Portugal, Algarve, Ilha de Faro, footprints on sandy beach

Getty Images/Dorling Kindersley

Praia de Faro


On the Ilha de Faro, 9km west of the centre, the town's beach has sweeping sand, windsurfing and kitesurfing operators, and a handful of cafes. It's crammed in high summer. Take bus 14 or 16 from the bus station (€2.30, 20 minutes, up to two per hour daily July to September, hourly Monday to Friday only October to June).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Faro attractions

1. Arco da Porta Nova


At the southwestern end of the Largo da Sé is this small 15th-century town gate connecting the old town with the waterfront, where some boats depart.


3.34 MILES

The centrepiece of the Cidade Velha, the sé was completed in 1251 but heavily damaged in the 1755 earthquake. What you see now is a variety of Renaissance…

3. Galeria Trem

3.35 MILES

This converted military warehouse displays contemporary art with temporary exhibitions by local and international artists – painters, photographers,…

4. Arco da Vila

3.35 MILES

Enter the Cidade Velha (Old Town) through the neoclassical Arco da Vila, built in 1812 by order of Bishop Francisco Gomes do Avelar, who oversaw the city…

5. Igreja da Misericórdia

3.36 MILES

The 16th-century Igreja da Misericórdia, opposite the Arco da Vila, was originally built in Manueline (Portuguese late Gothic) style but is now nearly all…

6. Museu Municipal

3.39 MILES

Faro’s domed 16th-century Renaissance Convento de Nossa Senhora da Assunção, in what was once the Jewish quarter, houses the town's local history museum…

7. Igreja de São Pedro

3.41 MILES

While the exterior of this 16th-century church is unassuming, the tri-nave interior has magnificent 18th-century azulejos and intricately carved woodwork,…