Olhão, Portugal

Activity holiday – with excursions & activties included. We are excited to bring you a brand new Houseparty and activity holiday in the Algarve town of Olhão. This is the alternative Algarve: instead of the sandstone cliffs and large resorts west of Faro, here are 60kms of tidal lagoons, islands and sandy beaches. The protected status of the Ria Formosa Natural Park restricts development, so Olhão retains its old town of cobbled streets and white-washed houses, its working port and fish market. This is the real Algarve!

This Houseparty is based in a renovated 19th century building on a tree-lined avenue in the old town. Low-key bars, restaurants and ice-cream parlours are virtually on the doorstep and within 10 minutes’ walk are the waterfront promenade, the market (designed by Gustav Eiffel) and the ferries which run to the beautiful islands just offshore. This is a great base for our included excursions, to use one of our bikes to discover local villages, or follow an eco-guide in search of wildlife. Casa Rosa is also a boutique retreat where you can slow right down to Portuguese pace: tanning on the roof terrace before strolling out to a café for lunch, or spending all on one of the islands’ superb beaches.

Our package includes 4 excursions (including 2 lunches) –
A guided walking/train tour of Faro takes in the cobbled alleyways of the old town, as well as Baroque churches. Fascinating visits might include the main museum set in a beautiful former convent and the Capela dos Ossos, which is literally a chapel of bones!

A full day to the east takes us to Vila Real de Santo Antonio on the river Guadiana. A local guide brings the elegant city to life and the large square lined with orange trees is a lovely spot for coffee, before heading across the border for lunch in Spain (included).

A fun morning at a local cookery school, where the chef demonstrates classic Portuguese disheswhich we then enjoy for lunch.

A half-day excursion by boat during which you can learn more about Ria Formosa’s wildlife and land on a couple of the islands for a stroll.


Casa Rosa Villa

Casa Rosa Boutique Hotel offers 10 smart rooms, and welcomed its first guests in March 2022. The property was fully refurbished over the last 3 years and has been finished to a high standard. The hotel looks traditional from the outside: pink plaster walls, classical details. Inside, it offers relaxed coastal living using natural materials with a contemporary twist (see artist’s impressions).

At ground level there is an open-plan living/dining room which opens onto a tiled courtyard with plunge pool and sociable seating. Upstairs is a beautiful furnished roof terrace – real suntrap! Wherever you are in Casa Rosa, you should be able to pick up the free WiFi.

We include a buffet breakfast spread each morning and 4 dinners with wine per week. We run an honesty bar during the day, with a wider drinks range served in the evening, from cocktails to a wine list. There is plenty of choice nearby for the remaining nights, at own expense.

This holiday experience with the excursions included was featured in ‘The Telepgraph’ newspaper in July 2022.

Your Room

All 10 rooms are of a slightly different size and are simple but stylish, with retro 1960’s colour schemes and cool tones. Each is furnished with a comfortable king-sized bed, bedside tables, chair and desk/dressing table, hair dryer plus a walk-in shower (pool/beach towels provided). Air-con and a room-safe are included. Some rooms have a town view; others look on to the roof terrace or courtyard.

Prices are based on standard ground floor room (rooms 3 and 5), upgrades are available to a ground floor executive room at £15 extra per night, ground floor standard room with shared terrace at extra £15 per night, 1st floor standard rooms at £20 extra per night and deluxe suite at £25 extra per night.


  • 1, 2, 3 and 5 – Ground floor, standard double rooms with en-suite, rooms 3 and 5 are slightly smaller than the others.
  • 4 – Ground floor, executive double with en-suite.
  • 6 – Ground floor, standard double room with en-suite and shared terrace.
  • 10 – First floor, deluxe suite with shared terrace. This room is very spacious, has double sinks, couch area and 3 big windows looking over the pool area.
  • 11, 12 & 14 – First floor, standard double rooms with en-suite and shared terrace

Hotel Facts

  • 10 rooms
  • Dining/living room
  • Sun Terrace
  • Bicycles
  • Plunge Swimming pool
  • Free WiFi
  • Pool/beach towels
  • King size bed
  • Safe
  • Hair dryer
  • Air-conditioning
  • Toiletries


Olhao is an easy transfer from Faro airport, which is well-served by regional flights. There’s plenty to see and do in the area. Local trains and buses are of great value for visiting Faro, Taviro or the Spanish border town of Vila Real de Santo Antonio. Ferries run to the island community of Armona (15 minutes) where you find cafes and beach loungers. Culatra has a little fishing port and a long stretch of sand with Farol lighthouse at its tip. Private boat trips led by expert guides visit
uninhabited islands rich with birdlife.

The hotel is located in the ‘city’ centre a short walk from the harbour and sea area, close to the local church, cultural centre and much more. We have bicycles at the hotel for guest use and Olhao is well connected by rail and bus for sightseeing in coastal towns, including Faro.

Nightlife in Olhao is low-key, revolving around the friendly cafes and bars in the streets by the market, where you can sip a cocktail while watching the sun set behind the islands. An evening in Faro, with your Host, is a great choice for one of the nights when we don’t include dinner.

Art and Sports retreats available at Casa Rosa, click here for more details.

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