Birds & Nature offers private-guide services for individuals, groups, clubs and associations, in the form of day tours and birding holidays (short-break, week-long or more and tailor-made itineraries) at any time of the year.
Just tell us what type of trip you're interested in, the time of the year you would like to come and any particular target species, and we'll send you a detailed estimate without any obligation on your part. We can cater for any number of people, varying the price per person accordingly (the price per person will be reduced as the number of participants increases).
Portugal is a country with enormous potential for birding.
The Mainland Portugal bird list includes more than 400 species. This rich biodiversity is reflective of Portugal’s geographical position (Lisbon is about 38º N) and means that there is an abundance of species always present in each season; wintering species from the north, fascinating Mediterranean resident species and a range of passage migrants and breeding birds from sub-Saharan Africa.
Portugal has a long coastline and an enormous Zone of Economic Exclusivity; access to these brings a feast of seabirds and passage migrants. Despite being a relatively small country, it boasts an excellent range of habitats from wetlands, estuaries and saline flats, to wooded hills, steppe-like plains and rocky outcrops. In practical terms, this means that any of these varied habitats can be reached without the need for lengthy travel. Most of the day, therefore, is spent in the field and not in the car.
With its agreeable climate (warm summers and mild winters), a remarkable range of habitats and abundant natural space, Portugal provides an exciting and enriching birding experience at any time.
Lisbon is an excellent point of departure for visiting some of the best areas to observe birds in Portugal. In fact, Lisbon is the only European capital located near such a rich Bird & Nature hotspot – the Tagus estuary.
This estuary, the most important protected wetland area in Portugal and one of the most important ones in Europe, is a mere 20 minutes from Lisbon, yet is replete with excellent bird sites, such as Hortas, Pancas, Barroca d’Alva and Ponta da Erva, to mention just a few. There you can find an estuarine habitat, marshes, saline flats, rice fields, reed beds, pasture and wooded hills, all within a few kilometres.
Another wetland area, the Sado estuary, lies only a little more than 30 minutes from Lisbon and is also a superb birding venue.
Birds & Nature offers half day and full day field tours to both these estuaries, but of course we are very happy to guide birders to more distant places, for whole day excursions or even longer periods to specific sites in the Alentejo or in the Algarve areas.
Tours normally start between 07h30 and 08h30 and, for full day tours, return between 18h30 and 20h30, depending on the season. For the Alentejo and the Algarve tours an early start and late finish is desirable so that participants can take full advantage of the day. Half day tours end at about 13h00 for morning tours and start at around 14h00 for afternoon tours. To some extent, timing can be adjusted to suit the clients.
Quality binoculars, telescopes and field guides are always available.
Each tour is carefully planned to optimise your experience of birds in their natural habitats and we endeavour to ensure that you get up close and personal with some of the most elusive species in Europe. As access for many sites is limited or restricted to the public, Birds & Nature has developed relationships with many of the appropriate authorities and landowners, to give you every opportunity to see the birds you most want to watch.
With our tours directed at specific locations which can be reached by car, the amount of walking is normally restricted to relatively short distances, requiring no special level of physical fitness.
We recommend that participants should wear comfortable clothes and shoes for walking in the countryside, bearing in mind that summers can be hot and winters can be rainy. It is also sensible to bring drinking water and sun block.
The prices quoted for the day tours include guide, transport (including fuel, tolls and hotel pick up and drop off in Lisbon), free use of optical equipment (quality binoculars and telescopes) and field guides, bird list, entrance fees for entry to private or protected areas, participant’s accident insurance and VAT. Lunch is not included, but we are happy to arrange a picnic or restaurant lunch on request.
If you want to spend a few days birding, please check our short-break and week-long programmes. If you are considering a birding holiday and would like to combine this with other alternatives, there is a whole range of possibilities. Please check our other tours.
We also offer specifically organised bird photography tours.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS (BIRDING HOLIDAYS)
A deposit of 30% of the total cost is required when making the reservation. The balance (70% of the total) must be paid no later than 90 days before the first day of the tour.
You may cancel your booking at any stage. Cancellation must be advised in writing by the 'lead name' (where possible) and takes effect on the day such notice is received by us. If you cancel more than 90 days before the tour, your deposit (30% of the total), can be used for one of our other future tours. If you cancel between 90 and 30 days before the tour, the cancellation charges payable to Birds & Nature Tours, Lda. are 70% of the total invoice cost. The remaining 30% can be used for one of our other tours in the future. No refunds can be made if you cancel less than 30 days before the tour.
Travel insurance is essential and we insist that you take out suitable cover as soon as your tour is booked. If you are bringing expensive optical equipment or other valuable items, please make sure they are also adequately insured on your home contents policy, as most travel insurance policies do not cover very expensive individual items. You may wish to consult your insurance broker regarding coverage. Please also ensure that your policy covers you in the event of a medical emergency, cancellation of a trip or severe delays. Medical costs abroad can often be expensive. Please note that Birds & Nature Tours, Lda. is not liable for any medical or repatriation costs resulting from injury or illness during a tour or for covering any costs resulting from a flight delay such as extra hotel accommodation.
Birds & Nature Tours is a registered tourism company (RNAAT nº 25/2008 - Turismo de Portugal I.P.)