This trail coincides with the access path to the Interpretation and Information Centre of the Nature Reserve and to the north of it, towards the former Fiscal Guard building. A small part of the trail is interpreted and runs south of the Centre, allowing you to see the wetland habitats: salt marshes, salt ponds, permanent and temporary ponds.
The path separates the dryland fields to the north (mainly carob and sparse patches of olives tree with an undergrowth of rye) from the wetland to the south, with its salt marsh habitats, the traditional salt ponds and the wide tidal creek which channels the waters of the tide.
The Interpretation Centre is framed by pines and broom, characteristic vegetation of southeast Algarve's coastline. In the Centre you can see exhibits and get information or acquire publications about the Reserve. Inside the building there are good sites for observing the marshes.
Climbing to the Casa Abrigo immediately south of the Centre, the horizon opens over the complex of salt ponds, the mouth of the Guadiana, and the salt habitats. It is usually possible to observe a large number of aquatic birds, especially in the winter or during migration, such as the black-winged stilt (the symbol of the Reserve), the spoonbill, the flamingo, the white stork, the pied avocet, or the little tern. The records point to the regular annual occurrence of around 170 species of bird.
The path towards the old Fiscal Guard building, which overlooks the river drawing the border with Spain, crosses pastures for bovine cattle and goats and temporary lakes hidden among the beds of rush and bulrush of these brackish grounds. Next to the house you reach the river bank; the estuary of the Guadiana and Castro Marim’s salt marsh are important shelters and breeding sites for aquatic birds and for various species of fish, molluscs and crustaceans.
Municipality: Castro Marim
Location: Salt Marsh Nature Reserve of Castro Marim and Vila Real St.º António
Type: walking and cycling
Circular trail: no
Distance: 7 km (there and back)
Average duration: 2h
Cumulative elevation gain: 50 metres D+
Type of path: dirth paths
Start of the trail: 37º 14' 04.51'' N 7º 26' 49.44'' W