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Faro in Eastern Algarve Portugal, Faro is the Algarve’s biggest city and with the main airport for the Algarve, whilst not so well known as a holiday destination. Faro can be a good base for any holiday, you do not see London as a Holiday destination. but it still attracts millions every year.and like London,Faro has its tour buses and small train that guides you around places of interest without the hassle of a guide book.if you are not planing to stay in Faro try to visit as you are so close to the airport, and would be missing a great opportunity.
Faro has it fair share of history and culture along with places of interest, the
Marina and small park with it beautiful buildings surrounding it. with a population
close to 70,000 it has now become the Capital of the Algarve, due to the decline
in trade and the fact the river silt caused the river to become difficult to navigate
the former city of Silves lost its popularity as the main city of the Algarve.
Faro is the main administrative centre for the whole of the Algarve region, The city has both Arab and Roman ruins, but most of the present older buildings were constructed after the disastrous earthquake of 1755 though you would not think so. Many have old wrought iron balconies and there parapet walls with statues and urns. The Moors who occupied the Town in the 8th Century originally gave the city it the name of Ossónoba and developed it into a trading port until 1249. They were then defeated by the forces of Dom Afonso III.
Scenes on some of the hand painted tiles in the various building depict this in the history of Portugal. similar tiles can bee seen on the benches in Portimao in the main square near the fountain.
Faro has some beautiful churches with the finest hand carved wooden altar backdrops lavished in 24ct gold leaf. But the most famous is the city’s. The "golden" church of Nossa Senhora do Carmo the best example in southern Portugal. It also contains the macabre chapel lined with the bones from over 1.200 monks.
Particularly attractive is the old part of the city surrounded by the Roman walls that date back to the 9th century. Inside a spacious open square that was once the site of the Roman Forum is a 13th Century Cathedral that faces the 18th Century Episcopal palace. Another nearby building worth a visit is the 16th Century Convent now the home of the city’s archaeological museum. it covers periods when the Arab occupation ruled .
Next to the small harbour/marina bordering the Praça de Dom Francisco Gomes is a
small Naval Museum with intricate detailed scale model ships, boats and galleons
showing the maritime history of a navy and working life in Portugal. There is also
the Faro Jewish Heritage Centre, which consists of a cemetery and a small museum.
It Still has a strong active connection today. Much of the city is now a thriving
one with its everyday shops restaurants and nightclubs mainly to cater for those
that live in the city centre. Faro is also the home of the Ria Formosa lagoon, a
nature reserve of over 17.000 hectares and a stopping place for hundreds of different
birds during arrival in the spring mating season and then migrating in the autumn
The beach is a bit of a trek being some 7 Klms distant from the city and is a long sandy beach reached by crossing a wooden bridge it is not far from the Airport but don’t let that put you off as you can still relax and read a book or just sunbath. Faro holds many annual events and fairs and it is well worth contacting the tourist office for events and what's on during your visit
Faro Airport round-about
Faro Marina water front