Flor de Sal – truly natural salt flakes. The cream of the crop, Flor de Sal is the thin, glistening layer of flaky crystals that forms at the surface of the traditional saltpans in southern Portugal’s Ria Formosa and Castro Marim nature reserves.
When visiting the salt pans of Castro Marim, you will meet Jorge, a really amazing and authentic host. He not only tells you everything about the Flor de Sal production and let you harvest the salt by yourself, but also invites you for a salt tasting with typical local products.
Your taste buds will have a lot to work with, that’s promised. An amazing experience!
Visit an oyster farm on the breathtaking beautiful island of Culatra. Transfer is by boat taxie from Olhao directly to the oyster farm. You will be welcomed personally by the president of the island Silvia, and you will learn a lot about the island life, the locals, and of course, about oysters. Get to know all about this magnificent mollusc, the process of breeding, collecting and exporting to the finest markets around the world. The oysters will be tasted on the spot.
PS: Around 85% of Portugal’s clams and oysters are fished among the four low Ria Formosa islands of Farol, Armona, Deserta and Culatra — the latter of which is home to many resident fishermen, who will generously invite you to relax amidst a mountain of fresh shellfish and a glass of cold Portuguese white wine.
An easy morning or afternoon hike… Just walk out of Vila Real de Santo António and find yourself in th middle of the beautiful Nature Reserve “Reserva Natural do Sapal de Castro Marim e Vila Real do San Antonio”. This botanically-rich estuarine wetland is one of the best places to see the Greater Flamingo along with Avocets, Spoonbills, Black-winged Stilts and many species of ducks. There are also storks nests in trees on the reserve. If you’re still up for it, make a detour to Castro Marim and visit the castle. You can either walk back or call us to arrange a transfer back to the hotel.
You won’t be able to take your eyes off it… A Natural Park since 1987, the Ria Formosa is one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Portugal. A stunningly complex lagoon system with a huge diversity of fauna and flora, it is in a permanent state of flux due to the influence of winds, currents and tides.
The natural park designation does not only protect local wildlife, such as flamingos, seahorses and precious birds, but also the small fishing communities who rely on traditional and sustainable fishing methods that otherwise would be lost to mass development.
The tour on a solar boat brings you to the beautiful village of Cacela Velha or Quatro Aguas. You can do whatever you want. Either just stop at one of the sand bars and go swimming or visit the church.
Food and beverages can be included.
A natural, outdoor, mineral-rich water spa works as a new therapy centre in the salt ponds of Castro Marim. Our Portuguese “dead sea” is a must, combining traditional salt production with an innovative open air spa.
Bathing in a salt pan is definitely an experience. A natural one. Unlike a traditional contemporary spa, here the natural surroundings are made out of wood and clay, blue skies and the sun.
The pond is composed of argila, special clay that softens your skin and contains 80 different minerals. Are you ready to soak in clay and float in 30ºC salt ponds?