Portugal

Visiting Sunny Faro, the Gateway to the Algarve

GUIDE TO FARO, PORTUGAL

The Algarve. A region I hadn’t given much thought to before moving to London. After having countless colleagues visit and return with stories of Portugal’s sunny southern coast, I was keen to check it out for myself.

Already planning a trip to Lisbon in mid-November, I decided to add two days to the trip and start in Faro, then head north.

Originally, I’d planned on renting a car or spending a night in another one of the coastal towns in the Algarve, but coming down with the flu right before I left resulted in a change of plans that saw me spend two full days in Faro so I could rest before meeting friends in Lisbon for a long weekend.

With little time to plan, and not much surfacing on things to do in Faro during the off-season, I figured I’d explore the town and just focus on feeling better.

IMG_6478 IMG_6337 Processed with VSCO with au5 preset

Faro turned out to be exactly what I needed, a quiet, charming, relaxing start to a week in Portugal.

From wandering the old town, to admiring the city’s beautiful churches, and watching the sun set over the Atlantic from a downtown rooftop bar- I enjoyed a few calm, easygoing days in southern Portugal.

One day, I’d like to return to the region and see more of the Algarve, but I can see why Faro gets such rave reviews from travellers- it’s a great base to plan your travels around the south. There are plenty of restaurants, bars, cafes and shops to keep you busy, but not so many it feels overwhelming.

Processed with VSCO with au5 preset Processed with VSCO with au5 preset Processed with VSCO with au5 preset Processed with VSCO with au5 preset

A GUIDE TO FARO, PORTUGAL

A few of my favourite places and things to do: 

  • Wander the narrow, winding streets of Old Town and relax at a sidewalk cafe, sipping coffee or a drink watching life go by around you
  • The Arco da Vila is built on one of the medieval gateways to the city, and is the entrance to the Cidade Velha (old town)
  • Shop the cobbled, patterned streets, popping into local favourites, like the sardine shop, Comur
  • Relax at the city’s cafes, three of my favourites: Baixa (loved the breakfast and fresh teas here- grab an outside table!), Vila Adentro, and Padaria Urbana
  • Take a stroll down Jardim Manuel Bívar, it’s a beautiful street
  • Watch the sun set over the ocean in the distance at Hotel Faro
  • Capela dos Ossos is beautiful from the outside, and has a chapel of bones (a touch creepy) inside
  • Still recovering from being sick meant I mostly ate soup/eggs, but for one dinner out, I tried Paparazzi (pizza) and enjoyed it. Portuguese food is always tough for me as a vegetarian, but Faro is home to a few great, traditional restaurants if that’s your thing – search for them on TripAdvisor or FourSquare
  • Note: I didn’t venture outside of the city because of how I was feeling, but the beach and other activities in the region are as close as a 20-30 minute drive from city centre

IMG_6419 Processed with VSCO with au5 preset Processed with VSCO with au5 preset Processed with VSCO with au5 preset IMG_6359 IMG_6350 IMG_6383

PS. Airbnb at Faro is super affordable- I stayed in a gorgeous place for a fraction of what I’ve paid in other parts of Europe 🙂

IMG_6310 IMG_6298

Have you ever been to Faro or the Algarve? Lisbon and Porto are still my favourite cities in Portugal, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed my first visit to the Algarve region. 

Enjoyed this guide to Faro? Pin it. 

Other Posts You May Enjoy

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: