Faro is the most visited City in Portugal’s beautiful Algarve.  The city practically oozes history and is awash with fine architecture and beautiful old cobbled streets.  Bars and restaurants seem to be on every corner and offer fantastic traditional Portuguese fare and the kind of welcome you will come to expect in Portugal.  So, if you are planning a trip to the Algarve, why not take a day or two to discover the delights of this wonderful place.

Places to Visit

Check out the Cathedral of Faro, a beautiful building that has wonderful gardens and a high tower from which you get truly breathtaking views of the whole city.  The Capela dos Ossos, (Chapel of Bones) is a tiny chapel with an eerie secret.  Go inside to see the walls and ceiling – they are decorated with real human skulls!  The Municipal Museum of Faro is arranged around a central courtyard and displays many interesting artefacts from as long ago as Roman times.  It also serves as an art gallery of sorts, showing modern ceramics and locally produced arts and crafts.  Ilha Deserta is just a half hour boat ride from Faro and is a wonderful place to visit.  As the name suggests, this is a deserted island that can only be reached by boat.  It is truly a sea of tranquillity, with beautiful white sand and clear waters full of beautiful shells.  There is lots of birdlife to see and feed and just one restaurant, serving delicious Portuguese food.

Eating and Drinking

Faro is a University town and that means lots of nightlife.  There are so many bars and restaurants you will be spoilt for choice.
Tasca do Ricky – offers good Portuguese style food and friendly service at reasonable prices.  Nice fish dishes are a speciality but their meat dishes are equally good.  The owner, Ricky is something of a character and he does all he can to make your evening special.  The house wine is very good and you will be offered a free liquor to finish your evening.  It is best to book as this place is usually packed.

Ao Rubro Restaurante – is a tastefully decorated restaurant offering a great range of Portuguese and vegetarian food.  Plates are beautifully presented and the little twists on well-known recipes really add zest to dining out.  Some very good wines complete the experience.

Farron Steakhouse – as the name suggests offers a range of great steaks, cooked just how you like it.  The management pride themselves on the warm welcome they give to their customers and the portion sizes are generous to say the least.  Judging by the reviews they get, the dining experience here is top notch.
Columbus Cocktail and Wine Bar – is in a wonderful building and offers seating inside and out.  The cocktail list is superb and there are also dozens of different gins and other spirits to choose from.  The wine is also very good and the service exceptionally attentive.  External tables have a button to call the waiter and they even provide blankets when the temperature drops in the evening.

Upa Upa – is a trendy bar that opens its doors late in the evening and closes when the sun comes up.  Lots of locals frequent the bar as do tourists, so there is a nice mix.  There is seating outside and inside and the music is an eclectic mix.

Boheme – has a great selection of craft beers to tempt you.  Ideal for real ale fans and with some little tapas on the side you won’t want to leave!  The owner is a gregarious chap too.

Places to stay 

Hotel Eva (4 star) – is centrally located and guest rooms have balconies overlooking the harbour.  The hotel is close to plenty of shopping opportunities, restaurants and bars.  There is a large pool and solarium and a wonderful penthouse restaurant that is fully glazed to provide panoramic views.  The hotel also offers a health suite.

Hotel Faro (4 star) – Situated close to public transport links, this hotel is ideally situated for the sights and nightlife.  It is surrounded by cafes, bars and restaurants as well as lots of great shops.

Hotel Monaco (3 star) – is situated on the outskirts of Faro, near to the airport.  The hotel has a restaurant, swimming pool and car park and is ideal for a short stay if you prefer being away from the bustle of a city centre.

Aqua Ria Boutique (3 star) – is centrally located and offers quality, modern accommodation.  There is a fine restaurant and free Wi-Fi and some rooms have great views of the marina.  Nightlife is right on the doorstep and the old town is very close by, just a couple of minutes’ walk.  If you like to be right where the action is, this is a great choice.

This article was provided by Mike James, an independent content writer in the travel sector working with a selection of companies – including For Airport; the complete traveller’s guide to the stunning Portuguese Algarve.