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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.
Things not to miss:
- The old town is a joy to explore, with narrow alleys, traditional houses sporting tiled fronts and wrought ironwork 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, and whales and dolphins in this beautiful area.
- 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 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's 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.
- Nearest airport - Just 15km from Faro airport.
- For car hire we recommend you click here for the best rates.
- Best time to visit - The Algarve is popular year round, but the best and warmest months are between May and October. Temperatures peak at around 30 degrees celcius in August.
Still not sure what to book?
Best Hotels in Olhao
Convento 9 rooms from £88Olhao
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.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.Recommended by - I Escape, Sawdays