A popular choice amongst holidaymakers of all ages, Faro is the perfect destination to explore the very best of the incredible Algarve coast. Nestled in the very southern tip of Portugal, Faro not only has great beaches and a pumping nightlife, but it’s also ideally located for some unforgettable day trips. We asked our two experts at Monarch, Dominic Feliciano and Daniel Harrison, where to head to get out of town.
From Faro, it’s quite easy to head over to neighbouring Spain for some traditional tapas and sangria. “Drive over the River Guadiana to Spain,” recommends Daniel. “The Guadiana International Bridge is magnificent. Make sure you have tapas for lunch in Ayamonte, only 45 minutes from Faro.”
Spend the day in this undiscovered little Andalucian town, walking around the wide Plaza de Laguna, shopping at the indoor market and even venturing down to the nearby Isla Canela beach for a few hours of Spanish sun and sand.
“Only 40 minutes away from Faro is a city called Guia,” says Dominic. “If you go to Guia, you will find the best peri-peri chicken in the world!”
Aside from its delicious food, Guia is also a celebrity hotspot, with many European A-listers owning holiday houses and luxury villas there. You’ll find lots of authentic tavernas lining the streets of the Old Town and there are a few big shopping complexes on the outskirts if you’re looking to pick up some souvenirs.
For a taste of the real Portugal, you have to stop in at Tavira, a hidden gem that has managed to escape the tourists. “Tavira is one of the oldest and most historic cities in the Algarve. From the centre of Tavira, you can catch the local boat to Ilha de Tavira, an island with beautiful views along the river,” reveals Dominic. “There is also a campsite on the island which offers many activities and events.”
Tavira is also known for its large number of churches and castles, as well as the stunning Pego do Inferno lagoon with green waters and a free-flowing waterfall.
The Portuguese capital is definitely within reach from Faro, and is well worth the day trip to see iconic sights such as the Belém Tower, Jeronimos Monastery and St George’s Castle. To get there, Daniel recommends taking the train: “The Alfa Pendular is a high-speed train that runs at least twice a day between Faro and Lisbon. The journey takes around 2.5 hours and costs €40 return per person.”
Ready to discover the best bits of Faro? Fly direct from a number of UK airports with Monarch.