There is definitely more to the breathtaking beaches of Olhão in the Algarve that makes this town one of the favorite tourist destinations in Portugal. Not only home to some of Portugal’s beautiful beaches, Olhão is a region that also offers mouthwatering cuisine, friendly people, rich culture and colorful history.
While Olhão is known for its many tourist attractions, what sets Olhão appart from other towns in the region of the 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 Olhão is being a heaven for those who are looking for tranquility and want to enjoy nature. Visitors can enjoy watching fishing boats returning from the sea or fishermen carrying their fishing nets. In fact, the town is famous for its fish market, offering a great variety of fish or sea foods to locals and tourists alike.
Other spots to visit in town are its historical churches. 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. There is also the chapel of Nossa Senhora dos Aflitos (Our Lady of the Afflicted), the patron of the fishermen.
Unlike the other towns of the Algarve , Olhao doesn’t have a beach of its own. As a part of the Ria Formosa Lagoon System, the beaches in Olhão 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 sunbathing because of its sandy beach; and Ilha da Armona, perfect for sunworshippers and for party lovers due to its vast golden sand, restaurants and holiday chalets.