It is fair to say that Olhao is like Marmite. You either love it or hate it! It isn't for everyone... We love it for it's down to earth salty charm, warm and hospitable people, creative community, cobbled streets and faded grandeur. Those who aren't happy with occasional unfragrant smells, unpredictable service and having to wear flat shoes when you go out – this isn't the place for you ...
The best way to get to know Olhao is to walk out the front door and wander down to the waterfront. Getting lost in the twisted network of cobbled streets along the way is part of the fun. There is usually a surprise or two to enjoy along the way. When you get to the sea front, there are the fabulous markets at the water's edge (fish to the right, fresh fruit/veg & meats to the left) and a host of restaurants, cafes and bars to relax in along the way. In the Casa Fuzetta app for house guests we've included the ones we like the best, but we still haven't tried them all so don't be limited by our suggestions!
The app also includes suggestions for venturing further afield. Not to visit at least one of the Islands (Armona, Culatra, Farol or Deserta) would be criminal! They each have a distinct feel but each one has beautiful unspoilt beaches, and wonderful low key restaurants/beach bars where you will happily while away the day. The islands are easy to get to: you can either take a small ferry which runs multiple times per day during the summer or a river taxi. They all go from the same place, just 150m east along the waterfront from the market. If you rent a car, a host of wonderful places can be reached within a 30 minute drive and if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, Seville is only two hours away.
Every Saturday morning the waterfront outside the Olhao market bursts into life with small holders and the local community coming to buy and sell what was in the ground at their farms just a couple of days before.
12/13 June – the feast of San Antonio is a huge event in Lisbon, but the Olhaonese don’t like to miss out on a party! You won’t be able to miss the tables and bunting across every alley.
August – the Festival de Mariscos starts in Faro but reaches its peak when it arrives in Olhao. It has become a major event over the last few years, attracting thousands of locals and visitors alike, drawn by the spectacular local produce and live music.
Every weekend, somewhere in the eastern Algarve, there will be a flea market where you can get lucky and find a hidden gem … If nothing else, it is always a fun day out.