Or How to spend 2 perfect days in Faro
Hey guys! Just a month ago I went on my first backpacking trip in Portugal and it was amazing! I decided to share my journey, what I saw and what I did while I’ve been there and maybe that will inspire you to visit this wonderful country on your own!
My first destination was Faro city. I had a direct flight from Bristol and arrived around 8 pm. There is a bus running all day long from Faro bus station to Faro beach and it stops at the airport. You can check the bus route and time schedule here https://www.proximo.pt/uploads/schedules/Linha_16_2.pdf
It costs just 2.35€ for a single ticket. Also, you can take a taxi or, I saw that there is a car rental outside the airport so you can do that. I’m not driving (yet) so I took the cheapest and best option for me, but there are many ways you can get from the airport to the city centre.
I stayed at the Casa da Madalena Backpackers Hostel for 2 nights. I really recommend this hostel – amazing staff, rooftop terrace, big kitchen, spacious fridge, comfy beds, not overcrowded and pancakes for breakfast! What can be better???
So how to spend a really good two days in Faro?
The first evening I arrived I went wandering around the streets. No matter how tired I am I like to get to know the place or the area where I’m staying.
I’m always very excited to get to know the city, streets, architecture, people, cafes and bars. I saw a little bit of nightlife in Faro, I know it was a bit too early for real nightlife (10 pm) but it seemed that it’s a good place to have some fun.
Day 1 in Faro
You can start your morning however you like but I woke up early and went out to have my first coffee in Portugal (I really recommend doing that). I found a cute little place ‘’Demo bakery’’ with a few tables outside where locals were eating breakfast. I had my first Portuguese coffee and first Pastel de Nata! It’s a famous Portuguese pastry with vanilla custard filling. You should definitely try it once in Portugal! I bet you won’t stop eating it… At least I couldn’t…
Go for a walk around the harbour and take some pictures with the huge Faro sign. Because if you don’t have a picture with the Faro sign have you ever been to Faro then?
After that, I went back to the hostel to have those pancakes that they were serving for breakfast. And what I like in hostels – mealtime is always a good way to meet interesting people and find new friends to on adventures together. I think that’s what makes travelling special. But you don’t have to do that. You can start your day however you like!
After breakfast run down to the place called Arco da Vila (which apparently was one of the two walled city entrances long long time ago).
It is a meeting point for a free walking tour around Faro. I bet there are a few different walking tours so you can check up online. I like to go on those ‘free’ walking tours because guides usually are locals living in town and they earn money from the tips that people are leaving so they are trying their best to make your tour as informative and as fun as it could be.
The old town of Faro is really beautiful with its cobblestone streets and 8th-century Portuguese and Moorish-influenced architecture. It’s a really great place for a peaceful and quiet walk back in time.
After a few hours of tour and walking in the heat, you definitely need to have a rest and get something to eat! I had lunch with one girl I met at the oldest Faro restaurant right in the middle of the old town ‘’Cervejaria Alianca’’. It’s a bit pricey but a lovely place to eat. So if you want you can visit that place or choose from hundreds of other nice places around the town.
Next on my list to do was the famous Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of the Bones). Yes yes, you heard that right – Bone chapel. This chapel is a part of Igreja do Carmo (the Carmelite church which was built in the 18th – 19th century).
The Chapel’s inside surface is decorated with over 1200 bones and skulls of Carmelite monks who once served in the church.
It was built as a reminder of the simple and holy lives of monks and the fact that life is a temporary thing.
Even an inscription over the door is saying ‘’Para aqui a considerar que an este estado has de chegar’’ which means ‘’Stop here and consider that you too will reach this state’’. Creepy huh?
But it’s really really worth your time, and if you are ok with seeing skulls – go there!
The entrance costs 2€. The working hours are Monday to Friday from 10 am to 1 pm and 3 pm to 5.30 pm. Saturday they are open from 10 am to 1 pm.
Take your time to visit Faro market ‘’Auchand supermercado Faro’’. It’s a big building where you can find locals selling fish, fruit and veggies, a few coffee shops and a big supermarket.
