In a wonderfully poetic article, the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung describes the Ria Formosa as a
hybrid water, “which is no longer river and not yet sea; perhaps lagoon is the right word because the water lies so still.”
Since 1987, the lagoon, with its islands, canals, mussel beds, marshes and mudflats, is a natural reserve known as “Parque Natural da Ria Formosa”.
From the small village Cacela-a-Velha, which is situated on a cliff above the otherwise completely flat Ria Formosa, one has a beautiful view over this unique landscape. Cacela-a-Velha is right next to Fabrica Beach and while you are there make sure to taste some fresh oysters at Casa da Igreja.