A Local’s Guide to the Best Things to Do in Faro, Portugal

Start Planning Things to do in Faro, Portugal

Did you know that Portugal is known for being one of the sunniest places in Europe? It boasts, on average, an incredible 300 days of sun per year! So, when you visit our little slice of paradise, plan for many outdoor activities to enjoy the best of this beautiful climate. Faro is also known as the capital of the Algarve. The region boasts long stretches of sand, impeccable beaches, and a historic old town centre, so it’s easy to see why tourists flock to our part of the world.

There are plenty of excellent things to do in Faro, from boat trips to kayaking to exploring the area’s old relics. If you’re interested in taking a tour to maximise your visit, look at our eco-friendly Ria Formosa & Faro Tours and Boat Tours. If you have any questions about what we do, please get in touch. For now, we’d love to share some of our favourite things to do in Faro, Portugal to help inspire your trip planning.

Discover Ria Formosa onboard a solar-powered boat from Faro.

Take a Boat Trip to Ria Formosa at Sunset

When visiting the Algarve, visiting Ria Formosa is one of the best things to do. In fact, we’ll venture to say it’s an absolute must-see! Ria Formosa is a natural park made up of five islands, two peninsulas, and a system of tidal lagoons. It’s also a great place to spot wildlife, including flamingos! If you want to experience Ria Formosa properly, you have to take a boat trip. We offer a relaxing boat tour at Lands, only suitable for up to 10 people, to ensure you all get the best boat trip experience possible.

Our experienced skipper will guide you through the lagoons, stopping to point out the wondrous wildlife and natural scenery Ria Formosa has to offer. Have we piqued your interest? Why not take a look at our Boat Trip to Ria Formosa at Sunset

Sunset Ria Formosa Boat Trip

Surfing in the Algarve

Surfing is incredibly popular in the Algarve. Faro, in particular, is home to incredible beaches for all surfing levels. The region has a “wave guarantee”, which means that more or less every day of the year is guaranteed waves. 

Imagine that: every morning you’ll wake up, head down to the roar of the ocean to be met with reliable and consistent waves. There are not many places in the world that can guarantee that! There are plenty of beaches in Faro to choose from, but here is one of our favourites to get you started. 

Praia do Beliche

Praia do Beliche is a stunning beach boasting dramatic cliffs, glistening waters of the Atlantic, soft sand, and, most importantly, perfect waves. Before you visit, it’s important to note that there aren’t any shops or toilets. So remember to be prepared to spend a day down the beach without any amenities! 

It’s completely worth it, though. The jagged coastline protects you from the Atlantic wind, so it’s a great spot to catch some rays.  Whilst you’re at Praia do Beliche, visit the nearby Cabo de São Vicente, a windswept headland spot also known as the end of the world. 

Kayaking in the Algarve

Kayaking is a great way to keep fit and improve your upper body strength. Kayaking is also a popular past-time with the locals and tourists alike. Our Ria Formosa Kayaking Tour is an excellent option for families to learn about the wonders of the Algarve. 

Join our kayaking guide for a two-hour journey through the natural beauty of Ria Formosa. Experience the tranquillity of the lagoon’s calm waters and be face-to-face with Portugal’s wildlife. Don’t worry; our tour isn’t a race! Instead, we glide through the lagoon’s waters at a leisurely paddle to ensure you’re getting the most out of your experience. 

Top Tip: Keep an eye out for Spoonbills, Flamingos, White Storks, and Egrets as you paddle through the lagoon.

Rent a kayak in the Algarve and discover the birds of Ria Formosa around Faro.

Visit Old Town Faro

Located in the heart of Faro, The Old Town is definitely one of the best things to do in Faro. Explore its cobblestone streets, cosy cafes, and incredible architecture. 

Narrow streets and whitewashed buildings in the Old Town in Faro, Portugal

Here are some places to visit in Faro’s Old Town…

Arco de Vila / The Archway

A surviving testament to Portugal of old, check out Arco de Vila in Faro, a Medieval gateway to the city. Keep an eye out for a statue of Saint Thomas of Aquinas; it’s considered to be one of the finest examples of neoclassical art in the Algarve.

If you’re interested in Arco de Villa, you might also like seeing the Porta Nova (New Gate); this gate was built in the 15th Century and connected the town to the waterfront. 

The Bone Chapel 

The Bone Chapel offers an exciting insight into Portugal’s history. Located in the Carmo Church, the walls of the chapel consist of femur bones. Skulls and other bones also decorate the chapel. Make sure to check out the complete skeleton covered in gold at the front of The Bone Chapel. Monks during the Medieval era decided that chapels should remind people that they were only mortal. Above the chapel’s front door, a chilling inscription reads, “Stop here and think of the fate that will befall you-1816”.

Travel Back in Time with The Faro Archeological Museum

The Faro Archeological Museum, also known as the Meseu Municipal, was founded in 1896 as the second museum to be built in the Algarve. Lose yourself in the wonder of artefacts dating back to the Roman and Moorish era. 

Also make sure to browse the galleries, which boast a collection of religious artworks and work from local artist Carlos Porfirio. His work is particularly interesting as it depicts scenes from Faro legends. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the lore of the Capital of the Algarve!

So have we inspired you to plan your trip with our favourite things to do in Faro, Portugal? We hope so! While you’re planning, take a look at our walking and boat tours in Faro…we’d love to show you the wonders of nature in this beautiful region. If you have any questions at all, please do get in touch.

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