olhao property insight



From sea to mountain, a fascinating mix of natural and urban environments.


Where is Olhão in Portugal?

The Olhão area is mostly urban, from the hills overlooking it in the north to the natural park in the south. The land meets the water at a natural lagoon, full of wildlife, with islands flanking it to the south, giving protection from the Atlantic Ocean. It is set between metropolitan Faro to the west and the sweeping forests of Tavira and São Brás de Alportel to the north and west.

An Olhão property could be where the city meets the river, gazing over the natural park, or rubbing shoulders with the little farmsteads dotted amongst the orange groves of Moncarapacho. For those looking for a slice of the Portuguese way of life, relaxed and easy going with easy access to all the amenities, an Olhão property is for you.

Why invest in a property in Olhão, Portugal?

The Olhão area covers 130.86 km², with over 45,000 inhabitants. It is at most a half hour drive from Faro International Airport, and Olhão town itself is around eighteen minutes away. The regional motorway runs along the northern edges and is never over-congested. The beautiful coastal train line runs through it, connecting you to most of the major hubs of the Algarve and of course to Lisbon, a mere couple of hours away, via train or the motorway. 

There are no golf courses in the area itself, but just the other side of Faro lays the Golden Triangle, bursting with golf courses designed and played by the masters. Eastwards, Tavira has Benamor and Quinta da Ria courses along the coast. The Vilamoura courses, about a forty minute drive west, host the Portugal Masters tournament of the European Tour every year, along with many other competitions.

Olhão property insight

The area is host to the Knightsbridge School International, which offers the European Baccalaureate syllabus. The Colégio Santiago International school in Tavira and the Nobel International School, part of a global network, both cater for all ages up to eighteen. Nobel is in Porches, a fifty minute drive west. Also nearby is the well regarded Vilamoura International School.

This area is a haven for water flora and fauna. The huge natural lagoon formed between the mainland and the islands to the south is home to many different species of birds, most famously flamingoes. It is a protected natural park and bird and wildlife spotting is encouraged and catered for. For the more energetic among you, the shallow calm waters of the Ria Formosa form a perfect nursery to learn to kitesurf. All the usual sports are available from the beaches and scuba diving is a popular pastime.

The area is known for its fishing. Historically it was a smugglers’ haven, the easy but somewhat secluded access from the sea making it easy to get the catches in without having to go through port authorities in Faro.

Olhão villas for sale in this area are a great buy for expats from Western Europe. Choose a townhouse or apartment overlooking the iconic waterfront market buildings of Olhão town or a luxury villa nestled in the shadow of the hills of São Miguel. Olhao is a well respected Algarvian fishing town. It is home to national brands of seafood produce. The restaurants reflect this, with delicious fish recipes everywhere.

For owners of Olhão homes, Moncarapacho in the eastern part of the area is more tranquil. It’s not quite countryside, consisting of small huddles of houses and farms surrounded by orange groves, all surrounding the main town of Moncarapacho. Here you will find a more rural atmosphere, friendly neighbours, shops down the road, with space for a pool and some fruit trees.

Olhão Property Insight

The city of Olhão is a wonderful juxtaposition of urban and nature, with a bustling market that overlooks the natural lagoon. Over the water, a beach house in Olhão could be on one of the two islands of Culatra and Armona, boasting twin stretches of golden sandy beach facing out toward the Atlantic. The villages perched on these islands are on the sheltered inland side looking over the lagoons. Every year Olhão hosts a Seafood Festival, combining the Algarve’s two favorite pastimes, partying and eating.

An Olhão property would be a secluded base away from the tourist hustle, allowing you to live the Portuguese dream. If we have caught your interest in buying Olhão real estate, please have a look at our database, which is full of information and contacts to help you find that perfect property.

Hero Picture by Theo K via Flickr