Haven’t booked your 2021 holidays yet? Read on, because we’ve got just the place for you! Embark on a trip down south with us to explore destination unknown on a holiday of dreams. And for that, you’ll need our tips on what to do in Faro.
Whether Faro is the destination of your family holiday, a trip with friends or a romantic getaway, you won’t be disappointed. Now, picture yourself doing everything we describe below, and you may just have found your 2021 holiday destination.
The first rays of sunshine start trickling into your room and, before you even open your eyes, a curious sound in the distance catches your attention… Some say it resembles the (much quieter!) sound of a machine gun, but it’s just storks chattering away. This beautiful migratory bird is part of both the fauna of the Formosa lagoons and the history of the city of Faro. Atop the Arco da Vila bell tower in Faro is a particularly popular nesting place for the bird. While you’re walking around the city centre, make sure you look up to spot their fantastic nests perched on the tops of several other buildings.
View of Arco da Vila at the entrance to Faro old town. Source: Faro city council website
Go through the Arco da Vila arch towards Largo da Sé (the cathedral square) and you’ll come across Cais das Portas do Mar: a meeting point for tourists and locals thanks to the locale’s natural beauty and because it’s where passengers heading to and from the islands get on and off the boats. Whether you opt for a private taxi or ferry boat, don’t miss out on the chance to go on a tour of the Ria Formosa, a Nature Reserve located within a 60km-long lagoon system that runs parallel to the coast, protected by barrier islands. Set off from the pier in downtown Faro to explore the untouched beauty of some of these picturesque islands.
View as you walk away from the old town towards Portas do Mar Pier in Faro. Source: Google Maps
Populated mainly by fishing villages, the islands are a safe bet for fish and seafood, the freshness and flavour of which are sure to be a lasting memory you can’t wait to recreate! White sand and clear water make these beaches picturesque paradise destinations. A visit to Faro islands is an experience that unites fisherfolk and tourists in a perfect balance between life at sea and one fed by the sea.
Farol island, for example, is the perfect place to relax outside a café as you take in a view of the sea or lagoons. Imagine a table covered in shellfish, oysters and anchovies to start, fresh grilled fish, roast smashed potatoes and a salsa-like tomato and pepper salad served with a classic chilled glass of house white wine. You’ll find several restaurants on the island, helping you taste your way through the day! But if you’d rather carry on your adventure, sailing to even lesser-known waters, try visiting Barreta island (also known as Desert Island). But prepare yourself, because it really is deserted!
Get your family or friends together, stock your cool boxes up with food for the day, grab a ball, kite and rackets and have fun in complete privacy in this exclusive location.
If, however, spending a whole day basking in the sun isn’t your cup of tea, we’d suggest a walk along the Ria Formosa. Whether on foot or by bike, explore the trails and walking paths winding through the scenery, or even opt for a boat trip through the area. Adventuring through the landscape between the sea channels and beautiful islands and islets is undoubtedly an experience you won’t forget in a hurry! These wetlands are a vital habitat, as they house several species of water birds – among them brightly coloured flamingos – and, if you’re lucky, you may even spot dolphins off the coast! Pick the tour for you depending on the duration or type of boat, and it may even include a hearty local meal.
Faro is a versatile city. Its vast culinary and tourist delights, along with its cultural heritage, allow visitors to enjoy a wide range of activities in an impressive diversity of scenarios. Whether for a holiday with family, friends or your other half, ensure your peace of mind by booking safe accommodation with My Choice and gain access to a 24/7 concierge service for deals and activities sure to make your stay unforgettable.