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Things to do in Olhão

Our most recommended things to do in Olhão

Faro: Deserta Island and Farol Island Catamaran Boat Trip

1. Faro: Deserta Island and Farol Island Catamaran Boat Trip

When you’re in Portugal make sure to experience this exciting catamaran boat to Deserta and Farol islands that will take you through the spectacular nature of the Ria Formosa. Come see why this region was elected one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Portugal. Depart from the Marina of Faro sailing slowly through the channels of the Ria Formosa to fully enjoy the beautiful landscape. Along the tour you will see birds like the Grey Heron, the White Stork and many other birds that use this area as a feeding habitat. As you approach the islands and beaches you see the lighthouse of Culatra Island where you make our first stop. Looking around, one can observe the hard work of the people in the oyster and clam farms. A closer look towards the coastline and you will notice the market of the city of Olhão - an important fishing town. And off toward the ocean you can glimpse one of the most important sea entrances of the Ria Formosa. The next stop is Farol Island. Here, you can enjoy a walk around the streets of this small but friendly community. When passing by the lighthouse, go on until the very end to admire an extensive beach of fine white sand washed by calm warm waters. Leave the Farol Island and make your second stop at Deserta Island. This island is also known as Barreta Island. Here lies the most southern point of Portugal - the Santa Maria Cape. In this second stop you can choose to explore the fauna and flora of the island by an easy walk or simply enjoy the sunshine and bathe in the clear waters of the beach.

Olhão: 4-Hour Ria Formosa Islands Tour

2. Olhão: 4-Hour Ria Formosa Islands Tour

Navigate the waterways between the barrier islands of Ria Formosa off the coast of Olhão and discover a paradise of nature. Enjoy great views of the Farol Bar and Santa Maria Lighthouse on Farol Island. Stop for lunch in the fishing village of Culatra, home to about 1,000 residents with shops, a school, church, medical office, and even its own football pitch. Savor the local fresh fish at a typical restaurant or go for a nice picnic on the beach. Continue to Armona Bay and island, where you will stop for another 30 minutes to appreciate the nature. Return to Olhão, passing close to several tuna factories and the fishing harbor. See a larger area of Ria Formosa than most other tours, and benefit from the expert knowledge of your skipper to learn about the flora and fauna.

From Olhão: Seven Hanging Valleys Guided Walking Trip

3. From Olhão: Seven Hanging Valleys Guided Walking Trip

Dive deep into the breathtaking Seven Hanging Valleys hiking trail. Make the most of your time in the Algarve region with this convenient guided tour with a transfer from Olhao. Come across stunning cliffs and caves, admire panoramic ocean views, and taste local products. Get picked up from a meeting point in Olhao and drive over to the caves of Algar Seco. Gaze at the striking series of rocks and steep caves, then begin your walking adventure. Allow your guide to point out the highlights of the trail, including majestic cliffs, caves, and beaches. Admire the renowned Benagil Cave along the way, and stay on the lookout for seabirds and dolphins. Finish your journey at the vibrant Praia da Marinha. Unwind as you taste delicious Portuguese specialties, then enjoy a ride back to Olhao.

Olhão: Ria Formosa Boat Cruise

4. Olhão: Ria Formosa Boat Cruise

Set sail from the port of Olhão and travel through the Ria Formosa National Park. Discover beautiful scenery and rich biodiversity with your expert crew. Learn more about the national park and local culture with your expert captain. Cruise by marshes, barrier islands, islets, dunes, and sand bars which are home to a rich variety of flora and fauna. Spot local birds, marine life, and beds of clams and oysters during low tide. Stop at Culatra Island where 1000 people live and no cars are allowed; experience this European sustainability project that will be completed by 2030. Then, visit Armona Island and enjoy the serenity of a tranquil location accessible only by boat. While there, enjoy some time to explore the island or for a swim and take amazing photos

Cork Factory Tour

5. Cork Factory Tour

Visit a traditional cork factory and learn more about the processes involved in preparing and packing cork with your audio guide tour. Next, visit a cork shop, where you can see some of the latest uses of cork in fashion accessories made of cork fabric. Cork is the bark of the cork oak, a noble tree with very special characteristics that grows in the Mediterranean and, most particularly, in Portugal, where there are more than 720 thousand hectares of cork forests, as well as a cork industry of considerable economic importance.

