This seven-day food-inspired itinerary is designed for travelers passionate about learning the history and culture of Portuguese gastronomy. Experience the real Algarve as you eat, cook, and drink your way around Olhão and its neighboring villages.


  • Wine and dine in a series of tascas in Old Town Olhão
  • Learn how to make olive oil in Moncarapacho 
  • Sail Ria Formosa and discover Armona, Farol, and Culatra islands
  • Join a cooking class in Faro and make Cataplana - a typical Algarvian dish

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Olhão; Explore Old Town Olhão
Day 2 Food and Culture Tour Olhão
Day 3 Visit an olive oil farm; Join a pastry cooking class Olhão
Day 4 Explore Ria Formosa islands Olhão
Day 5 Algarvian cooking class in Faro Olhão
Day 6 Free Day in Olhão Olhão
Day 7 Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Olhão - Explore Old Town

Aerial view of Ria Formosa
Aerial view of Ria Formosa

Welcome to the Algarve! As you land at Faro airport, you will be greeted with the stunning view of the Ria Formosa lagoons—a highlight of the Algarve. Meet your private transfer at the airport and drive the short distance to your accommodation in the traditional fishing village of Olhão

Settle in before venturing out to explore your surroundings, gaining an authentic feel of the village. 

Day 2: Food and Culture Tour

Sunset view over Olhao, Algarve, Portugal
Olhão's city market waterfront

Today you will meet your guide for a private tour of Olhão. Enjoy a full day of food and drink tasting as you learn about Olhão's culture and history. Begin at the iconic fish and fruit market. Roam its stalls and be delighted by the charismatic vendors. For lunch, you will get to experience a series of tascas, traditional Portuguese tapas restaurants for Algarvian delicacies and regional wines.

Day 3: Visit an olive oil farm - Join a pastry cooking class

Olive oil farm in Moncarapacho
Olive oil farm in Moncarapacho

Today you will visit a nearby olive oil farm in Moncarapacho and learn about the history and techniques used to produce their award-winning olive oil. You'll visit the beautiful olive grove and sample different varieties adapted to the Mediterranean climate of the Algarve, along with Portuguese tapas.

After lunch, continue through the Algarvian countryside to the eastern village of Azinhal, close to the Spanish border. Here you will have the opportunity to be a pastry chef for the day and discover how to make traditional Algarvian sweets.

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Day 4: Explore Ria Formosa islands

Ria Formosa lagoons
Ria Formosa lagoons

Today is a full day of exploring Ria Formosa. Meet your skipper and embark on a private taxi boat and discover Armona, Farol, and Culatra islands—hidden gems of the Algarve. Along the way, you will learn about the local flora and fauna as you spot several species of birds and visit a shellfish farm.

Enjoy fresh seafood and grilled fish for lunch before continuing your exploration of the wild landscape and the local fishing villages.

Day 5: Algarvian cooking class in Faro

Join a cooking class and learn how to make Cataplana
Join a cooking class and learn how to make Cataplana

After a few days of eating traditional cuisine and learning how regional produce and seafood are harvested and caught, it's your turn to prepare a three-course meal.

Meet your chef (and instructor) at the Faro Fish and Fruits market to shop for fresh ingredients for Cataplana—a traditional seafood dish of the Algarve. Return to your classroom to learn the necessary steps to make Cataplana as well as other local eats. Leave the classroom with a full belly and an apron as a souvenir of your culinary experience.

Day 6: Free Day in Olhão

Cacela Velha at low tide
Cacela Velha at low tide

Today is a free day for you to enjoy the Algarve as you please. You may wish to relax by your hotel's pool, stroll along the beach in Cacela Velha, birdwatch, or book a wine tasting and blending workshop or a dolphin watching tour. The more adventurous may wish to join a catamaran tour and visit hidden caves of the area.

Day 7: Depart

Algarve - Traditional-Portuguese-Village

Say goodbye to Olhão and the beautiful Algarve, taking your memories with you. Meet your private airport transfer and enjoy one last look over the Ria Formosa lagoons as you get comfortable in-flight.


Map of Taste, Cook & Experience the Real Algarve - 7 Days
Map of Taste, Cook & Experience the Real Algarve - 7 Days
Written by H ., updated Feb 18, 2021