The area of the "Ria Formosa", is a nature reserve since 1987 in order to protect the vegetation and breeding sites of the seabirds. The offshore sand dunes form extended islands with specific vegetation, interspersed with passages to the open sea. This lagoon landscape emerged from the major Earthquake in 1755.
Up to 80 percent of the fishes of the North Atlantic are reproduced here, according to marine biologists. But there are also clam ponds, oysters and fish farming in monitored areas. Here we see pink flamingos and storks, and in the winter cormorants and cranes. Even birds from northern and central Europe have refuge here, for example, Species of ducks such as wigeon, shoveler, teal and pochard, the bar-tailed godwit, the curlew and gray plover. Also the very rare purple chicken nests here (symbol of the nature conservation authority).
In these waters you can find bream, sea bass, sea bream and prawns. There are more than 1000sq meters of mussel farms. The sea salt is extracted from the salt fields. lt is unrefined and is dried in the sun. Gourmets all over the world appreciate the taste of these fine sea salts.