Eastern Portugal: Day Trip to Faro, Olhão, Tavira, & more

6. Eastern Portugal: Day Trip to Faro, Olhão, Tavira, & more

Take a full-day trip around the best of the east of Portugal. Benefit from pickup from your hotel, transportation around the historic sights, and take time to immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere. Begin your day with convenient pickup before heading to Faro. Admire the capital of the Algarve as you tour the historic 13th-century city center. Next, move on to the Moorish fishing town of Olhão. Stroll around its bustling streets or shop for local products in its traditional markets. Continue your tour to Tavirna. Explore a town of cobbled streets, picturesque churches, and visit its Roman Bridge. Climb up to its castle and photograph the views from its observation point. Take advantage of some free time for lunch in one of its many restaurants (own expense). Conclude your tour with stops at Villa Real de Sto- Antonio and Cacel Velha. Discover a village where the Ria Formosa meets the Atlantic Ocean. Finally, head back on the bus for the return journey and drop-off at your accommodation.

From Olhão: Ria Formosa 3-Island Full-Day Tour

7. From Olhão: Ria Formosa 3-Island Full-Day Tour

Begin your island-hopping trip with your captain who will act as your tour guide. First, stop at Lighthouse Island, where you can visit its village, get a drink, go to the beach, and explore the neighborhoods of beautiful houses. Continue on to Culatra Island for a few hours for a picnic lunch or visit one of the local restaurants. Culatra Island has beautiful swimming areas, if you prefer to play in the water instead of eating here. Stop on the island for 2 hours to enjoy lunch and to explore the village. Next, make your way to Armona Island or Deserta Island, depending on the season. In the summertime, Deserta Island hosts a beautiful, wild beach with no buildings. Explore either the Ria Formosa for a swim, or take in the Atlantic Ocean side of the island. The beautiful Armona Island is inhabited all year-long with locals and vacationers. Discover its deserted beach and take in the tranquil surroundings.

Olhão: 3-Hour Ria Formosa Boat Tour

8. Olhão: 3-Hour Ria Formosa Boat Tour

Observe the nature reserve of the Ria Formosa while being navigated through its channels.  Stop on a desert island where you can swim, relax, and walk on its white sandy beach. You can also stop at one of the island communities Ilha do Farol or Ilha da Culatra. Explore the Ria Formosa area and listen to the detailed explanations that your skipper has to share throughout the tour. Learn about the fauna, flora, and fishing activities.  Discover this unique coastal lagoon that is constantly changing due to the continuous movement of winds, currents, and tides. It is also one of the most important areas for ornithology in Portugal, hosting more than 20,000 birds during the winter season.

Algarve: Silves and Vineyard Tour with Wine Tasting

9. Algarve: Silves and Vineyard Tour with Wine Tasting

Taste the finest wines while exploring the countryside and culture of the Algarve region on this guided day trip that includes hotel transfers. Stop in Silves, the former capital of the Algarve, and admire its Arabic architecture. After a hotel pickup, head to Silves, which was once the capital of the Moorish Kingdom of the Algarve. Get free time to visit Silves Castle and Silves Cathedral, both built with the red sandstone characteristic of the area. You will then have free time to purchase lunch at your expense. Continue to a family-run wine estate, set amid rolling vines, stylish villas, tennis courts, and outdoor pools. Take a guided tour of the vineyards and cellars. Taste the locally produced wines and enjoy the flavors of homemade bread along with olive oil.

From Olhão: Ria Formosa Sunset Tour

10. From Olhão: Ria Formosa Sunset Tour

After boarding your boat, head out into the sheltered waters of Ria Formosa. Depending on the season you will get to discover one of two islands. In May, stop on Armona Island and drink a coffee on the beach or take a swim and explore the island. From May to September your first stop will be at Praia Deserta, one of the most pristine beaches in the Algarve. From the beach, head to the village of Ilha da Armona and enjoy a refreshing drink while you contemplate the amazing views. The final stop on your tour is at a deserted beach on Culatra Island, a small community of 1000 people that is to be a sustainability project by 2030. Here you can relax and, in summer, enjoy some swimming. After about 40 minutes to enjoy the beach and the sunset, you'll board your boat for the return trip to Olhão.

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What people are saying about Olhão

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 2,076 reviews

The communication was perfect. The night before I was contacted by WA and all details were sent through it. Meeting point, photo with it, everything necessary to have a stress free preparation. When we arrived, a bit late, the skipper was waiting for us. His name is William, a great character with a lot of experience sailing the region. Every minute it was safe and although we booked 4 hours we were in total 5 hours on the journey. 3 islands, great info/food! I recommend these guys! Really local and good value!

Sandra and Nunu are a delightful couple and they do an outstanding job. They are welcoming of and highly responsive to any and all questions, very warm & caring human beings and it's clear they have the knowledge of the area and deep passion for leading people on this beautiful hike. We recommend them and this hike highly. - Vinay, Sudha, Tripti, Hector.

The activity was really something else! Thumbs up to the guide Fernando! I’d definitely recommend it!

Was an amazing day , we met a lady very kind called Ana who explained very well and clear . Top

Superb outing I recommend to discover the 4 cities