Olhão
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Olhão Culture & History

Olhão: Ria Formosa Boat Cruise

1. 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, sand bars, and saltpans which are home to a rich variety of flora and fauna. Spot local birds, marine life, and beds of clams and oysters. Make a short stop at Praia Deserta and enjoy the serenity of a tranquil location accessible only by boat. While there, enjoy some time for a swim and to take photos, before returning to Olhão.

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From Olhão: Ria Formosa Sunset Tour

2. From Olhão: Ria Formosa Sunset Tour

After boarding your boat, head out into the sheltered waters of Ria Formosa. Your first stop will be at on Praia Deserta at 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 where you can relax and, in summer, enjoy some swimming or snorkelling. From the beach, you can also enjoy beautiful views of the sunset over the ocean at the end of the day when your group will almost certainly have the beach to yourselves. After about 30 minutes to enjoy the beach and the sunset, you'll board your boat for the return trip Olhão.

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Olhão: 4-Hour Ria Formosa Islands Tour

3. 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.

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Ria Formosa: Tour to Paradise Boat Tour

4. Ria Formosa: Tour to Paradise Boat Tour

Get back to nature in the barrier islands of Ria Formosa Natural Park and discover a unique lagoon system that constantly changes according to the movement of the winds. Experience the natural beauty of the Algarve away from the tourist resorts and marvel at the area's amazing biodiversity. See birds nests and learn about the mollusks and crustaceans that provide revenue for the local seafood producers. Climb aboard a boat in Olhão for a 4-hour trip to observe the flora and fauna of the barrier islands from the water.  Stop at one of the islands to take a relaxing stroll on the golden sands and see the typical fishing villages of the area. Get the chance to visit the market in Olhão before or after your boat trip, and marvel at the wide variety of fresh seafood on sale, including clams, oysters and more. Lunch on the islands can be arranged (not included in the tour price). Enjoy free time to swim and relax before your return.

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Algarve: Off-the-Beaten-Path Day Trip

5. Algarve: Off-the-Beaten-Path Day Trip

Explore the hidden gems and secret sites of the Algarve on this day trip. Have an unforgettable experience as you tour incredible landscapes, traditional fishing villages, ancient towns, and the charming countryside of Algarve. Your day trip begins with an interesting visit to a salt pan. See how the finest salt in Portugal is produced, be dazzled by the brightness of the neat rows of salt pans, and learn about the age-old tradition in the area. Afterward, appreciate the natural beauty of the Ria Formosa estuary, a wide expanse of canals, marshlands, and sandbanks. The natural park serves as an important passage area to numerous species of migrating birds between North Europe and Africa and is a paradise for birdwatchers. Your next stop is Olhão, a traditional fishing village, known for its cube-shaped white-washed houses that contrast with the golden sands and the blue sky and sea. Here, have an opportunity to explore the famous market with its big selection of fish. After visiting the market, break for a local lunch at a restaurant and be delighted by the freshness of the fish served. After lunch, pass by the tiny, traditional fishing village of Santa Luzia to see the interesting pots used to catch octopus. Your next stop is Tavira, where you can climb the castle walls to see the best views of the area. Have the chance to cross the pedestrian Roman Bridge, originating in the 3rd-century, and visit at least one of the town’s 22 churches. Your final stop will be at a small village in the countryside to visit an olive oil mill. While here you will be able to learn the secrets of its production, followed by a tasting of the exquisite produce.

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Albufeira: Tour to 4 Eastern Algarve Towns

6. Albufeira: Tour to 4 Eastern Algarve Towns

Get lost in the beauty of eastern Algarve on this our from Albufeira to the charming towns of Faro, Olhão, Tavira, and Vila Real de Santo António. See old architecture at churches and a castle. Explore with some free time in Olhão and Vila Real de Santo Antonio. Get picked-up from your accommodation and sit back and enjoy the scenery on the drive to the town of Faro. Take in the colorful boats at the marina and the Spanish Gothic architecture at the cathedral. Have some time to do some souvenir shopping before heading to Olhão. Admire the white houses and churches in the Moorish fishing village of Olhão. Stop at the port and enjoy the vibrancy of the largest fish market on the island. Head to the oldest pâté factory in Portugal. Afterwards, travel to the town of Vila Real de Santo Antonio which lies on the mouth of the Guadiana river. Visit the oldest Portuguese canned fish factory. Spend some free time where you can go get some lunch or do some shopping at local boutiques. Continue on to the town of Tavira which has been settled since the late Bronze Age. Discover a variety of architectural styles at its churches and a medieval castle positioned over the Gilão river. Experience traditional Portuguese Fado music before returning to your accommodation.

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From Algarve: Best of the East

7. From Algarve: Best of the East

On this full-day tour starting from Quarteira to Eastern Algarve, discover the regions of Moorish and Roman heritage. Visit Faro, the capital of the Algarve province with its 13th century city center. Then, continue on to the Moorish town of Olhão, a key site for fishing and explore its important fish market. Visit the attractive and charming old town of Tavira with a 4th century Roman bridge still intact and its many churches. Then head towards Gilão and Cacela Velha. Finally, you will reach Monte Gordo and Vila Real de Santo António, border towns with Spain separated by the generous mouth of the Guadiana River.

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Olhão: Sightseeing boat Tour to Ria Formosa

8. Olhão: Sightseeing boat Tour to Ria Formosa

Embark on an adventure and go on a sightseeing boat tour to Ria Formosa.  Swim in crystal clear waters, explore the picturesque villages of Armona and Culatra. Take a walk on one of the many beautiful sandy beaches and take in a unique atmosphere. Explore this beautiful area while enjoying cold drinks on board. Relax on this comfortable and private boat that has capacity for 12 passengers. Customize this private tour that you can plan with an experienced skipper. Discover some of the most beautiful places in the Natural Park of Ria Formosa on this private tour with your family or friends.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Olhão

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What people are saying about Olhão

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 20 reviews

Nice and informative excursion to Culatra, unfortunately a bit short (approx. 2 hours). For swimming and eating, I recommend taking a longer boat trip. The crew was friendly and very well informed about flora and fauna. Gladly again!

Great day out and lovely experience. Capitán Luís was a fantastic guide and even encouraged/helped us to clean up some ocean trash.

Great way to explore a bit of the islands and to know some facts and history of Olhão.

A fabulous wee boat trip at sunset. Totally chilled and just lovely.

Passeio muito agradável e instrutivo. Vale a pena.