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 AU$238 per night from 21 Aug. to 22 Aug.
Stay at this 3-star hotel in Olhao. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast and on-site parking. Popular attractions Faro Old Town and Olhao Harbour are located nearby. Discover ...
4.8/5 Exceptional! (67 reviews)
"Loved the hotel, decor was beautiful and room size was decent. Staff were friendly and helpful and great location close to the town centre, train station and restaurants. AC was top tier what with the hot weather! I just wish they served food at the rooftop bar!"

Reviewed on 23 Jul. 2022

Pure Formosa Concept Hotel
Real Marina Hotel & Spa
Real Marina Hotel & Spa
5 out of 5
Av. 5 de Outubro, 1, Olhao, 8700
The price is AU$241 per night from 5 Sep. to 6 Sep.
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)
"The property is in the heart of city center. That makes a lot of things convenient. The staff was super helpful and the room was really nice. The room decoration was really interesting, creative and artistic. We enjoyed our stay."

Reviewed on 21 Jul. 2022

Real Marina Hotel & Spa
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.
Top Apt With Roof Terrace, Stunning 180º Atlantic Ocean and Ria Formosa View!
Top Apt With Roof Terrace, Stunning 180º Atlantic Ocean and Ria Formosa View!
Fuseta, Faro, Portugal
Stay at this apartment in Olhao. Enjoy free WiFi, private hot tubs and a water park. Our guests praise the family amenities in their reviews. Popular attractions ...
4.9/5 Exceptional! (39 reviews)
A wonderful property.
"The apartment was in a fantastic position with incredible panoramic views. It was very well equipped and nicely furnished. We had a wonderful stay, made even better by Marta’s communication. Her neighbour was there to greet us and they cleaned the apartment mid stay. We had a few issues with our ..."

Reviewed on 11 Jul. 2022

Top Apt With Roof Terrace, Stunning 180º Atlantic Ocean and Ria Formosa 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
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! (26 reviews)
Great Studio will stay again
"We loved our stay! Friendly staff and attentive! Nice location and very well presented studio."

Reviewed on 3 Dec. 2019

Estúdios Salinas
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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