WELCOME TO FARO
With its international airport, impressive shopping centre and ring of high-rise apartments, FARO boasts something of a big city feel. However, the central area is a manageable size, boasting attractive mosaic-paved pedestrianized streets and marina-side gardens, while its university contributes to a lively nightlife, during termtime at least. In summer, our boats run out to some excellent beaches. Originally a Roman settlement, the city was named by the Moors, under whom it was a thriving commercial port, supplying the regional capital at Silves. Following its conquest by the Christians, under Afonso III in 1249, the city later experienced a series of conquests and disasters. Sacked and burned by the Earl of Essex in 1596, and devastated by the Great Earthquake of 1755, it is no surprise that modern Faro has so few historic buildings. What interest it does retain is contained within the pretty Cidade Velha (Old Town), which lies behind a series of defensive walls overlooking the mudflats.
Arrival, information and transport Flights land at Faro’s international airport (flight information (+351)289 800 800), 6km west of town, where there’s a bank, ATMs, post office and tourist office (+351)289 818 582), as well as shops and restaurants. A number of car rental companies also have offices at the airport. There are no direct public transport services to other resorts from the airport, which means heading first into central Faro. A taxi into the centre of town (15min); there’s also a twenty-percent surcharge between 10pm and 6am, and at weekends. Local buses #14 and #16 also run from the airport to the centre (25min), (departures roughly every 45min, 7.15am–8pm; buy tickets on board). Both stop outside the bus terminal in town and, further on, at the Jardim Manuel Bivar (“Jardim” on the timetables) by the harbour. Faro’s bus terminal (+351)289 899 760) is on Avenida da República, behind and beneath the Hotel Eva, just back from the marina.
THE TOWNThe only part of town to have survived the various violent historic upheavals is the Cidade Velha, or Vila-Adentro (“town within”), an oval of cobbled streets and bright–white buildings set within a run of sturdy walls. The houses are fronted by decorative balconies and tiling, with an antique shop, café or art gallery. The most central entry is through the eighteenth-century town gate, the Arco da Vila, next to the turismo. From here, Rua do Município leads up to the majestic Largo da Sé, flanked by the cathedral and a group of palaces – including the former bishop’s palace – and lined with orange trees
SE CATHEDRALFaro Cathedral or "Se" was first built atop the site of a Roman forum turned mosque sometime after the area reverted from Muslim to Christian rule in 1249. Today, with its mix of Renaissance and Baroque influences, Faro Cathedral offers the visitor mostly artistic delights, especially its seventeenth and eighteenth century tiling andgold leaf decoration.Sé itself (Mon–Sat 9am–12.30pm & 1.30–5pm, Sun open for Mass at 10am & noon; e1.50) is a squat, white mismatch of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles, all heavily remodelled after the 1755 earthquake. However, there’s fine eighteenth-century azulejo tiling inside, while you can climb the bell tower for views over the old town and the mud flats beyond.
WALKING AROUNDThe heart of the town is an attractive pedestrianized shopping area on either side of Rua de Santo António, where you can find innumerable restaurants, cafés and bakeries – the latter stocked with almond delicacies, the regional speciality. Most of the pavement restaurants have similar menus and similar prices; if you’re prepared to scout around the back streets, you can often find cheaper, though without the accompanying streetlife that makes central Faro so attractive. If are willing to taste the flavors of the best tradicional algarvian cuisine, we suggest you to visit the Estaminé Restaurant at the Deserta Island.
Largo do Carmo
(Mon–Fri 8.30am– 6.30pm, Sat 9am–12.30pm).
It has poste restante facilities, and you can make international telephone calls from here too.
Police, Rua da Policia de Segurança Pública, 32 289 822 022.
There’s a rank in Pr Dr Francisco Gomes, by the town gardens, otherwise call (+351)289 822 275 or 289 895 795.
The train station is a few minutes’ walk further north up the avenue, facing Largo da Estação. The compact town is simple to negotiate on foot, and all the pensões, hotels, restaurants and bars are extremely central.
There is a town bus service, but you’ll only need it to get to the airport.
Faro’s turismo is at the end of the town gardens at
Rua da Misericórdia 8 (May–Sept daily 9.30am–7pm; Oct–April Mon–Fri 9.30am–1pm & 2–5.30pm; T289 803 604, www.cm-faro.pt), and provides town maps and posts local and long-distance bus, boat and train timetables.
