A short hop east of Faro, Olhão (pronounced ol-yowng) is the Algarve’s biggest fishing port, with an active waterfront and pretty, bustling lanes in its old quarters. There aren’t many sights, but the flat-roofed, Moorish-influenced neighbourhoods and North African feel make it a pleasant place to wander. The town’s fish restaurants draw the crowds, as does the morning fish and vegetable market on Avenida 5 de Outubro, best visited on Saturday.
Olhão is also a springboard for Parque Natural da Ria Formosa’s sandy islands, Culatra and Armona, plus the park’s environmental centre at Quinta de Marim. For fans of Portuguese football, until recently this small town had the Algarve's only Primeira Liga team – Olhanense.