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A small lagoon surrounded partly by golf courses. Proximity to different habitats (pine forest, marshes, salt pans and bush areas) is ideal for biodiversity.
Lagoa de São Lourenço is probably the best area in the Algarve (arguably the best in the Iberian Peninsula) to see some species of birds very close, making it ideal for photography. Most notably Purple Swamphen. Walk back and forth between the edge of the lagoon (to the west) and the bird observatory on the east to spot usually shy birds quite up close, such as the evasive Little Bittern, the Northern Pintail and the Tufted Duck. Most frequently you will find species such as the Northern Shoveler, Eurasian Coot , Mallard, Eurasian Moorhen and Gadwall and several species of gulls including Audouin's Gull. Also Iberian Magpie.
The lagoon is also a great area to see other interesting species, namely the endangered "European pond turtle" (Emys orbicularis) and the increasingly rarer "Common chameleon" (Chamaeleo Chamaelon). The best time to visit is in the morning so the sun is on your back. You can visit the other bird observatory (facing south, to the marshes) to see waders in the afternoon, when the sun shiftes. This is a place for water birds, so it's best to be visited in the winter and/or in the early spring.
Coming from Loulé/Almancil you can drive to "Parque de Estacionamento de Quinta do Lago" (Avenida André Jordan), which is free (except for summer time) and walk about 1000 m to the east along the wooden walkway. By the end of the walkway, you'll see two paths: one leading to a shaded area by pine trees and another leading to the open saltpans - go to the pine trees and you'll promptly see the lagoon, about 100m ahead. You can also reach it coming by Faro Airport, driving from the roundabout with the white figurines by the entrance of the airport towards "Praia de Faro" (Beach). 500 m after you'll find a roundabout, where you should take the first exit, northbound and go straight for about 800 m where you'll find another roundabout and you should take the 3rd exit, westbound, towards "Pontal". Just keep driving straight for 3 km through the saltpans until you reach the pinetree area. Park there and walk about 500m westbound (to your left) to reach the bird observatory on the east edge of the lagoon.