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Apartment with town /island view and excellent light

Olhão, Portugal
  • Apartment1022 sq. ft.
  • Bedrooms1
  • Sleeps4
  • Bathrooms1
  • Half Baths0
  • Minimum Stay4 nights

Luxury one bedroom, large lounge and big verandah plus spacious roof terrace

NOW ONLY AVAILABLE FROM DECEMBER 1ST TO DECEMBER 16TH This lovely apartment can sleep four with a double bed in the bedroom and a large sofa bed in lounge. The verandah is very large and the roof terrace gives a great view over the town and to the offshore islands.. Also, we now have a baby cot. We NOW HAVE AN ANDROID MBOX WHICH GIVES ALL BBC/ITV CHANNE PLUS MANY FRENCH GERMAN ETC. Aiir condition in large kitchen leading to the veranda. Equipped with cooker/oven, microwave, fridge/freezer, washing machine/ dishwashing machine. I PERSONALLY MEET OUR GUEST AND AM AVAILABLE FOR ANY PROBLEMS WHICH MAY ARISE

It is situated on a pedestrianised area and very near Ria Shopping with its full supermarket, fashion stores, restaurants, pharmacy and even go-kart racing in the basement of Ria Shopping. Free underground parking in Ria Shopping. . Browse as you have a coffee or a drink-70 metres from the apartment. Internet cafe with full facilities, five minute walk from apartment. Free underground parking in Ria Shopping-70 metres from our apartment

Train station is five minutes walk and the marina for the boats to the offshore islands fifteen minutes walk-as are the fish market and seafood restaurants on the front.

Pets welcome on request

Why not enjoy the mild winter season in the Algarve.? Special rates for longer term. WE NOW REQUEST REVIEWS BUT PREFER THE WORD OF MOUTH RECOMMENDATION

Spain is 45 minutes by car and one hour by train. Some of the best beaches in Europe are within easy distance. either on the offshore islands or along the coast towards Spain. Faro is 10 kilometres away and is the charming , historic capital of the AlgarveThe climate in winter is ideal for those who wish to escape the rigours of a Northern winter, while the summers are hot and mainly dry.

This is an article published in the Guardian Newspaper in May 2009 by Kevin Gould and is still very much reflecting what this part of the Algarve is all about:

The article has been slightly shortened because of space constraints

At Faro airport there's a scrum of resort reps ready to meet and greet new arrivals. In an hour or so they'll be hitting their charges with the usual options: Do you want to play golf? Go go-karting? Cycle through mountains? Be dragged around important museums and art galleries?

No, not me thanks. I want to relax and do sweet nothing. In fact, I want a place where the locals have elevated doing not much to an art form. So, instead of turning left to the all-in, attraction-rich resorts, I catch a taxi for the 15 minutes to Olhão.

Pronounced "oll-yow", Olhão is the Algarve's largest fishing port. A rare gem, its centre is crumbling, charming, faded, and stuffed full of appealingly batty characters. The occasional tourist wanders about, wondering quite why they're here. I'm intent on being inert, but rouse myself sufficiently to discover that the jewel in its crown isn't actually in town, but a lovely ferry ride away.

Ria Formosa is an estuarine national park, with Olhão at its mouth and the wild Atlantic beyond. Around 80% of Portugal's clams are fished here, around its four low islands. Farol and Armona are where Lisbon folk maintain their holiday homes; Deserta is a sandy empty place for the Robinson Crusoe in you; Culatra is where the fishermen live, and they are delighted for you to be as active as you wish, as long as that includes watching the waves, counting your toes, playing dominoes, drinking cold drinks, and eating delicious fish.

There are four sailings a day to Culatra, and a return trip on the Rio Bello costs the price of a beer in an Algarve resort. Battalions of tartan shopping trollies bursting with green vegetables and juicy fruits from Olhão's markets are lashed to Rio Bello's blue-washed funnel, and we're off. The ferries are operated by men of a certain age who leap hither and thither, offering twinkly chivalrous winks to the ladies aboard. Though Culatra's only a mile or so offshore, we sail the long way over to avoid sandbanks and shrimp nets. The air smells clean and salty, families natter about everything and nothing, lapdogs snap, an earnest student sketches another earnest student, young lovers gently snog and strangers strike up friendships.

