In the southernmost part of Portugal, the small city of Faro has become a hotspot for tourists from all over Europe, particularly from the UK where they’re attracted by the favourable climate. In summer, the average temperature can reach an astonishing 29°C, making it ideal for anyone hoping to head to the city’s world-famous beach or its many national parks.
Despite only recently gaining popularity with foreign visitors, Faro has a rich history dating back over 8,000 years. Influenced by Iberian and Moorish culture, the architecture that dots the cityscape is evidence of that. Faro is a good place to visit in winter too, as you can see what the Algarve is really like – peaceful, friendly and diverse.
As many of the streets in central Faro are cobbled, a small car would be ideal to drive around in. It would also be handy for navigating the narrow streets. Driving in Faro Road Driving Side: R Urban Speed Limit: 31mph Rural Speed Limit: 62mph Motorway Speed Limit: 74mph
The Museu Municipal, a 16th Century renaissance convent on Largo Dom Afonso III, is home to a number of artefacts documenting the Algarve’s history. One exhibit you must see is the 3rd Century Mosaic of the Ocean, which was retrieved 37 years ago.
For anyone wanting to see a show, the Teatro Lethes on Rua Lethes in the centre of Faro is a tiny theatre hosting drama, music and dance. The building itself has an Italianate décor and is run by the Portuguese Red Cross.
The Cidade Velha (old town) is a part of Faro which has been wonderfully preserved. The cobbled streets and white-clad buildings make you feel as though you’re taking a step back in time to the 18th Century.
As religious landmarks go, few are as impressive as the Paco Episcopal (Bishop’s Palace). In the Cidade Velha, it’s opposite the cathedral, but is more impressive due to its façade. It’s decorated with multi-coloured tiles, brightening up any day.
Parking in Faro can be very difficult. To avoid paying a parking fee near the shopping malls, there’s a big car park near the main shipyard.
The tourist office (Posto de Turismo de Faro) is open between 9.30-17.30 Monday-Friday. It’s on the Rua da Misericorgia.
Faro is very welcoming of English-speaking tourists. Many of the locals speak Basic English, although learning basic Portuguese phrases may help.
Ideal Car: Economy
As many of the streets in central Faro are cobbled, a small car would be ideal to drive around in. It would also be handy for navigating the narrow streets.
Faro International Airport, which handles more than 5.6 million passengers a year, has 22 stands, 60 check-in desks and 36 boarding decks. There are flights to airports throughout the UK and the Republic of Ireland, as well as domestic flights to Lisbon and Porto. The airport is connected to the A22 Highway. This road goes directly to Faro itself as well as other parts of the Algarve, Spain and Lisbon. Faro is 2.5 miles to the east of the airport.