Finding Fun in Faro, Capital of the Algarve

Finding Fun in Faro, Capital of the Algarve 1Faro harbour – The Algarve, Portugal. Photo Courtesy: Glen Bowman

Faro is the capital of the Algarve region and the southernmost city in Continental Portugal. This laid back city has a wealth of historical architecture and enough interesting local culture and sights to make it a must-see destination on your visit to the Algarve. Most travellers use it as a base for exploring the more remote areas of the Algarve after taking the time to enjoy the sun-washed Iberian and Moorish-influenced buildings and winding cobblestone streets.


Finding Fun in Faro, Capital of the Algarve 5Faro, Algarve – Photo Courtesy: Glen Bowman

Most flights from the UK and continental Europe will arrive at the Faro Airport, so even if you are traveling on to stay in an Algarve resort you will have a chance to spend a day or so within this city. Plan an extra day before heading to your resort or upon coming back before you catch your flight, as you will not want to simply rush through Faro to the airport without having a chance to explore.

Here are some ideas of what you can do in beautiful Faro:

The Cidade Velha


Finding Fun in Faro, Capital of the Algarve 2

Se Cathedral in Faro by night – Photo by Bert Kaufmann

The Cidade Velha translates to “Old City” in English and it is the historical center of the town. It is located near to the harbor and once you walk into this section of the city you will feel like you have wandered into the 18th century. Narrow cobblestone lanes, dramatic archways and a gorgeous cathedral make for a stunning backdrop for some peaceful wanderings. Several hours can be whiled away simply walking through this very pretty part of town and taking photos of the buildings.

In the Old Town you will find the Se Cathedral, which is a beautiful piece of living history. Take a walk up the steps to the tower to take in a panoramic vista of the area.


The Ria Formosa Lagoon


The city of Faro is located near to the Ria Formosa Lagoon, which is one of the most important natural areas in Europe. It is a protected reserve containing over 170 square kilometers of land and it is an important resting area for hundreds of beautiful bird species during their spring and autumn migrations.


Finding Fun in Faro, Capital of the Algarve 3 - Ria Formosa, Algarve

Ria Formosa, Algarve – Photo by Carlos Pinto

Wandering through this gorgeous nature area is a perfect way to spend a relaxing afternoon. Be sure to bring your camera so that you can snap some photos of any rare bird species that you encounter during your walk through the trails.


The Museu Municipal


If history is what interests you, check out the Museu Municipal which is housed within a splendid 16th century Renaissance convent. This museum has a great collection of beautiful artefacts from the area, such as a 3rd century tile mosaic unearthed from a building side in the Algarve to some 13th century Islamic artefacts. The museum offers informative pamphlets about all of the exhibits and is a nice way to escape the heat indoors for a while when you are exploring the city.


The Forum Algarve


Finding Fun in Faro, Capital of the Algarve 4Forum Algarve – Photo Courtesy: chema92

If you feel like doing a bit of shopping during your stay in Faro, you can check out the Forum Algarve. This is the shopping mall which can be found on the main road into Faro from the airport side of the town. There is a great selection of shops, restaurants and cafés here and it is open until midnight in the summertime for those who love late night bargain hunting.

These are just a few options for what to do when you are visiting Faro on your trip to the Algarve. Whether or not you are staying in this city, be sure to take some time to look around before catching your flight as Faro is not to be missed!

After staying at Quinta do Lago resort, why not take a day or two in the city of Faro before catching your flight home?

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