Olhao

Travel Guide
Olhao showing a city and a sunset
Browse busy markets, taste freshly caught fish and admire Moorish-style architecture at this port town, the gateway to the nearby Ria Formosa Natural Park.

Take a break from the beach to explore Olhão, the biggest fishing port in the region. Wander around the bustling quayside quarter, soak up the buzzy atmosphere in the municipal markets, discover the narrow streets and Moorish-style architecture of the old town, and take a trip to the peaceful bird-filled islands and lagoons of a nearby natural park.

The people of Olhão have traditionally depended on fishing and it remains a big industry for the town. Visit the Port of Olhão to see fishing boats out on the water then explore the Municipal Markets, where much of the fresh fish is sold. Spread across two red-brick domed buildings, the markets include one for fruit and vegetable and another for seafood.

The town is also home to several buildings of architectural note. Stroll around town and look for the Baroque-style Nossa Senhora do Rosario, which was built in the 17th century and features fresco paintings and lovely carved woodwork. At the back of the church is the Nossa Senhora dos Aflitos chapel, where fishermen’s wives would traditionally have gone to pray for their husbands’ safety on stormy days.

Most tourists who come to Olhãouse it as a jumping-off point from which to explore the nearby Ria Formosa Natural Park, a vast estuarine reserve encompassing lagoons, islands, lakes, marshland and salt pans. Take a boat from the quayside to one of Rio Formosa’s islands. Find pleasant beaches for bathing and swimming on Ilha da Culatra and search the marshland for bird species including ducks, gulls and rare species such as the yellow-legged gallinule.

Another attraction worth visiting is Centro Educação Ambiental de Marim, an interpretation center for the Ria Formosa Natural Park, located less than 2 miles (3 kilometers) from town. Follow a walking trail that winds through several different habitats, including salt marshes and pine woodlands.

Find Olhão in the Algarve, near the Rio Formosa Natural Park. The town is just 30 minutes from the Spanish border by car.

Where to stay in Olhao

Pure Formosa Concept Hotel
Pure Formosa Concept Hotel
3 out of 5
Av. da República 34, Olhao, Faro, 8700-310
The price is €50 per night from 4 Dec to 5 Dec
€50
per night
4 Dec - 5 Dec
Stay at this 3-star hotel in Olhao. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast and on-site parking. Popular attractions Olhao Harbour and Olhao Municipal Market are located ...
4.8/5 Exceptional! (98 reviews)
"Fantastic multilingual staff. Very helpful with navigating the area. Roof top bar and pool gives you a great view of the area."

Reviewed on 23 Nov 2022

Pure Formosa Concept Hotel
Real Marina Hotel & Spa
Real Marina Hotel & Spa
5 out of 5
Av. 5 de Outubro, 1, Olhao, 8700
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is €84 per night from 21 Dec to 22 Dec
€84
per night
21 Dec - 22 Dec
Stay at this 5-star spa hotel in Olhao. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking and a full-service spa. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful staff in their ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (990 reviews)
"An amazing hotel, very big but very quiet at the same time. Super luxury. Rooms were large and really comfortable. Staff were all really friendly and helpful. Food was incredibly good, huge choice for breakfast. Just can’t fault anything, and best of all, only a 15 minute taxi ride from the ..."

Reviewed on 25 Nov 2022

Real Marina Hotel & Spa
Real Marina Residence
Real Marina Residence
4 out of 5
Avenida 5 de Outubro 2, Olhao, 8700
Stay at this 4-star business-friendly hotel in Olhao. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking and breakfast. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful staff in their ...
4.6/5 Wonderful! (478 reviews)
"Huge, clean rooms w/ a rooftop pool. Very quiet and great for families. Walking distance to downtown Olhao that has a many dining options."

Reviewed on 29 Nov 2022

Real Marina Residence
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Estúdios Salinas
Estúdios Salinas
Largo da Igreja, 1, Fuseta, Olhao, 8700-039
Stay at this aparthotel in Olhao. Enjoy free WiFi, an airport shuttle and a terrace. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the spacious rooms in their reviews. ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (29 reviews)
"Wonderful. Wish we could have stayed longer!"

Reviewed on 31 Aug 2022

Estúdios Salinas
Enjoy an Algarve Vacation in Comfort - Spacious Olhão Apt with a View
Enjoy an Algarve Vacation in Comfort - Spacious Olhão Apt with a View
Olhão, Faro
Stay at this family-friendly apartment in Olhao. Enjoy free WiFi, an in-room DVD player and a balcony or patio. Our guests praise the overall value in their ...
5/5 Exceptional! (5 reviews)
Had a great time in Alhao
"To whom it may concern, we have been to Alhao a few times so we knew what we were going to, also we have stayed in Lucy's apartment before and it is a very large beautiful place, it has everything you need for a short stay or a month long stay as we did. Lucy and Ivone who looked after us are very ..."

Reviewed on 8 Feb 2022

Enjoy an Algarve Vacation in Comfort - Spacious Olhão Apt with a View
Colina Verde Golf & Sports Resort
Colina Verde Golf & Sports Resort
4 out of 5
Sitio da Maragota, Moncarapacho, Olhao, 8700-078
Stay at this 4-star golf aparthotel in Olhao. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking and a golf course. Our guests praise the pool and the helpful staff in their reviews. ...
3.9/5 Very Good! (31 reviews)
"As condições do exterior são fantásticas quer para crianças brincarem, quer para um bom descanso!O excelente relvado e piscina!"

Reviewed on 19 Aug 2019

Colina Verde Golf & Sports Resort
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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