Faro is an alluring city that has kept the traditional Portuguese charm that most of the resort towns in the Algarve have lost through the years. What makes it even more interesting is the combination of being a great beach destination and a town full of history worth discovering. Here you will find a dreamy beach, well-preserved museums and churches, and a historic center surrounded by ancient walls. If you're planning a trip to Faro, here is everything you need to know to make the most of your holiday!
Faro International Airport is the main point of entry to the South of Portugal. The airport is located 7 km away from the city center so it's very easy to get here if you're coming from the main cities in Europe. Once in the airport, you have a few different options: you can catch the bus that departs every 30 minutes or so; get a taxi (around 10€); pre-book a transfer; or rent a car which will be helpful to explore other towns in the Algarve. If you're driving from Lisbon, follow A2 to Faro and it should take you around 2 hours and 30 minutes to get to the Algarve.
If you're traveling during the Summer, one of the best things to do in Faro is sunbathing at the beach. The best one in the region is Praia de Faro, featuring 5 km of golden sand. Contrary to some of the most beautiful beaches in the Algarve, Praia de Faro doesn't offer excellent tourist facilities. However, it is still dreamy and the perfect beach for a relaxing holiday. The only downside is that the beach is quite far from the city center so you'll either have to rent a car, take the direct bus or the ferry.
In Faro, you can also find the beautiful Parque Natural da Ria Formosa, a Nature park including stunning lagoons where you can spend hours exploring the wildlife and birdwatching. Don't miss the opportunity of taking a boat tour to fully appreciate the beauty of this region. Another thing you cannot miss is taking a ferry trip to the desert islands of the Ilha Deserta (30,00€ return) and to the small fishing community in Ilha da Culatra (6,00€ return). Also, make sure you visit the marina - it's beautiful!
Faro has kept the traditional Portuguese charm, featuring well-preserved museums and churches worth discovering. Sé is the main church in town and has an amazing view of the city so make sure you don't miss it. Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Carmo is another church worth visiting. Within the church complex, you will also find the strangest yet fascinating sight of Faro, the Bones Chapel or Capela dos Ossos (1€), whose walls and ceilings are lined with the bones of over 1,000 skeletons.
If you want to learn more about the past of Faro, head to Museu Municipal (2€) or Museu Regional do Algarve (1,5€), so that you can learn about the region's history. Then, walk to Arco da Vila, a neo-classical gate set in the ancient Moorish city walls. If you get tired of exploring, near Arco da Vila you will find Manuel Bivar garden where you can spend a few minutes relaxing and taking in its beauty.
The Algarve is well-known for its incredible gastronomy and Faro is no exception. In this city, you'll be able to find a combination of the fresh flavors of the sea and the strong flavors of the country. Some favorite picks among both locals and tourists are Estaminé, Tertúlia Algarvia e Vila Adentro. If you're traveling between the end of July and the beginning of August, make sure to visit Festa da Ria Formosa, a delicious food festival offering the best of the region.
Because Faro is located in central Algarve, you'll be in an excellent location to explore other towns in the Algarve. The team at WarmRental advises you to not miss the opportunity of taking a couple day trips to other towns in the region such as Tavira or Albufeira. In Tavira, you can learn some more about the history of the Algarve and in Albufeira, you can find some of the most incredible beaches in Europe. It is the perfect opportunity to get to know a different side of the Algarve.