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Why go to Faro

Often somewhat undersold as the 'Gateway to the Algarve', Faro is more than just an arrival point from which to discover the area's beaches and golf courses.

Faro began life in the 9th century and its rich legacy is evident everywhere you look. Inside the medieval city walls in the heart of the city is the Cidade Velha, an evocative tangle of pedestrian lanes and outdoor cafes. The Arco da Vila, a decorative 19th-century archway designed by Francisco Xavier Fabris, is one of the finest examples of neoclassical architecture in the Algarve. And inside the doorway you will find a very special gate from the pre-Moorish period, with its own legends attached.

The centrepiece of the Cidade Velha is the Sé, a castle-like cathedral first built in 1251. The site is thought to have once housed a Roman temple, then a Visigoth cathedral, and then a Moorish mosque. What remains now is a fascinating mix of baroque, Renaissance and Romanesque-gothic features; a typical representation of the different influences that go into making Faro so special.

Enjoy a natural wonder on your doorstep

Travel Information

Language

Portuguese

Currency

Euros (€)

Average flight time(from London)

3 hrs
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