Dig a bit deeper

The Algarve beaches are more than just a place to lay down your towel. Look a bit closer, dig a bit deeper and discover loads of marine life hiding near the water’s edge. Like these three creatures.

See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine June 2016

 

Starfish in rock pools

A must when visiting the beach with children, but also fun for adults: rock pooling. Explore the marine life hiding in the shallow pools that form on the beach when the tide goes out. You’ll see small crabs hurrying back into their mud hole after being discovered.

Apart from crabs, you’re likely to find starfish, shells and little fish. Rock pooling is especially good in the rockier (what’s in a name?) coastline of the Algarve, which is west of Albufeira.

Picture below by Marijke Verschuren

 

Mussels in the mud

Cockles, clams, razor clams, mussels and goose barnacles. There’s a lot of shellfish hiding in the mud. During low tide, you’ll compete with professional shellfish seekers who sell their catch to local restaurants.

Best places to see mussels, cockles and (razor) clams are the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve and the Ria Alvor estuary (pictured below). Goose barnacles can be found along the cliffs of the western Algarve.

Picture below by Graeme Darbyshire

 

Seahorses in the weeds

The first few metres of water you normally don’t even notice as you’re too busy braving the cold sea? That’s where the seahorses are located, wrapping their tails around the sea grass so they won’t get dragged away by the current.

You’ll be most likely to find them in the Ria Formosa, which is home to one of the biggest seahorse populations in the world. Read more about snorkelling with seahorses in the July 2015 issue

Picture below by Marijke Verschuren

 

See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine June 2016

Posted in Features.