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 Olhão use 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.

Pure Formosa Concept Hotel
Pure Formosa Concept Hotel
Av. da República 34, Olhao, Faro
The price is AU$78 per night from 1 Nov. to 1 Nov.
Situated in Olhao, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Ria Formosa Natural Park and Olhao Municipal Market. Olhao Harbour and Ilha da Armona Beach are also ...
5/5 Exceptional! (6 reviews)
"Olhao town view from the terrace is beautiful, near the pool setting. Modern and clean hotel. Excellent service."

Reviewed on 11 Oct. 2021

Pure Formosa Concept Hotel
Real Marina Hotel & Spa
Real Marina Hotel & Spa
5 out of 5
Av. 5 de Outubro, 1, Olhao
The price is AU$132 per night from 1 Nov. to 1 Nov.
This family-friendly Olhao hotel is located near the beach, within a 10-minute walk of Ria Formosa Natural Park and Olhao Municipal Market. Olhao Harbour and ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (952 reviews)
"Great location on the lovely town of Olhao. Good size bedroom and bathroom. Very nice pool. A few minutes walk to the plentiful restaurants and bars. Excellent value for money. Also very nice breakfast buffet"

Reviewed on 10 Oct. 2021

Real Marina Hotel & Spa
Real Marina Residence
Real Marina Residence
5 out of 5
Avenida 5 de Outubro 2, Olhao
Located in the heart of Olhao, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Ria Formosa Natural Park and Olhao Municipal Market. Olhao Harbour and Ilha da ...
4.6/5 Wonderful! (455 reviews)
"Great property, friendly staff, beautiful and convenient location....but....if you don’t like a lot of noise....not the best place...Loud people outside until 5am (because of nearby pubs)"

Reviewed on 30 Sep. 2020

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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
The price is AU$84 per night from 18 Oct. to 18 Oct.
Situated by the ocean, this aparthotel is within 2 miles (3 km) of Ria Formosa Natural Park, Praia Fuseta and Golfo de Cádiz. Moncarapacho Museum and Chapel ...
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
Fuseta wake up to the sea. New apartment with scenic views
Fuseta wake up to the sea. New apartment with scenic views
Rua Nossa Senhora do Carmo, Olhao, Faro District
This family-friendly Olhao condo is located on the waterfront, within 2 mi (3 km) of Ria Formosa Natural Park, Praia Fuseta and Golfo de Cádiz. Ilha da Culatra ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (19 reviews)
Beautiful apartment with a fantastic view!
"We enjoyed our stay in this tranquil apartment. We spent many hours enjoying the view the view from the balcony. The apartment was clean, quiet and well equipped. The grounds of the complex are beautiful and the pool was enjoyable. We hope to return soon!"

Reviewed on 9 Aug. 2021

Fuseta wake up to the sea. New apartment with scenic views
Vila Formosa - Villa in the village of Fuseta with a front view of the Ria Formosa
Vila Formosa - Villa in the village of Fuseta with a front view of the Ria Formosa
Rua Nossa Senhora do Carmo, Olhao, Faro District
This family-friendly Olhao holiday home is located on the waterfront, within 2 mi (3 km) of Ria Formosa Natural Park and Praia Fuseta. Golfo de Cádiz is 2.6 ...
5/5 Exceptional! (2 reviews)
Excelente!
"Localização, atenção e disponibilidade do proprietário e seus colaboradores"

Reviewed on 21 Jun. 2021

Vila Formosa - Villa in the village of Fuseta with a front view of the Ria Formosa
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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