Olhão walking group.jpg

Olhão football tour

A group of football fans recently enjoyed a walking tour through the heart of Olhão. Starting with a conducted tour of the impressive SC Olhanense trophy room, the guests then visited the Casa do Benfica Café with its memorabilia charting the history of Portugal’s most successful club.

Next stop was the town cemetery to pay respects to former Olhanense and Benfica player Luciano who was tragically electrocuted in the hydro-massage bath at Benfica 50 years ago. Six players who survived the tragedy included the great Eusébio.

Another grave the walkers spotted was that of Manuel Zora who, in the days of prohibition in the USA, was accredited as being the greatest rum-runner on the east coast of America and in addition taught John F Kennedy to sail.

The group then visited the town archivist to see more sporting historical documents and where Miguel Saial spoke of the passionate connection between football and the Portuguese people. No visit to the town is complete without a visit to the Sete Estrelas Bar, in a side alley opposite the market, with its long and historical connections with Sporting Lisbon.

A brief stop was made in the waterfront gardens at the memorial to Joaquim Lopes, born in Olhão and who, in the 19th century, acted as a one-man lifeboat in the treacherous waters around Lisbon. Lopes received medals and honours from several European countries including Great Britain.

Finally, the group enjoyed a leisurely lunch at the Grupo Naval de Olhão restaurant overlooking the islands of Armona and Culatra. It is hoped to organise similar tours during the summer and if you are interested email:

[email protected]

Photo: Walking group at the Arquivo Municipal de Olhão