Photos and Description of this 3 bedroom holiday home in Olhao - Town life/beach combination
1350 sq ft (126 sq M) 3 bed, 2 bath, house sleeps 5
My old Portuguese town house is on three floors with a pretty courtyard, three terraces and a small dipping-pool. As I live and work here some of the time, I would like to feel that people would both enjoy and care for it while staying here and appreciate its relatively unmodernised state for a romantic and comfortable holiday option. Many friends and guests have enjoyed the house and their stay in Olhao. GROUND FLOOR - sitting room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, courtyard and wash room. MIDDLE FLOOR - studio, bedroom, dressing room, shower room, large terrace and small pool. TOP FLOOR - small bedroom with own terrace. Third terrace midway. There are steep outside stairs to the upper floors, and the house is not really suitable for small children.There are lots of fans and heaters, and a fixed air conditioner in the middle bedroom area, and a portable one for downstairs. The kitchen is small but quite adequate for holidays. (Eating out is amazingly cheap in Olhao)
Everything in Olhao is easy to get to on foot, within five minutes walk. There are two good supermarkets nearby, at least one cafe on each block, and in the summer, many bars and restaurants, usually on the main street facing the sea. Portuguese food is not very creative, but the quality of the ingredients is excellent (mainly fresh grilled fish and meats). Eating out need not cost more than about 10 euros a head, and food and alcohol is amazingly cheap (4-5 euros for gin and whisky, a couple of euros for a bottle of wine, and about 50/60 cents for a coffee) The two great markets on the front are open mornings six days a week and provide most of what you need in the way of fresh produce, and on Saturdays the seafront is thronging with people who come in to buy from the small stalls of locally grown produce, plants, chickens etc. There are only two or three tourist/beach shops, but many other small shops around the town, including the inevitable influx of Chinese cheap clothing/hardware. Along the waterfront you can sit in one of the many cafes and watch the fishing boats and ferries going in and out, and in the evenings everyone comes out to watch the sun set and socialise. The atmosphere is very Portuguese, and a million miles away from the tourist towns the other side of the Algarve. The ferries leave regularly for the islands and you can choose from three destinations --- 15 to 35 minutes away, where there is little to do but enjoy the enormous beaches, charming little holiday houses. With the Atlantic on one side, the calmer lagoon-like beaches on the nearside and a few restaurants and cafes, they make a perfect day out, followed by the charming town life in the evening. You can get on a train or bus, and go to Faro or Tavira, only about 20 minutes away, or spend time in one of Portugal's five Nature Parks on the edge of town. (great for bird-spotters). The whole area including the islands is part of a nature reserve called the Ria Formosa.
- pets not allowed
- non smoking only
- not suitable for elderly or infirm
- wheelchair inaccessible
- not suitable for children
I am a painter in my 60s, and fell in love with this house, when I came on holiday. I intended to come occasionally to Olhao, but ended up spending more time in Portugal than in London, and I love the town and the people. I have many interesting friends here, and enjoy cooking the wonderful fresh food from the market, and going to the fabulous beaches.
Antonia purchased this house in 2008
Why Antonia chose Olhao
I love Olhao because I feel that I am part of a living working town, that happens to have all the things I like in one place. Fabulous markets, eating fish, walking along the seafront, and of course easy access to the finest beaches with very few people on them. The town has a strange charm, not beautiful, although there are some wonderful old crumbling houses (which are amazing inside), but it feels very real to be in. It takes me back to life in the 50s/60s, when life was simpler.
What makes this house unique
The house has 11 small rooms on three floors...quite dark inside, but with 4 terraces and the lovely courtyard, you feel as though you are living inside and outside, and can wander round and almost get lost. There are still some of the original hand-painted decorations on some of the walls. The local Art Holiday School sometimes uses the house for students to paint in. The furniture is traditional old Portuguese.
Guestbook comments from the owner
Myself and 3 of my family stayed in your lovely house in May for a week and I've been meaning to drop you a line to thank you again.
We had a great week from start to finish. Joseph and Simone were very warm and helpful hosts - they really welcomed us to Olhao and to your home. It was so very nice to stay in a home rather than a hotel, you have created a magical retreat and we spent many happy relaxed hours on the terraces dipping our feet in the pool, stuffing our faces and enjoying the delicious Portuguese wines!