Where we can buy delicious pasteis de nata or fresh olives? At the market in Faro, in the resort town located in the southern coast of Portugal. Besides delicious cupcakes, we can enjoy the silence of the old town, the beauty of the divine view of the marina and the beach.
Faro is the perfect starting point for exploring southern Portugal. It lies at the mouth of the Ria Formosa, at the Atlantic Ocean. Since the eighteenth century it’s the capital of the Algarve region, it’s also the capital of the district of the same name.
The sea breeze
As one of the most attractive bathing areas, Faro enjoys a growing interest among tourists for several decades. Although Lagos, located within a short distance, can be a lot more bustling and loud, Faro attracts with the beauty of the beaches. Wide, broad, with golden sand and spectacular views of the ocean. Brisk breeze touches the body, while th excellent climate and humidity affects the respiratory system.
What's funny, Faro doesn’t have a direct beach. The coast in the area of the city consists of two peninsulas with a long, slender shape and a number of smaller and larger islands forming together a tangle of creeks and channels. To get to the main beach, Praia de Faro, you have to go to the Peninsula Ancão, stretching on the west side of the resort. It includes also some minor islands, for example Deserta (Barreta), where you can find a few romantic and rarely visited places. We'll get here by boats, which often run from Faro.
The charms of Mercado Municipal
In the resort tourists can enjoy many shops and boutiques, cafes and restaurants and gyros bars. Of course, you can use their services - but you can also get acquaint with the places, where "natives" do shopping. With places, where a variety of goods, and at the same time their freshness, intensity of flavors and fragrances can make you feel dizzy. On Largo Doutor Francisco de Sá Carneiro there’s an indoor market - Mercado Municipal. In the closed space, within hours 7.00-15.00, you can buy the products, which cannot be found in the average store. You should definitely try pasteis de nata. Those are tiny cupcakes filled with a creamy filling, a Portuguese delicacy.
Alternatively, if someone wants to do some non-food shopping, should visit Rua de Santo Antonio. The street is excluded from the traffic, so you can walk here peacefully, looking into every boutique, stores with traditional ceramics or souvenirs.
Wonders of nature
The surroundings of Faro will delight all of nature enthusiasts. Near the resort, on an area of 170 square kilometers, there’s a beautiful Parque Natural da Ria Formosa. It lies at the mouth of the river Ria, embracing the area of over 60 km of coastline. Its beauty can be admired from the boats – the price of the tour in wooden boat starts from 10 euros. The park serves as a bird stopover on the way from the north of the continent to Africa.
Pego do Inferno characterizes with an exceptional beauty – it’s a wonderful waterfall located near Tavira. Its romantic setting seems almost designed for a date - in this picturesque corner you can stare at murmuring cascades of water for hours.
While in Algarve, you can visit the breed of brilliant swimmers and divers. The region is considered the home of Portuguese water dogs, pets with a mane covering the eyes. They’re inseparable companions of fishermen, boat watchers and belongings.
Camping in Faro
About 2 kilometers west of Faro, there’s Camping Orbitur Quarteira. The cost of a nightly accommodation of 2 people, who came with a motorhome, varies from 20 to 30 euros (depending on the season). For the electricity we’ll pay 3.6 euros. Here you can come with your pet (his stay costs 1.1 euros per day). It’s worth spending at least a few days here.
Stay in Faro will appeal to lovers of good food and peaceful sunbathing on the beach enwrapped with ocean wind. After the rest, you can move further along the coast, keeping in mind the taste of fresh pasteis de nata.