Nestled in the heart of the Algarve region, Olhão is a hidden gem with a rich history and vibrant culture. This traditional fishing town boasts stunning landscapes, unique architecture, and a myriad of activities that cater to travelers of all interests. From exploring the famous Ria Formosa Natural Park to indulging in mouthwatering seafood, Olhão promises an unforgettable experience. To help you make the most of your visit, we’ve compiled a list of must-see attractions and activities in Olhão, complete with links to images and recommended tours.
Explore the Ria Formosa Natural Park
A visit to Olhão is incomplete without spending time in the Ria Formosa Natural Park. This vast lagoon system is home to an incredible array of flora and fauna, including numerous bird species, making it a paradise for nature lovers. To fully experience the beauty of this park, consider booking a guided boat tour that will take you through the lagoon and to its beautiful islands.
Visit the Olhão Market
Experience local culture at the Olhão Market, which consists of two striking red-brick buildings overlooking the waterfront. This bustling market offers a wide variety of fresh produce, fish, and regional delicacies. Make sure to try some of the local favorites like figs, almonds, and olives. The market is open every day, with a special focus on fresh seafood on Saturdays.
Discover the Islands of Armona, Culatra, and Farol
Olhão provides easy access to several picturesque islands, perfect for a day trip. Hop on a ferry and explore the unspoiled beaches of Armona, Culatra, and Farol. These islands offer crystal-clear waters, pristine beaches, and charming fishing villages, making them perfect for relaxation and soaking in the sun.
Wander the Historic Old Town
Stroll through the historic streets of Olhão’s old town, where you’ll find a labyrinth of narrow cobblestone alleys, white-washed houses, and traditional Moorish architecture. As you wander, make sure to visit the iconic Church of Nossa Senhora do Rosário and the Olhão Municipal Museum to learn more about the town’s history.
Indulge in Fresh Seafood
Being a fishing town, Olhão is renowned for its fresh seafood. Visit one of the many local restaurants and indulge in regional dishes such as cataplana de marisco, a traditional seafood stew, or grilled sardines.