Are you looking for a destination that has nice beaches, but is not filled with endless rows of beach chairs? Perhaps you just want some sun, without it really getting all to hot? Alternatively, you may be looking for a destination that is smaller than your usual tourist holiday magnet, but just as picturesque as any other major city you see on postcards?
Well, we suggest you take a short trip to Faro, Portugal.
It is here in this southwestern corner of Europe where you will find one of the most amazing landscapes – the Algarve. The region’s capital, Faro, is the gateway to the area and offers everything one could wish for from a holiday including an abundance of beaches that stretch along Portugal’s beautiful coast, amazing breathtaking landscapes, friendly laidback people, and amazingly reasonable prices in comparison to other European destinations.
So if you are looking for a little sun, this may be the place. The sun shines here almost all year round and statistically speaking, Faro enjoys the most hours of sunshine in Europe. The best thing about having the sun here is that the Atlantic is right next to it, which mean that it never gets uncomfortably hot, even in the summer months the average temperatures are very pleasant. The spring and fall seasons are mild and the coldest month of January is still at an average of roughly 14 degrees Celsius. Hence, it really doesn’t matter what time of year you travel here, as you’ll always find decent temperatures in the area.
Cheap flights to Faro
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Fish and Seafood
Regardless of where you are or where you are staying, the ocean is never more than a few kilometers away. Hence, take the opportunity and try the abundant dishes of fish offered across the area. There are a lot of specialties that are extremely tasty and which you should not miss.
Browse around, ask at reception or the locals what their favorite places to eat seafood are. Then have the courage and try “sapateiras” (giant crabs), “santolas” (sea spiders) or “caldeirada a fragateira” (fish soup). If you see Bacalhau on the menu, this often doesn’t mean a beautifully prepared fish dish, but a salted and dried cod (stockfish), which is not something for everyone. The best thing about all these dishes is that they tend to be much cheaper here than many other places.
A great activity you can do is to take an old fishing boat and do a tour to see where all these types of dishes actually come from. You can see how shells and oysters are won, observe and watch amazing birds such as flamingos and storks, and simply enjoy the surroundings of the Ria Formosa nature reserve.
Faro to the end of the Land
The last point on the European map is Cape Santa Vinzenz (Cabo de São Vicente) which is roughly 120 kilometers from the city of Faro. After this town, you’ll only find infinite beauty (ocean) and eventually if you kept going, the Americas. Along the route between the two places, you will find amazing picturesque places, but unless you were on a road trip, would not have enough time to discover. Upon arrival in Cape Santa Vinzenz, when looking onto the horizon you’ll feel the spirits of the sailor and explorers who once passed here.
Anyone up for surfing?
If you love surfing, you’ll love the region around Faro. There are a variety of options that include Salema, Sagres, Carrapateira, and Monte Clerigo. You’ll find amazing waves and great conditions for surfing.
On the beaches of Praia do Algarve in the small town of Carvoeiro, you’ll find amazing and bizarre structures of shell limestone rocks that have been carved out by wind and water. You’ll find that this dream beach is even more amazing than those found in Faro itself. You can also find impressive caves, arches, and cliffs along the coast. These have become world renown and are found on many postcards.
If you want the beach to be a bit more lively, then make a detour to one of the larger resorts, namely Portimão or Vilamoura. They have become tourist centers and in the summer are often very crowded areas.
If you want something more idyllic and charming then you’ll want to see the seafaring towns of Lagos and of course Faro, the starting point of the whole trip. These two cities have historic districts and many attractions. The narrow streets have everything from souvenir shops to traditional arts and crafts. Simply beautiful.
History in Faro
The sites to see in Faro have many historic features. The cathedral of Faro which began construction in 1251, after the Moors reclaimed Faro. It is impressive and a bit scary.
The Arco da Vila and Cidade Velha are also worth a visit. From Cidade Valha you can easily reach the old town center of Faro, filled with many small streets and romantic houses. You’ll forget where you are while discovering historical treasures and regional restaurants. If you still have some time left over, have a look at the Roman ruins of Milreu near Faro or the Palacio de Estoi, a rococo palace that has been lovingly restored into a hotel. You are able to complete a tour or simply browse the beautiful hotel garden.
Portugal’s Algarve region is an amazing place to visit. Not only is the climate fantastic, but there are activities for everyone. From upscale golf resorts to all-inclusive family hotels that offer something for all ages. So if you are looking for a place to go, why not consider traveling to Faro for an upcoming trip?