Welcome to Faro, the city closest to sun-hungry Norwegians landing when the trip goes to Portugal. Faro is the “capital” of the Algarve, the very incarnation of the summer holiday destination in Portugal. Faro has been rumored to be everything from a nasty port city, to a party town for tourists. The latter is still true, but Faro is more charming than malicious rumors suggest.
And Faro has more to offer than bars and clubs. Here are also a number of attractions and sights. And this port city is also excellent as a base for exploring the more rural sides of Portugal. Something you definitely won’t regret. There are an incredible number of beautiful places to visit by taking day trips from Faro.
Faro is located in the very south of Portugal and it is not a fool when we say that the people here are very friendly and hospitable. It is simply a good choice to vacation in Faro or the surrounding area! And you can do it all year round, although no one is tempted to swim here in the winter. And you can perfectly combine Faro with visits to major cities such as Seville in Spain and Portugal’s capital Lisbon.
Get to know Faro
Faro is located on the Atlantic coast, more specifically in the Algarve in Portugal. Although the city is not particularly large, about 50,000 inhabitants, Faro is an important city and appears as the Algarve’s “capital”.
Faro has a considerable industry and produces fruit and cork, among other things. And of course the location near the sea has a big impact. Faro has a considerable fishing canning industry and the city’s fishing port is also big.
In addition, tourist traffic is important for the economy. The Algarve region is nothing short of a great tourist favorite for people of all ages from all over Europe. Most foreign tourists arrive via Vale de Lobo, the city’s international airport.
Faro has a long history that goes back to Roman times. Faro was conquered by the Moors in 1249 by the Portuguese king Afonso III. From then on it became Faro Algarve’s administrative center. From the 1600s to the mid-1700s, the city experienced a lot of turbulence, and it all culminated in 1775 when most of the city was destroyed in a major earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Fortunately for Faro, the sandy banks at Ria Formosa stopped most of the huge waves that washed devastatingly into the Algarve.
For most tourists, you can roughly divide Faro into five parts, if you include the Ria Formosa Natural Park and the city beach Praia de Faro. In addition to these two mentioned areas, the old town of Cidade Velha, the port area and the new town, apply.
- Abbreviation: FARO
- Country: Portugal
The old town of Faro
The old town still has “protection” behind its Roman wall. The district of Cidade Velha is dominated by a large space that once housed a Roman forum. Today you will find among other things the beautiful cathedral Sé from the 13th century and an 18th century palace here. The Old Town has a myriad of narrow cobbled streets where you can surprisingly easily escape much of the roasting sun that shines in the Algarve 3000 hours a year. Everywhere you will also find small shops, cafés and restaurants. This district is of course a tourist favorite in the daytime and early evening. The old town is located in the south of Faro.
If you walk north along the central street Jardim Manual Bivar, which also takes you far on the way to Hotel Faro, you will see the tourist information center just off Arco de Vila which has a beautiful portal that marks the distinction between the new town and the old town. The address of the tourist office is Rua da Misericórdia 8-12.
Just east of the magnificent Cathedral Sé you will find the old Jewish quarter where Dom Henrique Archaeological Museum, or Museum Municipale as it is also called, is located. The address of the museum is Praça Dom Afonso III.
The port area of Faro
The harbor area or rather the marina just northwest of the old town has some nice parks with palm trees, benches and other things. Here you can sit down and watch the people passing by. Or you can walk along the boardwalk. You might want to sit down at a cafe and look at the beautiful boats and people who “anchor” up right here.
In the harbor area there is often life and stir, and a pleasant atmosphere. Beyond this, the area consists of a few hotels and a few fish restaurants on the pier.
The new town in Faro
East and north of the harbor and old town you will find “Nybyen” which has more modern buildings and quarters, and trendy shops. It is in this district that you will find most of the accommodations and the most active nightlife. Here the youth party, as they a little older eat food until late at night, enjoy a glass of wine or two, and watch the public.
Take the starting point in and around the Rua de Santa Antonio shopping street and follow the road Av. 5 the Outubro east, you will, among other things, pass the sports park with its football pitch and the other sports facilities, before coming to a great place overlooking Faro town and the surrounding wetlands. To the north of the city you will find the famous church Igreja do Carmo and at Largo 24 de Abril, a little southeast of the church, you will find the large fresh grocery store.
The city beach at Faro airport
The best “city beach” is called Praia de Faro and is located about 7 kilometers northwest of Faro city center and is a long and fine-grained sandy beach. You reach the beach by using a bridge not far from Faro airport. Otherwise you will find many beautiful beaches west of the city.
For nature lovers it is probably the Faros Ria Formosa lagoon which is the main attraction. Ria Formosa is a protected natural area covering more than 18,000 hectares and where you can see and photograph millions of birds spread across hundreds of different bird species.
Ria Formosa was upgraded from the Nature Reserve to the Nature Park in 1987 and spans five municipalities. The area is south of Faro town. There are a number of organized boat trips to this area. Talk to your hotel or tour operator for details.
List of Faro Acronyms
The most commonly used abbreviations about Faro is FARO which stands for Faro. In the following table, you can see all acronyms related to Faro, including abbreviations for airport, city, school, port, government, and etc.