Algarve’s capital has a more distinctly Portuguese feel than many other resort towns. While most people only pass through, laid-back Faro  makes a fine overnight stop. It has an attractive marina, well-maintained parks and plazas and an old town full of outdoor cafés and pedestrian lanes. Marvellously preserved medieval quarters harbour curious museums and churches and a vibrant nightlife – more local than expat. Nearby beaches, including island sands of Ilha de Barreta, add to Faro’s allure.

Being a university city, Faro has a vibrant student population who ensure that nightlife keeps pumping.  It all happens along the Rua do Prior and in the narrow alleys off of Rua Conselheiro Bivar and Rua Infante Dom Henrique. Dance clubs get going around 11pm or midnight, while bars are open for business any time from noon until the early hours. The Upa Upa Café and Bar at 51 Rua Conselheiro Bivar draws locals and tourists. The nightclub, Dux, is the place to party until the early hours and the trendsetters should head for the Fashion Kaffe.

Things to see.

  • Centro Historico – The Old City, or Cidade Velha, is a well-preserved section of town off the harbor with cobblestone streets and 18th century Portuguese and Moorish-influenced architecture. It is great place for a peaceful and almost private walk back in time in an area that has been virtually untouched by modernity.
  • Rio Formosa – Take a boat trip into the Rio Formosa – a nature reserve that stretches along the tip of Portugal into Spain.  The boat leaves from a jetty beside  the Centro Historico.
  • Praia de Faro – This beach is several kilometers long and so should never get crowded, even in the height of summer. Most of the beach is gently sloping though it can take a sudden dip in places. There are the usual beach-side stalls and a public lavatory, but no showers. Praia de Faro is just past the airport, the airport bus stops there and costs €1.65. A lot of people with early check-outs and late flights seem to go there on their last day.

A sight that is truly unique  Capela dos Ossos(chapel of Bones) in the Igreja do Carmo church. This is a chapel decorated with the skeletal remains of over 1,200 former monks. There is a 2 euro entrance fee which goes towards the restoration fund.

Shopping in Faro.

The Guia Shopping and Entertainment Complex can be found on the N125 just outside of Albufeira and is a modern shopping centre with an excellent range of well known shops, a multiplex cinema and an amazing range of cafes and restaurants on the top floor.Some tips that we would like to pass on to you are that if you fancy a coffee or something to eat head upstairs were there is also a large sun terrace for you to sit on.If you have kids and they are older than 2 then there is a creche on the first floor, just behind the main selection of Restaurants. The creche is exceptionally well fitted out the charges are around €7.00 per hour.Staying on the Kids theme the Algarve Guia also has a selection of pushchairs, pedal cars and various other toys available for free hire. There is no need to take your own pushchairs.All the restaurants have baby chairs and for the best parking head downstairs where your car will stay cool in the hot summer sun.The shops at the Guia on the Algarve include, Zara, Massimo Dutti, Paul and Bear and Benetton.The whole centre is open from 09:00 to midnight with the shops open between 10:00 and 22:00..

The Forum Algarve – Faro

This is another fantastic shopping centre, half in the open and half under cover. It has an excellent selection of recognisable shops, great parking facilities and a multiplex cinema.All the shops are spread out over just two levels with a large Hypermarket – Jumbo – on the ground floor.As with the Guia Shopping centre the Forum is very well geared up for the kids. They have pushchairs available for you to use for free, family toilets, baby changing facilities and high chairs in every restaurant and cafe.Although it is located in Faro City itself it is very easy to find, (head in the general direction of the airport and follow the signs into Faro), and the traffic is not bad either. There is a huge selection of shops and restaurants on offer at the Algarve Forum: the list is too long to print here but they include, Zara, Benetton, Levis, Oysho, Women´s Secret, FNAC and Imaginarium.The shops are open every day between 09:00 and 23:00 and in the summer months and leading up to Christmas they are open until Midnight.For further Information on the Forum Algarve call the customer service desk, (English Speaking) on: 00351 289 88 93 00.

For the latest weather information you can use  www.farosweather.com

Faro is a bustling, working city and not a holiday resort town, the emphasis being on its historical attractions rather than fun in the sun. The city can be rowdy at night with many young revellers