Faro is an age-old favourite destination for families looking for some fun in the sun from across Europe and the UK. It has a long-standing reputation for being a party beach town for much of the year. However, Faro has a lot to offer whether you’re partying or not – whether you’re exploring its lesser-known aspects or if you’re using it as a base to explore the rest of the Algarve and southern Portugal.
Faro flights booked through Monarch don’t cost that much; and once you’re there, you can get around by bus, car or foot. If you are comfortable driving in Portugal then you can consider hiring a car in Faro to get around at your own leisure. Make sure you keep your eyes open for the odd vehicles that Faro is famous for, including the pickup trucks with motorcycle fronts. And although people do speak English, the locals will appreciate your efforts to speak a little Portuguese, too!
3 Highlights of Faro:
Photo by: R Stacker
Faro Jewish Heritage Centre
Established in 1851, the Faro Jewish Cemetery is the primary resting place for the Jewish community in Portugal. . The descendants of the Jews that fled Portugal during the Inquisition were invited by the Marquis of Pombal to return in 1755, following a devastating earthquake in Lisbon, to help rebuild the economy.
The cemetery features over a hundred graves, with ornate, intricately engraved slabs, as opposed to headstones. There’s also a museum that features furniture from the old synagogues, as well as the facsimile edition of Gacon’s 1478 Pentateuch in Hebrew, which was the first book printed in Portugal.
A boat trip to Rio Formosa
Make sure you take a break from the beach to visit Rio Formosa via boat. It’s a nature reserve that stretches along Portugal into Spain. The trip lasts two and half hours and costs around €20. It leaves from a jetty close to the Centro Historico and includes a stopover on an island.
There are little villages and towns in the area that are worth visiting, too. Cabanas de Tavira has an abundance of bars and cafés that run alongside the riverfront. There are also 30,000 species of birds that live in the area, so keep an eye out for some of the rarer types.
The Faro International Motorcycle Rally
Europe’s most esteemed motorcycle rally takes place in Faro in late July. Thousands of motorcyclists from Europe descend on Faro for a weekend of biker partying and good times.
Once you’re done checking out the more interesting vehicles that bikers bring down, make sure you check out the odd biker paraphernalia, the tattoo contests, the 23-hour bars and the local live music.
Check out Monarch flights and deals to Portugal today – you’ll be glad you did.