Culatra feels like the start of a love affair right from the moment we nudge alongside its long slender jetty. I amble along the sandy concrete path towards Café Janoca, past the stout whitewashed chapel and the rusty anchor outside it. A table of fishermen plays noisy dominoes next to a family of quiet pale newly-arrived townies; when I pass again four hours later, the family are still there, only now playing dominoes with the fishermen and laughing

Save a few tractors for dragging boats up the beach, there are no motor vehicles on Culatra. There are no roads either, so I walk the sandy path into the settlement's cluster of low-built houses and cottages. About 700 people live here year round. Their homes are huddled close to each other and at first sight, appear unremarkable. Up close, I see that the Culatrans coax exquisite gardens out of the sand with wildflowers, succulents, shell patterns and mad blushes of bougainvillea. Old fishing nets and briny ropes enclose the gardens, and lines of washing flap in the Atlantic breeze.

The boardwalk deposits me on a beach so long that its edges are lost in heat haze shimmer. The beach is wide, clean and empty: it is May Day holiday weekend, and there are 11 people on it, including me, and I'm the only one not lying flat on my back. Instead, I get a healthy blast of ocean ozone, a rush of blood to the head and lope off to the left, deciding vaguely to circumnavigate the island.

The sun shouts down from a sapphire sky clotted with three tiny cottony clouds. The sand scintillates in the bright island light and, coolly tonic on my hot feet, the Atlantic sparkles like chainmail. There are well-fed seagulls wheeling above and wagtails dipping their beaks where the rippled water recedes. There are no nasty oil-marks on the beach, nor weedy sewage outfalls. There are no Fantas or Magnums on ice, no sellers of souvenirs, no racks of postcards, no loutish boomboxes, no plastic rubbish, no deckchairs for rent, no jet-skis to annoy me, no windsurfing lessons not to take. For ages there is nobody but me, alone with my thoughts, which have slowed down with the rhythm of the sea.

I'm joined at a distance by four fishermen. They are waist deep in the water, harnessed by yellow straps to box nets that they wiggle backwards through the sandy shallows in search of cockles. A sailboat tacks over the horizon and, after an hour or so of fast walking, I'm at one end of the beach. Every now and again, a jet glides high overhead with its pink cargo of resort-bound action seekers. The way back around the other side of the island to the settlement is even emptier, save for a dozen clam diggers in the distance, bent like question marks over the sand.

Instead, and having missed the ferry, I join some other dreamers to share a speedboat water taxi back to the mainland. We pay €5 each and fall into the 7 Estrellas bar (Travesa Alexandre Herculano, opposite the meat market), where small tumblers of excellent wine from the cask are 30 cents a throw. We're joined by one of the town barbers, who paints beautiful watercolours between punters. A shirtless man walks past, braying like a donkey. "You think he's crazy?" asks our barber/painter: "His brother the mayor is madder."

Olhão is home to many a nutty enthusiast. Some come from outside, drawn by the abandoned, gloriously tile-fronted, 19th-century townhouses which are yours for a song. Some come from here and spend their days eating snails and clams, and talking hilarious philosophical rot for each other's gentle entertainment. The mayor has established a zoo on the prettily gardened seafront. And stocked it entirely with terrapins.

The most stylish Olhãonense are architects Filipe Monteiro and Eleonore Lefebure. Filipe and Eleonore take me for a meander through the old medina barrio, where alleys double-back on each other, where the sun-and time-faded walls could have been painted by Mark Rothko, where the smell of sardines grilling outside is narcotic, where the air resounds to endless "bom dias" and church bells.

Leaving Olhão and Culatra was the most difficult thing I did in all my days there. Getting the best out of the town and its island heaven requires dedication only to the art of idling. People-watching, navel-gazing, and gentle meandering are all that are really required of you, and doing so little actually allows you to find yourself too. When you visit you'll probably find me back in the 7 Estrellas, discussing the finer points of terrapin keeping, spending lazy days on Culatra's beaches, and my nights on Olhão's tiles.


