Faro as a tourist destination is often neglected because it is used mainly as a transport platform, with its airport and multiple bus and train lines. However, it has a lot to offer: it has a historic center of great charm, encircled by ancient Moorish walls, and a very pleasant shopping pedestrian area. Boat tours depart from the marina to explore the Ria Formosa National Park and visit some of the quietest beaches in the Algarve. The main beach of Faro, Praia de Faro, is surprisingly unobtrusive and undeveloped (considering that it is only 5 minutes by bus from the airport).
What to visit in Faro ?
Praia de Faro
Faro Beach is several kilometers long and is right next to the Ria Formosa Natural Park. You only have to walk along the beach to admire the wildlife, in winter, flamingos and herons will be there! Praia di Faro is an excellent base if you spend a weekend in Faro. But Faro beach is also the access point to Praia da Barrinha on the Ancao peninsula, another beach to see in Faro, accessible by boat or through a wooden footbridge, but very isolated.
Another beach to visit is the “desert island” (Ilha Deserta). As its name suggests, you can expect to find plenty of room to extend your towel! This beach is connected to Faro by a regular ferry service (return ticket costs € 10). Other than the presence of a restaurant, this island is really no sign of development. This deserted island also has the distinction of representing the southernmost point of Portugal and gives the opportunity of a pleasant stroll on the beach towards the Cape of Santa Maria (Cabo de Santa Maria). The temperature of the water is undeniably something that always surprises visitors to the Algarve: the water is very cold even at the height of summer.
The Se, or cathedral, is one of the most charming buildings in the city. Located on the site of an ancient Roman temple, it later became a Moorish mosque. Today, this building – Romanesque and Gothic – is used as a cathedral. Inside, you can admire a Baroque organ. Feel free to climb to the top of the cathedral to admire a magnificent panorama of the city. If you had been here in 1596, you could have spotted the Earl of Essex ransacking the cathedral …
How to come to Faro from the Airport ?
Passengers can take a taxi from the taxi rank in front of terminal main building or you can call them by phone, there are taxis available 24 hours day and night.
Taxis by the government are easily identified with the colors black and green or white-beige. No other vehicles in Portugal are allowed to have this colour combinations.
Taxi it’s a good way to get to the airport quickly.
The price for a drive to Faro is about 10-15€. Another option is to search through internet private companies that offer this service.