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35 travelers at this place

  • Day14

    Nationalpark Ria Formosa

    October 9, 2020 in Portugal ⋅ ☁️ 25 °C

    Ausflug in das Schutzgebiet Ria Formosa.
    Es ist ein Gebiet, in dem das Wasser zum Teil sehr flach ist und dazwischen kleine Inseln sind. Zwischen den Inseln gibt es Muscheln- und Austernfarmen. Auf den Inseln sind zum Teil kleine Fischerdörfer, Leuchttürme, Touristensiedlungen und natürlich Strände.
    Die Tour war sehr chaotisch. Am Anfang waren wir nur zu zweit und haben uns schon gefreut. Auf jeder Insel kamen ein paar Leute bis wir am Ende acht waren und die Tour dann dreisprachig. Statt 17 Uhr waren wir 19.30 Uhr wieder zurück.
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  • Day11

    Algarve - Olhao

    September 15, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    It is going to be a quiet day in the Algarve. We are going local. I am up early but Laurie is sleeping in this morning. I read and relax, catch up on the news. When Laurie gets out of bed we have some coffee and head to the market. Olhao is home to the biggest fish market in the Algarve and on Saturdays it is supplemented with farmers from the surrounding hill towns who come in with various produce. We buy some berries and some honey for our friends who we are visiting on Monday. We take a look at the fish market - there is an interesting assortment of fish - lots of sardines, eels, mackerel, and fish I have never heard of.

    Olhao is home to a fish canning factory and we head there after the market to pick up some anchovies and sardines to take home and then at the local bakery to pick up a loaf of bread.

    A quick lunch and we head out for the western Algarve. We drive through the hills and arrive at Lagos, it is busy - much busier than Olhao and the eastern Algarve. We decide not to stay and make the journey back home. We relax and siesta until supper time.

    Rested we walk down the end of our little street to the corner restaurant Mosse, it is quiet and we sit outside. They have two English menus which are in use by the other tourists, two families are having a meal - it is a microcosm of the area. The service is slow/relaxed, we enjoy a bottle of 100 Hectares Douro white with our salted cod and chicken vol au vent and when we leave our pocket book is barely dented.

    The Algarve was meant to be a relaxing time in advance of the Camino. Day1 - mission accomplished.
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  • Day8

    Rolling Along the Algarve

    April 1, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    The Algarve is Portugal’s southern-most region and covers the area from the eastern border with Spain to the western most corner at Cape St. Vincent. We are biking the 200 km or so this week. Not an epic journey, but one that gives us lots of time for stops along the way. The Algarve became popular in the sixties as affordable flights became available but it has never had the crowds of Spain . The coast is a series of white- washed fishing villages, lovely low-lying marshes and salt flats, sandy beaches and lots of holiday destinations. So far the predominant language we’ve heard besides English and Portuguese is German.
    On Thursday, Mike and I flew from the UK to Faro and rendezvoused with our bike-trip buddies Helen and Laura of the Danube trip fame. We stayed in a lovely boutique hotel and toasted our reunion with some excellent and inexpensive local wine and some fried sardines. We had a chance to explore Faro on Friday and then we were transported east to the border of Spain to a lovely town called Vila Real de Sant Antonio ( lovingly Referred to as VRSA).
    In VRSA we got our bikes for the week from the rental company. They are not quite what we expected. To begin with Mike’s is far too big - perhaps because he insisted I tell them that he is 6 ft tall! The ladies’s bikes are very klunky and more like commuter bikes that you’d put a basket and poodle in. Great for cruising gently allng the flat areas but it could be harder as we have any hills and climbing to do. We’ve contacted the rental agency and hope to get one or more exchanged but we’ll see. Being the Easter weekend, everything is shut down. Mike has had to be our super roadie. Every big bump seems to create another noise or problem and he has been continuously adjusting brakes, raising seats and investigating weird non-bike like noises.
    Our first 2 days of biking have been easy and very scenic. First day from Vila Real de Santo Antonio to Tavira. Today from Tavira to Olha. Lots of winding trails around the coastal marshlands and salt flats. We have passed huge piles of salt - a thriving industry in these parts. The fragrance in many areas is overwhelming of orange blossoms. There are lots of citrus trees. And succulents. There are huge stork nests in all kinds of places. Very scenic. The ocean is always on our left side (or we’re going the wrong way).
    Helen has briefed us all back up on architectural lingo. We needed to be reminded since the last trip. As we wander through the towns she points out the various styles and eras of the buildings such as phoenician, roman, classical, baroque, rococo, modern etc. Mike, Laura and I are now adept at nodding knowingly and mumbling things like - « hmmmm, that baroque - so over the top...... ». Actually , the tile work is noticeable. It is a big industry here and many buildings are beautifully clad in colourful tiles. Most of the roads in the villages and towns are still cobble-stone making biking a bit of a teeth rattling experience. Fortunately a good feature of our bikes is their wide, thick tires.
    We have particularly enjoyed the food so far. Lots of wonderful sea food. Grilled tuna and sea bass. Sardines, shrimps and tonight squid. It will be awhile before we are tired of it.
    Today is Easter and we found a church in the town of Tavira , where we stayed last night, that celebrated Easter mass with a parade. We were alongside as the churchgoers came out of the beautiful old church lead by the incense -waving priests followed by small children spreading flower petals. The local band followed the procession playing suitably religious sounding music. They wound through the old town to the river where something else happened but we couldn’t stay as it was time to hit the trails.
    Tonight we are overnight in the town of Olha -pronounced nothing like it looks. There’s a harsh J sound in there somewhere. Tomorrow we may have rain and our distance will be a bit further so things are getting serious. I’m the navigator and my job is to make sure we don’t get lost and to make sure we arrive at thenext hotel before everyone dies of thirst. So far, so good!
    That’s the news for now. Thanks for all of your notes. Love them.
    Fi and Jiggs- enjoy Mexico.
    Love from Portugal,
    Heather/ Mom xxxx
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  • Day10

