Find out all there is to know about the city, the deserted islands, the boat trips, the cocktails and the nibbles and seafood you can enjoy as the sun sinks into the sea.
Faro is a unique city where you will find beautifully designed crazy paving, buildings with tile-covered façades, a historical centre with narrow alleys to explore and photograph, and countless restaurants and bars with open-air seating.
There are many different categories of restaurants and bar in Faro. Here, you can find restaurants run by famous chefs and rooftop bars where you can sip a drink and watch the sun slip into the water of the Ria Formosa. There’s so much choice!
For shoppers, the Forum Algarve is a popular shopping centre offering an excellent range of well-known international brands; or, if you prefer a more authentic shopping experience, pay a visit to the traditional shops in the city centre.
Tips from the locals. Columbus, located opposite Faro’s small marina, is one of the best cocktail bars not only in Portugal but in the whole of Europe; and the LAB Terrace serves delicious cocktails with an exclusive view over the Ria Formosa.
NATURAL FARO (ISLANDS AND BEACHES)
This opportunity to discover the magic of the islands, observe the Ria Formosa’s birds and marine life, go kayaking past beaches and islands, go surfing along the coast or do SUP in the Ria Formosa should absolutely not be missed. And it’s so easy to organise!
How do I get to the islands? There are several ways to get to the islands: you can go on the regular boat service (timetable here) or by water taxi, an excursion with one of the maritime tourism companies or even charter a boat for your exclusive use. This last is a great way to spend the day on the Ria Formosa, visiting deserted beaches that can only be reached by boat.
What is there to do on the islands? Culatra Island is unique. Here, the setting is a town surrounded by the sea: there is a church, a bakery that makes mouth-watering cakes and local restaurants serving the freshest fish and seafood at very reasonable prices. When you reach Culatra, you will immediately see the oyster farms that gave rise to the Culatra Oysters brand. You can sample them in the relaxed setting of the Janoca Restaurant, secure in the knowledge that they came straight from the farm to your table.
If you have a large family or are with a group of friends, we suggest chartering a boat so you can spend the day exploring Faro’s beautiful islands. The local maritime tourism companies offer transfer services, skippered boat charters, food and drinks on board and plenty of music and entertainment.
There are lots of things to do during your day on the Ria Formosa: you could go diving offshore, stop at a deserted beach, have lunch on Culatra, sip a cocktail on Farol and go for a dip in its crystal-clear waters or simply relax on board as you discover the Ria’s nooks and crannies… It will be a magical day that you will remember forever.
Tips from the locals: If you get to Farol Island early, there is a fabulous view from the top of lighthouse that gives the island its name (the Portuguese word “farol” means “lighthouse”). However, in the current restrictive climate, we recommend checking in advance if climbing the lighthouse will be an option on the day you go.
GASTRONOMY – PLACES TO EAT
Faro’s restaurants are increasingly offering more extensive menu options and better quality cuisine. From the traditional restaurants serving fresh fish and seafood (try Marisqueira Lodo, A Tertúlia Algarvia, Cidade Velha and A Gruta, to name but a few) to the gourmet eateries known as “tascas” where you can taste and share local delicacies (e.g. Tasca do João, Três em Pipa, Sete Pedras and Aperitivo); or the speciality restaurants such as Guaka, serving Mexican dishes, and Sushi Pearl, Sushy Ya and Pokés do Adão, all of which offer Asian food; and for a truly unique dining experience, there are even establishments serving bold and innovative Haute Cuisine, such as Chef Rui Sequeira’s Alameda, Michelin-starred Chef Leonel Pereira’s CheckIn and Chef Ju’s Los Locos.
Tips from the locals: When you visit Faro Beach, be sure to try the famous razor clam rice served with fried fish (Zé Maria, Roque, Elementos).
ACCOMMODATION – PLACES TO STAY
If you’re planning a holiday in the Algarve but aren’t sure where to stay because of the Covid-19 restrictions, we have the answer. When you stay at a property classed as “local accommodation”, you can be sure not only of having a safe and private place to stay, with the Safe & Clean stamp, but also of the comfort and convenience of a fully-equipped and nicely-appointed holiday home. This means you have the independence to spend your holiday in the way that suits you best.
As well as the different types of accommodation on offer, you also have several choices of location: in the city centre, on Faro Beach or perhaps one of our apartments overlooking the splendour of the Ria Formosa.
Accommodation suggestions: For a comfortable holiday, stay at the Villa Lydia on Faro Beach, or at the Villa Old City Centre in the city centre.