At the airport of Faro most of the tourists arrive on the Algarve coast. Already from the plane you can admire the lagoon landscape of Ria Formosa.
Faro itself is a small and cute town with narrow streets, lovely cafes and traditional restaurants. Nevertheless Faro is known as the capital city of the Algarve coast.
Faro also has a small harbor and a beach, which is 10 km far from the city center. It is located on the small peninsula Ilha do Faro. Close to the harbor there is a ferry which takes you to the beach in around 20 min. The way to and from the beach costs 3 € in total. The beach is as well easy reachable by car, but I would recommend the ferry because the route of the boat leads through a part of the nature park. You can enjoy a beautiful boat trip while driving to the beach.
Besides the beach Faro offers you the possibility to make a tour through the nature park Ria Formosa.
We did our tour with “Estrela da Ria Formosa“. Sadly I have to say I was not too happy about it. It was very nice seeing the three islands Ilha Deserta, Ilha da Culatra and Ilha do Farol, but i thought we would be able to see more of the nature park with its birds. Instead we only visited the islands. I think it would have been more interesting driving through the lagoons with your own boat and maybe see some animals. Before we returned we shortly saw an oyster farm, but that was it. This tour took around 5 hours and the only thing what remained of it was an immense sunburn and a few shells. I advice you better try out another company or rent a boat on your own.
In general august is definitely a good time for visiting the Algarve coast, because each town has its little street fests. For example on our first evening in Faro the Baixa Street Fest took place. During this fest many artists and music groups walked trough the streets of Faro and entertained the city with their music and performance.
Another street fest at the beginning of august is the Ria Formosa Festival. Near to the harbor was a big square full of stalls with food and drinks. On one end of the square singers and dancers performed on a big stage. It seemed like half of the people living in Faro joined the festival and ate and drunk together with their family and friends. It was an amazing atmosphere and the food was very very good. For junger children there where small attractions and adults could test them self on how long they could sit on a rodeo.
Restaurants to recommend in Faro
Have you ever been to Madeira? The island of Portugal? Madeira has one of the best dishes of the world I know: Espetadas.
In Faro I really hoped to find a restaurant where I can eat this fabulous dish again and the Restaurant Madeirenses had it. The restaurant offers great delicious Madeiran cuisine and really everything tasted like on Madeira. It was so delicious, that I had to recommend it. The prices were totally fine and the waiters were really friendly. Definitely a hot spot in Faros old town!
Portas de São Pedro
The second restaurant I can recommend was a bit more expensive, but the food was very delicious too. It offers traditional food from this area of Portugal. We tried the octopus and the asparagus bread pudding, which i highly recommend! It was the best octopus I’ve ever ate. The waiter were friendly as well and we were able to sit in a beautiful decorated backyard. The backyard had a warm and comfy atmosphere.
How to visit the coast cities
For visiting the towns along the coast it is the best renting a car. But you have to be careful because the highway has a mount. However there is a free road parallel to the highway. When renting a car you have to sign a paper to declare if you want to use the highway or not. If you use the highway after all, although you have signed that you will not use it, you have to pay penalties.
Luckily you do not pay for parking! Every parking lot we have been was for free. If someone asks for money for parking, I advise you to park somewhere else.