The best guide to Olhos de Agua

Olhos de Agua, Algarve, Portugal

Olhos de Agua is a delightful Portuguese fishing town that is situated in the heart of the Algarve. This little town is centred around a sandy cove, where fishing boats are still pulled onto the golden sands and old fishermen tend their nets in huts that line the shore.

Olhos de Agua has not fully escaped the boom of tourism; encircling the town are numerous giant tourist developments, but central Olhos de Agua still manages to retain its personable and welcoming charm. This atmosphere and low-key ambience is why so many tourists return yearly, and makes the town fantastic for families or those wishing a relaxing beach based holiday.



For a holiday, Olhos de Agua offers outstanding beaches, has a wide variety of restaurants and bars, and basks under the glorious climate of the Algarve. The town is the ideal destination for visitors wanting a calm and relaxed holiday, but still wish to be close to the buzz of large resort towns (Albufeira is just 4km away and Vilamoura is 14km).

If wonderful weather, a relaxed ambience and great value are key aspects for your holiday, then Olhos de Agua could be the perfect destination for you.

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Olhos de Agua is a traditional fishing village

Highlights of Olhos de Agua

Olhos de Agua is just the right distance from Albufeira

One of the main appeals of Olhos de Agua is having easy access to all of the facilities and services of a buzzing and hectic resort town (Albufeira), without actually being in it.

It is difficult to imagine that the peaceful ambience of Olhos de Agua is less than 4km from the riotous and hedonistic bars and clubs of The Strip in Albufeira, which is favourite for Stag and Hen do’s. Along with great nightlife Albufeira also has extensive shopping, a pretty historic centre and a large marina, where many of the boat tours depart from.

In the easterly direction is Vilamoura, with its exclusive marina, golfing resorts and glorious beaches. Vilamoura is chic and stylish, and tends to cater for the more refined tourist, along with the super-rich who moor their yachts in the marina.

Olhos de Agua is calm and low-key but they surrounding region certainly is not, a holiday to Olhos can be peaceful or exciting as you wish to make it.

Praia da Falesia beach

The beautiful Praia da Falésia beach, just a short walk from Olhos de Agua

Who should visit?

Olhos de Agua is better suited for visitors who wish a stress-free holiday, with a focus on the beach, long meals and evenings spent socialising with like-minded people. This typically covers young families or the more mature visitor. If this is the style of holiday you are seeking stop reading this article and book your holiday now, as you will fall in love with Olhos de Agua.

Olhos de Agua can make a good base for a golfing holiday as it is close to the golf courses of Vilamoura, but it does not have the pretentious or flashy nature of Vilamoura.

Olhos de Agua is not so ideal for teenagers/twentysomethings or if you seek a cultural holiday. Teenagers and twentysomethings, who seek excitement, entertainment and late nights, will prefer to be based in Albufeira, Praia da Rocha or Lago. Tourists who are wanting an immersing in Portuguese culture and heritage will discover there are much better destinations, such as charming Tavira or historic Lagos.

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The fishermen’s huts that line the beach

The varied styles of accommodation…..

Surrounding Olhos are numerous tourist developments, and these offer a wide selection of private rental homes and holiday apartments, ideal for self-catering visitors and families.

Olhos de Agua is in the centre of package-tourist-Algarve and within the vicinity of the town are the mega hotel complex owned and managed by the major holiday companies. These vast hotels offer wonderful facilities (pools, kid clubs, bars) but the highly pushed all-inclusive means that you are tied to eating at the same locations and not experiencing the delights of the town.

Olhos de Agua for families

Olhos de Agua is an outstanding destination for families with young or school age children. The town is very calm (unlike Albufeira) and the beach is clean and safe. Children will be welcomed in all cafes and restaurant while the Portuguese as a nation believe in the importance of the family and are very supportive and accommodating.

For older children, Olhos de Agua is close to all of the major water and theme parks of the Algarve, but they will not be exposed to the drink fuelled silliness of the larger towns. Teenagers will want to be in Albufeira, Praia da Rocha or Lagos, to experience the buzzing holiday atmosphere.

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Fishing boats are still pulled up onto the beach.....

