Is Faro Worth Visiting? 23 Pros & Cons To Help You Decide!

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Is Faro worth visiting? 🤔 If you’re asking this question, you’re in the right place. This post will give you the information you need to decide if Faro, Portugal is worth the trip.

Faro, a city located in Southern Portugal, is full of historical sights, great day trip options, close to beautiful beaches and can be a safe, affordable place to stay in the Algarve.

With nearly endless sunshine, golden sand beaches, and an enchanting coastline, there’s so much to see in the Algarve. Faro’s convenient location makes it the perfect home base for exploring the region. However, depending on the type of vacation you’re looking for, another location may be a better fit.

My Algarve solo travel adventures have helped me get to know the different areas near Faro. Below, we’ll explore some of the top reasons Faro, Portugal is worth visiting as well as why you might want to choose somewhere else.

view of faro portugal from plane window

17 Reasons Faro Is Worth Visiting

1. Amazing Weather

The Algarve has an incredible climate, with over 300 days of sunshine each year. This makes it an ideal destination for anyone seeking consistent warm weather. and a low possibility of rain!

It’s easy to see why the mild winters and hot, dry summers attract visitors all year-round, allowing for a variety of outdoor activities without the inconvenience of extreme weather conditions.

rocky faro coastline

2. World-Class Beaches

The Algarve is home to some of the most stunning beaches in the world and Faro is no exception. Praia de Faro, located just outside the city center, is home to pristine stretches of golden sand and clear turquoise waters; total paradise!

A short trip from Algarve’s capital is Ilha Deserta, one of the barrier islands known for its gorgeous beaches. A boat trip to this island of sandy beaches will bring you to one of the best places to relax during those peak summer months.

Plus, Faro is also close to a number of other beaches in nearby towns like Olhão, Tavira, and Monte Gordo. All of these offer beautiful beaches perfect for sunbathing and swimming, as well as plenty of restaurants and activities.

READ NEXT: The Ultimate Algarve Solo Travel Guide

3. Surfing Opportunities

The Algarve’s coastline, with its favorable wind and wave conditions, is a haven for surfers of all levels. Faro, in particular, offers easy access to some fantastic surf spots. From beginner-friendly waves at Praia de Faro to more challenging breaks further along the coast, there is no shortage of options for catching the perfect wave.

Surf schools and rental shops are readily available, making it convenient for anyone wanting to take up the sport or improve their skills.

4. Convenient Location

Faro’s is known as the gateway to the Algarve. This city is exceptionally convenient for travelers since it’s home to the region’s primary international airport.

If you’re arriving by plane, it’s definitely worth staying in Faro to avoid the inconvenience of having to lug all your belongings from Faro to your home base.

5. Accommodations Options

When it comes to accommodations in Faro, there’s something for every budget and taste. Whether you’re looking for luxurious resorts like 3HB with top-notch amenities or cozy guesthouses like Opus One that offer a more intimate experience, you’ll find plenty of options to choose from.

Being close to the Faro airport means even more options. For those on a tighter budget, hostels and affordable hotels provide comfortable stays without breaking the bank. You can find rooms as low as $30, and even for high-end options, prices rarely exceed $300 per night.

Plus, the central location of many accommodations means you’re never far from the city’s attractions, making it easy to explore Faro.

READ NEXT: 15 Fabulous Day Trips from Faro, Portugal

6. Affordability

Not only are accommodations super economical, Faro is an overall affordable destination, offering great value without compromising on quality or experience.

Dining out is reasonably priced, with a variety of options ranging from traditional Portuguese restaurants to international cuisine. Many of the city’s attractions, such as historical sites and beautiful beaches, can be enjoyed without spending more than $10-15.

Additionally, public transportation and local services are cost-effective, making it easier for budget-conscious travelers to make the most of their visit. Plus, Faro is so walkable, you likely won’t have to spend much on public transport unless you venture out on day trips.

popular portuguese dish francesinha

7. Delicious Restaurants & Food

From authentic Portuguese dishes like bacalhau à brás and fresh seafood to international cuisine that adds a global flair, there’s something delicious to try at any of the many restaurants in Faro.

