Faro is a great place to start if you want to explore the Algarve and other parts of Portugal, and even Spain. Last time, we took a look at five fantastic locations close to Faro that gave a taste of what the area has to offer – including rich history, stunning architecture and beautiful beaches and countryside to relax in and explore. This time we’ve got a few more amazing places for you to discover.
Praia da Quinta do Lago
If you’re a fan of the beautiful combination of sand, nature and wildlife that the Ria Formosa has to offer, then you’ll love Praia da Quinta do Lago. Home to flamingos and other birds, Praia da Quinta do Lago is a beautiful stretch of fine golden sands that is backed up by lovely wetlands with a 1,000-foot (305-metre) long bridge that connects it to the mainland. The beach itself is nice and quiet and has been awarded the EU “Blue Flag” thanks to the high standards of maintenance, water quality, safety and environmental management.
Praia da Quinta do Lago takes about an hour and a half to get to if you plan on driving there from Faro. Alternatively, if you want to explore the Portuguese countryside by foot, you can walk along Faro’s main beach to get there. If you’re planning on walking, keep in mind that it’s a long walk with very little shade along the way.
If you fancy a break from the beaches, why not go for a city trip instead? Sevilla is the capital of Spain’s Andalucía region and is famous for flamenco dancing and a rich history of Moorish culture and architecture throughout the city. There is plenty to see and do in Sevilla – so much so that you might even want to go back for more! If you don’t have time to explore it all, we have a few highlights for you to see. This includes the royal Alcázar palace, which was used as the home of House Martell in Game of Thrones.
Sevilla takes close to two hours to get to by car, and is about 125 miles (200 kilometres) east of Faro itself. You can also get there by bus for €50 on a round trip (make sure to double-check prices before you go), which takes up for three hours.
As the capital of Portugal, Lisbon is perfect if you want to explore a beautiful city. There’s a great range of places to eat and drink, including bars along the river – fantastic for a drink in the sunshine. You are unlikely to see everything Lisbon has to offer in just one day, so make sure to plan ahead before you go. The Old Town, however, is known to be pleasant for a day trip thanks to its relatively compact size, making it easy to walk around and explore.
You can get to Lisbon by car or using the high-speed train service from Faro. Both options will take you about three hours in total. Depending on where you are staying, you might be able to arrange a day excursion with a mini-van, with pick-up and drop-off from your hotel.
If you’re up for a longer journey, you could head on to Gibraltar. Don’t forget your passport if you do go, as you’ll be entering and re-entering Spain. Gibraltar is well worth the trip if you can make it there to see the sights, including the famous Rock of Gibraltar, the Moorish castle and the Gibraltar Nature Reserve. You will also get to see the Barbary apes, the last wild monkeys in Europe. The monkeys are extremely cute and definitely draw lots of attention from tourists. It is, however, advised to remain cautious around the monkeys, and not feed them. They have been known to snatch belongings too.
If you do plan to explore Gibraltar, be prepared for a longer trip. It takes up to a four-hour drive from Faro and there are no direct public transport links. If you don’t want to drive all the way there, you can try to find one of the guided tours from Faro.