Sado estuary

River Sado is born in the lower Alentejo, at Serra da Vigia, and it travels a distance of 180 km until its mouth in the bay of Setúbal. The course of the Sado is unusually oriented from south to north and northwest. Sado enters its estuarine zone in Alcácer do Sal where the sea water salinity begins to be felt by the mixture of the river fresh water with the one of the salty ocean. The Sado estuary is the second largest in Portugal and the main one concerning biodiversity.


Much of the interior of the Sado estuary is classified as a protected área due to its biological diversity and rich ecosystem. Along the estuary we can find areas of marsh, dunes and white sand beaches. A whole diversity of species, from a great variety of fish, molluscs to crustaceans inhabit in the estuary. Not forgetting the vast heritage of the flora, more than 200 species of birds use the estuary as a zone of residence, passage, wintering or nesting. Among the mammals we highlight the genet, badger, the fox, the european otter and the emblemating dolphin Roaz do Sado.
The reasons for interest are abundant and invite you to visit some of the secrets still to be discovered.

The birds

Being one of the largest wetlands in the country the Sado estuary is also one of the best places for birdwatching. From October on we can find the sky colored by the flamingos that come to the Sado for the winter. In the Sado estuary more than 200 different species of birds are to be seen throughout the year.