The Algarve is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world. It’s known for having 300 days of sunshine per year, great seafood, top golf courses and beautiful resorts. With this kind of weather and a coastline that runs for approximately 200 kilometres, non-stop, notable for its picturesque limestone caves and idyllic beaches, it’s no wonder it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.
Faro, the Capital of AlgarveFaro is a picturesque city that’s well worth taking the time to explore. It has both Portuguese and Moorish-influenced architecture dating back centuries. In the old city, or Cidade Velha, on the eastern side of Faro’s Marina, you will find plenty of signs of the city’s past, alongside the theatres and cafes. This is a very compact part of town, so you can easily walk from attraction to attraction.
The Cathedral of Faro, also known as Sé, is one of the most important historic buildings of Faro. The view from the tower of Sé Cathedral offers visitors breathtaking panoramic views over Faro. Adjacent to the Cathedral is the 17th Century Episcopal Palace, another example of the city’s incredible architecture and the official residence of the local Bishop.
Faro is the largest city in the region and is a transport hub for the region, being home to the Algarve’s Airport and also playing host to the University of Algarve.
BeachesMost of Faro’s best beaches are out on the islands. Take a ferry from the Porta Nova Pier in the Marina to the Natural Reserve Ria Formosa, a barrier of islands with awesome beaches. During the 30-minute ride you can enjoy the views and relax with the wind in your hair. If you’d rather not travel by boat, Faro Beach is also connected by bridge and can be reached by car.
Food, Nightlife and ShoppingThe Ria Formosa Seafood Festival is held every year in Faro in August, serving traditional and drinks and seafood dishes local to the Algarve. For local arts and crafts, fish, fruits and vegetables don’t miss a visit to Faro’s daily market in Largo do Mercado.
You’ll find most of the city’s top restaurants in the town squares, such as Praça Ferreira de Almeida. If you’re looking for a night on the town, head over to Rua do Castelo and Rua do Prior, which really gets going during the weekends.
If you have a shopping itch to scratch, visit the Forum Algarve shopping mall with its big brand shops and boutique stores.
AccommodationWhen it comes to choosing the best place to stay in Faro, options range from high rise resorts to traditional guesthouses or restored mansions. Many of these are run by Dutch, English and Germans expats who have chosen to live in the Algarve for the relaxed lifestyle.
Whatever your budget, no matter what kind of experience you are seeking during your stay, Faro is one city to add to your wish list.