The capital of Algarve is a very versatile city. It attracts car travelers for a variety of reasons. As a coastal town, Faro will allow you to enjoy such timeless pleasures as sea, sun, wonderful beaches and excellent seafood.
On the other hand, the local historical architecture also inspires the tourists’ admiration: a quiet Old Town full of attractions hides from the hustle and bustle of this world. Whatever your interests and preferences, you are sure to find something interesting – all you need to do is hire a car.
With a hire car, you will have complete freedom of action, allowing you to decide on your own where to go and what to see. If you still haven’t compiled a travel list to Faro, here’re some great ideas for your journey!
Roman Ruins of Milreu
Located less than ten minutes drive from Faro, this hillside is waiting to tell you its story. And this story began in the 300s of our era when a luxurious Roman villa was built there. Unfortunately, today almost nothing is left of it. The foundations and lower floors of many buildings have survived.
You will also see a wonderful mosaic with fish motifs, which looks almost untouched by time. The estate also contained agricultural facilities such as oil and wine presses, and even a temple, which was converted into a Christian place of worship in the 500s. Later, the Moors also used this place – the remains of a Muslim cemetery serve as evidence of their occupation.
Address: Milreu Roman Remains, Estoy, Portugal
Praia de Faro
This beach is very close to the airport. If you are tired of an exhausting flight, get in your hire car and drive there for relaxation. Similar to the beaches of the Ria Formosa islands, it looks like an endless strip of pristine golden sand, washed by the waves of the sea.
This beach is wild and civilized at the same time. On the one hand, there are mini-hotels and bars in its busier places, so you won’t be short of amenities. On the other hand, those who value solitude don’t have to go too far to find themselves in a private area.
Address: Praia de Faro, Faro, Portugal
Algarve Live Science Center
Its expositions will interest young inquisitive minds. There’s a sensory pool with fish and shellfish living near the Ria Formosa. Children can hold a scorpion in their hands, and you will find that your children are more daring than adults.
Also, the center has subjects devoted to astronomy, tectonic plates, earthquakes, kinetic energy, and tides. Moreover, acquaintance with serious scientific issues occurs in an easy interactive form.
Address: Centro Ciência Viva do Algarve, Rua Comandante Francisco Manuel, Faro, Portugal
Forum Algarve Shopping Center
In case the weather doesn’t allow sunbathing on the beach, there’s another pastime option. Drive your hire car to the large shopping and entertainment center on the western outskirts of Faro.
There are many shops selling budget brands like Zara, Bershka, Fnac, Oysho and Pull & Bear. The mall also has a large food court, a children’s playground and a multi-screen cinema.
Address: Forum Algarve, Faro, Portugal
Pousada Palacio Estoi
Not far from the Roman ruins of Milreu, there’s a splendid palace built in 1840. Its style can be described as an imitation of Rococo. Inside, you will see frescoes framed by many stucco ornaments, while the terraced gardens feature a monumental staircase and a pretty pavilion decorated with blue and white azulejo tiles.
The whole place has been in a neglected and dilapidated state for many decades, but for several years the city authorities have restored the palace. Now it’s reopened to visitors.
It serves as a historic hotel. However, you can come there not only as a lodger, but just to explore the palace and its exquisite gardens. By the way, if you are traveling on a hire car, you can combine a visit to the Roman ruins of Milreu and Pousada Palacio Estoi.
Address: Pousada Palacio Estoi, Rua de São Jose, Faro, Portugal
It’s a very popular place among travelers, but luckily there are enough parking spaces nearby to leave your car hire vehicle.
The cathedral was opened in 1251, just two years after the city was conquered by the Moors. This explains the warlike appearance of the cathedral’s facade with a square Gothic tower.
You can climb to the top to admire Faro streets and the lagoon. The cathedral is the few that have survived from the middle of the XIII century to the present day. The rest of the building has undergone significant changes, as it was almost completely destroyed as a result of an attack by the British in 1596.
Now luxurious gilded wood paneling and multicolored azulejos adorn the interiors of the cathedral.
Address: Faro Cathedral, Largo da Sé, Faro, Portugal