness many different habitas such as barrier-islands, marshes, tidal flats, islets, dunes, saltpans, fresh water lagoons, agricultural areas and woodlands which hold a an impressive diversity of flora and fauna.

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Additional Photos by Daniel Draghici (dkmurphys) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5290 W: 83 N: 9940] (69855)
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