Olhos de Água

Quick, visit before the summer months bring along thousands of tourists. The village isn’t that special, but the beach of Olhos de Água is too pretty (and way too small) to share with masses of other sun seekers. Enjoy the Algarve explores the area and tells you what not to miss.

See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine March 2017

 

Skip the town

Yes, you read that right. Olhos de Água, which is situated between Vilamoura and Albufeira, offers touristy souvenirs, karaoke studios, apartment blocks, proper British food and lots of cocktails. Now, unless you’re looking for any of the above, quickly walk through town to get to the absolute best part of it: the beach.

 

Find the olhos

The name Olhos de Água (‘eyes of water’) comes from the freshwater springs which are located on the eastern side of the beach and are only visible during low tide. Although they’re signposted (read: there’s a faded sign saying ‘olheiros de água doce’ which, very helpful, points into the general direction of the Atlantic Ocean), they’re tricky too find, especially if the tide isn’t low enough yet.
(Want to know what exactly you’re looking for? Click here).

 

See the fishermen at work

Originally, (read: before mass tourism took over), Olhos de Água was a tiny fishermen village. A row of dark blue coloured fishermen huts can still be seen at the eastern side of the beach and offer some couleur locale. With nets piled up in a big heap, a fisherman mending them, seagulls soaring in the sky and small boats lying on the beach, you’d almost imagine being in a traditional picturesque fishing village. (That is, until you turn around and see all the bars, restaurants and high-rise apartment blocks).

 

Go rockpooling

Hopping from rock to rock, searching for shells and little fish in the shallow pools on the seashore is a pleasant way to spend a few hours, so do check out the many rock pools that form on the beach when the tides change. With low tide, it’s possible to walk to the adjoining beaches like Praia da Falésia (to the east), famous for its red rocks and pine trees. Falésia beach is larger, so go there if Olhos de Água’s small stretch of sand gets too crowded. When walking, beware of rock falls (the sandstone cliffs might look safe and sturdy – they aren’t) and processionary caterpillars (January to April).

 

Go shopping

Not that keen on sea and sand? In Algarve Shopping, located near Guia, there are over 100 stores. Enough for some serious retail therapy, plus a food court and some cinemas to keep you busy an entire (rainy) day. Finished with shopping? Find more things to do in the neighbourhood of Guia in this article.
Opening times of the shops: 10am-midnight in summer, 10am-11pm in winter, seven days a week.

 

Walk on water

Well, try to stay upright over the ocean surface while being propelled by water jets would be a more accurate description of the exiting activity that’s called flyboarding. Try it at the nearby beach of Albufeira (about 8km to the west of Olhos de Água). Enjoy the Algarve looked like a cross between a crashing humpback whale and a distressed water chicken with rocket boots, but managed to get up in the end. Read the whole story in our October 2016 issue.

 

See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine March 2017

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