Olhos de Agua for 2019

The entire Algarve is experiencing a resurgence within the tourism industry; new businesses are opening, hotels are being refurbished and there is massive investment throughout the region. Olhos de Agua is one of the more peaceful resort towns but it is still expecting a sell-out summer season for 2019.

If you are seriously considering a holiday to Olhos de Agua or the Algarve, book your flights and accommodation as soon as possible as prices will rise first, and then sell out. For a summary of the best hotels in Olhos de Agua please see this link to

The following box lists any last-minute deals or late availability accommodation for Olhos de Agua.

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Weather and when to visit Olhos de Agua

The peak season is from June through to September, and is generally much longer than other towns due to popularity with retirees and families with very young children. The Algarve is an extremely popular summer destination and the entire region will be completely sold out during the summer. The spring and autumn seasons are our favourite time of year to visit, as the region is less crowded, and the weather is still fantastic. This is also an ideal time of year for a touring holiday or activity-based trip.

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The average weather conditions of Olhos de Agua

The weather is suitable for spending time of the beach between May through to the end of October. Winters in the Algarve are unpredictable, there is an equal number of bright sunny days as cooler grey or even wet days. Olhos de Agua and the Algarve should not be considered as a winter sun destination, but it will be much more pleasant than northern Europe.

The offseason in Olhos will feel very quiet, but as the bars and cafes close down, the concentration of expats and off-season tourists will be centred around the few bars that remain open, so that there is still quite a pleasant ambience. Olhos de Agua fully opens for the Easter holiday.

Alternatives to Olhos de Agua

Olhos de Agua is a fantastic holiday destination, but Portugal has many similar towns which you may not have considered (or even heard of!). Here are our suggestions for alternatives to Olhos de Agua (a medium-sized tourist town, which is close to a beautiful beach), our recommendations are:
In the AlgarveAlvor, Carvoeiro, Praia da Luz and Monte Gordo
Around the rest of Portugal Sesimbra, Cascais, Nazaré, Ericeira,and Espinho
Yet to be fully discovered by foreign tourists - Vila Nova de Milfontes, Costa Nova (Aveiro) and Vila do Conde and São Martinho do Porto.

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Does Olhos de Agua have great beaches?

The main beach of Olhos de Agua is as quaint and traditional as possible in the Algarve; onto the soft golden sands fishing boats are pulled out of the sea and the beach is overlooked by a series of fishing huts still used by the old fishermen. The beach it’s self is surrounded by the characteristic red sandstone cliffs, and though not overly large is as pretty as the Algarve has to offer.

Olhos de Agua beach

The main beach of Olhos de Agua

There are a series of small cove beaches that surround Olhos de Agua before the coastline opens up to the beautiful Praia da Falésia, one of the finest beaches of the Algarve. This vast beach extends for 5km to the stylish resort town of Vilamoura and has surprisingly little tourist development being backed with pine groves and golf courses.

Airport and travel from the Airport

The main international airport of the Algarve is Faro airport, which is located 35km to the west of Olhos de Agua. Faro has direct flights covering Europe and all of the low-cost airlines fly into Faro, which means there are inexpensive flights if booked far enough in advance.

There is almost no public transport from Faro airport to Olhos de Agua and it is advisable to pre-book a private transfer before arriving in Portugal or queue for a shared transfer in the airport. The best private transfer company used routinely by all people who live in the Algarve is Yellow Fish, and a cost of a transfer is €30, a link to their website can be found here.

Warning, please read

There have been a number of sham residential letting websites, which have appeared on the internet, with bogus or copied listings (often of real apartments). These websites look professional (guarantees, refund policies etc) and often the comparative prices are significantly cheaper. Only ever book an apartment through a trusted website (, etc) and never pay for accommodation by bank transfer. For more details please see the TripAdvisor forum post:

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Note: This type of scam is not just limited to the Algarve but is found in all major tourist destinations. The Algarve is just ripe for it, as demand for accommodation outstrips supply.

Restaurants, cafes and bars in Olhos de Agua

Olhos de Agua has a great selection of restaurants which cater for all styles and tastes, and range from traditional Portuguese through to international cuisines.


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The best guide to Olhos de Agua