Faro It is one of the most beautiful towns what to see in Portugal. Basically because it is considered the entry point to the Algarve. Many times it is mistreated as destiny despite having a beautiful old town and be surrounded by appetizing beaches. they are not lacking beautiful places to see in Faro, but receives relatively few tourists compared to other crowded cities like Albufeira. That’s why, Faro has a very calm environment. It can be visited perfectly in one day, although if you want to enjoy different beaches in the area, you may want to stay longer. We suggest 20 things to do in Faro, the capital of the Algarve. At the end of the article you will find a map with the location of all places that we mentioned.
20 THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN FARO
1. Fall in love with Ilha Deserta
It is actually called Ilha Barreta, but it has earned the nickname of Ilha Deserta for its tranquility. It is a good place to walk and settle down to sunbathe in your long 7 kilometer beachan essential thing to do in Faro.
the sand is very fine, with shells and snails on the shore of crystal clear water. Quite a few tourists arrive daily, but being so extensive it is not overwhelming at all. There is only one restaurant on the island, which is a bit expensive compared to Portuguese standards. It can be accessed by boat from the port of Faro for €15 round trip. It takes about 40 minutes to get there and you can book your ticket online.
2. Baking in the sun on Praia de Faro
Touching the Ilha Barreta is the beach of Faro. Is about another very long beach similar to the previous one. There is a wide variety of bars and restaurants along the seafront. It is usually more crowded than Ilha deserta, but it is still a very cool beach. It costs €3 to go and return by boat from the port of the city. You can also arrive by car through a narrow bridge that connects the beach with the city of Faro, but you will have to be patient to park in high season.
3. Get lost in the historic center of Faro
Discovering the charm of the old town is a mandatory thing to do in Faro. The old town, called Vila Adentro, is small and can be easily visited in just a couple of hours. Is delimited by the old wall and can be accessed through beautiful arches.
There are most of Faro’s historical and architectural attractions. But there are also lots of beautiful traditional buildings on the cobbled streets. The white and pastel facades decorated with flowers we loved them. Although walking around is the main activity to do in Faro, the streets are very empty and the air is quiet.
4. Locate the old wall of Faro
The old area of Faro, called Vila Adentro, is located inside an oval-shaped walled enclosure whose origin dates back to the roman period. It also has some watchtowers. After receiving attacks from English corsairs and being affected by an earthquake in 1755, the wall is still standing. In fact, it is considered a place of public interest and the authorities are committed to its conservation.
5. Pass under the Arch of Rest
The arc of rest was the east entrance of the medieval walls. It is flanked by two defense towers, since it was considered one of the most vulnerable accesses. According to legend King Afonso III rested there after conquering the city in 1249.
Theoretically not a single drop of blood was shed in the battle, and furthermore, a Christian knight fell in love with an Arab maiden. The girl’s father was accused of treason and punished by making him remain forever under the Arco do Repouso according to tradition.
6. Visit the Cathedral of Faro
Faro Cathedral was built on ancient Roman ruins that were converted into a mosque during the period of Arab occupation. gothic style cathedral it was made after Alfonso III conquered Faro.
Now it is perfectly restored and you can enjoy its golden altarpieces, some tiled walls and, especially, the climb to his tower. From there you can see the whole city and also the surrounding estuaries. Admission is only €3.
7. Visit the Ria Formosa Natural Park
With more than 170km² of lagoons, marshes and small islands with deserted beaches, Ria Formosa attracts hundreds of species of birds. The natural park is a sample of the biodiversity of the area, especially in spring and autumn, the periods of migration. In addition, it is also an important source for the economy of the area thanks to the shellfish farms.
It can be visited by reserving a guided tour in ecological boat. If you want an even more special experience, we recommend you make a sunset catamaran ride. And the most adventurous can discover Ria Formosa aboard a kayak. You see that there are options for all tastes! 😉
8. Get to know the Municipal Museum of Faro
You will be able to learn more about the artistic history of Faro inside a spectacular building. Have a large cloister with a central garden Really beautiful. As for the exhibition, you can see paintings, the typical tiles, Arab vessels and some sculptures. Admission costs €2 and on Sundays it is free until 2:30 p.m.. It is worth it just to visit the building.
