Faro, the charming capital of the Algarve, is undoubtedly one of Portugal’s most beautiful cities in this region. There are many things to do in Faro that sometimes get ignored because of its well-known neighbours Lagos, Albufeira or Portimao. The city is filled with all of its natural beauty, history and cultural vibrancy.
From the walls of the old town to the shimmering silver waters of the Ria Formosa lagoon, you can get a sense of what Faro must have been like. In Vila Adentro, Faro’s old town, narrow streets are crammed with houses that have changed hands between Moors and Portuguese over the centuries. Of course, the city extends further, with attractive pedestrianised shopping streets to explore, bars and restaurants where you can spend an hour or two in the shade.
It’s very simple to become caught in Faro’s charm and tranquillity. Beautiful beaches, gorgeous architecture, historical buildings, and many more things make up tourist attractions. You’ll have a great time in this Algarve’s city whether you go in the winter or the summer. Here is a list of things to do when visiting Faro.
A walking tour in the downtown of Faro
To get a glimpse of local culture, old days and craftsmanship, a tour by walking through the Faro’s downtown streets can offer you a sense of that. Vila-Adentro, the walled historic centre of Faro, was home to the majority of the town’s residents for many centuries as a security measure and defence against seaborne attackers. The fortified old town has many entrances, and in the gateway facing Largo de Sao Francisco, there are tiled murals depicting how King Alfonso III drove the Moors out of Faro in order to reclaim the city for the Portuguese in 1249. To have a memorable sightseeing experience do not forget to visit the city’s museums, churches and the beautiful Cathedral of Faro.
Visit the Cathedral’s tower
A walk through the old town leads to the gothic style, Roman Catholic Cathedral of Faro (Sé Catedral de Faro). The cathedral has a sturdy square stone tower and whitewashed walls that surround a courtyard full of orange trees on one side. There is a small fee to enter the cathedral and climb the tower, and the terrace offers great views over the old town and lagoon as well as the chance to admire the bells of the towers from up close.
The bone chapel will leave you speechless
The Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones), sometimes referred to as the Capela dos Mortos (Chapel of the Dead), should unquestionably be on your list of places to visit in Faro.
A church known as Igreja do Carmo as well as the chapel – Capela dos Ossos was carved out of the side of a limestone cliff. The church is said to be haunted by legend. Numerous tourists have stated that when inside the chapel at night, they heard voices and saw lights moving.
The interior of the cathedral dates back to the 17th and 18th centuries. The side chapels are richly decorated in gold and silver with traditional Portuguese blue tiles. There is a small museum on the second floor with a view of the entire cathedral and the painted organ in his loft. Other rooms display robes and precious religious items.
Small Bone Chapel in the courtyard of the Igreja do Carmo church, which is a scaled-down replica of the well-known Capela dos Ossos, is decorated with bones and skulls placed in patterns on the exterior.
Spend time in nature
Faro has a wonderful nature surrounded by beaches and national parks. Hike to the top of the Pendente Natural Park, a protected area of historic oak trees, to come even closer to nature and take in the view of the town and the coast.
The Ludo Trail is a well-liked trail that passes through the Ria Formosa Natural Park, where you may witness unusual bird species like vast flocks of flamingos. If you want to take a break from some of the other Faro attractions, the Botanical Gardens there are a great place for a stroll with more than 1,000 different species of plants and trees.
To enjoy the sunshine and the peace, gaze out over the city and the water, and allow the sounds of the city to subside.
Public Museums in Faro for the sense of history
The stunning Art Nouveau Centro Cultural de Faro is home to a number of art galleries, a planetarium, and a theatre. The Museu do Faro is an interactive museum where you can learn about the town and its history by engaging in entertaining games, movies, and practical experiences.
Another excellent location to check out is the Faro Archaeological Museum, which is open to the public for free. It houses a collection of about three thousand year old discoveries from the area and is the oldest archaeological museum in the area. There is pottery, equipment, and even a few Roman coins can be seen. While you are in Faro, it is definitely worth going to.
Visit the Faro Cathedral Museum, a museum depicting Faro’s history, if you want to spend a few hours there. What’s best? It is totally free!
Finally, enjoy day at the beach in Praia de Faro
The major beach of Faro, Praia de Faro, is undoubtedly among the nicest beaches in the Algarve. Most people start and end their day here since it has a lot to offer. The broad, white-sanded beach is frequently crowded with people basking in the sun and swimming. The ideal place to watch the sunset is there as well.
It is a narrow stretch of beach that has the lagoon of Ria Formosa on one side and the ocean on the other. With a roughly 9km length, there is plenty of space to meander and find your own solitude. Additionally, it is less developed than other neighbouring beaches and has a lot of natural beauty for people who want to see some animals.
The 12 Apostles on the Moroccan coast can be seen from the cliff’s summit on a clear day. The Algarve’s longest beach is bordered by palm trees and the traditional whitewashed homes you’ll find in the old town.
The ocean is often calm, and there are several little crescent-shaped beaches that are great for sunbathing. If you’re a novice, you should definitely think about enrolling in one of the many surf schools that provide half-day and full-day surfing instruction. Rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard and explore the coastline to get even closer to the water.
Being a digital nomad in Faro
Faro city can offer various coworking spaces as well as offices to rent if you feel like working outside your home. There are active international digital nomad’s groups that organise meetings with like minded people and make friends.
If you are wondering about other towns in the area, Portimao is the second biggest town in the Algarve and is a great place to live and work as well. Here you can read more about Portimao.
For more reasons to choose a coworking space in Algarve, the next article talks about 5 Reasons to Join a Coworking Space in The Algarve.