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.
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.
Arriving at Faro Airport
Faro Airport (FAO), also known as Algarve Airport, sits about four miles (7km) west of Faro city centre, which is easily accessible from the airport via car and public transport.
Proximo bus routes 14 and 16 run between Faro Airport, the bus station in the city centre, and Praia de Faro beach. Route 16 runs daily between 0515 and 0000, and takes around 20 minutes to get from the airport to the city centre, and five minutes from the airport to the beach. Route 14 runs from the airport to the city centre four times a day, and from the airport to the beach seven times a day.
Taxis are easy to come by at Faro Airport, with a taxi rank near the exit to the terminal building. You can book in advance but it's just as easy to find one on the day. Taxis throughout Portugal are easily recognisable by their colours: most are black and green, while some are white and beige.
Another popular option here is to rent a car – particularly if you are heading beyond Faro. Book in advance with London City Airport and you can pick up your car on arrival.
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.