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Faro at a Glance

Faro is a waterside town, bordered by the stunning Ria Formosa Nature Reserve. The city’s harbour is a social hub, full of restaurants, cafes and bars. Nightlife is abundant and the city has a surprising authentic Portuguese vibe, more so than any other Portugal resort town.

Once called Ossonoba, Faro spent 500 years under Moorish occupation. The city has both Roman and Arab ruins, and its Bone Chapel, located in the old town, draws a great many visitors every year.

Faro is the capital of and a gateway to the entire Algarve, with the only international airport being located here.

Not to be missed When in Faro, these are the sights you should make time to see:

  • Ria Formosa Nature Reserve: This lagoon system was created in 1755 as a result of the last great oceanic earthquake. Sand dunes, islands and bars house many archeological sites from the Roman and Pre-Roman settlements.
  • Praia de Faro: This is the main beach in Faro, and regarded as one of the best in the Algarve.
  • Old Town: Surrounded by Roman walls, see the square that used to be the Roman Forum, a 13th century cathedral and a 16th century convent.
  • Milreu Ruins: This national monument showcases the most important remains of the Roman presence in the Algarve. It is located just outside of Faro.
  • Capela dos Ossos: The Bone Chapel. See Uniquely Faro for more details on this eerie attraction.

Uniquely Faro Many people cannot believe it until they see it, but there truly is a chapel made of human bones in Faro. Built by the Carmelite Monks in 1816, this Bone Chapel is actually just one of many found in Portugal. The walls have been constructed of femurs with mortar and skulls and bones are strategically placed throughout the inside. At the front of the chapel a completely gold-covered skeleton hangs. The chapel is actually made of the remains of 1245 monks.

Good to know about Faro

  • Climate: With a moderate Mediterranean climate, Faro has hot summers and mild winters. Average summer temperature ranges from 27° C to 35° C.
  • City Transportation: The city has a very reliable network of public buses.
  • Accommodation: The resort town of Faro has several hotels and even a Pousada. See Faro Hotels for more details.
  • Eating Out: With a coastal location, Faro restaurants serve a wide variety of seafood. Sardines, tuna, cod, monkfish, clams, oysters, squid and octopus are readily available.

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