"In this beautiful gazebo that is Castle Castro Marim (**), one can admire the curious reticulated landscape, mixed estuary, marshes, bodies of brackish water, saltworks, pastures, puddles, struts and extensions without vegetation. A geometry of lands and waters that mirror the salty confers unforeseen consequences. Currently a salinicultura, pisciculture, agriculture and fishing divide among themselves the essence of exploitation of natural resources.
A Marshland Nature Reserve of Castro Marim and Vila Real de Santo António, confuses himself with the marshland that extends along the river Guadiana, between Castro Marim and Vila Real de Santo António, flat area of low levels, crossed by a network of estuaries ensuring the drainage and open saltwater. The dominant alinda drab green in the spring with the red with the Mesembryanthemum nodiflorum covers the slopes of the salt. The higher zones have spots maquis Mediterranean.
The marshes are prime location for reproduction of fish and shellfish. Castro Marim is a habitat or simple shelter to large populations of waterfowl, namely the long-leg and the Tailor. The White Stork stands for the number of occupied nests. Also present summer birds, case of Flamingo and Swallow starfish dwarf, Wintering and, as the Curlew-billed right and Dunlin.
In the coastal dunes near notes the occurrence of the Chameleon, observable in certain parts of the Algarve coastline and up the barrier islands of Ria Formosa ".1
“This natural reserve is one of the most important wetlands in the country. Is a key to thousands of waterfowl habitat that meet here good conditions for nesting and wintering, fully justifying its status as a wetland of international importance given to it by the Ramsar Convention.
The Castro Marim salt marsh out-is, yet, for shelter and breeding for many species of fish, shellfish, functioning as a natural nursery. In addition to the wetland covering about 66% two 2089 ha protected area surface, this also includes dry areas of agricultural use and areas of higher elevation already correspond to the slopes of the Algarve hills, animal species and plant themselves.
It is because the variety of biotopes existing wealth that lies in this area Protected, as attractive as sensitive to any misguided human intervention ' 2
"Traditional saline ponds are formed by marine and small, with great diversity in its path, which makes them authentic labyrinths. The water travels a distance of compartmented tanks from the estuary up to supply “butchers” (small squares where the salt form), heating and evaporating, progressively, along path.
The season begins in Salt Spring cleaning with marine. In mid-June this cover is white and the first raza is ready to be harvested. This salt is certified and owes its quality to the natural characteristics of the area and the use of traditional techniques ".3
The Reserve offers a modern Interpretation Centre to welcome and guide visitors. From here you can make excursions duly marked.
The International Bridge over the River Guadiana, built between 1985 and 1991, came to value greatly the region and form a beautiful set with marsh.
Marshland Nature Reserve of Castro Marim and Vila Real de Santo António was the first nature reserve established in Portugal; classified by Dec. N.º 165/75.
Sources of Information:
1) Site do ICN. (2) Xavier, Ann- Marshland Nature Reserve of Castro Marim and Vila Real de Santo António, and. Marshland Nature Reserve of Castro Marim and Vila Real de Santo António, June 1998.
3) Brochure Marshland Nature Reserve of Castro Marim and Vila Real de Santo António- Strolling in the Marshland Nature Reserve of Castro Marim and Vila Real de Santo António