TIP: When you’re in the Algarve, you absolutely have to try Cataplana de Marisco, the Portuguese take on paella, the darling of Spanish cuisine. I couldn’t get enough of this seafood dish that combines lobster, clams, squid, and other fresh ingredients, gently cooked with herbs, white wine, and tomatoes.

8. Lively Nightlife

When the sun sets, Faro comes alive with a buzzing nightlife that captures the city’s youthful energy and rich cultural vibe. With an array of lively bars, cozy pubs, and elegant nightclubs, everyone will be able to find something they enjoy.

If you’re in the mood for a quiet drink with your travel companions, Bago Wine Bar is your spot. If you’re ready to dance the night away, head to Call In Faro for cocktails and music.

9. Walkable City

One of the best things about visiting Faro is how walkable the city is. Its compact layout makes it easy to explore its historic streets, charming squares, and scenic waterfront on foot. Plus, there are tons of pedestrian-friendly pathways ensure winding through the city.

TIP: Take a walking tour for an intimate look at Faro’s rich history and unique architecture.

10. Charming Old Town

Faro’s old town and historical center, known as Cidade Velha, is a must-visit. Here, you can wander through the narrow cobbled streets and admire the beautiful architecture, including historic buildings like the Faro Cathedral.

The city also offers various cultural attractions, such as the Faro Municipal Museum, where you can learn about the region’s rich history and heritage and see a wide collection of artifacts dating back to Roman times. You’ll also want to snap a photo of the national monument, the Arco da Vila.

church of bones in faro

11. Unique Historical Sights

Carve out some space in your itinerary for a visit to a site you won’t find anywhere else in the Algarve: the Capela dos Ossos, otherwise known as the Bone Chapel of Faro. This small chapel features an interior dressed entirely in human bones, featuring the skeletal remains of over 1,200 monks.

flamingos in ria formosa near faro

12. Ria Formosa Natural Park

Located right next door to Faro’, Ria Formosa Natural Park is a sprawling expanse of natural beauty with lagoons, mudflats, and islands that nature lovers and adventure seekers will enjoy.

You can take a boat tour to explore its diverse ecosystems, spot an array of migratory birds, or simply enjoy a peaceful walk along its scenic trails.

The park is also haven for birdwatchers, offering a chance to see flamingos, storks, and other fascinating birds in their natural habitat.

View from above at Ponta da Piedade. A white sailboat crosses in front of the sandstone cliffs.
Ponta da Piedade in Lagos

13. Perfect For Day Trips

The city’s location makes it an ideal base for Faro day trips where you can explore nearby attractions and towns in the Algarve region. You can easily visit Lagos’ Ponta da Piedade, a breathtaking headland filled with golden yellow rock formations and picturesque arches that jut out of the sea.

Or explore historic sites such as the Castle of Silves, a former mosque, current national monument, and impressive example of Gothic architecture.

With convenient transport links, including buses, trains, and well-maintained roads, planning day trips from Faro is both easy and rewarding.

14. Proximity to International Borders

Another thing that makes Faro worth the visit is its proximity to other countries, including the Spanish border and Gibraltar.

Within a couple of hours, you can be exploring the vibrant streets of Seville or soaking in the cultural melting pot that is Gibraltar.

Train journeys from Faro to Spanish cities, such as Seville and Cadiz, take around 2 to 3 hours. Plus, since Portugal and Spain are both part of the Schengen area, you won’t have to worry about border control.

READ NEXT: Algarve in Winter: Visiting Faro, Lagos & Albufeira

15. Annual Festivals

Faro hosts several lively annual festivals that showcase the region’s rich culture and traditions. The Faro International Motorcycle Rally, held every July, attracts thousands of motorbike enthusiasts from around the world and features parades, live music, and scenic rides.

In August, the Ria Formosa Festival celebrates the local seafood and maritime heritage with delicious food stalls, traditional performances, and boat races.

There’s also the Faro Jazz Festival in September, where you can enjoy a series of jazz concerts performed by both international and local artists in charming outdoor settings.