The regional tourist office.
Região de Turismo do Algarve – east of the old town at Avenida 5 Outubro
Mon–Fri 9.30am–12.30pm & 2–5.30pm;
T289 800 400, www.visitalgarve .pt.
This is a better source of information on the area as a whole.
More fun is to take the Comboio Turístico (land train, hourly 10am–midnight) which trundles from the marina to the Sé and through the modern town before skirting back to the marina via the market.
The best of Faro’s nightlife is concentrated along two or three central pedestrianized streets – in particular Rua Conselheiro Bivar, with its café-bars with outdoor seating, and the parallel Rua do Prior, where many of the bars and clubs feature DJs, live bands and video screens; there are rarely cover charges, though there is a high turnover of places. Few places open much before 11pm and things get going around midnight; soon afterwards, as the bars fill up, drinkers spill out onto the cobbled alleys to party.
Faro also occasionally hosts big-name rock and pop gigs at the football stadium – check posters around town, or ask at the turismo.
The following agencies have offices at the airport, just click at any logo at the end of this page.
There’s a multiplex (289 889 300) at the Fórum Algarve shopping complex, on the airport road (N125), a brisk fifteen-minute walk from town up Rua Infante Dom Henrique.
International games are sometimes played at the 30,000-seater Algarve stadium (T289 990 360, www .parquecidades-eim.pt), the centrepiece of a cultural, sports and medical park called Parque das Cidades, 6km north of Faro on the Loulé road. This also hosts the Summer Festival in June, which attracts international bands.
Hospital Distrital de Faro, Leão Penedo 289 891 100/289 892 820. In emergencies call 112.
In July, the area between here and the airport hosts the Faro Bike Concentration (Wwww.motoclubefaro.pt), Europe’s largest meeting of bikers, with plenty of live entertainment.
At the bus terminal (Mon–Fri 9am– 1pm & 3–7pm); e2.50 per item per day.
Pingo Doce - Edf. Tridente - R. Cândido Guerreiro and also Estádio S. Luís - Estrada da Penha. Opening hours daily : winter: 8.30h to 20.30h, summer: 8.30h to 21.00h.
Modelo - Urbanização Vale da Amoreira, Freguesia da Sé. Opening hours daily including holidays: 9.00h to 22.00h.
Lidl -Bom João and also Vale Carneiros. Opening hours daily (including Sundays and holidays): 9.00h to 21.00h
Hipermercado Jumbo at Forum Algarve: Sunday to Thursday 09.00 to 23.00, Fridays, Saturdays and the day before holidays 09.00 to 24.00. SPAR Urb Quinta do Alto, Lote 38
Red Cross in Faro: 289 899 900
Farmácia da Penha Estrada da Penha, 52 Tel.: 289822342
Farmácia do Hospital de Faro Rua Leão Penedo Tel.: 289878346
Farmácia do Aeroporto de Faro Faro Airport Tel.: 289819740
Tourist support services: CALL FREE 808 718 212
Consulate of Germany
Address: Pct. Urb. INF Dom Henrique, Edf. Navegador, nº 11- R/C Dto. - Apartado 406 8000-080 Faro
Phone: 289 803 181 / 289 803 148
Fax: 289 801 346
Consulate of Belgium
Address: Av. 5 de Outubro, 28 - 1º Esq 8000-076 Faro
Phone: 289 812 589
Fax: 289 812 591
Consulate of Brazil
Address: Rua da Misericórdia, 60 8000-269 Faro
Phone: 289 096 211
Fax: 289 096 211
Consulate of Denmark
Address: Rua Conselheiro Bívar, nº 10, 1.º DTO 8000-225 Faro
Phone: 289 805 561
Fax: 289 803 333
Consulate of Canada
Address: Rua Frei Lourenço de Santa Maria, nº 1,1.º ESQ - Apartado 79
Phone: 289 803 757
Fax: 289 880 888
Consulate of Mexico
Address: Gvt. das Ruas Pedro Nunes e José de Matos, nº 5 r/c
Phone: 289 827 074
Fax: 289 827 075
Consulate of the Czech Republic in the Algarve
Address: Av. 5 de Outubro, nº 55, 1º Esq
Phone: 289 804 478
Fax: 289 806 310
Consulate of the Republic of Angola
Address: Pct. João Henrique Santos, Lote Q - Loj. A,
Phone: 289 897 100
Consulate of Italy
Address: EN 125, Sítio das Figuras, Ed. DRE Algarve, 1º - Lj 4
Phone: 289 812 186
April 25th (Liberation day) -celebrations start on the night of the 24th with music and festivities and carry on for the 25th
July / August - Festa da Ria Formosa in the & Largo da Sé, a festival celebrating the gastronomy of the Ria Formosa takes place at the end of July/ beginning of August.
