Wildlife holidays in Portugal
Tell me about Portugal …
The far south-western corner of Europe offers much for the naturalist, yet Portugal is a country so often overlooked in favour of the larger landmass of neighbouring Spain.
Southern Portugal has a rich culture and history, reflected in the fine Moorish architecture, excellent cuisine and wines. The near medieval subsistence agriculture of the Alentejo valleys, where ploughing with mules is the norm, provides a rich contrast to the 20th century bustle of the Algarve coast!
Our Portugal specialist recommends...
"Our ‘Spring in Southern Portugal’ tour is a relaxing 8-day holiday to enjoy spring flowers, newly-arrived migrant birds and beautiful scenery. With great birding, botanising, and a pleasant climate, this holiday is a great short-haul choice before the rest of Europe has fully awoken from its winter slumber."Andy Tucker
Situated in the North Atlantic about 560 kilometres off the north-west coast of Africa, the Madeiran archipelago is very much the Galapagos of Europe – its volcanic in origin and many of the species found there are found nowhere else!
Situated far out in the Atlantic Ocean, the Azores have a rich whale and dolphin fauna, as well as some unusual birds and plants. They are world famous for their Sperm Whales and other cetaceans.
Whats special about the wildlife?
Southern Portugal has a wide range of habitats from windswept cliffs, dunes and heaths of the west coast to the marshes and saltpans of the south, and from the Cork Oak forests of the Monchique Hills to the wide open grass plains and parkland of the Alentejo. Among these varied habitats is a rich flora and diverse range of breeding and migratory birds.
Madeira and nearby Desertas Islands are arguably the destination for anyone with an interest in the seabirds of the Western Palearctic. The waters are also rich in marine life including a variety of whales and dolphins.
Naturetrek tours to Portugal
Natural history tour on mainland Portugal:
Naturetreks spring natural history holiday to southern Portugal focuses on flowers, birds and butterflies during walks and excursions into the hills, steppes, woodlands and costal wetlands.
Wildlife holidays in Madeira:
- We offer a general natural history tour in search of birds, plants & butterflies
- A holiday focusing on seabirds which includes an overnight stay on the Desertas islands
- A whale watching short break to look for dolphins & some of the special whales found around Madeira, including Bryde’s Whale
Wildlife tours to the Azores:
Naturetrek offers a natural history holiday to the Azores which visits three different islands and focuses on birds, plants, whales and dolphins. In addition we have a short whale watching holiday to look for some of the Azores rich variety of cetaceans
WHAT YOU'VE BEEN SAYING ABOUT OUR Portugal HOLIDAYS
I am sure you already know that these two leaders are really top notch: very knowledgeable but approachable and not patronising, efficient in all the practicalities like driving, site-finding, provision of picnic etc. These were the best arrangements for picnics I have ever come across in this type of holiday- good, simple, fresh food which they took pains to present in an attractive manner, with the result there was little or no waste.
This was my first trip with Naturetrek and also my first birding trip. I was a little worried before I left thinking I may be out of my depth and find the whole experience too much. I needn't have had any of those fears as it was a very friendly group, with two very knowledgeable leaders. I came home having had a really good holiday and having learnt a great deal. I would love to go back to Portugal in the spring and see the contrasts between the two seasons. Many thanks.
I had been on the Naturetrek 'Spring in the Algarve' trip but I was amazed at the sheer variety of birdlife at this time of year, feeling that I had seen more species of birds in a huge varierty of habitats. There was always something to see, the group mix was excellent and both Stuart and Jill went the extra mile to ensure that we were all included and able to view the birds.