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Explore Faro with logo

Historical and Natural Gem of the Algarve Coast, with Close Proximity to Natural Wonders of Ria Formosa Lagoon.

Faro

Faro is a city situated along the Algarve coastline, known for its architecture and natural wonders.

Faro city is the center of the southern part of Portugal, the Algarve province. There is a Faro airport and a seaport for all resorts located on the coast. Basically, it's a resort with no more than 70 thousand people who live here permanently. Not all visitors stop in Faro for a long time, as the main destinations for most of them are Algarve coastal resorts, for example, Lagos, Vilamoura, and Albufeira.

However, this city deserves the attention of travelers as it combines typical Portuguese cozy streets with ancient houses and temples, cozy restaurants with delicious cuisine, and beautiful nature in the background. Faro is a perfect spot for an unforgettable holiday and a good starting point for a trip throughout Portugal.

The Old Castle is the main must-visit place in the city. The area is surrounded by an oval-shaped fortress wall with three entrance gates. The 19th-century Castelo de Faro castle is attached to this wall. You should also visit the Cathedral, which also bears the name of the Church of St. Mary, one of the most famous architectural objects, stunning in its beauty.

At the back of the Igreja do Carmo church is a chapel of bones, built by Carmelite monks. The chapel is not just decorated with bones, but the walls themselves are built from bones. Skulls and other bones are placed symmetrically throughout the interior of the chapel, even on the vaulted ceiling, giving the place a frightening atmosphere. At the front of the sanctuary is a full-length skeleton covered in gold.

The modern city of Faro is separated from the old town with the walls of an ancient fortress. A good idea right after visiting it is to go to the pier and enjoy the marina view. 

The next important point to visit is the Conselheiro Bivar. It's the busiest pedestrian street with numerous bars and restaurants, the center of nightlife of Faro. And of course, the streets of the city are separate attractions for tourists. As for the embankment and the Faro sign, here the visitors have access to the beautiful bay with boats and yachts, restaurants, and cafes. It's difficult to find a more ideal place to relax and drink sangria.

If a buzzy night scene is your thing, check out one of the traditional bars with the best cocktails. Quite often such places provide access not only to the delicious drinks but also to the live music and original parties. For shopping, head to the QM Country Shop and Garden Center with a huge range of souvenirs and other goods.

Although Faro cannot be called a popular beach resort due to the presence of a large port, there are still several beaches to choose from, just a bit outside the port area. Ilha de Faro, located on the Ansan Peninsula, is considered to be the most crowded. Ilha de Barreta, located on the island of Barreta, is easily accessible by boat. Just a short ride distance, and you're in a place where you can enjoy the tranquility. On the island of Culatra are located the beaches of Ilha da Culatra and Mayaca. Here you can try traditional fishing, including octopus fishing. 

Ria Formosa Natural Park is a place of particular interest and one of the popular Faro attractions. It has a whole system of islands - connected to the sea through straits and canals. The area of the park is huge, and in order not to get lost you can take a map with a walking route at the entrance.

Faro is not only a place for entertainment, but also a cultural point. It's highly recommended to visit the Maritime Museum of Admiral Ramalho Ortigao and the Municipal Archaeological Museum of the Infante D. Henrique.

As for the available activities, Faro will not disappoint fans of sports activities, night parties, and shopping. Tourists are offered exciting travel programs that include visits to interesting places. The Algarve By Segway Center offers Segway rides. Hidroespaco is a scuba diving center that organizes trips to the best dive sites, where it's possible to take part in master classes and rent the necessary equipment, and a popular diving center in Faro is Udiving.

 

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All About Faro

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When to Visit

Faro as a part of Algarve province has a mild climate with many sunny days. The high season begins in April and lasts until October. As for the winters, they are also mild, with temperatures of +12°. Many people prefer to come to Faro out of the tourist season to admire the nature sightseeings in a calm and tranquil atmosphere.

