Faro District

Portugal
Santo Antonio Church showing a city and a sunset

Explore the beaches and castles of Portugal’s southernmost district, a region with luxurious resorts and a pulsating tourist season.

With ancient churches, hilltop castles, a picturesque countryside and beautiful beaches flanking the Atlantic Ocean, Faro is a destination rich with a variety of experiences. Stretch out on golden sand, visit a chapel decorated with human bones and spend some time exploring the small towns and villages of the coast.

The city of Faro is the capital of the district and the ideal starting point for your journey through the region. Venture to the resorts, beaches and bays of the Algarve from the city, but don’t overlook the coastline surrounding the city, which boasts excellent beaches, including the Praia de Faro and the wide stretch of fine golden sand that makes up the Ilha de Faro. Other popular beach destinations in the region include the cities of Tavira and Lagos.

While many come to Faro for its coastal setting and approximately 300 days of sunshine per year, its cultural attractions share the spotlight. Explore the cobblestone streets of Faro’s compact old town. Tour Faro Cathedral, a 13th-century structure built on the site of a mosque, and the nearby Municipal Museum of Faro, which houses artifacts from the prehistoric era alongside centuries old Roman busts and paintings. One of the city's most fascinating sights is the Capela dos Ossos, a chapel decorated with the bones of more than 1,000 human skeletons.

Extend your cultural wanderings to other parts of the Faro district. Visit the medieval castle in Alcoutim, the churches and castle of Loulé and the historic center of Monchique. The countryside around this inland town features numerous hiking trails.

Faro is known for its nightlife, especially in the summer months when the population swells with visitors to the region. Sample local dishes and dance into the night at one of the region’s many bars and restaurants.

Faro city’s international airport receives flights from some European cities and regular flights from Lisbon. Buses and trains connect the city to other parts of the country. Use a rental car to get around to the ancient sites, countryside and fabulous beaches.

Popular cities in Faro District

Lagos showing a coastal town, a beach and swimming
Lagos
Known for Beach view, Marinas and Family-friendly
Lagos is a municipality that lies along the banks of Rio Serafim, Algarve, in southern Portugal. With around 22,000 residents, Lagos is one of the most visited cities in the Portugal, thanks to its beaches and the famous rock formations at Ponta da Piedade. Visitors come to enjoy good food, cool nightlife spots and beautiful sun kissed beaches.

Reasons to visit

  • Lagos Marina
  • Camilo Beach
  • Batata Beach
Faro Island Beach showing general coastal views and a sandy beach
Faro
Known for Friendly people, Dining and Marinas
Faro is a picturesque, medieval city in the South of Portugal, with cobbled streets, café terraces and a natural park complete with beautiful lagoons. For those looking for more than just sun and beaches, Algarve’s capital won’t disappoint. This peaceful, whitewashed city has friendly people, good food and exciting bars, on top of the sun, sea and sand.

Reasons to visit

  • Faro Old Town
  • Faro Cathedral
Tres Irmaos Beach which includes general coastal views, rugged coastline and a beach
Portimao
Known for Beach view, Dining and Marinas
Portimãois a cosmopolitan city with a great selection of restaurants, bars, clubs,shops, a casino and a beautiful marina. It also has one of the best-knownbeaches in the Algarve,the Praia da Rocha.

Reasons to visit

  • Portimao Marina
  • Portimao Museum
Algarve showing a church or cathedral, a small town or village and a pool
Loule
Known for Friendly people, Relaxing and Poolside bars
Explore relaxing Loule: its bars, adventures, ruins and more!

Reasons to visit

  • Vilamoura Marina
Albufeira featuring a sandy beach and landscape views as well as an individual male
Albufeira
Known for Beach view, Dining and Poolside bars
Albufeira is a quaint coastal town where you’ll find some of the most beautiful and sunny beaches in Portugal. Cool off by swimming in the ocean or enjoy local dishes in a restaurant right on the beach. Of course, there’s more than just sea and sand. Wander the cobbled streets of the old city and visit the ruins of Paderne Castle. Go shopping for souvenirs in the city centre before spending your evenings in one of the many bars on the Strip.

Reasons to visit

  • Albufeira Old Town Square
Lagoa
Lagoa
Known for Beach view, Relaxing and Gardens
Lagoa is a town situated between Portimão and Silves in the centre of the Western Algarve. The town was founded around a lagoon, which is where the name Lagoa comes from. Its marshes were dried to create fertile farmland and homes for settlement.