It’s been a good few years since I visited Portugal, and having never been to the resort of Olhao before I was very excited to go for a long weekend to check out Friendship Travel’s new addition for this summer – ‘Casa Rosa Boutique Hotel’.

Travel hadn’t been on the top of my agenda for the last 2 years, so was unsure what to expect but everything was easy at the airport, and on the flight, which was only 2 hours 40 minutes.

Transfer from Faro airport to Casa Rosa was nice and quick. In just 15 minutes I was getting my suitcase out of the taxi and entering through the big doors of a lovely old building & being shown to my room. The hotel has been refurbished, and I loved the stylish décor, the comfort, and the relaxed feeling from the moment I entered.

In the outside courtyard area there is comfy seating if you just want to chill out with a book or enjoy refreshments in the sun, and a pool to dip in and cool off. But if you just want to lay back and relax there are 2 sun terraces upstairs.


As it was my first time to the area I wanted to explore and do as much as I could in the few days I was there. So the following morning after breakfast I wandered through the cobbled streets to the waterfront to check out the weekly market. Bustling with locals & lots of colourful produce to sample, I filled my bag with fresh strawberries, nuts, and Churros and then enjoyed a refreshing drink in a waterfront café.


Across from the resort you can see Islands, and ferry’s run daily to these so you can hop over for a few hours which I did. I had a lovely walk around the island of Armona and along the gorgeous golden sandy beaches. There are a few cafes around where you can stop for lunch and refreshments.

With Faro not being too far away, I took the short taxi ride back one day to explore, do some shopping, and enjoy lunch. Had I been staying longer I would have taken a train ride to do more sightseeing, as the station is within walking distance of Casa Rosa.

Olhao is still very much an old town with cobbled streets and white-washed buildings, and so much character! I felt relaxed, found my way round easily enough, plenty of cafes, ice cream parlours, bakeries, shops, everything I needed within a short stroll.

Each evening I walked down the waterfront to decide where to dine. As it’s a fishing port many restaurants serve fresh fish on their menu, however, there are plenty of other options to choose from, and restaurants located all along the waterfront.

I loved Casa Rosa and the luxury comforts and homely feel, very much enjoyed the simplicity of Olhao with so much to offer locally. The only negative I can think of from my visit? It wasn’t long enough!!


To book a solo holiday to the Casa Rosa Boutique Hotel click here.

This post was written by Mel Sparks – Overseas Manager at Friendship Travel