The Top 6 Things To See And Do In And Around Olhao

Updated 26 June 2019 | by Lara McComish

Olhao is a fishing port turned seaside town dotted along the Algarve coastline. Its thriving harbour and charming twisty streets offer everything you could want from an Algarve holiday near the beach. Sam from CocoTravels used  Villa Amarelo as a base to find the best things to do in Olhao and the surrounding area. 

Villa Amarelo

1. Visit Ilha da Armona 

This white sand island is best for escaping the crowds.

Ilha da Armona island near Olhao
Image credit: CocoTravels

Yesterday we found paradise! This beautiful deserted beach was on the island of Armona, just off the coast of Olhao and was absolutely dreamy! 

If you walk through the island you’ll pass lots of pretty painted houses and chalets and arrive at the most beautiful beach ever. It’s all white sand and blue-green sea and it was pretty much deserted when we visited.

2. Explore the waterfront

Olhao fishing port is the largest in the Algarve.

Olhao fishing port


3. Dine at the local restaurants

This part of the Algarve is big on seafood. As you'd expect, there are loads near the harbour, in addition, to those in the winding streets.

Portuguese seafood dish using clams

There were a couple of restaurants within walking distance of our villa and these were quite typically Portuguese rather than touristy, which I love. A meal with drinks for four of us set us back around €60 and had couvert (olives, bread and sardine paste) and clams for starters.

4. Go bird watching

The Algarve is becoming more and more popular with birders. You'll spot plenty of remarkable birds at nearby Parque Natural da Ria Formosa.

bird watching at  Parque Natural da Ria Formosa 

5. Hire a car

There are some scenic drives in this off-the-beaten-track destination. Plus, a must-know for those who can't drive.

Family waving from car on holiday

I drove for the first time in Portugal on this trip and found it quite simple.

The Algarve also has Uber! We made use of it when we visited Olhao and it was around six euros each way from our villa.

6. Have a BBQ

Many of our villas in Algarve come with barbecues. Sam certainly got plenty of use out of the one in Villa Amarelo

BBQ at Villa Amarelo

There was also a BBQ (which we made plenty of use of!)... we usually have at least two during a week's holiday. 

Check out the bbq in action in Sam's vlog of the trip:

Here's the lovely villa in Olhao that Sam stayed in. Discover the rest of our villas in Algarve