Dr Lawrie Mitchell speaks English & French

Member Since 2009
Premier Partner
This HomeAway partner has demonstrated and is committed to fast response times, the best rates, and a great guest experience.
Response rate:
Response time:
within one hour
english, french, german on request
Calendar last updated:
Apr 11, 2018
About Dr Lawrie Mitchell speaks English & French


Dr Lawrie Mitchell speaks English & French purchased this Apartment in 2011

Why Dr Lawrie Mitchell speaks English & French chose Quelfes

Portugal was my first overseas visit when I did a student holiday job many years ago.Have also worked as medical doctor in the Algarve and grew to love the area, the people and the climate-inexpensive restaurant meals and good cheap wine may also have had something to do with it!. We have three apartments in Olhao which while in Algarve is still a working Portuguese town Each of our apartments is well located-one, one minute from the quay for the boats to the isands, one 7 minutes and the last one 15 minutes from the quay.The first apartement is rented until mid July 2013. This property with great views of the town and so near Ria Shopping attracted us immediately. If you come you will see why. Not many have a veranda as expansive as ours

What makes this Apartment unique

Great views of the town and offshore islands in the distance, Fine veranda and proximity to Ria Shopping with it's range of shops, supermarket, pharmacy restaurants, go-kart racing etc. All attractions of the town are within easy walking distance


    • Internet
    • Pets Welcome
    • Air Conditioning
    • Heater
    • Satellite or Cable
    • Kids Welcome
    • Washer & Dryer
    • Parking
    • TV
    • No Smoking


      • 1 Bedrooms, Sleeps 4
      • Bedroom 1
        1 queen, 1 sleep sofa /futon
      • One double bed-good quality.Built-in double wardrobe, dresser and mirror. Large sofa bed in lounge.


      • 1 Bathroom
      • Bathroom 1
        toilet, combination tub/shower, bidet
      • Normal equipped continental bathroom.

      Location Type

        • Near The Ocean
        • Town


            • Family
            • Romantic
            • Sports & Activities


                • Guests provide their own meals


                    • Local Restaurant Guide
                    • Activities Guide
                    • Basic Soaps
                    • Elevator
                      YES Lovely apartement with great light and a large suntrap veranda
                    • Fitness Room / Equipment
                      No but gyms are nearby
                    • Hair Dryer
                    • Heating
                      Yes, Oil filled heaters
                    • Internet
                      Free wi-fi in the apartment
                    • Iron & Board
                    • Laundry Soap
                    • Linens Provided
                    • Living Room
                      Spacious with sofa bed , lounge seating, dining table with four chairs. Satellite flat screen TV, wi-fi router
                    • Local Maps
                    • Air Conditioning
                      Yes Partial. Unit in kitchen which permeates through the apartment
                    • Paper Towels
                    • Parking
                      Street parking or free undergound parking in adjacent Ria Shopping complex
                    • Parking On Street
                    • Security System
                    • Shampoo
                    • Sofa Bed
                    • Sunbed
                    • Toilet Paper
                    • Towels Provided
                    • Tumble Dryer
                      Steel frame on verandah
                    • Washing Machine
                    • Free Wifi


                        • Kitchen
                          Spacious kitchen with great light leading on to the verandah
                        • 4 Ring Stove
                        • Cooking Utensils
                          Full range
                        • Dishes & Utensils
                          Fully equipped
                        • Dishwasher
                        • Freezer
                          Fridge freezer
                        • Grill
                        • Coffee Maker
                        • Microwave
                        • Oven
                        • Pantry Items
                        • Refrigerator
                        • Stove
                        • Toaster


                            • Child's Highchair
                            • Dining
                              Can be in the large kitchen or the spacious lounge-and the wide verandah
                            • Dining Area
                            • comfy seating for 4 people


                                • Pool Table
                                • Books
                                • DVD Player
                                • Game Room
                                • Games
                                • Music Library
                                  No but many music channels on satellite TV
                                • CD Player
                                • Radio
                                • Satellite / Cable
                                • Stereo
                                • Television
                                  Yes Satellite with all BBC/ITV/ French / German etc
                                • Toys
                                • Video Games


