|Minimum Stay||7 nights|
This grand 1st floor 3-bedroom apartment lies in the centre of the charming town of Olhão. It has its own entrance, wide staircase, and roof terrace covering the entire building... offering fantastic views over the town and its two main churches. A 3-minute walk along cobbled streets will lead you to the seafront with its fruit, vegetable, and seafood markets, myriad of restaurants, and ferry that will take you to the sandy beaches on one of the 3 islands nearby.
The interior is a combination of traditional Portuguese design and modern amenities. The large rooms, the high ornate ceilings, and the antique furniture & paintings lend it a certain grandeur, while floor-length windows and skylights allow plenty of light to enter.
The sitting room includes a DVD/CD player and HDTV; the kitchen is well-equipped and includes a dishwasher. There are plenty of mobile heaters and 2 fixed A/Cs to keep you cool. The 2nd bathroom includes a shower, WC, and washing machine.
We booked this as a family of four, two adults and two teenage children, for a 10-day holiday in August 2012. The location of the apartment in Olhão is just perfect, in the old part of town behind the two central churches and in amongst the pedestrianized and cobbled streets which lead down to the market and the sea front. The apartment itself is very spatious, with tall ceilings and large rooms, balconies at the front and back and a huge terrace (the size of the full building) at the top. The terrace is wonderful for sipping a cool drink as the sun sets, or for lounging around after breakfast.
The owner of the apartment has a lovely, colourful personality and made a wonderful welcome for us, making us feel very much at home from the beginning. She has placed her own unique stamp on the apartment, which is full of beautiful old furniture, paintings, drawings and curios collected in local antique markets. Small children would need to keep hands off!
Olhão might not at first seem like the most obvious place to stay in the Algarve, as it doesn't have its own beach (in common with most of the towns along this side of the Algarve) due to the sand-dune islands which have created the natural sea lagoon. But some beautiful beaches are a short ferry ride away on the islands, and the town has its own charms as a real working fishing town with a vibrant fish and vegetable market and an air of faded past glory in the architecture of the town centre. It's also a great base for exploring along the coast in either direction. We did this without a car, by using buses and trains (both the little bus and train stations are 10 minute walk from the apartment). But if you want to explore a bit more off the beaten track, the you could also rent a car in nearby Faro (which itself has a very beautiful old walled city, like a mini Vatican, a short train or taxi ride from Olhão). A trip to Tavira is also obligatory: a stunning little gem of a town (accessible by train or bus from Olhão).
The island with the most beautiful pristine beach is Culatra. You get to the beach walking across the dunes on a boarded, and in places raised, walkway. Armona is the nearest island, but we found the (natural) smell of the seaweed on the ocean side a little strong, and preferred Culatra or Farol.
All in all we had a lovely time, away from the resort crowds. People were very friendly, from taxi drivers to a little boy playing in the labyrinthine streets who led us to the supermarket.
Estuvimos unos días en esta maravillosa casa, con techos altos, lámparas de ensueño, amplia, espaciosa, confortable, con muy buen gusto y todo tipo de detalles. Una casa de lujo,rehabilitada minuciosamente y preservando el alma de la casa. Arriba tenía una terraza preciosa con vistas a la iglesia, con nido y cigüeña incluida. Está en la parte antigua de Olhao muy bien comunicada, con el puerto y el mercado muy cerca. Pasamos unos días estupendos. La propietaria muy simpática y hospitalaria. Muy recomendable para descansar unos días y disfrutar de la buena vida portuguesa. Nos gustaría repetir en otro momento.
Perfect location. Very clean and beautiful décoration. We stayed there two or three Times and we always enjoyed the place. The house is great and galina is always available for anything. The appartement is spotless. The Town is great. Lot of restaurant and beautiful beaches. We Will return there this summer.
Appartement spectaculaire selon les photos mais décevant une fois sur place. Il est bien situé dans la vielle ville et à l'étage( bonne volée de marches) et près de tous les services y compris de la promenade en bord de mer. Cependant l'ameublement est vieillot et très peu confortable. Les nombreuses portes fenêtres ferment mal et laissent le froid et l'humidité entrer. Aucun confort n'y est possible à l'hiver. Je ne recommande pas cette location à l'hiver.
Olhao is the perfect place to feel far away from the international tourist crowd. Easy to get to from Faro airport, this old working fishing town has great local character and faded grandeur from its prosperous past as a major sardine canning town. (If you think that you might like Havana, then this is the town for you) With its distinctive mix of crumbling old grand houses, Moorish square buildings which tower up in little piles of white cubes, and narrow alleyways where the fishermen still live, its many charms will slowly work their magic on you. Little braziers outside front doors waft the smell of grilling sardines, and fishermen mend their nets on the quays. Olhao has seafront restaurants, large covered fresh food markets, parks, and a fine supermarket. One of Portugal's five renowned Nature Parks is on the edge of town. The tree-lined Avenida, two fine churches, a marina with yachts and fishing boats, a park and promenade with ancient palm trees alongside the waterfront, all add to the character of the town. The secret of this unexplored paradise is that, although Olhao is on the sea, the beaches are a short ferry ride away from the town to the wonderful empty sandbank islands of the Ria Formosa nature reserve it is part of. Days at the beach will offer a choice of wide Atlantic beaches or quiet lagoons, a few restaurants and bars and a delightful wander through the islands' small holiday/fishing communities. Olhao is fairly quiet in the spring and autumn. During the summer the Portuguese come with their families, and the waterfront restaurants and bars are busy in the evenings with families and young people enjoying themselves. It is fairly inexpensive compared to most places in the Algarve. There is little to do but soak up the sun and enjoy the local life and explore, or take a train or bus to other places such as Tavira or Faro for a more cosmopolitan experience. Sun, sand, sea and seafood, and lovely Portuguese people.
A deposit of 30% to be paid to hold the booking, and the remaining 70% one month before. A 300 Euro refundable deposit to be paid on arrival. If the remaining 70% is not paid in time, the booking may be cancelled by the owner.