Ria Formosa is a natural lagoon in the south of Portugal, covering an area of approximately 18,400 hectares and extending through the municipalities of Loulé, Faro, Olhão, Tavira and Vila Real de Santo António. It is a unique and constantly changing lagoon system due to the constant movement of winds, currents and tides. It has been considered one of the most beautiful natural parks in Portugal.
With 66 km long, although protected since 1987, they still allow fishing, but it is also the resting place for a large number of migratory bird species, as well as a natural barrier against the Atlantic. It is protected by five barrier islands and two peninsulas: Ancão peninsula (which also includes the wrongly called Faro island), Barreta or Deserta island, Culatra island (where Cabo de Santa Maria Lighthouse is), Armona Island, Tavira Island, Cabanas Island and finally Cacela Peninsula.