- For the island in Sweden, see Fårö.
Faro (FAH-roo, /ˈfa.ɾu/) is the southernmost city in mainland Portugal. During summer, Faro is a popular destination for sun-seekers from northern Europe and the UK, especially due to the presence of its international airport. It also enjoys a reputation as being more friendly than many other parts of the region.
Outside of summer, the beach-goers are mostly gone, but it is still a base to explore the more remote areas of the Algarve, a convenient stop between Lisbon and Seville (or Spain in general), and what it loses in partying outside summer, it gains in peacefulness, reverting to a quaint and charming small city.
- 1 Faro Airport (FAO IATA Aeroporto Internacional de Faro). Many package tour and discount airlines arrive from the UK and Ireland, mainland Europe and Canada. There is a large group of car hire agencies if you turn right after the main exit. From the airport, there is a possibility to go to the city by buses 14 or 16 operated by Proximo, departing roughly every hour. The price is €2.35.
- 2 Faro train station (Estação de Faro). Train station is a small building, which contains ticket office, small waiting area and kiosk. There are no luggage lockers inside the train station, but it is possible to store your luggage in tourism agency on 1st platform. The Alfa Pendular - a high-speed train, runs at least twice a day to and from Lisbon. About 2½ hours, €20 one way, €25 on first class. The Inter City trains run more frequently but take a little longer, with more stops — 3½-4 hours. There are also regional trains along the Algarve coast to Lagos.
- 3 Faro bus station (Terminal Rodoviario Urbano). There is a daily bus service from Lisbon and Porto in the north of Portugal, and from Madrid and Seville in Spain. A fare from Lisbon to Faro costs either €18 (for an "Expresso" connection takes about 4 hours, stopping in Albufeira, Vilamoura and Quarteira) or €19 (for a "Expresso Qualidade" direct connection which takes just over 3 hours and includes a movie projection, a stewardess, and a mini-bar service) and can easily be bought at the bus station just before boarding. This bus station in Lisbon is next to a subway stop called Jardim Zoológico.
For buses from and to local nearby towns and cities, checkout the timetables of the local transport company Eva Bus.
Car hire is an option for visitors. You can arrange car hire at the airport, however, as with many tourist locations it is wise to arrange your vehicle hire prior to arrival - this can save both money (the airport car rental desks can be far more expensive) and disappointment as availability during peak season may be very limited. Organising it from home before you arrive is now a very simple process with numerous companies specialising in pre-booking car hire in Faro.
Roads can be quite busy, but if you want to see a bit more of the city and indeed the Algarve region then driving by car is an easy option. Driving in the Algarve region is far easier than in the rest of Portugal, there are more non-toll roads and road-signs are plentiful and relevant.
Main harbours: Portimao, Faro.
Downtown is small, and transport convenient: The train and main bus station being within 150 m of one another. Walking is very viable for most visitors.
Urban buses are run by the Eva company, that also connect Faro with other cities in Algarve and Andalusia.
Local buses are run by the Proximo company. Buses 14 and 16 go around the city, to the airport and to the beach of Faro. Tickets can be bought from the driver for €2.35.
It can be difficult to find a parking slot in the center. Most of the parking stations near the restaurants and shopping malls are payable. However, there is a free car park located along side the bus station which is close to the Hotel Faro and a huge free car park located behind the old town heading in the direction of Olhao.
The ferry to Desert Island is running for €5 one way.
The ferry to Faro Beach has been suspended as of Oct 2020.
- 1 Bone Chapel (Capela dos Ossos (inside Igreja do Carmo)). Within Igreja do Carmo church, this chapel is almost completely made of bones taken from a former monk graveyard. €2.
- 2 Old town (Centro Historico). A well-preserved section of town off the harbour with cobblestone streets and 18th century Portuguese and Moorish-influenced architecture. It is great place for a peaceful and almost private walk back in time in an area that has been virtually untouched by modernity.
- 3 Cathedral (Se). Within the old town, the view from the tower over the old town and the Rio Formosa is a highlight. €3.50.
- 1 Ria Formosa National Park. In Faro and Olhão you have the possibility to enjoy and make the most of Ria Formosa through a boat trip, birdwatching tours, kayaking or other eco tours and other activities to discover the nature and wildlife of this Natural Park. Several companies offer packages and tours fit to everyone's needs. Ask at the tourist information or at your accommodation.
- 2 Faro beach (Praia de Faro). This beach is several kilometres long and so normally never gets crowded, even in the height of summer. Most of the beach is gently sloping though it can take a sudden dip in places. There are the usual beach-side stalls and a public lavatory, but no showers. Praia de Faro is just past the airport, the airport bus stops there. A lot of people with early check-outs and late flights seem to go there on their last day.
