Olhão

The town of Olhão is situated in the extreme south of Portugal, 40 kilometres from the border with Spain. The separation from the coastal part happens due to the existence of two large sand dunes that are currently very popular beaches – Ilha de Armona (Norte e Sul) and da Culatra (ou Santa Maria). It is assumed that the toponym Olhão derives from a great water "eye" ("olho") that existed on the waterfront, from which gushed forth water with abundance. It must have been along this spring that the first olhanenses built their cane straw-covered huts. During the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, Olhão kept prospering and, during the French invasions, it had a major role in the resistance of the Algarve. From this time on, and thanks to the amount of canned fish factories in olive oil and salt, which were exported to Europe, Olhão grew economically. Today the canning industry and the tourism are the main engines of economic activity, but mainly tourism thanks to Oeiras' magnificent beaches, climate and gastronomy. These, together with Ria Formosa, another charm of the region, captivate many tourists. The regional cuisine is especially sought after for the fish and for the diversity of seafood. The sweets contain the folhados à moda de Olhão (typical brandy and orange pastries), the folar (kind of sweet bread), the pudim de mel (honey pudding) and the Doce do Convento.

Where to eat in Olhão

What to do in Olhão

view more

Where to sleep in Olhão

Real Marina Hotel & Spa
Real Marina Hotel & Spa

5 star

In front of Olhão's leisure marina, overlooking the Ria Formosa Natural Park, is the new 5 Star Real Marina Hotel and SPA. The various services it offers, such…

Casa Modesta
Casa Modesta

Uma casa de família renasceu para receber todos os que queiram desfrutar desta terra quase desconhecida, virada para o mar, no coração do Parque Nacional da Ri…

Vila Monte Farm House
Vila Monte Farm House

4 star

Glamour hotel, stretching for about nine hectares, offering a lovely view of the almond-trees in bloom and the sea. It is placed about 10 minutes away from the…

Near Olhão

Monchique

Monchique


Monchique is the living example that the Algarve is much more than just sun and beach. Located inside Algarve, this municipality is situated in the m…

Vila do Bispo

Vila do Bispo


Vila do Bispo is part of the Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina and is the westernmost municipality in the Algarve, where small …

Castro Marim

Castro Marim


The municipality of Castro Marim is characterized by extensive mountains, where wild flowers abound, and the orchards and vegetable gardens on the ba…

Silves

Silves


Silves is the second largest municipality in the Algarve, with eight parishes that traverse the coastline and algarvian barrocal. Bathed by the river…