Olhao – Portugal


Olhão is a much, much bigger town than Tavira. It’s the largest fishing port in the Algarve and it’s full of Moorish-style houses. Olhão almost has two personalities – a more industrial look from the fishing port side but if you wander in the historic side of the town, you’ll find homes covered in white paint (almost looking like Greece) and small buildings with wrought iron balconies and tile decorations in pastel colours. They’re beautiful.

Olhão is also known for their 2 markets but unfortunately, they were closed by the time we got there. But I hear these markets are filled with a variety of fresh fish and seafood straight from the port and local fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s a must see market so if ever you decide to visit, check out the market schedule first.

There is also a beautiful church of Nossa Senhora Rosario which was built in 1698. It has a beautiful baroque facade and apparently, it’s the first stone building in Olhão. We admired it from outside but couldn’t enter as it was closed. We must have visited at an odd time with the markets and the church closed but nevertheless, we enjoyed our short visit. Would we recommend staying in Olhão? Probably not as it doesn’t have the quaintness of a smaller town. But it’s a great place to visit and perhaps a seafood lunch at the port as you watch the fishermen go about their business.