Faro, Portugal

A few months ago on a cold, blustery, rainy day at home in Normandie, we decided to take a trip to a warm, sunny location, as soon as possible. We considered several cities in Spain, but after looking into destinations with direct flights from CDG, we decided on Faro, Portugal. We booked a flight, train to and from Paris, hotels, and looked forward to getting away from the rain and cold in just a few weeks.

Faro is located in the Algarve region on the southernmost point of Portugal, and is surrounded by the marine park, Ria Formosa. Dating back to the 8th century B.C., it was an important commercial center at that time due to its location. This beautiful city with moorish architecture, inviting beaches, water sports, and delicious food is a perfect spot for a sunny holiday.

The Old Town is a good place to start your visit. Before you pass through the Arabic Door, which dates back to the 11th century, look up to see the massive stork nests on the top of the building. We learned on our bird watching tour that storks return to the same nest annually, adding on a bit each year. The taller the nest, the older it is.

After passing through the gate, you’ll head up a cobblestone street that opens onto Seminary Plaza where Faro Cathedral is located. Completed in 1251, and rebuilt in 1755 after being destroyed by an earthquake, it was once the site of a Roman temple. There is a small fee to visit the cathedral grounds which include a courtyard, chapel, garden, and bell tower.

Also in the plaza is Faro Story Spot, an interactive, multimedia museum and tavern. I learned much about the history of Faro here, and the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet. I have a degree in food science and nutrition, so this was particularly interesting to me. The tour ended with a taste of some delicious bread, local olive oil, and a glass of wine.

Capela dos Ossos (Bone Chapel) is another church that should be on your itinerary, unless you’re squemish. This small chapel located on the grounds of Igreja do Carmo Church, was constructed using the exhumed bones of the monks who served at the church. Apparently, the cemeteries were overcrowded in the early 1800s, so they found another use for the bones of over 1200 skeletons. I would not have wanted to be involved in that project!

The Jardim da Alameda is another inviting place to visit. It is the largest garden in Faro and includes a wide variety of plants, a playground, cafe, exercise stations, and much more.

We found Faro to be warm, welcoming, and quite pretty as well. Like most cities and towns in Portugal, it has beautiful and creative tiles everywhere you look.

We stayed at Root Hotel near the old town. We had a clean, quiet, comfortable, one bedroom apartment with a deck for only €750 per week.

We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Faro, and I have much more to share about this lovely town in the coming weeks, most importantly, the delicious meals we enjoyed. Click here to check out Terry’s post on eating in Faro.

Wishing you grand adventures,


33 thoughts on “Faro, Portugal

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  1. This is such a wonderful post about one of the most amazing places in Portugal. Portugal has many beautiful cities, and arguably one of the best of them is Algarve’s quaint capital, Faro. Your post also brings back cherished memories from our time there. I find that Faro’s history is compelling, and the Romans’ legacy is tangible. I loved visiting Faro Cathedral, exploring its old town and stopping by the Capela dos Ossos, but unfortunately didn’t have time for a boat trip to Ria Formosa. Hopefully, next time. Thanks for sharing and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

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    1. Thanks so much, I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and photos and that it brought back nice memories for you. I agree with you about Portugal, it’s a lovely country and the people are so friendly. I hope you get to return someday. Thanks, Avia, for your comments, and I hope you have a great day as well!

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  2. Stork nests are something we saw almost every day on our Portuguese Camino – we took so many photos of them 😉. Faro looks like a great place to take photos – you have so many beautiful ones here! The garden is lovely and it certainly looks like you got the sunshine you were looking for.

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    1. The stork nests are truly amazing! We saw many of them as well and always found them interesting. We were thankful for the sun and warmth while it lasted, we’re back in rainy Paris now. Thanks for your comment, and I hope you have a lovely weekend!

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  3. The Arabic Door sure makes a great entrance to Old Town. And the stork nests are huge. At first I didn’t see the nests because they looked too big to be nests! I’ve never seen a stork nest before and what a setting! Capela dos Ossos is very odd, but I’d still like to see it’s weird walls and I’d love to see the lovely Azulejos inside. Maggie

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  4. Mm, Faro looks wonderful, Tricia, definitely on our list one day along with the rest of Portugal. Looks like there is so much to soak up in the old town, props to Terry for some excellent photography. Particularly the interior of the cathedral/chapel with those blue and white tiles. Is it porcelain? I would love to see the Bone Chapel too, it looks absolutely fascinating.

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  5. Wow. Sliding through this blog was like flipping through an expensive coffee table book. One fabulous photograph led to another…and another. Between Terry’s sketches and your photos we feel like we’ve actually visited Faro. And how cool that you visited the Food Museum; a place made for you with your background. As for the funky monk built (literally) Chapel….clever but…there are no words…!

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  6. One of my biggest travel regrets is transiting through Faro and not taking time to explore the city itself. Your photos are gorgeous and just prove to me that I need to go back and check out the architecture (and the bones!)

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  7. I’ve never been to Faro but it looks beautiful. I love that Europe gives the opportunity to just escape to somewhere hot in like an hour’s flight, it’s one of my favourite things about living here 🙂

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  8. I saw a few photos of exquisite decay. Thank you for that… I needed a refill . The stork nests and bone chapel are amazing. I’m just wondering, though… who are the hooligans who stole the skulls on the outside of the chapel? Bad form. Very bad form, indeed.

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  9. Great post! I discovered Faro last year in late summer and I was surprised at how quiet and peaceful everything was. There were barely any tourists and we were free to roam around without any crowds. We also watched a fado show, which was really interesting! Thanks for sharing!

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  10. What a delight to visit Faro with you today! I think the bones in the chapel are both a little creepy and beautifully moving at the same time. How fun though to see the storks returning to their nests. I really love your pictures- you have such an artistic eye for beautiful moments. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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