The Algarve is Portugal’s southernmost region, and one of the most popular vacation destinations in Europe. Blessed with a superb coastline and some of the country’s most beautiful beaches, it is an ideal spot to complete your Romantic & Relaxing Portugal Tour. A string of sandbar islands and lagoons form part of a beautiful and protected natural park, and a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere pervades the border towns and villages. Over to the west, a very different Algarve beckons. Wilder and more remote, this is a place to escape the crowds and where surfers seek communion with a restless Atlantic Ocean.
Faro, the capital of The Algarve is full of history and culture. Surprisingly for a city, it retains its peaceful ambience and traditional charm that is centered around the pretty walled Old Town and area surrounding the marina. Faro Cathedral originates from the 13th/14th centuries and may not look very grand from the outside, but inside is another story with intricate gilded carving, decorated tiles (azulejos) and works of art that are well worth seeing. The Museu Municipal is housed in a former 16th-century convent that is worth visiting for its beautiful Renaissance cloister alone. The Museum traces the city’s cultural heritage and the permanent collection, arranged chronologically, spans prehistory until today. Away from the main tourist route Igreja do Carmo, with its twin bell towers, is well worth a visit too. This 18th-century church features the earliest example of Rococo architecture in the Algarve and probably the strangest sight of Faro, the Capela Dos Ossos; the bone chapel. The bones of overcrowded cemeteries were stored in the small chapel and were incorporated into the designs of the chapel, with skulls lining the walls!
Tour in a nutshell: Free day in The Algarve. Overnight The Algarve.