                                    • Outdoor Grill
                                      Yes-on verandah
                                    • Balcony
                                      No- verandah
                                    • Binoculars
                                    • Deck / Patio
                                      Large verandah and huge communal roof terrace with commamnding views over the town and offshore islands
                                    • Golf
                                      Many fine course within 25 kms
                                    • Beach Towels
                                    • Porch / Veranda
                                      Very large verandah with great views
                                    • Small Cooler
                                    • Tennis
                                      None locally
                                    • Terrace
                                    • Unscreened Porch / Veranda


                                        • Long-term Renters Welcome
                                        • Low Allergen Environment
                                        • limited accessibility


                                            • marina
                                            • bay/sound
                                            • cinemas
                                            • library
                                            • live theater
                                            • churches
                                            • museums
                                            • playground
                                            • reefs
                                            • restaurants
                                            • water parks

                                              Leisure Activities

                                                • beachcombing
                                                • bird watching
                                                • eco tourism
                                                • horseback riding
                                                • outlet shopping
                                                • sight seeing
                                                • walking

                                                  Local Services & Businesses

                                                    • ATM/bank
                                                    • Babysitter
                                                    • fitness center
                                                    • groceries
                                                    • hospital
                                                    • laundromat
                                                    • massage therapist
                                                    • medical services

                                                      Sports & Adventure Activities

                                                        • jet skiing
                                                        • cycling
                                                        • fishing
                                                        • golf
                                                        • golf privileges optional
                                                        • hiking
                                                        • deepsea fishing
                                                        • mountain biking
                                                        • paragliding
                                                        • pier fishing
                                                        • sailing
                                                        • sound/bay fishing
                                                        • swimming


                                                            • Can smoke on veranda. Free underground parking at Ria Shopping Wi-Fi areas nearby

                                                              House Rules

                                                              Check-in: Flexible

                                                              Check-out: Flexible

                                                              Cancellation Policy

                                                              100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date. 50% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date. You must contact the owner directly to request cancellation.

                                                              25 Reviews


                                                              Latest reviews

                                                              Olhao, apartment stay

                                                              Roy H.

                                                              Great apartment only 15/20 minute walk to the promenade and shops and restaurants. Well equipped with everything that you need. Owner very helpful with useful information. If we return will definitely see if this apartment is available.

                                                              Owner's Response:

                                                              Hello from still sunny Olhao

                                                              Pleased you both enjoyed the apartment and Olhao Certainly would welcome you staying with us in the future



                                                              Sperb accommodation near to town centre and shorel

                                                              David P.

                                                              Accommodation has everything you could wish for-is near to a large shopping mall and the Town Centre. The shoreline is a 10 minute walk as is the various markets. The balcony is a great sun trap. The flat is tastefully furnised with comfortable bed. Kitchen is well blessed with equipment and utensils. We would have no hesitation in using the place in future.

                                                              Owner's Response:

                                                              Great you both enjoyed the apartment and many thanks for the nice review Eme and I hope to see you again

                                                              Our winter break in Olhao

                                                              raymond and janice j.Ontario Canada

                                                              Felt very much at home on this our second visit to this lovely apartment.

                                                              Many thanks to Lawrie's granddaughter for her help with the new android box, finding tv Chanel's and most importantly music stations,this addition did much to improve the longer darker winter evenings.

                                                              This was a great 3 week break from a Canadian winter, hope we'll be able to do again. Have a good summer. Raymond and janice.

                                                              Owner's Response:

                                                              Hello from Olhao

                                                              Really appreciate the nice review and will tell Ena, my grandaughter that her input helped your stay with us



                                                              Enjoyable Stay

                                                              Jenny F.

                                                              We have just returned from a very enjoyable stay in this apartment over Christmas.

                                                              The descriptions given from both Dr. Mitchell and the other reviews are extremely accurate, the supermarket, shops and rail within 5 mins and the seafront a pleasant 15 min walk away. We found this a light bright top floor apartment (with lift) and a fabulous big balcony where we enjoyed the sun all day.

                                                              Dr. Mitchell was very helpful, both online before our visit including arranging a taxi to meet us at the airport, and in person when we met him at the apartment and during our stay.

                                                              A great holiday location.

