The quaint, historic city of Faro is a great place to stop by to discover lessor known, local gems, without there being too many tourists. Faro has an up-and-coming feel hence is an amazing place to take advantage of, yet at the same time, with a more relaxed feel, than the bigger cities further north. If you have time spare or alternatively want to add an extra day to your luxury Purely Portugal trip, make sure to stop in Faro and enjoy the quieter Portuguese beauty on offer, you won’t be disappointed!
There is no shortage of fascinating, historical influences that can still be seen today. From the likes of the Moorish influences on the 17th Century stone wall entrance, which still partly encloses the city (Muralhas de Faro) through to the Gothic Cathedral which was constructed on ancient Roman ruins (this, amazingly, was previously a mosque), you will blown away by the history of this small city. It is also worth going up the tower in the Cathedral to see a bird’s eye view over the beautiful region.
The old town (Vila Adentro) is easy to get around by foot and is filled with characteristic buildings, cobbled streets, a typical Portuguese food market (Mercado Municipal de Faro), delicious local restaurants and boutique shops. It is easy to feel somewhat like a local in Faro’s friendly and welcoming city, it seems that some tourists don’t realise what this unique place has to offer.
Sampling the local cuisine is a must do, there are some beautifully simplistic dishes that will tantalize your taste buds. The local food doesn’t come much fresher than succulent grilled sardines, clams and cockles in garlic olive oil, for example, or piri piri chicken. Last but not least, you can’t miss the mouthwatering sweet treat; Pastel de Nata (best served hot) which can be found in typical Portuguese bakeries, often appearing in street windows.
Faro also has an intriguing artistic and archeological history which can be seen in the beautiful Municipal Museum, a former convent. Here, you will witness the Roman influence in the first room through to the Latin in the second, and lastly Islamic in the last, taking you back deep in history to the diverse cultures and styles. It is a beautiful building not far which is worth a visit.
Another ‘not to be missed’ gem is the tranquil beach called Ilha Deserta, a perfect way to un-wind and escape the heat for a dip in the transparent waters. A short boat ride from the old town will get you to the golden sanded beach, an incredible seven kilometers long, you will be sure to find a perfect spot! If you love gorgeous beaches and serenity, then this is a must visit.
For more information and inspiration regarding luxury tours in Portugal visit Purely Portugal