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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 charming place to wander. The town’s fish restaurants draw the crowds, as does the morning fish and vegetable market, best visited on Saturday.

Olhão is also a springboard for Parque Natural da Ria Formosa’s sandy islands, Culatra and Armona, and the park’s environmental centre at Quinta de Marim.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Olhão.