|Minimum Stay||5 nights|
Apartment is on the 5th floor of a six floor building overlooking the fishing harbour of Olhao in the Eastern Algarve near Faro with beautiful views over the fishing harbour and the island of Armona.
The building has 12 apartments with 2 lifts and a large roof top communal terrace with 360 degrees views.
One balcony is facing East enjoying the morning sun while the second balcony is facing West.
Internet is available in the flat free of charge.
The apartment has a spacious master bedroom with a king size bed and a second bedroom with 2 single beds and is suitable for 4 people to stay comfortably. We now have a baby cot available. The kitchen is fully equipped with dishwasher, washing machine, microwave, etc. There is air conditioning in the lounge and both bedrooms.
Satellite TV is installed with, English, French and German channels and many more other European channels.
The quay for the boats to the offshore islands is only a five minutes walk. Restaurants and the famous Olhao fish market equally within easy walking distance. Supermarkets are also in easy walking range. Apart from numerous excellent fish restaurants, there are four Indian, two Japanese and one Chinese restaurants
The Railway and Bus Station are also within easy walking range, while Spain is a 45 minutes drive by car or train to the border, then ferry to Ayamonte, the first town in Spain.
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 wild flowers, 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 chain mail. 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 boom boxes, 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.
Inside the lively fishing town Olhao, everything within walking distance although very quiet.Every amenity of this typical Algarvean town is within easy reach. Restaurants, ferry to islands, bus and rail station all withing easy walking distance. Owner is resident in the area and is available to assist
Accessibility to all amenities in Olhao. Magnificent panoramic view of the port and offshore islands from the verandah off the lounge. While on the fifth floor of sx, there are two lifts and a video security system
Had a lovely stay at this flat. It had everything you could possibly need. Great location, waking up every morning to a lovely sunrise. Would stay here again.
Returning for our second stay at this apartment. However the high standard of last year was lower. Its still
a lovely apartment and a good position. We were told that the problems we had would be resolved and we
know this will happen as we have every faith in Dr. Lawrence Mitchell who looks after the property. He was
waiting at the apartment to meet us, and a bottle of wine and 2 glasses were sitting on the table, a thoughtful
touch and much needed as we were late arriving due to lost luggage!
We spent 4 weeks in the apartment from the middle of February until the middle of March 2016, and we were very satisfied. There is a fine view of the fishing port, and it is interesting to watch the many storks around. The flat is spacious, well equipped and has a good heating system and quick, stable network connection. It is a good point for excursions both eastwards and westwards. Olhão is not crowded with tourists, and prices everywhere are very moderate. We can highly recommend it.
We loved this apartment - great location close to everything. It is just far enough away from the riverfront to be quiet but still only a few minutes walk to restaurants, grocery stores, etc. It is also easy walking distance to the train station. The apartment itself is clean, comfortable, modern, and has wonderful views of the fishing harbor. It is even more spacious than it looks in the pictures. Olhao itself is a wonderful Portuguese town that doesn't feel like it has lost it's identity to tourists. We would stay here again without a moment's hesitation!
L'appartement est très bien, et propre.
il y a tout ce qui faut (lave vaisselle, lave linge, bouilloire, télévision ...). Les pièces sont spacieuses enfin il y a tous le confort.
Facile de stationner à proximité gratuitement.
2 balcons dont 1 vue sur le port de pêche
On est à 10 minutes à pieds du centre ville ainsi de l'embarcadère et 5 min d'un supermarché.
Enfin très bien je vous le recommande
have stayed here twice - very good location in the town in a very clean modern block
can see the sun rising over the sea from the bed and sun set from the balcony off the kitchen
come in the late spring /summer and watch/hear the storks who nest 100 yds away
the facilities are excellent
no need for a car as town is at hand and buses and trains are very good
will come back again
LATE CANCELLATION DUE TO ILLNESS OCTOBER / NOVEMBER NOW AVAILABLE. WAKE UP TO THIS LOVELY VIEW OVER THE FISHING PORT AND OFFSHORE ISLANDS.
Olhao is the gateway to Ria Formosa Natural Park a collection of bays, beaches and lagoons.Olhao has character unlike otheral Algarve. Here you are more in Portugal than in the many resorts along the coast and is renowned for sea food and reasonable prices.
The old city of Faro, the capital of the Algarve is approx. 15 minutes away by car and/or train. The train station is on foot less than 10 minutes away from the apartment while the town centre is a 5 min walk. The Auditorio Municipal de Olhao is about 150 metres from the apartment while the sea front with the jetty to the islands is about a 5 minutes walk.
The main super markets in town are all reachable within a few minutes walk.
The biggest fresh fish and vegetable market in the Algarve is less than a 10 minute walk.
Spain is by car or train less than an hour away.
Rates for Christmas/ New Year period will be as for high season.
* Approximate monthly rate. Actual rate will depend on the days of the month you stay.