Exploring Faro in the Algarve, Portugal

I enjoyed Faro, in the Portuguese Algarve, a lot more than I thought I would. I think I expected it be more of a resort than a proper town. When planning my trip to Portugal I decided to stay in Faro for two reasons; I wanted to be able to get around the Algarve without needing a hire car and be able to get a direct bus to the airport on the morning of my departure.

I took the train from Lisbon to Faro, arriving in the early evening. The first thing I observed when the train pulled into Faro was all the street art across from the station.

FRecreational and Cultural Association of Musicians

I decided to walk to my hotel as I needed to stretch my legs after the three and a half hour train journey from Lisbon. I was very taken by the Bank of Portugal building by the Manuel Bivar gardens.

Faro Algarve

Ceiling at entrance to the Bank of Portugal in Faro

Faro Algarve

Stained glass door & tiles at the entrance to the Bank of Portugal in Faro

I was staying at the Hotel Santa Maria Faro which cost £30 a night booked on the Hotels.com site. I thought I’d better get to the hotel, dump my bags, have a freshen up and then get out to take some photos, as the weather forecast wasn’t looking good for the next couple of days. I was happy enough with my room, considering the price I’d paid.

Faro was looking beautiful bathed in the evening sunlight.

Faro Algarve

Sunset at Faro Marina

Arco da Vila Faro

It was cloudy but dry the next morning. I was quite relieved it was cooler after the 28 degrees Celsius of the previous day. I tucked into some rather yummy pastries at the breakfast buffet before hitting the streets.

Faro Algarve

Pastries at the Hotel Santa Maria breakfast buffet

I spotted a very attractive tile painting of St Francis of Assisi on the wall of a building.

Faro Algarve

St Francis of Assisi tile painting

As I was approaching the sea front, I noticed the Algarve School of Hospitality & Tourism, one of the Portugese Tourism Schools, and decided to venture in to see if anyone would like to chat with me about social media. I was asked to return a bit later, which I did. Manuel Serra, the Technical Co-ordinator, kindly showed me around.

I wondered if the water in the modern fountain just down the Tourism School was turned off to save resources, as I’d have loved to see it in action.

Faro Algarve

Fountain in Faro

I just got back to my hotel when the promised rain arrived. It was still raining the next morning when Gwen McCauley of Algarve Experiences picked me up for a tour of the area.

The following day was pleasantly spent in Faro. I wandered up to the Recreational and Cultural Association of Musicians building by the railway station as I’d seen a poster advertising some kind of event there that day. It turned out to be a get-together for fans of fantasty board games, not my cup of tea but it was interesting to see inside.

Faro Algarve

Art on wall of Recreational and Cultural Association of Musicians in Faro

Next it was off to see Faro Cathedral.

Faro Algarve

Faro Cathedral Museum

Faro has three museums, the Maritime Museum, the Algarve Regional Museum and the Municipal Museum.

Faro Algarve

Poster outsdie the Algarve Regional Museum, Faro

I had a cheap and tasty 7.5 set menu lunch at Restaurante Pontinha consisiting of vegetable soup and a main course of pork fillets.

Faro Algarve

Pork main course at Restaurante Pontinha Faro

After a stroll to admire Teatro Lethes and buy some fruit for the flight home the next day, it was back to the hotel to do some work.

Faro Algarve

Teatro Lethes Faro

The following morning I caught the 7am bus to Faro Airport, which cost 1.95 Euro.

I think that Faro is a good base for a short break, to spend a night either on arrival or before departure, or a day trip destination if you’re staying in the Algarve area.

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About Karen Bryan

Hello, I'm Karen Bryan, I created Europe a la Carte in 2002 to highlight the best places to visit in Europe with travel tips, photos and no fluff reviews. I’m also an artist; my artworks are often inspired by my travels