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.
Food and drink
Faro’s long history as a tourist gateway has seen it establish a fine food and drink scene; it's fairly multicultural but, as anywhere else, local cuisine is the highlight.
Fresh seafood is the basis of Faro’s traditional cuisine, and you'll find it in restaurants all over the city. But for the greatest concentration of seafood restaurants, head to the marina. The homely Faro e Benfica restaurant is a longstanding local favourite.
Faro’s Old Town is justly famous for its fine architecture, and the food in this part of town is up to scratch too. It’s here that you’ll find some of the city’s best restaurants, such as Faz Gostos, which serves French-influenced takes on classic Portuguese cuisine.
Dois Irmãos claims to be Faro's oldest restaurant, and tradition is certainly its bedrock. A downtown favourite dating back to 1925, this is the place to come for regional delicacies. Seafood features heavily – think steamed clams, grilled octopus and squid – but pork and game also crop up often.