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About city Gallery Where to stay

Faro is the administrative centre of the Algarve Region. It is home to around 60 thousand people. Faro is an important transport junction of Southern Portugal – here you’ll find the region’s largest airport - Faro Airport - and a commercial, fishing and ferry harbour, and a railway station. Food industry and cork manufacturing are both well developed here. The city is also home to the Algarve University. Despite all that, however, Faro and the whole of Algarve are better known as places to go on holiday at. Around 5 million tourists come here every year.

Faro has an especially beautiful old town, surrounded by a Roman-built wall. The city centre is adorned with a 13th-century cathedral and a Bishop’s Palace built five centuries later and standing right in front of the cathedral. Not far from the centre is the Faro Archaeological Museum, built in a former monastery. Probably the most interesting exhibit there is a Roman mosaic, 10 metres long and depicting Neptune surrounded by four winds. It was uncovered during the construction of a railway line.

View of the historical Church in Faro
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  View of the historical Church in Faro

The Baroque Nossa Senhora do Carmo Church dazzles with its splendid interior details and gilded altar. The macabre Capela dos Ossos, or the Chapel of Bones, stands right beside it. Take a few steps off the beaten path and you’ll see a very different version of this city – tranquil squares and wooded alleys, houses with forged iron decor, a yacht pier on an estuary, and beaches with myriad narrow canals and proud storks on a stroll.

Faro divides the Algarve coastline into two distinct parts. West of Faro you’ll find small creeks and bays, surrounded by strangely shaped cliffs and fantastic grottoes. The most exotic coast is near the Lagos, Armasun de Pero and Albufeira resorts, and by the shelf of Sangres City. The Western part of the coastline is rockier, and the wild beaches, situated a little further from the tourist centres, are simply wonderful.

View of anchored fishing boats located in Faro
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  View of anchored fishing boats located in Faro

East of Faro and all the way to the Spanish border, not far from the sea shore, you’ll see a lot of small sand islands, forming a continuous chain. Less visited by foreigners, this place retains its authentic Portuguese spirit. We recommend you try various water sports here.

Moving further inland, the sandy, rocky beaches are replaced by fertile plains with fruit tree gardens and almond groves, exploding with white blossoms each spring.

Further still, you’ll see cork oak-covered hills and mountains, which take up half the territory of the Algarve. This region of Portugal is one of the biggest and most well-known wine cork exporters in the world. Its specific woods attract many animals, and the process of cork production is very significant to the whole region, which is why so many curious tourists lurk in these oak woods.

Just like in Spain’s Andalusia, the Algarve is full of Moorish heritage. Its towns and cities are filled with Roman temple ruins, magnificent churches, forts that remind us of how mighty Portugal used to be in the seas, and many other historic monuments.

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