Olhao City

Olhao, Algarve

There is definitely more to the breathtaking beaches of Olhao in Algarve that makes this town one of the favorite tourist destinations in Portugal. Not only home to some of Portugal’s beautiful beaches, Olhao Portugal region also offers mouthwatering cuisine, friendly people, rich culture and colorful history.

While Olhao Portugal region is known for its many tourist attractions, what sets Olhao appart from other towns in the region of Algarve is its stunning architecture. The succession of the square whitewashed houses with flat roof terraces and chimneys, as well as the maze of narrow twisting streets is  a manifestation of its roots in Moorish architecture.

In addition to the stunning architecture, one of the attractions of Olhao Portugal region is being a haven for those who are looking for tranquility and want to commune with nature. Visitors can enjoy watching fishing boars returning from the sea or fishermen carrying their fishing nets. The warf in town also becomes a fish market in the morning, providing visitors an enthralling kaleidoscope of sights and sounds. In fact, the town is famed for its fish market, offering a great variety of fish or sea foods to locals and tourists alike.

The market is surrounded by cafes and restaurants and there is a wide range of places to choose from, and many offer not only a breathtaking view to the sea but also delicious seafood cuisines.

Other spots to visit in town are its historical churches that depict the town’s religious life. One of which is the church of Nossa Senhora do Rosario (Our Lady of the Rosary), the town’s oldest stone building speaks of the Baroque architecture that influenced Portugal in the 17th century. It has a grandiose baroque façade and the center is decorated with a shield bordered by angels. Also, a barrel vault spans its spacious interior and to its rear is the chapel of Nossa Senhora dos Aflitos (Our Lady of the Afflicted), the patron of the sea farer and fishermen.

Those who have interest in history and arts are also recommended to visit the Compromisso Maritimo (fishermen’s mutual society), the fishermen’s mutual society founded in the 18th century, and is home to the town’s museum, housing archeological and ethnographical items that are testament to the rich history of Olhao Portugal region.

Unlike the other towns of Algarve in Portugal, Olhao doesn’t have a beach of its own. As a part of the Rio Formosa Lagoon System, the beaches in Olhao Portugal region serve as a conservation area for birds and marine life. However, visitors can take a short ferry trip to visit the three beautiful islands nearby:  the Ilha da Culatra, which is perfect for snorkeling; Ilha do Farol, which is ideal for sun bathing because of its sandy beach; and Ilha da Armona, perfect for sun worshippers and for party goers due to its vast golden sand, restaurants and holiday chalets.

Olhao is certainly a town deserving a visit when in Portugal’s Algarve region. More to the beautiful sceneries that await tourists in the town, the people in Olhao are also famed for being friendly and hospitable.

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