February 1st to 5th 2016
Olhão, Portugal
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Olhão

Olhão Portugal

With its busy waterfront and Moorish-style houses, Olhão is the Algarve's largest fishing port located just 10 km from the regional capital of Faro. Olhão is a bustling fishing town where life is clearly centered on the sea. The importance of the fishing industry is reflected in the active harbour and impressive fish market which sells an array of fresh fish and shellfish. The town is also well known architecturally for the older quarter, where the flat terraced roofs and straight box-shaped chimneys are characteristically Moorish-style. The natural beauty of the Ria Formosa Natural Park is easily accessible from Olhão, with boats to the barrier islands and beaches departing regularly from both the harbour and marina.

 

Ria Formosa

The Ria Formosa was classified as a Natural Park in 1987 and encompasses an area of about 18,000 hectares. It is a unique coastal lagoon system protected from the sea by barrier islands and two peninsulas. With a variety of habitats ranging from marshes, tidal flats, islets, saltpans, dunes and woodlands, the Ria Formosa is a highly diverse region. It has been included in the list of wetlands of world-wide interest defined by the Ramsar Convention, is considered an important bird area (IBA) and is part of the Natura 2000 Network. The Ria Formosa provides habitat for rare species such as the purple swamphen and chameleon, and hosts one of the largest seahorse populations in the world.

 

Further information on the Olhão region and activities in the Ria Formosa can be found at: