Photo of Olhao

About Olhao

Just east of Faro airport, Olhao is sheltered from the Atlantic by the coastal islands, lagoons and sandbars of the Ria Formosa nature reserve. Olhao started life as a fishing village, hundreds of years ago, and fishing is still a major part of the town's existence today. The best places to stay in Olhao enable you to pursue a choice of activities, and also offer a feel of the real Portugal.

The old town is a joy to explore, with narrow alleys, traditional houses sporting tiled fronts and wrought iron balconies, hidden away bars and restaurants (specialising in fresh fish as well as artisan meats) and shops selling ceramics, artisan cheeses, local wines, liqueurs, honey and, of course, port. Along the waterfront is a palm-shaded promenade - perfect for a harbourside stroll, and two markets with spectacular displays of local produce.

A boat trip around the Ria Formosa is a must-do for nature buffs. Local guides know the best places to spot wildlife including storks, flamingoes, egrets, whales and dolphins. If you're in search of sun and sand, take the short ferry ride to the idyllic Ilha da Armona. Here there's no traffic, just lovely sandy beaches, sunbeds, umbrellas and a few restaurants and shops. The sheltered side of the island is great for bathing with clean, clear water.

Our pick of the best places to stay in Olhao get very busy during the peak summer months, so if you're planning a visit during July or August, get organised and book well ahead.

The best places to stay in Olhao

For Families

  • Casa Flor De Sal is a wonderful pick for families. Here there are seven unique holiday homes set inside the Rio Formosa Natural Park, each with a lovely feel of Scandi chic beautifully merged with traditional Portuguese features. Plus there's a fabulous range of facilities and activities for all ages from yoga to kayaking and crab races!

For a romantic stay

  • Hidden away in the atmospheric heart of the old town, Convento is one of the best places to stay in Olhao. There are cool spacious rooms around a central courtyard and rooftop rooms with lovely views.

For a holiday apartment or villa

  • For those wanting a little more independence, a self catering apartment or villa is often the best option. For a wide range for all tastes and budgets, we recommend our online partner, booking.com.

Travel Information

  • Olhao is located just 15km from Faro airport. Buses run directly from Faro to Olhao and taxis are easily accessible.
  • For car hire we recommend you click here for the best rates.
  • The Algarve is popular year round, but the best and warmest months to visit are between May and October. Temperatures peak at around 30 degrees celcius in August.

Still not sure?

  1. Browse our list of the best places to stay in Olhao.
  2. Expand your search to include the whole of the Algarve.
  3. Or contact a friendly guru for advice.


Monthly Weather in Olhao

Best Hotels in Olhao

  • Casa Rosa Villa Olhao (Algarve) 9 rooms from £100

    Families  -  With its nine bedrooms Casa Rosa is the perfect pick for an extended family holiday or a group of friends
    Short break  -  Being only 15 mins from Faro airport this is ideal for a short break in the Algarve
    Minimum Stay  -  2 Nights Min Stay or 7 nights if you're booking the entire property
    Local markets  -  Olhao hosts a number of markets that are worth a visit
    Swimming PoolGardenPet friendly

    Renovated 1950s mansion in the heart of Olhao turned B&B/exclusive use villa. Nine charming en-suite rooms boast luxury linens and rain showers, plus there's a living/dining room, courtyard with plunge pool and spacious terraces. Ideal for couples or an extended family holiday in the Algarve. See More

    Hotel Website
  • Convento Olhao 9 rooms from £87

    Romantic Break  -  Hidden away down a picturesque street, it's the perfect escape in the Algarve for a intimate, romantic break.
    Sights nearby  -  Take a day-trip to Tavira with it's historic, hilltop castle.
    Birdwatching  -  The surrounding coastline is great for birdwatching.
    Fishing  -  Sea fishing trips can be organised by the hotel.
    Swimming PoolNo pets
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Sawdays

    Hidden in the artistic pilgrimage site of Olhao, Convento encapsulates the rich elegance and charm of the surrounding city. A tranquil atmosphere pervades throughout the hotel with its beautiful rooms and peaceful central courtyard. Perfect for a relaxing escape in the Algarve. See More

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  • Monte da Lua Olhao (Quelfes) 6 rooms from £100

    Total relaxation  -  Relaxation is on the cards- lounging by the pool, enjoying an open air massage or chilling with a beer in the Vilinha
    Families  -  Expansive gardens, plenty of board games and books to choose from, and a lovely pool with a shallow end
    Sights nearby  -  Take a day trip to one of the many hisotric towns nearby- Estoi, Tavira and Sto
    Great walks  -  Wander the expansive gardens and even lend a hand in the vegetable patch
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Great Small Hotels

    A charming guesthouse surrounded by gardens, in picturesque Portuguese countryside. Individually styled rooms offer comfortable bedding, original artworks and direct access to the gardens from their private terrace. Quirky interiors, excellent food, friendly personal service and lovely grounds. See More

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  • Casa Modesta Olhao (Algarve) 9 rooms from £104

    Back to Nature  -  With the beautiful coastline close by and a natural park around the corner, this guesthouse makes a great retreat to nature
    Local exploring  -  Book a package with the hotel to explore the local area with a traditional boat ride, birdwatching and bread baking
    Romantic Break  -  Enjoy a quiet couples' getaway at this guesthouse; the private terraces are perfect for romantic down-time
    Cooking classes  -  Take a cooking class at the guesthouse and enjoy cooking with produce from the organic garden on-site
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenPet friendlyDisabled accessViewsParking

    In this contemporary take on a seaside guesthouse, modern architecture combines with traditional Algarvean materials. Simple, bright rooms lead up to private terraces with sea views, perfect for sunbathing. Cool down in the hotel pool before sampling wine from the cellar. A unique bolt-hole. See More

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  • Casa Flor de Sal Olhao

    Kayaking  -  Casa Flor de Sal operates guided kayaking tours of the lagoon in front of the property
    Minimum Stay  -  Low Season min stay is 3 nights, but in high season you need to book 7 nights.
    Swimming Pool  -  There are two outdoor pools and a natural swimming lake.
    Full of character
    Swimming PoolParkingNo pets

    Seven unique holiday houses in the Algarve located in the UNESCO Ria Formosa Natural Park near the historic town of Olhão. Complimentary yoga and bikes, sandy island beaches and wildlife, activities for all ages. Casa Flor de Sal is a home from home with 24h customer service. See More

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