Faro
About

A dreamlike coastline with stunningly beautiful cliffs and lovely beaches righteously make the alluring Algarve the most desired tourist region in Portugal. However, Algarve’s capital Faro is often only a transit point for a lot of visitors, who come here for the airport. But Faro has a lot to offer, including a distinctive Portuguese vibe, attractive marina, well-maintained parks and plazas and wonderful surrounding scenery. It doesn’t matter if you are a history buff, a nature and wildlife lover or simply a beach goer – this city is sure to bewitch you.

Algarve enjoys a Subtropical-Mediterranean climate and receives most of its rainfall during winter months, whereas summers are warm and sunny, which is perfect for all kinds of outdoor adventures on the Ria Formosa, taking a leisurely stroll through the narrow streets of Faro’s enchanting old medieval quarters, or exploring the nearby islands of Ilha de Faro and Ilha de Barreta.

And if you are in the mood for some entertainment, the city has its share of clubs and bars, and the high student population provides for a vibrant nightlife.

Facts
  • Faro is the southernmost city of Portugal
  • It is a seaport town, mainly exporting fish, wine, figs and cork
  • It was the last major city to be taken back by Christians in 1249
  • In 1755 a massive earthquake flattened most of Faro with a subsequent tidal wave
Flights to Faro
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Eat

Bacalhau

Salted cod dishes are a staple of Portuguese cuisine, prepared and served in countless variants, depending on region and tradition.

Pastel de Nata

A Portuguese pastry, which is served just about anywhere – tart with a creamy custard made from egg yolk and a flaky crust. Addictively good!
Drink

Medronho

Traditional Portuguese fruit brandy, also known as ‘firewater’, made from arbutus berries. Sipping it can bring tears to a man’s eyes.

Café com Cheirinho

‘Cheirinho’ means ‘smell’, and this cup of black coffee has a bit of alcohol (usually brandy) added. The perfect finish to a good meal!
See

Municipal Museum

Once part of the Jewish quarter and 16th century convent, this is now probably Faro’s most unique sight. Amazing artifacts on display.

Chapel of Bones

This small, macabre chapel is actually built with bones of over 1,000 Carmelite monks. Don’t miss the highlight – a golden skeleton.
Perfect for
Bar Tours
Beach Leisure
Bicycling
Boat Rides
History
Kayaking
Nightlife
Tapas
Walks
Windsurfing
Places

Praia de Faro

Located on Ilha de Faro, the longest beach in Faro stretches 5 km along the coast and offers endless lovely golden sand. Construction on the island has been kept quite low-key, so you won’t see any high-rise buildings here. This beach is easily accessible from the city via regular bus services that can also get you to the airport. The waters of Praia de Faro are clean and the waves are high enough for surfing. If you are new to surfing, this may well be an opportunity to give it a try – you can take some lessons and rent the gear at the local surf school.

Cidade Velha

Because of its long and colorful history, Faro gives the feeling of lingering somewhere between the past and present. The old town is a mixture of Moorish and 18th century Portuguese architecture fused together in a series of cobbled streets and embraced by the remains of old city walls. Many historical buildings have had parts of them rebuilt in styles different from the original, as much of Faro was devastated by a massive earthquake in 1755. The historical town is divided into two main area: the oldest part Vila-Adentro and Mouraria, where Moors settled from the late 13th century. Take a stroll through the street maze that leads to the Largo da Sé city square where you can find the 19th century Town Hall and the small 18th century gothic Sé Catedral de Faro.

Ria Formosa

Are you fascinated by birds and wildlife? Then this is the place! This lagoon, stretching beyond the borders of Faro (an area of about 18 000 hectares), has been a natural reserve since 1987 and is protected by five barrier islands. This nature park is not only boasting with different kinds of birds but is also home to several endangered species, for example, chameleons and seahorses. In fact, the area is reported as having one of the largest seahorse populations in the world. But there is much more to it, so come on a guided walk, ride a bike, join a boat trip or rent a kayak and experience this wonderful place!
Flights from