The Fishermen Route
Get to know the key spots of Ria Formosa, with a tour around Olhão, including two of the main barrier islands, the Armona Island – visiting the Armona channel – and the Culatra Island, where we will do a 30 minute pit stop, before returning to Olhão.
Itinerary: Olhão – Ria Formosa Natural Park – Armona Island – Armona Inlet – Culatra Island (30 min stop) – Olhão
Olhão: There are indications that the Olhão territory is populated since prehistoric times.The proximity to the inlet and the abundance of water and fish led to the establishment of the first fishermen. The development of inshore and offshore fishing activity, and the development of the commercial trades led to a great development of the town, which in 1695, was known by Nossa Senhora do Rosário from Olhão.
During the French occupation of the Algarve, in 1808, the Olhão residents started a major uprising against the invaders, which led to the expulsion of them of our territory. Olhão would be known as Olhão Restoration village.The small fishing village had an great economic, social and urban development, so in 1985 was elevated to city, getting known for the Olhão Restoration city.
Currently remains a land of fishermen and canning industrials, but the crisis in the sector has led to the increase of tourism as an economic alternative. The city has about 14900 residents.
Armona Island: The island has about 9 km long, maximum width of 1400m on the SW end and a long frontal dune 8-9 m tall. The dune line is robust and well vegetated till Fuzeta. The deposition of sediment to the west is an unique phenomenon in the whole system of Ria Formosa and contributes to the narrowing of Armona Inlet. The widest part of the island is on the west extreme where we find the town of Armona, formed by fishermens and shellfishes. Nowadays most of the houses serve as holiday homes for owners and/or renting houses in summer period.
Culatra Island: The island has 7km long and the initial population came almost in 1880 from near villages dedicated to the fishing of sardines from the fishing frame. The village, currently with about 1000 inhabitants and 350 houses, occurred from being a strategic area for fishing. Dwelling houses with wooden walls and thatched roofs.