If you want to do your food shopping – it’s a very good and cheap place for that. I recommend visiting it in the morning while the locals are still selling stuff. Oh and don’t forget to grab a cup of coffee and enjoy your time while you’re there.
After a half day of walking it’s time to go and relax on THE BEACH (Praia da Faro).
You can take the same bus that you came from the airport and go to the final destination. Faro beach is a little bit outside the town centre and it takes 25-30 min to reach it by bus.
That place is like a separate island where you have to cross the bridge, and it is a very long sandy beach, with lots of sunbeds, shops and restaurants. Enjoy your afternoon under the hot Portuguese sun with ice cream and doughnuts (guys are walking and selling on the beach).
Go back to the city whenever you’re ready (or hungry) and go to explore Faro nightlife. There is a street called Rua do Prior which is the main bar/cafe street of Faro.
You can have dinner and a drink or two there. And if you’re still full of energy and in the party mood I heard that there are a few good nightclubs where you can finish up your night.
I didn’t go out that night because we had a Barbeque night in the hostel which was more interesting for me. Rooftop bar with food, drinks, music and lovely people – that’s the best night for my taste.
Day 2 in Faro
After the night out I bet you will be sleeping until late. But if you can wake up early in the morning have your breakfast at the hotel or go explore the city centre and have a coffee and Pastel de Nata where the locals go ‘’O Seu Cafe’’ (this place was recommended by our walking tour guide).
After that let’s head back to the old town and visit Faro Cathedral (Igreja de Santa Maria). It’s a unique Cathedral built in the 13th-14th century.
It costs 3.5€ to get inside but it’s very interesting and worth paying for.
In the main building, you will see lots of beautiful artwork made out of tiles (that’s a Portuguese thing that I really like).
You can also visit a small Bone chapel (yep, another one in Faro).
And the best thing in here – the rooftop view. In the Cathedral you will find really narrow and steep stairs to the rooftop where you can see the beautiful panoramic view of Faro. You will notice how busy is Faro airport. I spent 10 minutes in there and I saw like 10 landing planes. It’s really worth visiting.
Near the Cathedral you will find a harbour where you will take a boat trip to one of 4 islands near Faro (or maybe all of them).
I took a taxi to one island – Ilha Deserta (desert island).
Unfortunately, nobody gave me any free desserts but it was really nice to walk around that island. You can get there by joining tours or buying tickets for the ferry or hiring a water taxi. There are plenty of choices. Once you’re on the island – go on the right-hand side and follow the wooden road into the dunes. It’s quite a long walk so make sure you have a bottle of water and head cover as there is no shade at all. There is one restaurant on the island if you ran out of snacks or drinks or even if you need a little break from the sun. It might be a pricey one but it’s better than nothing right?
After walking miles and miles and miles (I’m joking, it’s not so far away) you will reach the beach (finally) and you’ll see some weird signs in the dunes. That is the Cabo de Santa Maria – the most southerly location in Portugal! It’s amazing, isn’t it?
And now the best part – the beach is yours! There are going to be just a few people on the beach so you will have almost a private beach to relax, get some tan and swim in the ocean!
After exploring the islands go back to Faro and enjoy your evening by walking around the cobble-stoned streets, eating good Portuguese food and drinking refreshing cocktails or go to the next city as I did!
After exploring Ilha Deserta I went to buy a bus ticket to Albufeira! I had to wait an hour for the bus so I went to grab some lunch, and buy some snacks. I actually almost missed my bus because I started talking with one of the shop’s owners and the conversation was so interesting that I lost track of time and I had to run very fast to get on the bus.
Here in Faro you just have to go and explore – the architecture is amazing, especially the old town with its buildings and cobblestoned streets. There are also a few shopping streets where you can find lots of stuff – clothing, shoes and souvenir shops. You will see that this town is really special. Quiet during the day and loud during the night. You won’t regret spending at least a day or two on your trip.
Thank you very much for reading the whole guide how to spend 2 days in Faro, Portugal.
If you’ve already visited Koh Samui, it would be amazing to hear travel tips and recommendations from you in the comments.
If you haven’t been there yet, please don’t hesitate to ask us if you have any questions. We are here to help!
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