Most people tend to travel to a big city or the capital of a country when they explore a country for the first time. I do things differently. I prefer to explore a country through its least touristic town. Of course, a specific town cannot describe all the culture of a country but I believe it really gives you the most unexpected surprise. That’s why I went to Málaga or Tarifa for the first visit in Spain instead of Barcelona or Madrid. I did again this October and flew to the southernmost place in Portugal – Faro.
Located in the southernmost point of Algarve, Faro has a huge advantage in weather. ‘We are lucky and happy living in this land where there is good weather all the time’ – the host of my stay said. Not many people really know Faro. But, a large amount of surfers know about this small town. Yes, Faro is one of perfect destinations for whom loves surfing. Nonetheless, Faro is known by its natural beauty Ria Formosa. It’s the major touristic attraction for people would like to pay a visit in Faro.
THE OLD FARO
First day in Faro, I couldn’t help my excitement to see Ria Formosa. So, I took a guide tour to be out there and headed to Ilha Deserta. Go ahead check out my previous post about the trip to this wonderful Ria Formosa and the visit to Ilha Deserta, HERE.
Got some time to wait before the tour, I wandered around the old town of Faro. I wouldn’t say that it gave me a great impression but it was a cute town with lots of characters. Entering Arco da Villa, it led me to the big square of this old town. Not like other old towns, Faro presents itself differently. No massive cathedral or any magnificent fountains, there is Sé de Faro standing in the heart of the old town unveiling its simplicity of Baroque and Gothic appeals. I did pay a visit few days later and I was really sad that the tower was in construction so it was not possible to climb up there. The cathedral itself is, again, not something splendid. However, there is a corner that appears to me the light of God. I do not believe in God but that picture absolutely stunned me. The signing book stood in the corner of the stairway next to a big window. The sun went through lightening up the dark corner.
The chapel of bones are something interesting to check out. Sé de Faro has a tiny one, but you can be amazed of the big room which is covered completely by bones in Igreja de Carmo. It’s not so far from the old town.
It is quite obvious that the old town is actually old. All the buildings have a touch of history, or they are simply untouched by modernity. However, it brings them charm. It was quite quiet when I was there. The silence in the town was really calming and gave me the chance to enjoy the surroundings serenely.
One of the must-sees must be Faro Archaeological Museum. The building itself is remarkable with a stunning courtyard and arched hallways. If you get the chance, just for €5 and you will educated with Portuguese music and its famous 12- string guitar by the guitarist Joan Cuna.
From Faro, it is easy to reach to other towns by bus with a reasonable fee. I was not in luck when I was there were few days raining and the weather condition was not so good. I visited some places but the weather did not allow me to do things that I had planned to do. However, those are things that I would definitely go back for:
VISIT OLHÃO TO SEE THE TWO BEAUTIFUL ISLANDS – CULATRA & ARMONA
It was a bad luck that it was raining when I visited Olhão. I heard about Culatra and Armona and felt so sad that I couldn’t go there. I would suggest you to take an early bus so you can take the boat at 11am and spend some good time in either of these islands. If you visit this place in the summer, there are more boats coming and going so that it will be more flexible.
Get on the cruise to explore the Algarve’s caves
Again with the bad weather, I got a last-minute phone call and my cruise was cancelled because of the big wind. But it is definitely the must-see.