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
The hotel accommodation on the trip was outstanding - it seemed that Naturetrek was allocated some of the best rooms! The leaders, Dave and Phil, were outstanding in their knowledge of birds and their ability to identify - in the sky at great distance - was awe-inspiring! Phil was able to add his knowledge of plants and butterflies to his expertise on birds, and Dave his knowledge of moths as well, so we had all-round excellent cover on everything we wanted to know! Dave and Phil worked very hard to make the holiday run smoothly, and I have no doubt there was a lot going on behind the scenes to achieve this. Their enthusiasm for birds was amazing and we never missed an opportunity to spot a ‘first for the day’ - on one occasion as we left a cafe car park! Thanks to these two leaders we will travel with you again, and hopefully as time goes by learn a little bit of their undoubted skill in bird identification!
We were lucky with sunny weather every day; and good accommodation in lovely locations. The leaders, experts in their field, of course, were brilliant. I don't know how they found such wonderful picnic spots - each one was like being in paradise! Thank you for another super holiday!
I cannot speak too highly about our leaders, John and Philip. Both had an outstanding knowledge and understanding of the wildlife in the area and shared this willingly. They both showed great patience in helping us understand what we saw. Nothing appeared too much trouble for them to do and they took great care of the party. I particularly appreciated the extra time they took to arrange our vegetarian diets. Their good humour and generous manner was a key feature in making this a very successful tour. Overall, we had a lovely trip in good company with excellent leaders. We take home many spectacular memories of wildlife that it has been a privilege to share. Many thanks for an excellent trip.