Things To Do In Faro Portugal; Is It Really Worth The Visit?

Last updated on May 8th, 2024 at 07:09 pm


Standing at the bus station, I wondered what an earth I’d gotten myself into. Before booking, I had no idea what things there were to do in Faro Portugal. Often overshadowed by neighboring Lagos, I 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!)

streets of faro

What Is There To Do In Faro Portugal?

Faro Islands

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

Ihla 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.

Travel to Lagos & Benagil Cave

Just an hour away and you’ll be in the buzzing Lagos area of Portugal. It’s the home of good surf, pristine beaches, beautiful coastlines, and Benagil Cave! During our stay in Faro, we booked a guided day trip with Get Your Guide; which included pick up and drop off, guided tour, and body-boarding.

portugal beaches

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.

church of bones faro

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.

food 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)

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