    Travel Day

    September 14, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ 🌙 23 °C

    It is an hours drive from Doolin to the Shannon Airport and our 10:20AM Ryan Air flight. So it is an early morning and we have had to skip Darra’s lovely breakfast - she was kind enough to pack some fruit and banana bread for our drive. Such a wonderful place and wonderful people, Doolin has been the highlight of Ireland for us. As we have travel planned, so many people we know have been to Ireland before us and have provided their recommendations of places you “must go to”. I think more than other places, Ireland’s charm lies with its people experiences that you can’t recreate just by being there. You are better off to get out of Dublin sooner than later, then pick highly rated B&B’s and get a feel for the place. Our best experiences were in Doolin (and the cliffs are amazing).

    Anyway I digress, we have chosen to fly Ryan Air not for their “low airfare”, not for their impeccable service, not even for the Ryan air experience - only for their schedule - no other airline was flying to Faro, Portugal that day from Shannon. We have never flown Ryan Air - we have heard about the “experience”; I have flown discount airlines in the past but nothing is as blatantly shameless for up selling as Ryan Air. Fifty euro ($80 Cdn) to check a bag; they randomly assign seating unless you pay to select your seats (Laurie and I are 26 rows apart); water, coffee, snacks are all charged; they sell their own lottery tickets on board after take off; and then they do all the usual stuff that every airline seems to do these days to add cash. We have two hen parties and a stag party on board our flight. Liquor is served and the up selling of duty free begins in earnest. We would never have flown Ryan Air if reasonably avoidable.

    Next to Spain’s Mediterranean coast, Portugal’s Algarve is a favourite for sun seeking English and Irish. Luckily all the “resorts” are West of Faro and we are heading to the Eastern Algarve.

    We pick up our rental car from Sixt, who want to charge us for an extra driver, Laurie says she will drive, but because the Am Ex (which is the only card we have that has European auto insurance) I have to drive. We get our car - a very nice Renault Cleo.

    The town of Olhao is interesting and we are looking forward to our four days and three nights here. We have booked an Air BnB. It is on a little cobblestone street with no cars. It is a typical Algarve three story cube house that has been tastefully renovated - keeping the interesting parts and replacing the rustic ones. When you enter the house on the main floor you are in the bedroom with stone walls and a high stone ceiling. It is hot in the Algarve, so the bedroom is on the main floor - the stone will absorb the heat during the day and release it at night. They have added air conditioning but for our first night we do not use it. The second floor has steep stairs to the kitchen and living room; there is a little balcony. There are stone walls with some plaster for hanging pictures. Off the balcony you can climb to the flat roof top that has a partial view over the other roof tops to the ocean where the wives could watch their husbands come home from fishing. The roof top would also be used to dry fruit and fish. Back on the main floor, I suspect the bathroom was completely redone as it is thankfully very modern. All in all, I doubt we will stay in such an interesting and local place again on our trip. Thanks Air BnB for opening up new possibilities of places to stay.

    Today is laundry day and unfortunately our place doesn’t have a washer and dryer - we knew this going in and chose the place anyway because it was so darn interesting. We figure out where the laundry mat is and trek our way there. Laundry mats are not typically in prime real estate so we walk through the working class streets of Olhao to a very nice place and do our laundry listening to Portuguese MTV and browsing Portuguese style People magazines (okay for the record there is no browsing - they have free wifi). An hour later we walk home, pick up some grocery essentials at a little “minimart” and hang our laundry out on the drying rack they provided and the clothes line we brought. We have a beer and some snacks on the upper balcony - while a neighbour plays Adele on their boom box.