- Faro Jewish Heritage Centre, Rua Leao Penedo (in front of Faro Hospital), ☏ . 9.30-12.30 and 14.00-17.00. Established in 1851, the Faro Jewish Cemetery is the only remaining vestige of the first post-Inquisition Jewish presence in Portugal. It served as a burial place for a thriving 60 family community (also known as "Little Jerusalem"). The Jews of Portugal were expelled by the Inquisition at the end of the 15th century and settled in Gibraltar and North Africa. After the devastating 1755 Lisbon Earthquake, their descendants were invited by the Marquis of Pombal to help rebuild the economy. Although the community is long gone, the Cemetery still remains to remind citizens and travellers of its former glory. The Faro Jewish Heritage Centre features over one hundred graves in Sephardi style, with beautifully engraved slabs instead of headstones. Although the land was purchased by the Jewish community in 1851, the first burial, that of Rabbi Toledano, dates back to 1838. Apart from the Cemetery, there is also a museum, housing many objects linked to the history of the Jews of Faro, like the furniture from one of the two former synagogues of Faro or the facsimile copy of Gacon's 1478 Pentateuch in Hebrew - the first book ever printed in Portugal! Free.
- 1 Restaurante Taska - Comeres Algarvios, Rua do Alportel 38, ☏ . 12:00–15:00 & 19:00–23:00 daily. This is a typical Algarvian restaurant serving typical regional cuisine at average prices. They do not accept credit cards.
- 2 Restaurante Dois Irmãos (2 Irmãos), Praça Ferreira de Almeida 15, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 10:00–22:30 daily. Found in an old small corner house in the square opposite the Cathedral. International cuisine. They accept credit cards.
- 3 Villa Monte do Casal, Estrada de Moncarapacho á Estói, Cerro do Lobo, Estói, ☏ . A charming converted manor house in a comfortable rural hotel set back from the coast. The restaurant is run by a Michelin trained Chef called George who provides an exciting menu. Credit cards accepted.
- 4 Le Marquis, Sítio de Gorjões – Monte da Palhagueira, Santa Bárba de Nexe, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. W–Sa 12:00–15:00 & 19:00–22:00, Su 12:00–15:00, closed M. Wonderful building and position, inside decor traditional in style but table settings and modern food. A very personal experience from Helma and Vincent. The menu was impressive, something for every palette.
- 5 Adega Nova, Rua Francisco Barreto 24, ☏ . 11:30–23:00 daily. A unique restaurant in the middle of Faro that appears like a pub from northern Europe. Busy and lively restaurant with smoking and non smoking areas. Attentive, professional staff. Reasonably priced.
- 1 Bar CheSsenta, Rua do Prior 24, ☏ . M–Th 16:00–04:00, F–Su 21:00–04:00. On the Rua do Prior which is the main bar and cafe street in Faro, this small bar is decorated with many photos of Che Guevara and attracts a 20s-30s crowd with reasonably priced drinks. They do karaoke on some nights also.
Faro has a thriving trade in both package deal hotels and short-term apartment rental. If that fails, locals have become very comfortable renting out every scrap of space in their homes to desperate travellers. Book months in advance for the high season and note that many places are closed during the low season.
- 1 Hostel Casa d'Alagoa, Praça Alexandre Herculano 27, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. First Hostel in Faro, Algarve, Portugal, is centrally located near Faro "Old Town", a 5-minute walk from the marina and to some of Faro's most important monuments and museums. The only deserted beach during the summer in the Algarve is 30 min away by boat from Faro. 24-hour reception, BBQ area, breakfast, common room, Internet access, guest kitchen, linen included, luggage storage, outdoor terraced area and bike rental.
- 2 Eva Senses Hotel, Avenida da República 1, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 4-star hotel overlooking the harbor and the Cidade Velha. It is walking distance from everything and is well worth the few extra euro.
- 3 Hotel Faro & Beach Club, Praça D. Francisco Gomes 2, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 4 Ibis Faro Algarve Hotel, Rua Poeta Antonio Aleixo 204, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 12:00.
- 5 Hotel Mónaco, Rua João Baptista Severino Urb. Monte da Ria - Montenegro 8005-237 Faro (From all directions take directions to Faro/airport. Once on the EN125-10 (airport road - dual carriage way) take exit signs (Montenegro/Universidade), on the flyover roundabout follow the exit towards Faro and sign Hotel, descending from the roundabout, take the immediate right turn. Hotel is 100 m away.), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Hotel Mónaco is the nearest hotel to Faro airport, Algarve University and Algarve Stadium. Low/High: €45/55 single, €52/70 double or twin.
- 6 Faro Lounge Guesthouse, Avenida da Republica 72, São Pedro, ☏ . A cheap guesthouse in Faro. They offer dorms for 12 and 16 people.
- 7 Hostel 33, Rua Miguel Bombarda 33, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Hostel 33 is in a building full of history in Faro, Algarve, Portugal, is centrally located in the old town area of Faro, 10 minutes from Faro Airport by taxi, 2 minutes walking distance from the bus station and 40 metres from the train station, offer accommodation in 4, 6 and 8 bed mixed dorms and we also have twin rooms available, each with a private bathroom and balcony, 24-hr open reception desk, Full Wi-Fi coverage, guest kitchen, Outdoor terraced área.
Faro and the Algarve region are reasonably safe year round. Pickpockets are not unheard of, however, especially near beaches at night, so be on your guard.
- Seville - via bus
- Serra de Monchique
- Quinta do Lago — a golf resort 17 km away