Departure - Olhão
Our most popular tour. A route that goes through the Ria Formosa channels of Olhão and the barrier islands.
The Ria Formosa is nothing less than … spectacular! In addition to the Natural Park, the Ria is a wetland classified with international ecological importance under the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (RAMSAR).
Discover the Cabo de Santa Maria Lighthouse (Farol island) and take a trip to the fantastic Deserta island. Enjoy lunch on Culatra island (1h30m stop, lunch price not included) before heading to Armona Island. The tour ends where it started, in Olhão.
- Olhao cubic architecture
- Oyster and clams farms
- Center streets
- Olhão Main Church
- Chapel of Nossa Sr.ª da Soledade
- Commerce Street
- Marina of the Olhao
- Ria Formosa Natural Park
- Maritime Commitment building
- Armona island
- Culatra island
- Farol island
- Deserta island
- 13:00h to 17:00h: Ferry
- 13:00h to 17:00h: Speedboat
- Departure from Olhão – Farol Island – Deserta Island – Culatra Island (stop for 1h30 for lunch, price not included)
- Barra da Armona – Armona Island (stop for 30min)
- Returning to Olhão
Discover and enjoy the diversity of islands, villages and beaches in the Ria Formosa Natural Park in Olhão:
There are indications that the Olhão territory is populated since prehistoric times. The proximity to the inlet and the abundance of water and fish led to the establishment of the first fishermen. The development of the inshore and offshore fishing activity and the development of the commercial trades led to a great development of the town, which in 1695, was known by Nossa Senhora do Rosário from Olhão.
During the French occupation of the Algarve, in 1808, the Olhão residents started a major uprising against the invaders, which led to the expulsion of them of our territory. Since that time Olhão was known as Olhão Restoration village. The small fishing village had great economic, social and urban development, in 1985 was elevated to the city, getting known for the Olhão Restoration city.
There are remains of land of fishermen and canning industrials, but the crisis in the sector has led to the increase of tourism as an economic alternative.
- Farol (Lighthouse) island:
The lighthouse was built in 1851 giving the name to this population that developed later around forming a village. Now the village has a high occupational index but rather seasonal. It is a fishing village made up of modest houses, sandy streets and holiday’s accommodations facing the estuary. Tourism is now one of the main industries.
- Deserta or Barreta Island:
8 km long and 70-700 m width. Has very low human occupation. To the east along the Ria Formosa lagoon, you will find some huts with small fishing storage, a restaurant and a beach with concession next to the bar Faro-Olhão. It has a wooden walkway that runs along the side of the lagoon and ends at the sea coast beach.
- Culatra Island:
Island is 7km long. The initial population came, around 1880, from neighboring villages and was dedicated to sardine fishing. The occupation, currently with about 1000 inhabitants and 350 houses, took place in this place because it is a strategic area related to fishing. They inhabited houses with wooden walls and thatched roofs.
- Hangares village:
The existing population is due to the former base of Portuguese Naval Aviation constituted by seaplanes to watch over the coast. They had two hangars (large warehouses) that gave name to the place. Nowadays there are only traces from the base form by the foundation of the hangars The settlement is still recognized for it’s chapel, Our Lady of the Rosary of the Hangares.
If you are on vacation and are unable to find the transport to the place where your tour starts, our team will arrange your transport (an additional cost).