9 Great Day trips from Faro City in Portugal
Situated just 10 minutes drive from Faro Airport, the Algarve’s regional airport, the city of Faro city of Faro is the perfect location for an Algarve holiday. Although it’s the closest city to the airport, Faro city is considerably less touristy than many of the other towns on the Algarve. Most visitors fly into Faro Airport and then immediately go to one of the coastal towns in the Central Algarve like Albufeira, Carvoreiro, or Ferragudo.
If you are wondering what are the things to do in Faro, read on to know more about Faro Day Trips and Excursions. Explore the peaceful East Algarve! Faro can be the base to explore Algarve region – culture, history, and beaches. If you are thinking how long you should stay in Faro, a week to 10 days in Faro is ideal. Faro’s biggest pro isn’t its lack of tourists, but its location. There is plenty to see and do near Faro, and the city also provides the perfect base from which to explore the neighboring towns in the Algarve, the Alentejo, Lisbon, Morocco, and even Spain. There is a choice of some of the best day tours from Faro. Curated here is some of the best day trips from Faro city in Portugal.
Pego do Inferno
Pego do Inferno is a waterfall located roughly 35 km from Faro, near the picturesque town of Tavira. This isn’t one of the Algarve’s most signposted attractions. In fact, it’s not signposted at all. You’ll need to follow a Google Map to find it – a journey that involves walking up a river!
It’s definitely worth it, though! Pego do Inferno itself is beautiful, the water is cool, and swimming next to a freshwater waterfall is incredibly relaxing.
The remoteness of this attraction not only means there are few other tourists there, but it means that the journey to get there is almost as exciting as the waterfall itself.
Ilha da Barreta, also known as Ilha Deserta, is a little island off the coast near Faro. Although the island has some beautiful, natural beaches, it is only accessible by boat. Its relative inaccessibility means that the beaches of Ilha da Barretta attract considerably fewer tourists than the mainland beaches near Faro city. This is one of the best day trips from Faro.
Getting to the boat is easy, particularly if you plan in advance. Ferries go to and from the island several times per day and the journey to the island, which goes through the beautiful Ria Formosa, is as worthwhile as the visit to the island itself.
There is a restaurant on the island, Restaurante Estaminé, however, there are no shops so be sure to bring shade, sunscreen, and plenty of water.
The Ria Formosa is a natural collection of small islands and lagoons off the coast of Faro city. It is a haven for all kinds of wildlife, particularly birds such as red-crested pochard, cattle egrets, and purple herons. The area is also rich in seafood such as oysters, octopus, cuttlefish, crab, and cockles, all of which are supplied to seafood restaurants throughout Portugal.
Boat tours leave from the marina in Faro and take you through the Ria Formosa and onto many of the islands. It’s a fantastic way to spend a relaxing day near Faro.
The Spanish town of Seville is situated just 2 hours from Faro city (note: there is a one hour time difference). Seville’s proximity to Faro means it’s suitable for a day trip, although it does require a little planning.
As well as the time difference, it’s important to note that many shops close for the afternoon in Seville for the siesta. This means that you should ideally get to Seville as soon as possible, to ensure that you have plenty of time to explore the city while everything is open.
To get to Seville, there are two options. The first, and probably the easiest option, is to take the bus. While there is no train service between Faro and Seville, buses go between the two cities several times per day.
The other option is by car. This option is less attractive than traveling by bus, as most car hire companies charge extra if you want to take your car across a border. While it is possible to take the bus across the border and then hire a car, this process is quite time-consuming and it’s much more convenient just to take the bus.
Portugal’s capital city, Lisbon, is a popular destination on most travelers’ itineraries. And, good news: it’s possible to get to and from Lisbon within a day by train.
The journey from Faro to Lisbon by train takes roughly 3 hours, and the first train will get you into Lisbon for 10:00. The last train leaves Lisbon at 18:31, giving you more than 8 hours to explore the city.
This is just enough time to see many of the main attractions including Praça do Comércio, Castelo de São Jorge, Alfama, Torre de Belém, Mosteiro Jeronimos, and the Padrão dos Descobrimentos.
It’ll be a flying visit but, as Lisbon is quite a compact city, it’s possible to see most of the main attractions and get a feel for it in a day.
Once the capital of the Algarve, Silves is a small town in the Central Algarve that’s popular with history lovers. It’s most famous for the Moorish castle that sits atop the hill behind the town, although the winding streets of the Old Town and the Cathedral are both worthwhile attractions as well.
Although Silves gets its fair share of visitors, mainly in the form of coach tours visiting the castle on a day trip, the town isn’t as touristy as some of the other towns on the Central Algarve. It’s a town that’s still lived in by many Portuguese people, and as such there are plenty of good restaurants most notably Marisqueira Rui and Churrasqueira Valdemar.
Situated just 45 minutes drive from Faro city, the picturesque town of Tavira is a must-see for anyone visiting Faro and the Eastern Algarve. While Faro is a small city, most of the Algarve is made up of small towns like Tavira. A day trip or half-day trip to Tavira will give you a good idea of what one of those towns feels like. Tavira’s is one of the most beautiful of all the towns on the Algarve, and as well as getting a feel for the Algarve way of life, you’ll be able to snap some great holiday photos as well.
Situated on the South-Western tip of Portugal, Sagres is the surfing capital of the Algarve. Here, you will find countless surf schools, surf rental shops, and hostels catering to surfers and all things surfing.
If you’re not interested in taking a surf lesson, you can also visit Sagres Point. This is where Henry the Navigator’s 15th Century school was based, and it’s here that some of Portugal’s greatest explorers honed their craft for the journey ahead.
As well as history and surfing, the Western Algarve’s rugged coastline is a popular destination for walking. You’ll find a number of short walks near Sagres, including the Rota Vicentina which starts (or ends) at Cabo de São Vicente nearby.
Évora, a city around 2-and-a-half hours from Faro city, is the capital city of the Alentejo. The Alentejo is Portugal’s largest region, and it’s even more laid-back and rural than the Algarve. Évora, however, is quite modern in comparison, helped by having a university in the town.
Évora’s key attractions include the former Roman Temple of Évora, the Cathedral of Évora, and the Capela dos Ossos – a chapel made of human bones. A few miles outside of the town, there’s also the Almendres Cromlech standing stones. These standing stones date back as far as 6,000 bc, making them even older than Stonehenge in England.
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