Sparkling blue water, shimmering white facades and flat roofs dotted with pot plants can be found in Olhão, a traditional Portuguese fishing town. The plentiful supply of fresh fish coupled with creative seafood dishes has turned Olhão into an exciting gastronomic capital.
Things to do in Olhão
Explore the jewel of Olhão’s crown, the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve. Discover a unique landscape of islands, canals, lagoons, saltpans and sandbanks that span for 60 kilometres along the Algarve coast. Nature lovers will enjoy the eclectic array of birds, fish and shellfish, while history enthusiasts can explore the 16th-century Fortress of the Hare Island.
Catch a stunning sunset while sipping sangria and eating fresh seafood ceviche at Olhão’s municipal market. Set inside a brilliant red brick building dating back to 1915, the market is the perfect place to sample the region's freshest produce. Visit on Saturday to experience the market at its most vibrant.
Admire the fresco paintings and Baroque architecture of the Parish church. Venture inside to observe stunning gilt-carved woodwork and 18th-century paintings. Take your camera and climb to the top of the bell tower for panoramic views of Ria Formosa National Park.
Discover Olhão’s past at the Casa do Compromisso Maritimo. Housed within an 18th-century fishing factory, the maritime museum features three permanent exhibitions that preserve the Roman history of Olhão, as well as the town's salt and fishing industries and marine conservation efforts.
Getting around Olhão
Flights arrive at Faro Airport, a 10-minute drive from Olhão. Trains and buses connect Olhão to the rest of Portugal. Walking is an efficient way to explore the city centre, while a rental car is a great way to explore the Algarve and Ria Formosa.