Short-break Programme (Lisbon Estuaries and Alentejo)
During this programme, we shall be based in the Casa Vela Guest House, which is strategically located in order to visit the areas included with no need of lengthy travel.
Day 1 – Transfer from Lisbon Airport. Travel to the Casa Vela Guest House (about 30 minutes). Visit several areas and a variety of habitats within the Tagus Estuary Nature Reserve, including the Barroca d’Alva rice fields and pastures, the inter-tidal mudflats and salt marshes of Hortas and the cork oak woodlands of Pancas. Overnight at the Casa Vela Guest House.
Day 2 – Visit the Cabo Raso area, for seawatching. Visit to other interesting sites of the Tagus estuary, including the open fields, rice fields, salt marshes and inter-tidal mudflats of the Ponta da Erva area. During the breeding season, we shall visit the most important Portuguese heronry (Tagus river). Visit the Sado Estuary Nature Reserve area, to explore some of the most interesting sites in this protected area: Zambujal, Gâmbia and Praias do Sado (inter-tidal mudflats, salt marshes, salt pans, rice fields, reed beds, cork oak and umbrella pine woodlands). Overnight at the Casa Vela Guest House.
Day 3 – Travel to the Alentejo region (about 90 minutes). Visit the great Castro Verde plains and the Pulo do Lobo area (rolling plains and bluffs and hills associated with the Guadiana valley). Overnight at the Casa Vela Guest House.
Day 4 – Visit other special sites of interest in this part of the Alentejo region, including Alcaria Ruiva, Mértola, Pomarão and Mina de São Domingos (Guadiana Valley Nature Park). Overnight at the Casa Vela Guest House.
Day 5 – Visit the inter-tidal, salt pans, salt marshes and rice fields at Batalha, Comporta and Carrasqueira (Sado Estuary Nature Reserve), after crossing the river Sado by ferry, with good chances of seeing small pods of Bottle-nosed Dolphins. Visit the Atalaia and the Samouco salt pans (Tagus Estuary Nature Reserve). Transfer to Lisbon Airport, for return flight.
Prices include bird guide, transfer from/to Lisbon Airport, ground transport (in a comfortable SUV with air-conditioning), use of optical equipment (quality binoculars and telescopes) and field guides, entrance fees for entry to private or protected areas and participant’s accident insurance. Please note the price per person will be reduced in the case of a larger number of participants.
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