16. Cultural Heritage

Faro’s rich cultural richness is not only evident in its festivals and cuisine, but also in its deep-rooted traditions. One fascinating fact about Faro is the traditional handicrafts such as pottery, cork products, and lacework, made with techniques that have been passed down through generations.

These crafts reflect the pride and craftsmanship of the local community and offer an opportunity to bring a piece of Faro’s culture home.

17. Fewer Crowds

Faro offers a genuine and peaceful experience, different from the bustling vibes of Lisbon or Porto. The smaller tourist crowds create opportunities for deeper connections with the locals.

For anyone craving a quiet, leisurely holiday, Faro’s tranquil environment means you’ll be able to truly soak up the beach town’s serenity, especially if you visit the Algarve in winter.

PS: Need a little more help with timing? Check out this full guide to the best time to visit Portugal.

18. Safety

Faro is a super safe location to visit. I never felt unsafe when I was exploring this gorgeous region.

Portugal’s reputation as one of Europe’s safest countries, with remarkably low crime rates, provides a sense of security for all travelers.

In fact, Portugal consistently ranks among the top 10 most peaceful countries according to the Global Peace Index.

doorway in faro covered with portuguese tiles

6 Reasons Faro May Not Be Worth Visiting

1. Far From Certain Sights

While Faro is certainly close enough for a day trip, if you’re goal is to spend as much time as possible at some of the Algarve’s most popular natural sights, there may be other locations that are a better fit.

Lagos is a great place to stay if you’re drawn to the golden cliffs of Ponta da Piedade and Carvoeiro is great for anyone who wants to hike to Algar Seco or explore Benagil Caves.

2. Off-Season Closures

Many of Faro’s attractions and activities are seasonal, particularly those centered around the beach and outdoor experiences. Visitors in the off-season might find fewer things to do and a limited number of open establishments, especially along the coast.

3. Fewer Historical Sights

If it’s your first time visiting Portugal, Faro can be a great addition. However, keep in mind that you won’t find anywhere near the same amount of historical sights as you will in spots like Lisbon and Porto. While Portugal is a small country, Faro is a bit too far to make either of these cities a day trip.

4. Language Barriers

Since Faro draws fewer tourists compared than some other parts of Portugal, you might encounter fewer English speakers. This can be a hurdle for those who don’t speak Portuguese and rely on English for communication.

5. Limited Luxury Accommodations

Faro doesn’t have as many high-end or luxury accommodation options compared to more popular destinations. If you’re looking for a luxurious vacation, consider staying at the Four Seasons in Vilamoura.

6. Limited Entertainment for Kids

Faro doesn’t have as many family-oriented entertainment options, like theme parks and large aquariums, which could make it less appealing for families with young children. Lagos may be a better place to stay so you can visit the Lagos Zoo. The zoo features a variety of animals from all over the world with around 150 total species.

If you decide Faro’s not right for you, here are a few alternatives to consider:

  • Aveiro: If you make it to Northern Portugal, definitely check out this canal-filled city that’s often called the Venice of Portugal.
  • Madeira: This stunning island is full of waterfalls, hikes and the mysteriously enchanting Fanal Forest.
  • Porto: A historic city filled with beautiful Instagram spots and Portugal’s signature port wine.
boats off algarve coast

The Best Time To Visit Faro

Personally, I find late Spring or early Autumn to be the best time to visit Faro. This is when the weather is pleasantly warm and the crowds from summer tourists have subsided.

For the best surfing in Algarve, be sure to stick around from November up through April.

Christmastime also has its charms. If you’re headed to Faro in December, don’t miss Casa do Pai Natal, the famous Christmas market in Manuel Bilvar Garden. The town puts on dance and theatre performances and highlights local food and handicrafts. This charming event is full of holiday cheer!

How Many Days To Spend In Faro

If you’re wondering how long to spend in Faro, 1-2 days can be enough to see the main sights and visit the beach. However, I highly recommend you add on 3-4 extra days to take day trips from Faro to some of the other incredible locations in the Algarve.


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Sydney

Sydney is a solo travel expert who’s extensively explored Spain, Portugal, Morocco, California, and more! She creates travel guides and itineraries to share everything she's learned about the Iberian peninsula through personal experience and exploration.

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