Map | Olhão | Quinta de Marim Birding Hotspot: check markers to get directions
HOTSPOT FACTSHEET: QUINTA DE MARIM
Location: Quinta do Marim, Olhão, Central Algarve | Coordinates: 37° 02′ 0.2454″ N, 7° 49′ 09.578″ W (Lat/Long) | Code: OH1 | Completion Time: up to 3 hours | Best Time for Birdwatching: all year round | Activities: birding; nature walks/hiking; cycling, running & other outdoor activities; sightseeing;
[PLEASE CHECK MARIM’S BIRD SPECIALITIES AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE] The forest and adjacent quarters provide shelter to birds large and small, including Short-toed Treecreeper, Iberian Azure-winged Magpie, Hoopoe, Iberian Green Woodpecker, Serin and a variety of warblers. Other notable bird inhabitants include Little Bittern, Purple Swamphen, Cattle Egret, Zitting Cisticola, Dartford Warbler and the occasional Great Spotted Cuckoo. Apart from Castro Marim – where the bird probably nests – Quinta do Marim is the only other place in coastal Algarve where Great Spotted Cuckoos (Clamator glandarius) occur on a regular basis as a passage migrant. A notorious brood parasite, this is a relatively large bird with beautiful, contrasting plumage. In Quinta do Marim, the best months to observe Great Spotted Cuckoos – a shy, cautious species – are February and March.
Radiating from the entrance there is a circular network of signposted trails covering the different bird habitats. Here, aquatic birds are quite abundant throughout the year, and even more so in winter or during the annual migration periods. Among others, species include Northern Shoveler, Mallard, Little Grebe and Eurasian Coot. These water-loving birds can be easily observed from a bird hide located where the main trail starts to circle back towards a traditional tidal mill.
By itself, the mill is an interesting building and a rare example of its type in the Algarve, or indeed anywhere else. It affords a great panoramic view over a huge expanse of channels and mudflats to the south. From its easily accessible terraced rooftop (open to the public) it is possible to observe species like Great Flamingo, Little Tern, Spoonbill, Caspian Tern, Oystercatcher, Grey Heron and White Stork. All in all, Quinta do Marim can be a rewarding place when properly explored: apart from the birds, there are natural and human-made features that add interest to its privileged location. However, as an introduction to Ria Formosa, there are probably superior places such as Quinta do Ludo, neighbouring Quinta do Lago, and the saltpans of Santa Luzia in Tavira.
Please note that visits to Quinta do Marim are subject to a small fee. At the entrance, you will be given a map and additional information regarding the area. Quinta do Marim is open 8.00 am – 8.00 pm at weekdays, and 10 am – 8.00 pm at weekends and bank/public holidays. Motor vehicles are not allowed within Quinta do Marim, but there are parking spaces outside the perimeter. Quinta do Marim is a bit rundown, and a larger admission fee would probably make sense considering all the valuable work being made inside the premises. For instance, and among several other centres, the Ria Formosa Recovery Centre and Wildlife Research operates within Quinta do Marim. Wounded or sick birds and other animals are properly treated there before being released once again in the wild (see their Facebook page to obtain further info).