Most visitors to Faro simply pass through on their way to the resorts of the Algarve – which is excellent news if you do stop over.
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You get this atmospheric town with its beautiful medieval architecture and stand-out seafood to yourself. Come for the beaches, of course, but stay for this enjoyably unpretentious, pretty historic town and its natural surroundings.
Just like Portugal as a whole, Faro enjoys a calendar jam-packed with events and festivals.
Festa da Ria Formosa
Each summer in late July or early August the Festa da Ria Formosa celebrates the cuisine of the Algarve, and specifically the wetlands region of the Ria Formosa. Seafood-lovers should plan around this one if you're thinking of coming around this time; expect some show-stopping seafood stews, hearty paellas, fresh ceviche and much more. A lot of the food is even offered as free tasters. The festival is held in the Largo de Sé, a park overlooking the nature reserve.
Another prominent fixture on Faro’s events calendar is FolkFaro, an international festival bringing together musicians, dancers, actors and more in celebration of rich folkloric traditions from Portugal and beyond. The festival lasts for nine days in the second half of August, and sees performers visiting from places from Kazakhstan to Costa Rica. Performances take place across the city, and there’s always plenty of opportunity to join in: workshops are held and aimed at people of all ages.