In summer the temperature of the air can be up to +30 degrees, but it's never too hot because of the refreshing ocean breeze. The water temperature, even in the hottest weather (July-August), is not higher than +22 +24°C. Faro weather characteristics make the city comfortable to visit at any time of the year, but you should focus on the purpose of the trip.

 

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Getting Around

Faro is small so it's possible to see all the major attractions, walking around for 2-3 hours as the weather conditions are pleasant here any time of the year. But public transport is also an available option. The most popular routes are buses number 16 and 14. The visitors of the city can buy tickets directly from the bus drivers for 1.9-2.3 €. Intercity buses run The major cities in the Algarve region are connected by intercity buses. The prices depend on the distance.

The most comfortable way to move around is by car, but in this case, you should remember that it is difficult to park in the central part of Faro. Large, free parking is located near the port. Parking near shopping centers is chargeable.

 

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Travel Information

You can get an unforgettable experience while traveling in Faro if you consider a few simple Faro travel tips:

1. How do you make the first trip to Faro unforgettable?

To make the visit to Faro unforgettable, don't skip the beauty of nature in the Ria Formosa Park, which separates the city from the open ocean. This popular place to relax for both locals and visitors of the city combines lagoons and islands, boasting rich flora and fauna. Then, walk through the city and go directly to the viewpoint with the best view of Faro and the surrounding area, located on the bell tower of the Cathedral.

This is the main religious building of the city, which is also called the Church of St. Mary. The cathedral is also a must-visit place as it impresses travelers with its rich interior decoration and convenient location in the center. Even if you come to Faro in winter, it’s definitely worth spending time on the ocean.

2. What is a list of Faro hidden gems?

Just a 30-minute drive from the city, there is a quaint little village administratively belonging to the Faro region. In ancient times there was a Roman settlement, and nowadays it's an object of a unique cultural and historical heritage. In the center of town is the Igreja Matriz de Estoi, the village's main church in neoclassical style, founded in the 16th century. The building was heavily damaged by a major earthquake in 1755, but later restored. All the wooden elements used in the church's altar were taken from old ships and boats.

As for the nature wonders, there is Benagil Cave in a 45-minute drive from Faro. It has an undoubtedly stunning grotto with a hole in the ceiling known as the "eye". The sunlight goes through it, touching the golden sand and turquoise waters, creating an unbelievable magical image with a clear blue sky above.

3. What dishes are the must-try in Faro?

The greatest influence in the local kitchen of Faro was made by the close proximity to the ocean, so seafood is the main specialty. The most commonly served are trout, sea bass, sardines, swordfish, tuna, and cod (bacalhau), prepared according to various recipes. Seafood is often mixed with rice - for example, arroz de marisco is a popular dish among the locals.

One more dish to try is caldeirada, the traditional fish stew with quite a thick consistency, and various vegetables. As for the meat dishes, try goat stew with tomatoes and onions (cabrito estufado), as well as stews of various types of meat with beans and vegetables (cozido à portuguesa). Lunch or dinner in a restaurant will cost 20-40 Euros.

 

Top Attractions Near Faro

Explore Faro's excellent selection of attractions, from ancient historic wonders to vibrant cultural sightseeing

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Frequently Asked Questions

Get clear and useful insider tips for the most common queries about Faro

What are the must-have day trips from Faro?

There are a few recommended day trips from Faro for those who stay here for a few days. It's worth visiting the charming town of Tavira or making a trip to Lagos. From the pier, there is an option to take a boat tour to explore the nearby islands.

 

What is a list of the best places for dining in Faro?

One of the most favorite local places with Portuguese cuisine is Tasquinha do Ricky or Adega Nova. O Lobo do Mar or Restaurante Dux is a good place for fresh seafood. And of course, there are numerous charming cafes and bakeries in the Old Town with a wide choice of delicious pastries and snacks.

 

What are the available accommodation options in Faro?

There is a wide range of accommodations for any budget. For a luxury stay, pay attention to the boutique Faro hotels like Hotel Faro or Hotel Eva. Cozy guesthouses or hostels welcome guests who are on a short budget. Additionally, there are plenty of vacation rentals, apartments, and B&B options available.