Faro

Faro

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About Faro

Tranquil beach haven or party paradise sees Faro provide the best of both worlds

The beautiful capital of the Algarve in southern Portugal, is a sun-seeker's mecca. And it has the best of both worlds. Turn away from the lure of the beaches and bars, just for a moment, and you'll discover a town lined with whitewashed, colonial and Moorish architecture, quaint cobbled streets and magnificent sunset views. At certain times of the day, you could hear a pin drop. Then it's back to the beach to work on the tan.

Holiday deals to Faro

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Hotel deals to Faro

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Flight deals to Faro

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Hotels in Faro

As gateway to the Algarve, the sun-drenched region around Faro is full of whitewashed villas, hotels and beachside resorts. In the city itself, Hotel Eva (Avenida da Republica 1) is a lovely mid-range spot with a rooftop pool overlooking the marina. Most travellers abandon Faro for the coast though. Many make a beeline for Albufeira, 45km west, where modernistic five-star CS Sao Rafael Atlantic Hotel (Sesmarias), which has its own private beach. In the other direction, Tavira's 16th-century Convento da Graca now houses the glorious Pousada de Tavira (Rua Dom Paio Peres Correia), boasting every modern luxury, yet maintaining it's historic character.

Shopping in Faro

Shopping in Faro's heart, Rua de Santo Antonio, and the streets surrounding it are pedestrianised and home to a range of clothing, gifts and souvenir shops. There's a daily market in Largo Mercado but the biggest regional market is Saturday's Mercado Municipal (Largo Gago Coutinho) in Loule, 18km north of Faro. Popular souvenirs include woollen items, Moorish-style pottery and other local crafts. Ceramics enthusiasts can also take a day trip 20km west of Albufeira to Porches Pottery (EN125), a famous hand-painted pottery workshop in Porches. Here you can see artisans fashionable, traditional terracotta tiles, plaques and crockery, or even request your own personalised pieces.

Food & Drink in Faro

From piri-piri chicken to salt-dried cod, and fresh seafood washed down with local wines, there are many different flavours to tantalise your taste buds in the Algarve. In Faro itself, affordable and authentic Algarvian cuisine is served under the shadow of the cathedral in Sabores da Se (Largo da se 10). The long undisputed jewel in the Algarve's gastronomic crown is Albufeira's Vila Joya Restaurant (Praia da Gale), which often allows four lucky guests into the kitchen, to watch two-Michelin-starred chef Dieter Koschina at work. An exciting new competitor on the region's haute cuisine scene is Ocean Restaurant (Vila Vita Parc) in Porches.

Events in Faro

Faro International Motorcycle Rally

July

The roar of exhausts, the sound of rock music and the smell of leather invade Faro in the middle of summer. This is one of Europe's biggest biker rallies, drawing tens of thousands of devotees to town for everything, from tattoo contests to all-night bars, parades, a big biker fair and stunt riding displays.

Loule International Jazz Festival

July

International jazz artists join Portugal's top instrumentalists to perform a series of open-air concerts in Loule's historic Cerca do Convento do Espirito Santo. The programme ranges from traditional to contemporary jazz with wider influences.

Festa da Sardinha

August

The smell of thousands of sizzling sardines fills the air in the Albufeira parish of Olhos d'Agua in August. Hordes of hungry visitors come to guzzle the freshly barbecued fish and to join in the festivities, which include Fado music, fireworks and folk dancing.

Festa da Nossa Senhora da Orada

August

Albufeira's biggest event honours the patron saint of local fishermen. It begins in a sombre mood with mass at Igreja Matriz and a procession to the beach and back, but quickly ups the tempo with parades, festivities and midnight fireworks.

Feira de Santa Iria

October

Faro locals really let their hair down in this nod to their patron saint, Santa Iria. The merrymaking centres on Largo de San Francisco, with a fairground, music, games, exhibition and crafts.

Useful Information

Key facts

Language:Portuguese
Currency:Euro
Time zone:GMT (GMT +1 hour in summer)
Flight time:3 hours
Airport code:FAO
Holiday type:Beach / City Break / Summer Sun

12 month weather (°C)

 
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Faro map

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