Holidays in
Olhao

A sleepy fishing village

Holidays to Olhao let you escape the tourist trail. Its sleepy streets play host to lovely scenery, including ancient Moorish architecture, Catholic cathedrals and a pretty fishing port. Down by the waterfront there’s a promenade made for strolling, and beautiful public gardens where you can escape the heat of the sun. You’ll also spot a couple of 17th-century chapels, where fishermen once prayed for safety from the dangers of the sea. Olhao’s fishing industry is still thriving, and the resort is very much characterised by its bobbing fishing boats and fascinating fish market – the Algarve’s largest. Olhao is at the eastern end of the lush Ria Formosa Nature Reserve. This area of marshland and lagoons stretches for some 40 miles, and is crammed with wildlife, particularly shellfish and rare birds. If you’ve still got some energy left after exploring Ria Formosa, pick one of the trails leading up the Serra de Monte Figo mountain. There are no beaches in Olhao itself, but you can catch a ferry to the sands of one of the islets lying just off the coast.

YOUR OLHAO QUESTIONS ANSWERED

Sardines are a local favourite and are usually grilled over charcoal and served with tomato salad. You can also try octopus, squid and cuttlefish.

Not in Olhao, but it only takes a couple of minutes on the port’s ferries to reach the sandy beaches of Fuzeta and Armona.

The resort brags a couple of malls where you’ll recognise some names, plus lots of traditional souvenir stores.

BEST THINGS TO DO IN OLHAO

Explore the Fish Market

Olhao’s huge fish market is a must-visit. Pick up something net-fresh and head to one of the nearby cafes to have it grilled to perfection.

Serra de Monte Figo Mountain

This mountain is more than 1,300 feet tall, but you don’t have to be an experienced hiker to reach the top for breathtaking views over Olhao.

Visit Tavira

This picturesque town flaunts a riverside harbour and more than 20 churches. Santa Maria do Castelo contains the tombs of Christian knights killed in the 13th century.

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