While you’re in the area of the town’s main church, there is another church at the back of the museum - the chapel of Nossa Senhora da Soledade, which dates from the 17th century and was the original church of the then fishing village.
This small museum is located opposite the town’s main church in Compromisso Marítimo - the fishermen's mutual society, which was founded in the 18th century. In a niche above the doorway is a statue of Nossa Senhora do Rosário (Our Lady of the Rosary) which the church is dedicated to. The museum exhibits some Roman remains including skeletal remains in a tomb and some religious artefacts upstairs. I think it was free to enter when I visited.
At the centre of the town at the end of Avenida da República, in the Praça da Restauração, is the church of Nossa Senhora do Rosário, built in 1698 with contributions from the fishermen when it was the first stone building in Olhão. Consecrated in 1715, it's a very graceful building with a baroque façade including a pediment decorated with scrolls and, in the centre, a shield flanked by angels. Inside, the main chapel is defined by a carved and gilded retable and triumphal arch (18th century). Its roof is decorated with a fresco and it contains a statue of Nossa Senhora do Rosario (Our Lady of the Rosary) (17th century). There are side chapels, also with carved retables. Among the statues to be seen, the most interesting are a Crucifixion and a Santo Apóstolo (Holy Apostle) (18th century). Be sure to visit the rear of the church (outside) as it features an open chapel called Capela de Nosso Senhor dos Aflitos - (Our Lady of the Afflicted), who is especially revered by those connected with the sea.
Open: 10am-12.30pm & 3-5.30pm.
Venture into the historic heart of Olhão where the easiest road to follow is directly across from the gap between the market halls. Here, many of the buildings are the elegant merchant's homes with wrought iron balconies, carved stonework and tile decorations and are such a contrast to the busy port area of Olhão.
You could say that these two buildings (built in 1915) are the main landmarks of Olhao plus their location right on the waterfront means that they entice tourists in to visit. One building holds the fish market where you’ll find a huge variety of extremely fresh fish and sea food straight from the port. The other holds the town’s fruit and vegetable market. The market halls are surrounded by pavement cafes and it's a great place to sit and enjoy the view of the boats moored along the waterfront by the marina.
I arrived in Olhao on my way to Tavira and parked up along the southern marina and walked along the waterfront to the fish & veg markets (see next tip). Olhao also has a larger marina on the eastern side in addition to the one on the Ria Formosa plus a large fishing marina.
Park your car for a while and walk around in the Olhao centre. You will find cafeterias, tiny local restaurants serving fresh fish and many more. Olhao is famous for its fish and fish industry, but its architecture is well worth looking for.
The town has many interesting buildings. Some colourings are interesting and very nice, not just the usual. The Portuguese might paint the other side of the house on a different colour than the other side.
A veritable plethora of fruits, vegetables and all manner of typical Portuguese delicacies....in particular, the very traditional fig cakes, and the equally typical dried figs, flattened and then embedded with almonds.
A special curiosity is the fish market in a long building on the waterfront. Every morning there is a lively atmosphere and the impressively large variety of fish offered by the local catch is displayed to tempt the local housewife.
Olhao is all about the sea.This city was founded by fishermen in the XV century and it still has, nowadays a great connection with the sea and all it's resources.So,if you're coming to Olhao,go straight ahead to the "baixa"(downtown).Visit the fish market(most important one in the Algarve)and the fruit market on a saturday morning(they're side by side,just by the sea) for a glimpse of what Olhao is all about,then taste the best fish and seafood on the Algarve.There's plenty of restaurants to choose from.After lunch,take a nice walk along the sea,explore the narrow and traditional streets of the "baixa" filled with tiny,moorish fishermen's houses and buy some handicraft souvenirs by the markets.Then treat yourself with an excellent sorbet on the esplanade of Gelvi's ice-cream/coffeeshop also by the markets while you enjoy your sun-bathing and watch the sea.
Walking on foot, by bicycle or by boat are the best ways of discovering the natural richness of the Natural reserve of Ria Formosa. It occupys a surface from 18400 ha out of 60 km from coast. It is an area for the migratory birds and to nest for many species.
Loving the view of the bay and the fishing boats looks cool. The seabirds seems so happy flying around to catch some fish..maybe!:) The date palm tree is very cute, love it!
Nice and interesting place to visit, love the cute street. People are nice and lots of fresh sea foods especially in the market area.
Every day,people head towards the markets just by the sea,and sit on one of the esplanades while they have a drink,relax and enjoy the sunset in this beautiful scenery.
Ria Formosa is formed by the rise in the level of water by progressive filling of the depression by sediments. The force of the rising and falling water is used to mill grains.