Sunshine, history and wonderful wildlife in Faro
Faro has been the capital city of the Algarve region in Portugal since early medieval times, but there has been a town on the site since ancient times. The earthquake which hit the area in 1755, followed by a tsunami, devastated many villages on the Algarve, but due to the protection offered by the fabulously beautiful Ria Formosa lagoon, Faro remained relatively undamaged, which further confirmed its status as a reliable place for the premier city. Now culture and wildlife walk hand in hand in this wonderful city, which makes for a great holiday anytime, try a walk around the Cathedral of Faro, which has been around since early medieval times.
Faro is mild all year round, but beach tourists tend to travel to the Algarve from April to October and in summer the temperature ranges from 27° to 35°C with nearly 100% sunshine. Winters are mild: 8-17°C, and this is a great time for a cultural city break as Faro is far less full than during peak season. Try around September 7th for the best of sun and culture, as this is Faro's "birthday" when the city was officially given the status of "city", and you can enjoy 2 weeks of music, parties and exhibitions. For bikers, there is the Faro International Motorcycle Rally in mid July.
Local Faro information
All in all, the cost of living and prices are lower in Portugal than in the United Kingdom. Eating out and groceries are much cheaper, especially in markets, which, like in France, are of a high standard and a great way to sample local culture too. Portuguese cuisine is good, and they have a wonderful tradition of great cakes and bakery goods, as well as seafood.
Car hire is very popular, especially with families, and at peak times, it's strongly advised to book ahead, with most visitors picking up cars at the airport. Bus routes 14 and 16 are operated by EVA between the airport and Faro city centre: the fare is approx. EUR 2.50, journey time around 15 minutes. Taxis will cost around EUR 16 into Faro town (NB: price increase between 9pm and 6am). For those not hiring a car, there is an extensive bus network within Faro and the Algarve. Single journeys in zone 1 amount to about 1 euro; 2 zones: 1.70 euros, and all zones around 2 euros. Day passes are also available at around 5.59 euros. Taxis are reasonable and after the start fare of approx. 3 EUR, it's 50 cents per km. However, also note that apart from at the airport, taxis are usually reserved by phone and only sometimes hailed. Extra is charged for luggage. Budget accommodation starts at about EUR 12 per night in shared rooms and hotel prices in the peak season start from around EUR 40 per person a night, and if you are going at busy times, book in advance as it's really busy.