Faro has been the capital of the Algarve for centuries and has retained its monumental heritage that gives it character and identity. Protected by a long dune cord where the beaches are bright sand, the city is located in the center of the Ria Formosa, an intricate complex of stretches and lagoons, with a thriving biological diversity. Birds, shellfish, and countless species of fish live here, in an area classified as natural park.
Of pre-Roman origin, known at the time as Ossónoba, Faro was one of the most important urban centers in the south of the Iberian Peninsula. The city features Arab and Roman ruins, but most of the oldest buildings were built after the disastrous earthquake of 1755.
The city also has a marina, well-tandared parks and squares and the old town full of outdoor cafes and pedestrian areas. In addition to its museums and beautiful churches and chapels, Faro also boasts a vibrant nightlife. Rua de Santo António, the main pedestrian street, is the best option for handicraft shopping, to taste traditional regional sweets and to shop.
The Manuel Bívar Garden facing the Marina, is an ex-libris of the city, with several terraces where you can enjoy the mild climate and is surrounded by a remarkable set of buildings, highlighting the Arch of the Village, main entrance to “Vila Adentro” the historic centre.
Near the garden is the nightlife area of the city, commonly called “Crime Street”, which consists of some streets and alleys, with a diversity of bars, nightclubs, restaurants and cafes that animate faro’s nights.
This is the original core of the city of Faro, fully surrounded by the 16th century wall. Here is the oldest building in the city, the main Cathedral, (Sé Catedral) built in 1251, with its wonderful altarbules and the impressive 18th-century organ with chinoiserie motifs. From its bell tower, you can enjoy a wonderful view of the city and the Ria Formosa. Adjacent to this building is the Chapel of Bones.
The Palace and the Episcopal Seminary, respectively the residence and place of formation of the Clergy, surround the Largo da Sé. Its “scissor roofs” (open scissor-shaped roofs) and whitewashed facades, associated with the orange trees that adorn this public space, transport us to the urban landscapes of a Mediterranean paradise.
As we walk through the irregular streets of Vila Adentro, we find the Municipal Museum of Faro in the former convent of Nossa Senhora da Asunción, with proto-Renaissance cloisters. Right in the center of Vila Adentro is the building of the Municipality of Faro, where the administrative power of the municipality is located.
Faro has an excellent natural scenery on the beaches next to the Ria Formosa for the practice of water sports such as kite surfing, canoeing, windsurfing, rowing and bird watching, providing unique moments in contact with nature.
You can easily reach the Algarve from anywhere in Europe and Faro has a privileged location, due to the proximity of Faro Airport. 4 km from the center. Buses and trains also reach the city..