About the Lagoon

Discover the nature

The symbol of the Natural Reserve is the Eurasian Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus, species that winters in Africa and arrives at St. André's Lagoon on the first half of March, reaching their greatest numerical expression in October. Numerous couples nest in this protected area.

The Natural Reserve includes two Coastal Lagoons - the lagoons of Santo André and Sancha - and a small freshwater ponds system formed in dune depressions "Wells". Skirting the two lakes there is a diverse collection of aquatic and riparian ecosystems.


The flora and vegetation of the Reserve are some of its most important natural elements. 510 species of vascular plants distributed in 79 families has being inventoried. The most valued flora species relate to endemic lusitânicos, whose abundance in the Reserve is of high value for conservation of the species globally, precisely because they constitute vast and well-preserved populations, namely Ononis hackelii, Thymus vulgaris carnosus, Thymus capitellatus fleshy, rouyana Armeria and Herniaria Herniaria maritima.


For its diversity of biotypes, this Natural Reserve has a high species richness. It has been registered 54 species of fish, 12 amphibians, 15 reptiles, 29 mammals and 241 birds. The invertebrates are less well known, however there are studies on some specific habitats and taxonomic groups. It has been inventoried about 344 aquatic invertebrates and 205 butterflies.

The birds, however, are the fauna group that is best studied in the lagoons of Santo André and Sancha. The Santo André lagoon is between the most important national wetlands for birds.

  • The Ringing Station of Mount Outeirão, works in a former Alentejo lot recovered for this purpose. If you want to watch ringing sessions of birds and visit the oldest ringing station in the country to the migratory season, contact monteouteirao_eon@sapo.pt

  • Learn more about the lagoon's birds here .


Gastronomy: the highlights are the dishes based on fish, caught in Santo André's Lagoon, the most characteristic being the stews of eels and fried eels, which are served in the local restaurants.

As for desserts, highlight for alcomonias, typical of the region, made with pine nuts and honey.

Another activity with significant expression in the region is the artificial opening of St. André lagoon to the sea. Although not a traditional festival, attracts inhabitants of the region and beyond, symbolically marking the beginning of the spring.

In the adjacent villages to the Reserve, other events occur with ethnographic importance, which are not directly related with the cultural and natural elements of the Reserve. Some examples are the Fairs and Traditional Festivals such as the Baths of São Romão, in Santo André Costa, on 9 August.

Content adapted from Instituto de Conservação da Natureza e das Florestas .

Beach - Costa de Santo André

Costa de Santo André photo by playocean

The beach of St. André's Coast is an awarded Blue Flag beach. With great pride. It is a guarded beach during the bathing season, with beach showers and rest areas. As with all beaches, caution is advised in the sea as well as supervision of children. Have fun. Learn more at www.bandeiraazul.abae.pt.

Type of beach: Coast
The beach is close to a protected area? Yes
There are streams, rivers or other water courses in the beach area? Yes
Estimated average of visitors during the bathing season: 6000
Average temperature during the year: 17 ºC
Average summer temperatures: 25 ° C
Average temperature of the sea water: 13 ºC
The beach is properly signed? Yes