Quinta de Marim is an estate of about 60 hectares, which is home to the main office of the PNRF and the CEAM. The estate shares many of the ria’s most important natural values, and it is a privileged place for spotting passerines and aquatic birds.
The path leads you to the main office of the PNRF; here you can see exhibitions, obtain information and buy reading material.
There’s a walkway running on the transition between land and lagoon areas. Here, between the marshes and the pine forest, there is a small dune inhabited by a large population of the aromatic curry plant. Beyond the dunes, during low tide, you can see bivalve breeding grounds.
Marim’s tide mill only stopped working in 1970, the last mill in Ria to do so. The hydraulic mechanism, which uses tidal force to power its millstones and grind cereal, is now open to visitors. If you want a magnificent view on the surrounding landscape, climb onto the roof terrace.
In the pine forest grows a thick scrubland of strawberry trees, mastic trees, tojo gatum (S. boivinii), sage-leaved rockroses and Mediterranean dwarf palm.
The observatories are privileged places from which to spot local bird species, from passerines common in pine forests and orchards to species inhabiting the lagoon and saltpans. One of the observatories is near a saltpan, and from there you can see waders looking for food in the silt. From the other observatory you can see a large freshwater lake sheltering a diverse community of aquatic birds. It is the nestling place of the Eurasian coot, the kingfisher and the least grebe.
This is where the RIAS - Centre of Animal Retrieval and Research is located. It has a small reception hall for visitors.
Near the traditional houses and the rehabilitated noria, you can see the House-Museum of the poet João Lúcio, which hosts the Ecoteca of Olhão.
Location: Quinta de Marim
Circular trail: yes
Distance: 3,5 km
Average duration: 2h30
Cumulative elevation gain: 50 metres D+
Type of path: dirt paths and wooden walkways
Start of the trail: 37º 01' 58.75'' N 7º 49' 18.07'' W