At the Whim of the Tides

The Trail

The lines of dunes along Alvor and Meia-Praia Beaches were formed by the action of the winds and the sand. These dunes make the existence of the marshes and Alvor Estuary itself possible and many species depend on them, as do the local fishing and shellfish-gathering communities.

Ao sabor da Maré - Rota
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On the more developed part of the dunes, along the At the Whim of the Tides trail, you can see scrubby-bushy vegetation including plants such as crucianella, ononis and sea holly. The little tern is one of the most attractive species of birds that frequent the dunes and the lagoon from April to September.

They plunge down towards the water in an acrobatic style similar to that of the common terns in the winter months. The sanderlings put on a show too, sprinting rapidly across the sands to feed in the interval between the breaking waves.
As you follow the At the Whim of the Tides trail, the animals you are most likely to see in the dunes, apart from birds, are micromammals and their predators, such as foxes and hedgehogs. There are also a few reptiles, including ocellated lizards, spiny-footed lizards and ladder snakes.

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