Faro Portugal has a decent amount of attractions such museums, a shopping mall and a nearby national park where you can enjoy outdoor pursuits.
Having said this, Faro Portugal is not as lively as other places in the Algarve such as Portimao Portugal, Lagos Portugal and Albufeira Portugal. So, if you’re looking for a vacation spot in the Algarve where you can skip the large crowds, Faro Portugal is an excellent place to be even during the summer months.
Summers in Faro Portugal are pleasant with average temperatures between 25 and 30 °C, including the month of September. In fact, if you're on a budget, a late summer vacation to Faro Portugal is a great way to benefit from better hotel rates, cheaper airfare to Faro Portugal and even fewer crowds.
Things to do in Faro Portugal: Outdoor Activities
One popular excursion you can add to your Faro Portugal itinerary is an excursion to Ria Formosa National Park (Parque Natural da Ria Formosa), located within the town of Olhao.
Ria Formosa National Park is just 5 miles from Faro Portugal (around twenty minutes drive), along the Estr. EN125 route.
At Ria Formosa Park, you can explore the beautiful flora and fauna, hike on the park’s nature trails, and visit the wildlife sanctuary at the park where you can see rescued animals.
Apart from fauna and flora, the park is also home to 13th century Roman ruins such as a tide mill and salting tanks.
Apart from exploring the lovely Ria Formosa Park, you can also explore Olhao’s attractions such as 17th century churches, chapels, museums and flea-markets.
If you are looking for more things to do in Faro Portugal, adding a half day trip(s) to your Faro Portugal itinerary is another fun thing to consider.
For instance, you could explore the nearby town of Albufeira Portugal, Lagos Portugal and even the city of Seville in Spain, or Huelva Spain, around 90 minutes drive from Faro Portugal.
Day trips can be either an organized affair with a touring company or a self guided tour. One of the main benefits of an organized day trip, though, it is that they include a knowledgeable tour guide.
Having said this, if you feel confident and prefer to explore the area around on your own terms, car rental is, indeed, an appealing option.
Things to do in Faro Portugal: Places of Interest
One of the best ways to explore Faro Portugal it’s on foot. You can take a self-guided or guided walking tour of the city and explore its landmarks and museums.
For instance, you could start your walking tour at Freedom Square (Praça da Liberdade) and explore the town’s museums such as:
Algarve Regional Museum
At the Algarve Regional Museum (Museu Regional do Algarve) you can learn more about Faro’s customs and way of life through photographs and cool exhibits.
Ramalho Ortigao Museum Maritime
The Ramalho Ortigao Museum Maritime (Museu Marítimo Almirante Ramalho Ortigão) is an excellent place to find out more about Faro’s maritime role during the 17th century. The museum features interesting exhibits such as scaled fishing boats and ships.
Faro Archeological Museum
The Faro Archeological Museum (Museu Arqueologico) is an interesting place to be if you are keen on ancient artifacts such as pottery items, gold coins, etc. Apart from ancient artifacts, the museum houses 17th century paintings.
Things to do in Faro Portugal: Shopping & Dining
The city of Faro Portugal has one big shopping center, called Forum Algarve, located 1 mile away from the town center.
At Forum Algarve, you will find over fifty shops and many of them are high end department stores such as Berska and Massimo Dutti.
Apart from retail shopping, there is a big supermarket here where you can do your food shopping, as well as restaurants, bars and a big cinema complex.
If you’re after buying bargain Portuguese leather goods, souvenir gifts and handmade items, visiting a flea-market outside Faro is one of the best places to do this.
For instance, every Sunday you can catch the excellent Estoi Market in the village of Estoi, 6 miles of Faro (around 20 milutes drive).
Alternatively, you can check out the flea-market in Faro held at Algarve Stadium car park, every first and third Sunday of the month.
Things to do in Faro Portugal: Nightlife & Entertainment
The hotspot for finding lively nightlife in Faro Portugal is the area around St. Peter cathedral (Sao Pedro Igreja).
In particular streets such as Rua Conselheiro Bivar, Rua Do Sao Pedro, Rua Do Compromiso and Rua Do Prior are excellent places for finding many bars, discos and restaurants offering live entertainment like karaoke nights.
For instance, on Rua Conselheiro Bivar the popular Upa Upa Bar, and Bar CheSsenta
Located on Rua Do Prior.
If you’d like to try your gambling luck, Quinta do Golden Casino is located within the town area, near Varandas Bar.
Things to do in Faro Portugal: Events & Festivals
One of the best ways to experience Faro Portugal, it’s during a major event or festival. The city of Faro holds many religious events all year around but the spring and summer months are the best times to catch other fun events such as:
Faro Music Festival
If you like classical music, the Faro Music Festival is held in late May and early June, usually at the Figuras Theater, and features renowned orchestras such as the Algarve Orchestra (Orquestra do Algarve).
Faro International Motorcycle Rally
If you prefer a livelier event, the Faro International Motorcycle Rally is held in late July and it’s one of the most popular summer festivals in the Algarve region.
Apart from being able to see cool motorcycles, the event features outdoor live entertainment, yummy foods, and fun contests.
St. Iria Fair
If you’re planning a fall vacation to Faro Portugal, the Feira de Santa Iria (Feira de Santa Iria) is held in October and it is a top event to visit, especially if you’re traveling with kids.
The Saint Iria Fair features many fun attractions such as rides, contests, live entertainment, as well as markets where you can purchase fine handmade goods.
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