August - FolkFaro - an International folclore festival when, for 5 days in August, there will be all sorts of entertainment around the streets of Faro.
August (last 2 weeks) - Feira dos Doces, Frutos Secos e Bebidas Regionais - a fair of sweets, dried fruits and regional drinks.
September (first 2 weeks) - Festas do Concelho / Comemorações do Dia da Cidade to commemorate 7th September when Faro was elevated to city status - sports events, concerts and exhibitions.
October (last 2 weeks) -Feira de Santa Iria in Largo de S. Francisco - exhibitions, craft work and entertainment for all the family.
ABREU (Head office)
Address: Av. da República, nº 124
Phone: 289 870 900
Address: URB Vale da Amoreira LT 10 RC
Phone: 289 804 017
Address: Est. do Aeroporto de Faro, Montenegro
Phone: 289 890 200
ALMEIDA VIAGENS FARO
Address: Av. 5 de Outubro, 11
Phone: 289 801 512
CITUR Address: Rua Conselheiro Bívar, 67 - 1º FTE, ESQ
Phone: 289 391 536
Address: Av. Da República, nº 168, centro Comercial Faro Shop, loj. 10
Phone: 289 813 132 / 968 952 622
El CORTE INGLÊS
Address: Av. 5 de Outubro, Edf. Presidente 21 A
Phone: 289 894 060
Address: Rua Alexandre Herculano, 9
Phone: 289 898 920
Address: Av. Calouste Gulbenkian, 11 A
Phone: 289 804 400
Address: Av. Calouste Gulbenkian, Loja 12 A
Phone: 289 821 798
Address: Rua Tomé Costa, 6 RC - Edf. TUI, Montenegro
Phone: 289 590 900
INTERVISA SUL (Head office)
Address: Rua Conselheiro Bivar 58
Phone: 289 805 474
Address: Aeroporto Internacional de Faro - Apartado 2052, Montenegro
Phone: 289 815 672
Address: Av. da República Terminal Rodoviário LJ A 8000-078 Faro
Phone: 289 899 730
FARO MAP - DOWNLOAD AND PRINT THIS HANDY FARO MAP FOR FREE
This map shows you some of the most popular Faro attractions.
FARO ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUMThe Infante D. Henrique Archaeological Museum and Lapidary is located in the former Convent of Nossa Senhora da Assunção (Our Lady of Assumption). Abandoned after religious orders were banned in 1834, the convent even ended up being used as a cork factory throughout much of the 20th century. In 1960, conversion work began turning it into a Museum.
The collection is mostly made up of local archaeological finds dating from the pre-historic through to the medieval with a major emphasis on the Roman. The Roman collection features pieces from the Milreu Ruins: the Ocean mosaic, two tombstones with inscriptions referring to Ossonoba and busts of emperors Agripina, Hadrian and Galien.
There is also a sizeable collection of religious art including 17th and 18th century paintings, some tiling and the diverse range of decorative objects on display in the Ferreira de Almeida Room.
The chapel which was part of the original convent retains its original structure. Now used as an auditorium, it is only open to the public when events are taking place.
Largo Afonso III, nº 14
Phone: +351 289 897 400 Fax / +351 289 897 419
Timetable / Winter – October/May:
Tuesday to Friday: 10 – 12h30 / 14h30 - 17h30pm
Saturday and Sunday: 10h00 – 12h00 /14pm – 16h00
Summer – June/September:
Tuesday to Sunday: 9h30 – 12h30 / 16h00 – 19h00
Closed: Monday and Holidays