A first-timer’s guide to Faro
May 19, 2013

Have you been to Faro before? If not, you really should! This Portuguese city is a beautiful spot to visit at any time of year and it is definitely somewhere I recommend you put on your list of must-see destinations.


No matter what your interests are, I’m quite confident that you will soon come across captivating attractions and activities, though – as is the case with any place you go to for the first time – figuring out what to do and where to go can be a little overwhelming.

With so much to going on in the city, you’re almost guaranteed to have an amazing time but to give you a helping hand I’ve set out some of the best things that Faro has to offer below. Once you’ve booked a flight from the UK to Portugal I advise you check out the following!

Top landmark – Arco da Vila

Faro has a rich history and one of the best places to get a glimpse of the city’s past is the Arco da Vila. This stunning archway was used as a gate into Faro back in the 18th century and today is considered to be a classic example of Neoclassical design.

Built under the orders of Bishop Francisco Gomes, the arch marks the entrance to the old city district of Faro and, by coming to the landmark, you are just a short distance from several other historic attractions including the Paco Episcopal, town hall and Faro Cathedral.

Top activity – boat tour of Rio Formosa

If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, even if only for a few hours, it’s a good idea to go on a boat tour of the Rio Formosa. Numerous operators run excursions into the beautiful nature reserve from Faro’s Centro Historico jetty, so there should be scope for you to incorporate this activity into your break.

Come here and you’ll have the chance to explore a number of isolated islands that offer fantastic conditions for activities such as snorkelling and swimming. Depending on the trip you select, you may even get the opportunity to indulge in a little bird-watching. Flamingos can often be seen in Rio Formosa’s saltpans, with otters and chameleons some of the other creatures that inhabit the park.

Top beach – Praia de Faro

If you’re keen to do a little sunbathing on your next holiday, you will be in the right place to do exactly that when you visit Faro. With the Algarve’s coastline stretching a total of 200 km, the region is ideal for relaxing in the sun and this is certainly the case in its capital.

The city’s main beach is simply called Praia de Faro (which translates as Faro beach in English), with its long expanse of golden sand providing perfect conditions for taking things easy and basking in the hot sunshine. Don’t worry if you’d prefer to be a bit more active while working on your tan, as the beach is also a popular place for water sports such as windsurfing and jet-skiing.

Are you planning your first trip to Faro? If so, let us know what you’re looking forward to seeing and doing the most!