Algarve ChemneyFaro What to discover and how to enjoy your visit

The Algarve Region

Faro Coat of ArmsThe Municipality of Faro is divided into the following parishes: Faro (Sé and São Pedro); Conceição and Estoi; Montenegro; Santa Bárbara de Nexe
Municipal Holiday: 7th September
Inhabitantes: around 118,000
Area: 202 km²

An important urban settlement since the Roman occupation, Faro is the administrative capital of the Algarve, with over 64,000 inhabitants in the city itself. The first point of contact on arrival in the region, for the majority of foreign visitors, is Faro International Airport.

Some of the places of interest to visit are the Admiral Ramalho Ortigão Maritime Museum, the Cathedral, the Municipal Museum, the Archaeological Museum, the monument dedicated to Infante D. Henrique and the St. Francis Church. Not to be missed is a stroll through the old part of the city which is called “Vila Adentro” (the town within). Here you can see the town gateway – Arco da Vila, the Repouso Arch, the Historic Old Town Centre, the Carmo Church and the Algarve’s Regional Museum.

The coastline consists of a collection of sandy islets and headlands, in which the fabulous nature reserve of Ria Formosa is set in a section, 60 km long, between Anção and Manta Rota, on the “Sotavento” (eastern) Algarve. This is a place where a wonderful day can be passed in contact with nature, between canals, marshes, islets and a diversity of local fauna, including some rare birds. It is also possible to take a boat trip around the Ria Formosa reserve from Faro.

An opportunity to try some of the best dishes prepared in the area, with fish and shellfish heading the menu, are on feast days of Ria Formosa, Faro and Fuzeta in August. The traditional, old style Fair of Santa Iria in October sells a vast variety of useful items, and has the added attraction of several fairground carrousels.

It is now nearly 40 years since the Faro Motoclube organised their first internationally famous 4-day “Meet” in July. An enormous ground is set aside on “Quinta das Almas”, near Faro airport and Faro beach, where the event attracts more than 20,000 bikers and thousands of other interested visitors from all over. It has become the “Mecca” of motorcycling, with entertainments such as the fantastic “Bike Show”, live music with the participation of various rock bands and erotic dance shows and closes with an impressive parade of all the motorbikes through the streets and surrounding areas of Faro.

If you leave Faro on the São Bras de Alportel road, you will come to the small, very historical town of Estoi. Its magnificent palace (which is now a Pousada) contains an absolutely wonderful collection of old tiles, beautiful gardens and a scintillating view over the hills. A Fair is held in May, where handicrafts and the famous liqueur “Medronho”, so typical of the Caldeirão hills, are sold. On the outskirts of Estoi are the Milreu Ruins, remains of an ancient Roman town.