    After a nice break we head to the historic town centre and waterfront; stroll along the promenade and pick a wine and tapas bar, 7 Imeio. It was recommended by our hosts in the amazing information package they provided. The wine bar is very interestingly decorated, the wine is all Portuguese and the tapas are delicious and well presented.

    A quiet day, as travel days usually are, but a good start to our brief time in the Algarve.
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  • Day6


    March 24, 2019 in Portugal ⋅ 🌙 16 °C

    Am Abend machten wir uns dann nochmal auf den Weg in das knapp 5 Kilometer entfernte Olhão.
    Wir schlenderten ein wenig durch die Stadt bis wir an der Uferpromenade ankamen.
    Wir sind am Atlantik!!
    Sehr cool.
    Olhão hat einen kleinen Hafen, der am Abend nun nicht wirklich besonders wirkte.
    Abendessen gab es beim Mexicaner, was absolut die richtige Wahl war. Das Essen war super lecker, die Portionen waren groß genug und der Preis mehr als angemessen. Und die Bedienung war abermals super freundlich.
    So macht es doch Spaß!
    Also genossen wir den Abend dort und schauten nebenbei noch ein wenig Fussball.
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  • Day1


    October 26, 2016 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    Es riecht nach Fisch. Man kommt quasi garnicht daran vorbei.

    Zugegeben, es ist nicht ganz so schlimm wie es klingt aber vereinzelt steigt dieser typische Geruch schon in die Nase. Hier in Olhão denken wir etwas bleiben zu wollen und schnallen die Bikes ab, um den Strand zu begutachten und die Stadt anzuschauen.
    Zunächst einmal fahren wir den Yachthafen entlang. Hier gibt es eine Vielzahl an Bootsanbietern, die für 20 Euro pro Person eine eine Ausfahrt in den Naturschutzparkt da Ria Formosa unternehmen.

    Wir haben aber Lust auf Strand, also fahren wir weiter entlang des Hafens und kommen schließlich am Fischereihafen heraus. Hier liegen jede Menge Fischereiboote und Reusen mit denen die Meeresfrüchte und Fische an Land gezogen werden. Gleich gegenüber sind die weiterverarbeitenden Industriebranchen und dahinter das Wohnviertel, was nach einer typischen Arbeitersiedlung aussieht.

    Ausser dem Fischfang wird hier ausserdem Meersalz gewonnen, welches in grossen Becken gestaut wird. Der Wasseranteil wird durch die Sonne verdunstet und übrig bleibt das Meersalz. In dieser Region sehen wir immer wieder einmal riesige weisse Salzberge.

    Laut Stadtgeschichte hat die Fischereistadt eine grosse Rolle als Handelsstadt gespielt. Vor allem der Fischfang und die Konservenindustrie florierten. Der Glanz aus alten Zeiten scheint etwas verblasst zu sein. Das Tourismusgeschäft läuft wohl auch nur zur Saison.

    Auf den Strassen sieht man recht viele Menschen. Grösstenteils ältere Menschen, die von schwerer körperlicher Arbeit geprägt zu sein scheinen.
    Sie sitzen an der Strasse oder in kleinen Cafés und unterhalten sich gesellig. Die Innenstadt hat unheimlich viele, kleine schöne Häuschen mit ganz unterschiedlich gestalteten Fassaden. Viele sind leider in den Winterschlaf verfallen und warten mit einem neuen Anstrich aufgeweckt zu werden. In Olhão gibt es ausserdem auch auffällig viele und extrem grossflächige Graffitis zu sehen. Sie bringen etwas bunte Farbe zwischen die ergrauten Fassaden.

    Auffällig oft ist das Schild "Se Vende"=zu verkaufen zu sehen. Sowohl in Spanien als auch Portugal gibt es unheimlich viele Immobilien und Land, welches man kaufen kann. Schon merkwürdig.

    Was uns überraschte ist dass es hier in einer so unruhigen Gegend, mit so vielen Autos und Menschen, Storchenhorste gibt. Sie befinden sich auf Lampen, alten Schloten und sie scheinen sich da auch nicht stören zu lassen.

    Nun ja Strand gibt es hier keinen. Die Stadt haben wir nun auch gesehen und zum schlafen ist es hier auch irgendwie ungemütlich. Wir satteln unsere Bikes und fahren weiter ins Inland, in der Hoffnung da etwas zu finden.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Olhão, Olhao