Ria Formosa is still in working order, though
the grinding machinery has been disabled to ensure
against injury to visitors who can wander around freely.
mills took advantage of the in and out going tides,
utilising free energy to grind corn to be made into
flour. The force of the incoming tides opened lock-type
allowing water to rush into large pond or lakes. The
water continued to gush past until the water levels on
either side of the gates were identical.
As the tide
fell the incoming lock-gate would close and once the
tide had fallen sufficiently the mill-keeper or miller
would open the tide mills' sluice gates at the millrace.
Water would rush out of the millrace with sufficient
energy to turn the water wheel and thus power the
time when the world is looking at renewable energy
sources to create enough power, it can be educational to
visit the tide mill at the Parque Natural de Ria Formosa. Not only
is the walk to the tide mill, through the nature park,
pleasant, but if you pack a picnic in your rucksack, you
will be rewarded with stunning views over the lagoon as
you eat your lunch.