Attractions Nearby Faro, Day Trips and Excursions
(Faro, Algarve, Portugal)
Southern Portugal and Faro in particular is a convenient base for day trips, with this region being filled with attractions and regularly frequented by tourists. Many possible Portuguese excursions present themselves to those holidaying in Faro, with the attractions of the village of Alte and the town of Lagos being especially close by.
At approximately 118 km / 73 miles from Faro and located directly to the west, a day trip to Sagres is eminently possible, especially if you can leave early in the morning. Although the attractions of Lisbon
are around 277 km / 172 miles to the north-west of Faro, the city is actually less than three hours away by car and as the capital of Portugal, really is a must see. Even the southerly region of France
is within reach, with the Spanish cities of Huelva and Seville
being relatively near.
The Costa da Caparica is an especially beautiful stretch of coastline in Lisbon and famed in Portugal for its surfing conditions, while for families, the Jardim Zoológico (City Zoo)
and the Oceanário de Lisboa (Oceanarium) rank very highly. Various eye-catching landmarks also litter the cityscape of Lisbon, such as the stone archway of the Arco da Rua Augusta
, and the 14th-century Castelo de Sao Jorge (Castle of Sao Jorge). The Alfama district
of Lisbon tends to be where the most historic attractions reside, with further neighbourhoods including the shopping districts of Barrio Alto and Chiado, and the Graca quarter, next to the River Tagus.
The charming village of Alte is to be found around 55 km / 34 miles to the north-west of Faro and just over 30 km / 19 miles to the north-east of Albufeira. Offering a peaceful alternative to Portugal's coast, Alte is considered to be amongst the most unspoilt and appealing villages within the Algarve. Attractions range from whitewashed houses and cobblestone alleyways, to the local springs known as the 'Fonte Grande' and the 'Fonte Pequena'.
Lagos is a popular town and day trip destination, and lies some 89 km / 55 miles to the west of Faro, being easily reached by road (A22) in little more than an hour. Especially historical and attractive, Lagos is encircled by 14th-century walls and stands alongside the river named the Ribeira de Bensafrim. Tourism has rather revived this sleepy town and since the 1960s, tourists have been visiting Lagos each year in their droves, since many spectacular beaches are close by and widely considered to be some of the best in Portugal's Algarve region. Other notable attractions here include Lagos Zoo, the busy harbour, the Barragem de Bravura reservoir, and the Ponta da Piedade lighthouse and caves.
The headlands of Ponta de Sagres are fairly remote and windswept, while the current village dates from the 19th century, being completely rebuilt following a serious earthquake. Attractions here are fairly limited and generally found around the central square of the Praca da Republica and along the Rue Comandante Matosa. Most tourists from Faro simply come to Sagres to spend their time relaxing on the excellent sandy beaches, with the Praia da Mareta being just a short stroll from the Praca da Republica and close to the remains of the historic Fortaleza de Baleeira. Further recommended beaches include the Praia de Baleeira, the Praia do Martinhal and the Praia do Tonel, the latter of which is ideal for surfing.
Serra de Monchique
Serra de Monchique is a chain of mountains in the westerly region of the Portuguese Algarve. This area has never been more popular and at just 90 km / 56 miles to the north-west of Faro, is well connected by regular local buses. Apart from the plentiful hiking trails, the main attractions are to be found within the market town of Monchique and the spa town of Caldas de Monchique.
At roughly 62 km / 39 miles to the north-west of Faro, there are a number of good reasons why so many people choose an excursion to Silves each year. The Moorish castle (Fortaleza) in Silves is nothing short of spectacular and rather dominates the town centre, with its imposing sandstone facade, towers and governor's palace. Also very impressive is the Sé Catedral de Silves (cathedral), which is particularly Gothic in its appearance and was built during the 15th century. A number of other quality attractions present themselves here, such as the Museu Arqueolgia (Museum of Archaeology), the Igreja da Misericordia, the Fabrica de Ingles and the annual Silver Beer Festival, held each July.
One of the most attractive of all the towns within the Algarve, Tavira is located around 38 km / 24 miles to the north-east of Faro and has grown up around the Rio Gilao, a river now lined with balconied houses and palm trees, and spanned by a bridge dating back to Roman times. Tavira is known for its fishing port, seafood restaurants and its beach attractions on the neighbouring island of Ilha de Tavira. Visitors may also like to pay a visit to the town's ruined castle, the Pedras d'el Rei holiday village, or the beach in nearby Barril.