This post is shared in collaboration with One Road at a Time
When you consider the Algarve’s beautiful beaches and pleasant climate, it is no surprise why so many people visit this destination for a summer holiday. But in addition to relaxing in the sun without a care in the world, there are plenty of other things to see and do here, especially in the capital of Faro.
Unfortunately, most people simply pass through this under appreciated traditional Portuguese town and don’t take advantage of its various attractions and activities. What’s more, with flights to Faro available all year round, there is no excuse for not wanting to visit this captivating area.
Things to see and do ~
Walk around Cidade Velha
This is the oldest part of the city, boasting winding streets, cobbled squares and charming age-old buildings. You enter Cidade Velha through the neoclassical Arco da Vila and make your way down the orange tree-lined Largo da Sé.
Together with the câmara municipal (town hall) and the Paço Episcopal (Bishop’s Palace), your eyes will be drawn to the ancient sé (cathedral). This building was constructed in 1251, but only a few original features remain after it was almost completely destroyed by an earthquake in 1755.
Enjoy Praia de Faro
The town’s beach is several kilometres long, so you won’t have to beat the crowds to secure a prime position. Buses go there via the airport every half an hour in the summer too, which means it is ideal as a first or last port of call.
Other than chilling out on the golden sand, you can learn to windsurf or get some much-needed refreshment at one of the nearby cafes.
Eat at a traditional Taverna
Portuguese cuisine might not be as well known as its Spanish neighbors, but the customary food and fare in Faro should not be missed. For the ultimate in authenticity, head to a traditional taverna and order whatever the locals are having.
Usually, this will comprise of fresh seafood such as clams cooked in garlic and olive oil or grilled sardines served with a regional salad (tomato, cucumber, raw onion, oregano) and boiled potatoes.
So, although the rest of the Algarve receives more interest and attention than humble Faro, this quaint little town is well worth a visit.