Faro – what to see and do in the Algarve’s capital
If you are wondering what to see in Faro don’t worry as the city has plenty of options for a well spent holidays regardless your preferences
What to see and do in Faro is an easy question with straightforward answers.
With centuries of history and a privileged geographical position on the amazing coast of the Algarve, Faro is blessed with white sand and blue water beaches as well as with a mild climate.
Places to see in Faro
In order to discover the rich past of Faro, a visit to the historic centre is commendatory.
The Old City or Cidade Velha is situated in the harbour area of the city and it dazzles all visitors who wander along the cobblestone streets sided by buildings that witness the Moorish presence in the region.
In spite of the hustle and bustle of the city, caused by the tourists, the Old City still keeps the special charm of ancient times.
Photo by Galeria de girolame
Faro Jewish Heritage Center
The Faro Jewish Heritage Centre and the Faro Jewish Cemetery are worthy of a visit as they are the reminders of the former importance of the Jewish Community in Faro. The Faro Jewish Heritage Centre offers a great collection of graves in Sephardi style and it houses countless objects linked to the Jews of the city, including furniture from one of the two already non-existing synagogues and a facsimile copy of Gacon’s 1478 Pentateuch in Hebrew. The Faro Jewish Cemetery was established in 1851 and is the sole remaining vestige of the first post-Inquisition Jewish presence in Portugal.
After the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake the Marquis of Pombal invited the decedents of the Jews expelled from the country during the Inquisition to return to the country to help the recovery of the economy. The Jews who return to Faro came from Morocco and Gibraltar created a closed community that was known as “Little Jerusalem”.
Ria Formosa Lagoon
The Ria Formosa lagoon is one of the ex-libris of the region. This nature reserve is a true paradise mainly due to its unique ecosystems that shelter migratory and rare birds’ species. The best way to enjoy this wonderful sanctuary of wildlife is by boat. There are plenty of boat trips that departure from Faro, varying in time and price. You just need a quick search on the internet to find the most suitable for you. Besides, Ria Formosa is also important for the region’s economy as it is used for mussel and oyster farming as well as for salt production.
Photo by Osvaldo Gago
Things to do in Faro
Just a few minutes outside the city, near Loulé, there is Rooster Quad Tours, a company that offers amazing quad bike tours suitable for all levels of rider. This is a great way to discover the most remote landscapes of Faro area and you may find more information on their website. Adventure and lots of fun are guaranteed.
Last but not least you have the beaches. Either for practicing cannoying, windsurf, kitesurf, bodyboard, paddleboard or for just lying in the sand, Barrinha Beach or Barra de São Luís, Culatra Beach, Farol Beach, Barreta Beach at Ilha Deserta or Faro Beach are wonderful choices no one should miss.