Faro, the southernmost and largest city in the Portuguese Algarve, is an ideal city to explore while travelling this beautiful region. The mix of charming, winding streets in the Old Quarter, excellent dining and shopping throughout the city and its close proximity to stunning beaches make this sunny, southern Iberian city a winner in our eyes.
Where to go
Travel to the Ria Formosa National Park for a morning hike before the heat of the day hits, or a quick dip on one of the beaches. Back in town, shop the boutique shops and designer stores of both the Old Quarter and the new city centre. Sit in a cafe and people-watch down by the marina. Try the local sensation, grilled sardines from a street vendor. Admire the gorgeous medieval and baroque churches located through the city. If you’re not easily spooked enter the ‘Capela do Ossos’ in the neighbouring church of St Francis. Constructed from the bones of local monks, is an unforgettable sight.
Eat & Drink
In Faro, proximity to the ocean means that seafood - in particular, fish - will feature prominently on the menu. Look out for the grilled sardines that are served with sauces and boiled vegetables. Barbequed chicken, liberally spiced with Piri-Piri sauce, is another favourite local dish. For good eating in Faro, we recommend Restaurante 2 Irmãos (Praça Ferreira de Almeida 15) for simple, but very, very good local fare that is justifiably famous across the Algarve. For something a bit special, travel 45 minutes west to Vila Joya (Estrada da Galé, Albufeira), our luxury hotel in the region whose restaurant boasts two Michelin stars.
In Faro, like much of Spain and Portugal, they start late and finish even later. Don’t expect things to kick off before 10 pm. If the weather’s nice, head down to Columbus Bar (Praça Dom Francisco Gomes), near the marina, for great drinks, a stunning building and most importantly, a sweeping terrace with tables and chairs to the spend the evening. Otherwise, you might want to try Cruzeiro (Largo da Madalena) for some truly outstanding tapas to go with your sangria.
Where to stay
Less than an hour outside of Faro, Vila Joya
is a magnificent luxury that has beach access, spacious suites, a holistic spa offering a range of treatments and a restaurant that has been awarded not one, but two Michelin stars. Nearby Epic Sana Algarve Hotel
has three restaurants and two bars to chose from, in addition to its acclaimed spa, attentive service and beautiful suites. Both of these hotels ensure a relaxed, luxurious stay regardless of whether you’re a family or having a couple’s break. How to get there
Ryanair, Monarch, Easyjet, Thomas Cook and Thomson fly directly to Faro daily throughout the summer.