• Faro in the Algarve

    Faro in the Algarve

Faro on the Algarve coast in Portugal

Are you planning a trip to Faro in The Algarve? Hope the following helps you make the right decision….
“By Jamie Mcloughlin


Faro is the capital of The Algarve and home to Faro Airport.
Faro was established in the Roman times. Back then the town was called Ossonoba. In the 9th Century the town was encased with defensive walls. It later changed names to Santa Maria then to Harune. In the 13th Century Faro then became Portuguese territory. Faro became a city in its own right in 1540 and in 1577 the site of Episcopal Se when the Bishop of Algarve moved from Silves to Faro.


Cidade Velha is the oldest part of the City. It is on the eastern side of Faro marina. If you walk through Arco de Villa to the end of the Manuel Bivar gardens and follow the narrow cobbled streets to Largo de Se, Faro Cathedral can be found. It may not look grand from the outside but take a look on the inside with its gilded carving, decorated tiles and works of art definitely worth seeing. The Cathedral dates from 13th/14th centuries. It was set alight by the Earl of Essex’s men in 1596 and further damaged by an earthquake in 1755 the original doorway and two of its original chapels still remain. Climb the steps in the tower to obtain marvellous views of Faro. The Bishop of Faro residence which is the Palace is unfortunately not open to the general public. Also in the square is the Episcopal Seminary which was built at the request of the The Bishop of the Algarve back in the 18th/19th Century. In one Corner of Largo de Se one can find the Bishop of the Algarve statue in honour of the work that he undertook back in the 18th Century after the earthquake struck the City. Porta Nova pier is where you can get a ferry to the ilha beaches. Leading away from the Manuel Bivar gardens you will enter a pedetrainised shopping areas where you will find restaurants and shops. Further away from the marina/waterfront the working life of Faro begins. Faro has several markets within the month of which the flea markets hold bargains.


There are various places to visit if you are after some serious activity. If you are interested in seeing the Portuguese Water Dogs then Parque Natural da Ria Formosa, Quinta de Marim, Olhao is the place to visit.If you like karting then Almancil Karting will be the place to visit as it boasts to be the replica circuit of the Jaarepagua Formula 1 circuit in Brazil. One can go on various boat trips and guided tours. If you are in to diving, you can have diving lessons and diving courses and there are daily dive trips and you are able to hire dive equipment. If you feel the need to get a par or a hole in one or need to improve your handicap in golf then the golf courses are just for you. There are the public swimming baths which are both indoor and outdoor.
Also to found in the Faro vicinity is an Aquashow water park in Quarteira just a 20 minute ride away.


The following are annual events that reoccur in Faro. There are several different other monthly events held such as concerts, theatre products, ballet, crafts and arts. Liberation Day is held on April 25th. Celebrations start on the night of the 24th and end on the 25th and there is music and festivities. In July / August there is the Festa da Ria Formosa in the Largo de Se. This is a festival that celebrates the gastronomy of the Ria Formosa. In August FolkFaro starts. This is an International Folklore festival. This involves all different kinds of entertainment around the streets of Faro and lasts for 5 days. For two weeks in August Feira dos Doces, Frutos Secos e Bebidas Regionais – you ask yourself what is this? This is a fair of sweets, dried fruits and regional drinks. The first two weeks of September it is the Festas do Concelho/Comemoracoes do Dia da Cidade. This is a celebration of when Faro became a City. The celebrations consist of sport events, concerts and exhibitions. The last two weeks of October there are exhibitions, craft work and entertainment for families to celebrate Feira de Santa Iria in Largo de Se Francisco. As with all countries public holidays are celebrated for example New Year’s Day, Carnival, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Liberation Day, Labour Day, Corpus Christie, Portugal Day, Assumption of the Virgin, Republic Day just to name a few.

Night Life  

Faro’s nightlife is extensive. Eateries and lively bars, entertainment and upbeat sounds there is something for everyone. Rua Conselheiro Bivar and Rua Infante Dom Henrique and the Rua do Prior is where the main nightlife is and also houses some of the most well known clubs and bars. There are different venues to choose from. Nightlife as with many Mediterranean countries commences late and ends late. Thursdays are considered to be the best night for “going out” and partying. Bars are normally found to be open from dusk to dawn. The City Marina area for nightlife is not to be missed especially in high summer season.


Faro has plenty in restaurants, cafes and bars. You can find plenty of restaurants, bars and cafes in the Faro marina, Faro beach, ilha beaches, Culatra, Farol and Ilha Deserta. There are in abundance within the City. Prices vary dependent on location. Look hard and you can find very reasonably priced restaurants. If you The Portuguese eat well and like to have proper meals. If something is not on the menu ask. Fish and seafood is plentiful and always fresh. Grilled sardines served with boiled potatoes and vegetables or salads, varieties of omelettes, salads and some meat dishes are always very popular and always found on menus.
In addition to Portuguese cuisine one can find Chinese, Indian, Italian and International restaurants and if you look well enough there are even vegetarian restaurants in Faro.


Place Categories: Resorts.Place Tags: Algarve and Faro.

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Jamie Mcloughlin
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