The region of Faro has been becoming increasingly cosmopolitan. It continues to be more popular as a tourist attraction in the summer, but more and more because of other values than only the beaches. Its picturesque historic center, the castle and the walls are obligatory visiting points. Faro is also very rich in terms of heritage, which can be proved with the Ermida da Nossa Senhora da Boa Esperança chapel, the Capuchos Convent, the Cathedral of Faro, the Igreja da Misericórdia or even the Villa Romana de Milreu. But it is still, as any city in the Algarve, highly sought after for its beaches and weather. Faro, Culatra, Farol and Deserta islands are examples of the most sought after. Summer is also the time when the streets fill up with animation, with artists from the whole world to act for tourists. One of the largest local festivities is the Festa da Ria Formosa, which takes place in late July or early August. The Ria Formosa Natural Park is one of the richest treasure landscapes in the south of the country. These are about 60 miles with a great diversity of fauna and flora and with canals, marshes, salt marshes and five islets: Barreta, Culatra, Armona, Tavira and Cabanas. A boat trip on the Ria is one of the best ways to meet this natural heritage. The offer of places to sleep and eat is very varied. In the restaurants you can find the arroz de lingueirão (razor and rice stew) and for dessert the Dom-Rodrigos (sweets made of soft eggs, almonds and cinnamon) and other traditional delicacies. For those who want to know a little more of the local history, we recommend a visit to the Maritime Museum and to the Ethnographic Museum. The Centro de Ciência Viva do Algarve is one of the places to visit for anyone who wants to learn more about science and technology.
What to do in Faro
Praia da Ilha da Culatra
A beach with a wide stretch of sand in a picturesque fishing village. The boats that take one to this dream beach depart from Olhão at a price of 1 €. It has good quality restaurants with fine shellfish and reasonable prices.
Praia da Ilha do Farol
A wid stretch of sand, accessible only by boat. The trips costs 1.50 €. Both the river and the sea beaches have good quality water and charming landscapes. It is possible to rent a house locally.
Praia da Ilha de Faro
A wide stretch of sand, between the sea and the Ria Formosa, located at 8 km from the city of Faro. It is accessible by boat, from Faro, or by car and across a bridge. The existence of constructions have stolen some of its natural beauty, but brought along more liveliness in the summer. It has excellent conditions for sports …
Arco da Vila
In the centre of the vilage, at the Largo da Sé, this arch is one of the most relevant architectural sets in the Algarve. This monumental portal was rebuilt in the 19th century. Inside there is an arab portico, unique in the entire Algarve region. In the niche above the archway there is a white marble image of Saint Thomas …
Sé Catedral de Faro
Of its primitive roman-gothic construction only the belltower and two cruise chapels are left. A robbery and a fire, in 1596, called for great works, which proceeded later as a result of the earthquakes in 1722 and 1755. The church has several influences: gothic, renaissance and baroque. In its interior one should pay close attention to the tiles, the statues …
Praia da Ilha Deserta (Ilha da Barreta)
One may only get to this beach by boat or by water taxi from the Porta Nova Docks, in Faro. It is absolutely wonderful, with its sand, its quality waters and several diversions.
Igreja Matriz de São Pedro
Built in the 16th century in the place of a hermitage where the sailors went to pray, it was deeply modified after the earthquake of 1755. The main chapel is decorated with a panel of the end of the 17th …
Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Carmo e Capela dos Ossos
The Church of the Venerável Ordem Terceira de Nossa Senhora do Carmo, one of the most important religious monuments in the Algarve, was inaugurated in 1719. The Bone Chapel, on its interior, was built in 1816 with the bones of …
Museu Regional do Algarve
A museum in the building of the Assembleia Distrital (District Assembly), with a vast and valuable collection of crafts, paintings and objects of the Algarve's etnography.
Villa Romana de Milreu
The roman village of Milreu, dating back to the 1st or 2nd centuries, was remodeled during the 4th century and occupied until the 6th or 7th centuries. Nowadays, one can clearly see the structures of a great manor, built during …
Museu Marítimo Almirante Ramalho Ortigão
This maritime museum was founded in 1910 and has many assets dedicated to the sea. Amongst others, fishing utensils and models of naval building are exhibited.
Jardim Manuel Bívar
A garden with various kinds of trees and well designed, well taken care of flowerbeds, amidst long corridors inviting for a stroll. There is also a small cafe with a pleasant terrace.
Arco do Repouso e Muralhas de Faro
Entrance door to the meedieval walls, built by the muslim prince Bem Bekr as a defense against the Christian invasions. It's constituded by two watchtowers with two sid entrances.
Igreja da Misericórdia de Faro
This church, sided by a hospital, started its construction in 1581, in the place of the old Espírito Santo hermitage, by order of the bishop Dom Afonso Castelo Branco. In the sequence of the great damage inflicted by the earthquake …
Where to eat in Faro
Portuguese, Regional, Vegetarian
To get to this secluded restaurant on a deserted island in the middle of Ria Formosa Natural Park, …
Author, Contemporary, Portuguese
Localizado no coração da cidade de Faro, este espaço moderno, com decoração exótica, serve bons pra…
A small, simple restaurant, with dishes of the Algarve. It has some uncommon recipes and a familiar…
A refined restaurant with a menu that is mainly regional but also has some original touches. Excell…
A simple and familiar space, specialized in roast chicken and grilled dishes.
Where to sleep in Faro
This hostel was born of recovery of a former Palace, dating from the 18th century and owned by the Viscount of Estoi, José Francisco da Silva. In 2009, about o…
Modern Hotel situated opposite the marina in Faro, providing a beautiful view over the city and the ria Formosa. The privileged location, joins the comfort of …
São Brás de Alportel
São Brás de Alportel is located in the Algarve side, between the barrocal and serra do Caldeirão, being the youngest municipality in the Algarve. The…
The municipality of Castro Marim is characterized by extensive mountains, where wild flowers abound, and the orchards and vegetable gardens on the ba…
The integration of Ria Formosa with the estuary of the river Gilão marks the landscape of Tavira. In addition to the Arabic influence recognized, its…
Monchique is the living example that the Algarve is much more than just sun and beach. Located inside Algarve, this municipality is situated in the m…