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Portugal

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
Operations Manager

 

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Featured Tours

Gallery

White Stork on nest (Ken Williams)White Storks in flight (Ken Williams)Naturetrek clients on a walk (Ken Williams)Carpobrotus aciniaciformis, Red Hottentot Fig (Ken Williams)Tolpis barbata, European Umbrella Milkwort (Ken Williams)Gynandriris sisyrinchium, Barbary Nut  (Ken Williams)Great Shearwater (John Willsher)Sooty Shearwater (John Willsher)Portugal pelagic! (John Willsher)Juvenile Northern Gannet (John Willsher)Wilson's Petrel (John Willsher)Picnic Lunch (John Willsher)Bottlenose Dolphins (Bret Charman)Bottlenose Dolphins (Bret Charman)Greater Flamingoes (Bret Charman)Bottlenose Dolphin (Bret Charman)Black-winged Stilt (Bret Charman)Zitting Cisticola (Bret Charman)

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

'Birding' in a new area was particularly pleasing.
A highly enjoyable trip, great birds and flowers, good company and wonderful scenery. My thanks to both John Carruthers and Phil Thompson for their superb leadership and consistent good humour. Overall a very good holiday and I look forward to travelling with Naturetrek again!

M.C.
Cambridgeshire
Spring in Southern Portugal

Thank you to all at Naturetrek for organising an excellent wildlife/birdwatching/flower-watching trip to Southern Portugal with John Carruthers and Phil Thompson. It was most enjoyable from the moment my daughter and I boarded the flight. The two hotels were both excellent and well chosen for their locations, the first set in a spectacular mountain setting and the second delightfully situated in a little town right near the castle. The food in the restaurants was very good indeed and once again the local people were very friendly and helpful. Special thanks from me to John and Phil who organised a lovely birthday cake celebration. It really was very kind of everyone and I was touched by such a thoughtful gesture. So, a wonderful holiday at a marvellous time of the year for the wild flowers and the beautiful birdlife. Many, many thanks to John and Phil for being such entertaining tour leaders and for showing us those sights which will remain with us for a long time to come.