6 Things You Should Know About Faro

| August 21, 2015

I’m a huge fan of the Algarve in general. It always surprises that its lovely wee capital city of Faro often gets overlooked as people busy off straight from its airport to the resorts, missing out on its swathe of attractions as they go.  So if you’re thinking of travelling down to the Algarve here are six reasons you should make the effort to check out Faro.

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Delve into History

The old town is awash with historic treasures. The Arco da Vila, a national monument, dates back to the 19th-Century. Eke inside along the cobbled streets and you come to the city’s cathedral. Its exterior is striking, but the real beauty lies within with its decorated tiles, intricate gilded carving and bounty of artwork.

Bountiful Beaches

It may surprise some, but the region surrounding the capital has some beautiful, quiet beaches. Faro Beach is 7 km away and can be reached easily by catching one of the local buses. Alternatively, you can rent a bicycle and take the scenic route. This coastline has a series of sandpits which keeps the water shallow and protected from big waves — perfect for families with small children.

Savour the Food

Forget tourist fodder and enjoy boat fresh seafood in the old town or down on the marina. Foodies should make a beeline for the Mercado Municipal, a large indoor market. You can savour cured meats, olive oil, cheese and the local sugary treat, Pasteis de Nata.

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Retail Therapy

Retails addicts can have plenty of fun in Faro. Rua de Santo Antonia is lined with boutiques, souvenir stalls and ceramic shops. Portugal is famous for the shoes it produces, with Rua Vasco da Gama the place to head for shoe shops. The Forum Algarve is the most popular local shopping centre.

Municipal Museum

If you want to learn more about the city this former 16th-century convent offers an insight into the city’s rich heritage. The exhibits include Roman mosaics, columns and sculptures and paintings. A big plus is that over two millennia of artefacts are housed in such a beautiful setting.

Eacape to the Ria Formosa Natural Park

This is one of the impressive natural escapes Portugal, just a short boat ride from Faro. This coastal lagoon is home to an abundance of wildlife with over 200 species of birds and there are superb, quiet beaches too. Guided tours leave from Faro Marina.

For more information on Faro and the Algarve in general see the local tourist office website.

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