                                                              Owner's Response:

                                                              Hello Jenny

                                                              Your nice review is much appreciated and we hope to see you both again at some point

                                                              Best Wishes


                                                              Lovely apartment with all the mod cons

                                                              tracy g.

                                                              This was a lovely apartment in a residential area that was well equipt with washing machine, dishwasher, filter coffee machine along with more. Heaters for the cold and fans for the heat. The furniture and beds are very comfortable. The apartment is very clean and well maintained. The only extras we needed during our stay were additional blankets that Dr Mitchel bought for us, introducing us to his granddaughter who got me conected to the Wifi! The only improvement that could possibly be made would be for newer bed linen. We were visiting relatives so we were taken to the nearby beaches and walks on the beautiful Ria Formosa, otherwise I think a car would have been needed to make the most of visiting the area. The sea front, just 20 mins walk away is full of cafes, bars & resturants and it is easy to book boat trips from the harbour area. I would recomend the Margoya restaurant if you like Japanees food, they do a very good all inclusive menu. A great holiday apartment that I happily recommend.

                                                              Owner's Response:

                                                              Hello Tracy

                                                              Your nice review is much appreciated My wife will check the bedsheet quality You can surely come again!

                                                              Best Wishes


                                                              A bright, large apartment in a nice area of Olhao

                                                              raymond and janice j.Ontario Canada

                                                              We spent three enjoyable weeks in February 2016, which for us, was a break from Canada's winter.

                                                              The apartment is clean,large and light with a spacious terrace. The photographs shown are true to what we found.

                                                              Lawrie organized a taxi from and to the airport, also met us on arrival. There were some concerns raised by previous rentals about the bed, but it was replaced by a new one within days of our stay.

                                                              We enjoyed being able to walk to the supermarket, with easy access to train station and waterfront. We always felt safe in this authentic Portuguese fishing village.

                                                              An added bonus for us would have been a wheeled shopping trolley, as we always bought too much to carry. We would recommend this vacation property to family and friends.

                                                              Owner's Response:

                                                              Many thanks for taking the trouble to write this very nice review -much appreciated. I did not put in the wheeled shopping trolley, since Ria Shopping complex is 100 meteres from the apartment, but will now rectify for heavier purchases


                                                              Dr Lawrie Mitchell


                                                              Olhão, Portugal

                                                              MAY JUST BOOKED NOW ONLY AVAILABLE 30TH MAY TO JUNE 10TH- GOOD TIME TO BE IN THE ALGARVE WE WELCOME LONG TERM RENTALS WE HAVE NOW INSTALLED AN ANDROID MBOX WITH THIS YOU CAN NOW RECEIVE FULL RANGE OF UK, FRENCH,GERMAN AND MANY OTHER TV/RADIO CHANNELS FREE.INTERNET NOW AVAILABLE ALSO WE NOW HAVE ANOTHER VERY NICE, CENTRAL TWO BEDROOM APARTMENT AVAILABLE ON HOMEAWAY.CO.UK . REFERENCE 1320966. CONTACT US FOR DETAILS A NEW BED AND GOOD ORTHOPAEDIC MATTRESS JUST INSTALLED ALSO , TO FURTHER ENJOY THE LARGE VERANDA, WE HAVE PUT IN A WEBER BARBECUE Holiday in a mainly non-touristy region of the Algarve. Olhao , a typical Portuguese town of 25,000 and Moorish influences, lies between Faro and Tavira with wonderful beaches on the offshore islands. Train and bus station in town including the famous Alfa Pendular train to Lisbon and Porto. Spain is 45 minutes by car with train and bus connections available Best fish market in the Algarve with many inexpensive restaurants. It is a paradise for fish lovers and the well known chicken piri-piri dishes etc Golf within 25 kilometres. Airport 20 minutes away. Even in winter the weather is mild, with long warm summers There is no beach in Olhao, but a 20 minute ferry ride will take you to great beaches on the offshore islands of Armona, Culatra and Farol. Nearest good beach by land is Fuzeta, which is 10 kilometres distance by road-also a train connection. Beyond Fuzeta are many magnificent beaches.


                                                              Additional information about rental rates


                                                              25 Reviews
                                                              Excellent 4.7/5
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                                                              Property # 878112