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Faro Beaches & Nightlife

Faro is a lively and charming city, a superb choice of destination if you like to be in the heart of things. As a student and tourist town, it has a fun and vibrant nightlife, but there are many quieter bars and restaurants if you want to take it easy.

Faro is the gateway to the Algarve, the dramatic stretch of southern Portuguese coastline that fronts the wild Atlantic Ocean. At times spectacular and rugged, at others beautifully tranquil, it cannot be argued that the Algarve is not incredibly beautiful. Many visitors do not linger in Faro but head immediately to one of the seaside resorts.

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There is an argument to be made for this approach, especially if you are short on time. But Faro itself makes for a rewarding experience in itself, whether you are simply passing through or have chosen the city as your main destination. Take advantage of car hire to make the most of your time in Faro and get to places further afield.

Faro’s beaches can compete with the best in the Algarve. A series of sandspits, large deposits of sand that project into the sea, provide protection from the Atlantic waves; this makes the waters calm and safe for swimming in.

The beaches are nothing if not diverse. Faro beach itself, near the airport, is a busy and vibrant stretch of golden sand, lined by shops, cafes, bars and hotels. Colourful boats rock in the gentle waves, and there are opportunities for various water sports, including jet-skiing, windsurfing and water-skiing. It’s a great beach for those that like access to great facilities and don’t mind the crowds.

The sand spit island beaches, such as Ilha Deserta, Ilha da Armona and Ilha da Culatra, lie offshore and can be reached only by ferry or water taxi. Ilha Deserta has over six miles of glorious golden sands, so there is plenty of room to find your own spot. It is part of the Ria Formosa National Park, an important wetland site for birds, and amongst them you can see flamingos and terns. There is a restaurant and sunbeds and umbrellas can be hired if you are in the mind for relaxation, or you can follow the nature trail and take a dip in the warm, shallow waters. Ilha Deserta, as its name suggests, is the ideal spot if you are looking for peace and relaxation.

Ilha da Armona, another large, sweeping beach, has superb sand dunes that kids will love, and there are plenty of cafes and facilities, and even a campsite. Ilha da Culatra has a great sandy beach and is one of the few sandspit islands to be permanently populated; there are several cafes and beautiful bougainvillea-clad houses as well as a lighthouse. Unfortunately, ferries do not connect the islands together, but it is possible to travel between them by water taxi.

Spending a day at the beach can be tiring business, and in true Portuguese style you may want to have a lazy siesta before hitting the town. Faro is a superb spot to try out authentic Portuguese cuisine and join in the later revelries. The Rua do Prior and surrounding area is the centre of the action, and there are many clubs and bars here to choose from. Try Havana Club for a Latin vibe or Millennium III and Dux for top DJs and live music.

While the Old Town buzzes with activity at night, the Marina is a great place for a more relaxed meal, a gentle evening stroll or a leisurely drink beside the gently lapping waters. Try out freshly caught seafood and a local wine or dry white port served over ice in traditional style. Just beware of medronho, made from the arbutus fruit – it’s known as fire water for good reason!

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Holidaying In Algarve

Portugal remains one of the world’s hottest vacation destinations, with perhaps the most prestigious of them all in this beautiful country being the Algarve.  Boasting beautiful beaches, fantastic temperatures, relaxing resorts and picturesque towns and ocean-front vistas, Algarve is a traveler’s one-stop shop for partying and paradise.

There’s more to do in Algarve than simply laze around on one of its several golden-sanded beaches, however.  If you’re planning on hitting up Algarve for your next holiday and are looking for things to do, then here are the places to go.

Lagos

Lagos is the place to be if you seek a thriving nightlife with fine cuisine and interesting locals.  As many people say, Lagos is the “carnival queen” of the Algarve region and has something to offer anyone from its characteristic cobbled streets.

Monchique

This quaint town is for those who are seeking a bit of a quieter holiday that has less of a partying atmosphere.  Featuring fine views of a steep and wooded countryside, Monchique is a top choice for travelers who seek relaxation and who want to avoid the hustle and bustle of towns like Lagos.

Tavira

This ancient city that’s set along a peaceful river is another hot destination for anyone who’s seeking a relaxing and laid-back vacation.  This area is perhaps amongst the oldest in all of Portugal, with its history dating all the back to the Roman times.

Faro

If you’re going for the “real” Portuguese experience, then Faro is the place to go.  Featured in the area is a medieval quarter that treats visitors to a taste of what ancient Portugal was like several centuries ago.

But if checking out Portugal’s history isn’t you thing, one thing about Faro’s for sure: golfing is the most popular sport in this town.  You can find a ton of different courses crafted by some of the world’s most popular golfers, such as:

  • Monte Rei (Jack Nicklaus)
  • Oceanico Faldo (Nick Faldo)
  • Oceanico Victoria (Arnold Palmer)
  • Oceanico Pinha and Oceanico Old Course (Frank Pennink)
  • Vila Sol (Donald Steel)
  • Vale de Lobo Ocean & Royal (Henry Cotton)

Sagres And Carrapateira

Should water sports and surfing be your thing, then Sagres or Carrapateira are definitely the places to go.  Located out on the west coast of Portugal, these fun-loving towns are charming and filled with laid-back locals who are sure to show you a good time.

Portimao

Located on the Western seaboard of Portugal, Portimao is yet another golfer’s dream get away located in Portugal.  Not only will you be able to find beautiful beaches resting along the banks of the Arade river, but you’ll be able to golf on a number of some of the world’s most popular golf courses, such as:

  • Morgado (European Golf Design)
  • Onyria Palmares (Frank Pennick & Trent Jones, Jr.)
  • Penina (Henry Cotton)
  • Pestana/Gramacho (Ronald Fream)
  • Pestana/Vale de Pinta (Ronald Fream)

You can read the reviews and ratings of the Algarve golf courses here. If you’re interested in going to Algarve solely for the golf, then we live in a world of specialist golf holidaymakers, like Golf Kings – so have a look at the site if your idea of a holiday to Algarve is just golf, golf and more golf.

Algarve is stunning and is more than deserving of the attention it has had in recent years. Whatever you do once you’re there, I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful time. Happy travels.

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