Last updated on December 19th, 2023 at 03:34 pm
Standing at the bus station, I wondered what an earth I’d gotten myself into. Before booking, I knew that Faro Portugal was often overshadowed by neighboring Lagos, but wasn’t sure what to expect when I pulled up to its seafront views and quiet atmosphere.
An overlooked city in the heart of the Algarve, Faro is known for its quaint streets, local charm, and has all the makings of a small town with an extra-large personality. Overlooked at times, Faro is definitely worth a visit if you’re looking to experience a less-touristy version of the beautiful Algarve.
(There are numerous cheap flight options from the US, especially via TAP Air Portugal!)
What Is There To Do In Faro Portugal?
Most visitors arrive here with the intentions of being directly on the beach; however, it was to my surprise that I found no direct beach access here whatsoever. Instead, boats are available to whisk you away to any of the Faro islands just a short ride away. The most popular beaches to visit are:
- Praia da Culatra (Mar)
- Praia da Ilha do Farol (Mar)
- Praia da Ilha Deserta
Wanting a less-crowded escape, we chose to travel 30 minutes or so to Ihla Deserta. Our boat docked, and there we were, surrounded by rugged beauty and crystal-clear waters. With only one restaurant/bar, the island certainly lives up to its name.
Swim in the still waters of the clear bay, or venture to the beach side for thrashing waves. It’s easy to spend your day here watching locals anchor their boats, fisherman getting their catch of the day, or jet-skis whizzing by.
Capela dos Ossos de Faro
I remember hearing something oddly specific that stuck with me throughout my journey of Faro. A Church of Bones widely known by tourists that was intriguing to say the least. Spending just 3 or so euros, what greets visitors inside is difficult to describe.
The church is similar to most in Europe: a stunning layout with decorative ceilings and humble interiors. Walk through the back, and you’re met with an altar of human skulls. A tradition years ago, hundreds of human remains fill the ceilings and walls: an eerie yet beautiful tribute to those lost.
Is The Food Good?
With an array of restaurants and local bars, it’s easy to get lost in the gastronomy scene in Faro. Visit Tasquinha Cruzeiro for a taste of local cuisine. You’ll feel right at home here as you sit amongst the chatter of locals and fresh smells of Portuguese cuisines.
For such a small city, it certainly has its fair-share of cafes, restaurants and bars! Depending on your vibe and the type of food you want, you’re sure to find it in Faro.
Best Places To Eat in Faro Portugal
- Baixa (breakfast)
- Chelsea (breakfast)
- Tasquinha Cruzeio (dinner)
- Cantinho (best Cataplana dish)
- O Costello (lunch with impeccable views)
- Chefe Branco (you’ll really only find locals here)