9. Take a walk around the Municipal Market
We love visiting the markets of the sites we visit to learn what daily life is like on the site. In the case of Faro, you will not only be able to see the life of the market. you can also buy delicacies from the areaespecially in pastry shops. Also, there are some restaurants where you can have a drink. the building is very modern and contrasts with all the traditional architecture from the city.
10. Take a photo with the letters of Faro
In the port area there are some letters with the name of the city installed and a heart. in the purest style Amsterdam o Kuala Lumpuryou can have a memory of your time in the capital of the Algarve 😉
11. Watch the sunset next to the Faro marina
Life by the sea is better! especially the sunsets while you feel that breeze with the smell of the sea. He Faro seafront It is an ideal place to take a quiet walk in the late afternoon, while the sun goes down.
12. Buy a souvenir in Rua de Santo Antonio
One of the shopping streets in Faro is Rua de Santo Antonio. There you can give a nice walk and find many stores where take home a souvenir of your visit to the Algarve. The most popular? Tiles and handmade ceramic figures, without a doubt.
13. Hallucinate with the chapel of bones, one of the most amazing buildings to see in Faro
The beautiful church of Carmo was built in 1719 thanks to the gold consignments that the Portuguese obtained in Brazil. Apart from one coquettish facade, inside you will see wooden carvings with gold and glass mosaics. There are usually storks nesting on its two towers, see if you see them 😉
Something very curious to do in Faro is to discover its macabre chapel full of bones. It is just behind the church and houses the bones of 1,200 Carmelite monks whose remains were exhumed from a nearby cemetery in 1816. This chapel was made with the idea of raising awareness of the brevity of human life and the need to live it fully. The entrance to both the church and the chapel has a symbolic price of €1. It is open from Monday to Friday.
14. Take a walk along Rua Dom Francisco Gomes
Something to do in Faro to protect yourself from the sweltering heat is to take advantage of the air conditioning in the shops 😉 The main shopping street in Faro is very pretty, with a cobblestone that creates drawings on the ground. There are also several cafes and restaurants where to stop for a drink We recommend visiting it both during the day and at night, since improves with lighting.
15. Take the children to the Ciencia Viva do Algarve Center
Close to the port and the historic center is the Centro Ciencia Viva do Algarve. It’s a quite interactive museum focused on children where various natural phenomena are explained like earthquakes or tidal waves. The importance of preserving the biodiversity of the area is also exposed. Is a Very interesting visit to do in Faro with the little ones.
16. Approach the historic Lethes Theater
A different activity to do in Faro is to see a performance at the Lethes Theater. Is quite tiny but really lovely. Its façade gives no clues to the spectacular classical-style interior. You can go to the Faro tourist information center and ask about the programme. Tickets are cheap, starting at just €10. You can see from fado concerts to children’s plays.
17. Relax in the Alameda João de Deus garden
Touching the center of Faro there is a botanical garden with children’s play areas. It is a fun place to visit with children, since there are several Peacocks loose. there is also a cafeteria, a miniature golf and an area to exercise outdoor.
18. Discover the famous Benagil cave, one of the best excursions to do in Faro
You cannot leave the Algarve without discovering the Benagil cave. This natural formation will leave you with your mouth open, you will not be able to stop taking photos of the beach that is hidden inside! It can be reached from Faro by making a half day tour. Although if you are going to follow your route through the Algarve, it is closer to Portimao or Albufeira 🙂
19. Treat yourself and stay at the Palácio de Estói
Just 10 kilometers from Faro is the town of Estói. Its main attraction is a 19th-century Rococo palace, now a luxury hotel. It has a pretty pink façade and is surrounded by well-kept ornamental gardens. If you want to discover all its attractions, you don’t have to stay there, you can visit the complex without any problem.
20. Go on a trip to Tavira
You should not miss visiting Tavira during your stay in Faro. It is a town about 40 kilometers where easily reached by train. It has a charming old town, in the same style as Faro but bigger. You can also visit its castle, from where you can see all the roofs of the town.
LOCATION OF THE BEST PLACES TO SEE IN FARO
On this map you will find marked all things to see and do in Faro.
SUMMARY OF THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN FARO
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