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Finding your feet in Faro

The capital of southern Portugal’s Algarve region, Faro is a neoclassical destination that offers a wealth of exploration opportunities for the discerning traveller. Whisk yourself away for a week in the sun and immerse yourself in all that Faro has to offer.

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The foodie scene

If there’s one thing the Algarve region is famous for, it’s seafood. It would be almost criminal to step foot in Faro without trying some of the exquisite fish dishes the region has to offer. Skimming through the menu, look out for oysters and sardines – the former come from Ria Formosa, a short drive away, while the latter are a popular choice among locals. 

If you fancy going more native, opt for Bacalhau, Portugal’s national dish of salt-dried cod, or Jivali, an inland dish consisting of wild boar. If fish is not your food of choice, other meat dishes famous in the Algarve include piri-piri chicken, Leitão (spit-roasted pig) or Bifana (a bread roll filled with garlicy slices of fried pork). Remember not to leave without tasting a pastel de nata – these Portuguese custard tarts are so delicious we defy you not to devour one every day of your trip.

Explore the Old Town

Well worth a visit midweek, the Old Town is a cobbled maze of architectural sights, secret passages and colourful cafes. You’ll find the oldest horseshoe arch in Portugal, along with a host of traditional cottages dressed in floral displays. Meander through the streets and alleys to reach the town centre, or call in at a local café for traditional Portuguese coffee and a freshly baked pastel de nata. 

This quaint area is a beautiful part of Faro and home to a number of churches worth moseying around. With numerous ice cream haunts and boat trips hiding at the end of winding alleys, there’s enough to keep you on your toes all day. Just remember to pack a pair of shoes that can handle the pace.

Head out to sea

In the peak of summer temperatures can reach over 30oc, and with heat like that there’s only one place to cool off: the sea. Whether you dream of exploring rustic caves or want to catch a glimpse of marine life courtesy of a glass bottom boat, there are ample opportunities to explore Faro’s dramatic coastline.

Choose a private catamaran tour if you want to pick the brains of your local guide, or opt for a historical or jeep and boat tour for something a bit alternative. If you’re out at sea all day it’s a good idea to choose an excursion that will wine and dine you too – but don’t forget to pack the sun cream.

 Be a culture vulture

To visit Faro and not delve into its cultural heritage would be more than just a missed opportunity. Alongside Faro cathedral, there’s a plethora of churches waiting to be discovered. Marvel at the centuries old architecture, appreciate the distinguished carved interiors and absorb the traditional atmosphere as you wind your way through the town.

If religious buildings aren’t your thing, a general cultural tour of the area could be a more interesting take on Faro. Find out what it was like to live in old Faro, expose the city’s historic secrets and learn about traditional Portugal in this epic walking guide. Choose from afternoon or evening tours, both of which take around 2 hours.

Fly from Cornwall 

You can fly directly from Cornwall Airport Newquay to Faro with Ryanair every Tuesday and Saturday from March-October.