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Olhao

olhaoTrain and bus stations are close to each other off the Avenida da República northeast of town. The tourist office, just off Rua do Comércio will provide a town map and advice on rooms (telephone 289 713 936) . The nearest campsite is at Marim, 3km east (telephone 289 700 300) – buses depart hourly until 7pm from the main station. There are clusters of restaurants and bars around Rua do Comércio and along the seafront.

Ferries leave for the islands of Armona and Culatra from the jetty at the far end of Olhao’s municipal gardens, five minutes from the market. The service to Armona drops you off at a long strip of holiday chalets and huts that stretches right across the island on either side of the main path. This is the only type of accommodation available here, and you’ll be lucky to get one in summer; phone ahead to book (telephone 289 714 173). On the ocean side, the beach disappears into the distance and a short walk will take you to totally deserted stretches of sand dunes. The beach facing the mainland is smaller and tends to get very crowded in summer, but the water here is always warm. Boats to the more distant Ilha of Culatra are less frequent and stop first at the less attractive Culatra town and then at Farol, a village of holiday homes edged by beautiful beaches on the ocean side. Note that ferry services are drastically reduced outside July and August.

Information courtesy of Travelnow and Rough City Guides Lda.