Faro – free walking tour through old town
It’s four times that we visited the Algarve Coast (click if you want to know why the Algarve is great in Winter) and it became a tradition to spent the day of our departure in Faro. Our plane leaves usually in the late afternoon and this gives enough time to stroll around the city and enjoy some last moments of vacations – a last glass of wine in the sun, maybe some delicious pastéis de nata and a final walk through the colourful Portuguese setting.
Faro has a lot of traditional and regional restaurants point – click here to check for offers and availabilities(and to book online without language barrier!)
Faro is only a 40 minutes rides away from Albufeira, which makes it the perfect destination for a day trip. Or like in our case, to level up the departure day.
Tip: the parking situation might be a little tricky when not visiting off season; we have been lucky and found a parking spot directly at the port. However, there is a big parking place on the other side of the old town of Faro.
Accomodation If you have a bit more time in Faro and visiting with kids, check if the Casa das Andorinhas is available on your travel dates. It’s a 2 bed room house located in the old town of Faro. Otherwise I recommend the Main Streets Apartments, the location is – as the name indicates – on the main street, and apart from the very tasteful interior: have a look at that roof top patio!!
If you search rather for an hotel than an apartment, the Aqua Ria Boutique Hotel is your best choice. It’s extremely nicely located (one could say: perfect!) in the center of Faro. Close to shops, restaurants, bars and the beautiful old town. Click here for more info and rates.
Faro Old Town Walking Tour
Classy as we are, our tour starts by marching through the Arco da Vila Gate. Once arriving at the port of Faro, you really can’t miss it, as the the gate is just across the Jardim Manuel Bívar. You might easily oversee this garden though, especially if you don’t know that rather a lovely old fashioned square with leafy and shady trees than a garden.
Tip: Look up! Depending on the season, there is a stork sitting on every pillar and chimney in Faro!
Once you’ve entered the old town, your paths leads over cobbled stoned streets (old town as you do it) up to the Igreja da Sé, the cathedral of Faro. This cathedral from the late 13th century is the center of Faro’s old town. It doesn’t require much to imagine the wide forecourt in the hustle and bustle of a medieval market or a poor (or not) fellow being in the pillory, roasting under the burning sun.
Don’t cross this square just now. Have a look at the houses around, sometimes you can steal a peek into their gardens, take a break under an orange tree and admire the calmness of this place. Assuming it is calm and deserted, otherwise just cross, it’s fine.
Do you miss more ideas for your Algare vacation? Don’t miss our top 25 winter activities for the Algarve coast
From there head south (whatever that means, just walk kinda straight right). You arrive soon on a little esplanade along the waterside that on it’s end leads you back into the old town and to a square lined up with bars and little restaurants. Take a
drink break as we did or just keep on walking back to Arco da Vila Gate to leave Faro’s old town.
Where to eat?
We found O11ZE by chance and decided to stop for a drink, (it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right?). But when studying the menu, the tapas became irresistible and we upgraded the quick drink to a lunch. And what should I say? It was simply perfect; the sun was shining, the drinks cold and the tapas super yummy and not less important: no cars around! Means: our kids could freely run around and play.
Walking tour through Faro’s old town – Itinerary
This is really not a challenging walk. A more sportive person could probably run the entire route in like 10 Minutes. Luckily I am not, that would have been a short stay in Faro. We had a very relaxed 2h walk, including breaks, talks, slow strolling and lunch. This walk is totally suitable for kids. Just be aware that in typical old town style, you have cobble stone roads everywhere which might be complicated for small wheel strollers.
And if you have more time: Faro’s attractions and point of interests in a round-up:
- Praia de Faro – a wide beach with bars and cafés
- Municipal Museum of Faro
- Trem Municipal Gallery of Art (it’s free!)
- Ria Formosa – a natural wetland park that you can explore walking, cycling, kayaking and even on a Segway
- Top Tip for Faro with kids: Centro Ciencia Viva do Algarve – a small science museum and zoo with a good variety of hands-on experiences
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