Riverside Tour of Olhão welcomes Algarve Nature Fest

Today and tomorrow, there is a lot to do and get to know in the Ria Formosa

The first edition of the Algarve Nature Fest – successor of the Algarve Nature Week, which had little success – proposes this weekend dozens of activities related to nature and outdoors on the riverside promenade of Olhão. It shows the offer of just over two dozen companies and other entities in the region in this growing tourist segment.

Yesterday, Friday, there was already a first day dedicated mainly to students from schools in the second cycle of Basic Education in Olhão.

At the opening of Nature Fest, the mayor of Olhão highlighted that the council "has been trying to assert itself, in recent years, in nature tourism".

António Miguel Pina added that the municipality took the opportunity to link Nature Fest to another initiative related to the environment, the European Car Free Day, on the 22nd, Sunday.

The mayor from Olho pointed out that the Chamber itself is committed to «producing new offers for tourism», intending to launch soon «the Churches Route and the Legends Route».


Fátima Catarina, vice president of the Algarve Tourism Region (RTA), began by praising the «exceptional space, with all the conditions to host the event», in the riverside area of ​​Olhão.

Over the weekend, she recalled, the public will have at their disposal "experiences", for which registrations are already sold out, but also other free access activities, all free of charge.

In the 32 activities with prior reservation, 540 people will participate, who registered on the Nature Fest website. In this case, the activities include mountain biking tours, themed hikes, sailing or diving baptisms, hiking tours. Stand up paddle or by kayak, boat trips for bird watching in the Ria Formosa.

But there will be 16 other activities that do not require registration and are still available. Among these, there are slides, climbing walls, mechanical surfing, Stand up paddle, archery, kayaking, segway, mountain bike or electric bicycles, all permanently on site, between 09:00 am and 19:00 pm, no reservation required. For more energetic tastes, there will be air bungee and classes of pump, hum, step and SFXCore.

On a more professional basis, revealed Fátima Catarina, this Saturday there is a B2B meeting between the region's nature tourism companies and operators. Familiarization visits are also planned (fam trips) and visits for journalists (press trips).


Fátima Catarina (RTA) and António Miguel Pina (CM Olhão)

So, after a first day yesterday at half gas, but already with the presence of around 300 children from the schools in the municipality, this Saturday and tomorrow, Sunday, in front of the Hotel Real Marina, the Ria Formosa and the marina, there is also a small fair with half a dozen local artisans, as well as stands with information about Via Algarviana, Rota Vicentina or RIAS, for example.

But what was most successful yesterday – and presumably will remain so this Saturday and Sunday – was the climbing wall, which gave access to the slide. Young people from schools in Olhão and some of their teachers ventured, to the sound of loud music – not adapted to activities they claimed to be in nature – to climb the wall and then fly about 250 meters over the waters of the laugh.

In other words, during these days, on the riverside walk in Olhão, there is a mix between truly nature tourism activities, others in the open air and also handicrafts and music, in the first edition of the Algarve Nature Fest. Let's hope that the rain, which has been removed from the region – and which is sorely missed, as true friends of nature and sustainable tourism note – does not spoil the party's plans.

Organized by the Algarve Tourism Region in partnership with the Municipality of Olhão, the Algarve Region Services Directorate of the General Directorate of Schools and the Public Security Police, the festival has the support of CP – Comboios de Portugal, Inframoura, Decathlon, the Gymnasium group, Águas do Algarve and Real Marina Hotel & Spa.


Photos: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação