Postcard from Faro, Portugal

16 Mar 2017

With over 300 days of sunshine every year, mild winters and hot summers, the Algarve is a perfect year-round destination.

Where to go

The Algarve has 81 blue flag beaches which are frequented by sun worshippers and surfing enthusiasts. The area makes the most of its beautiful, natural landscapes with hundreds of miles of walking and cycling trails which hug the coastline and weave through the region’s mountains and valleys.

The region has a huge citrus industry, and driving through the countryside the scent of oranges and lemons fills the air. Vineyards also cover the area, with many local winemakers offering visits to their properties and tastings.

Faro

The city of Faro is much more than just the airport. The majority of travellers pass through the city on the way to the regions beaches, but they are missing something special. The Old Town in particular is surrounded by mediaeval walls, houses the original 12th Century cathedral and enjoyable walks through historic cobbled streets and picture postcard market squares. Whilst slightly macabre, the Chapel of Bones is a captivating building made of 1245 human skulls and bones of monks once buried in the nearby cemetery.

The New Town is equally worth a visit. The many shops and restaurants offer an enticing view into the Portuguese way of life and the many delicacies of this coastal region. The city is well known for its patisserie, cheeses, wines, port and seafood.

A short excursion by boat from the Porta Nova pier takes you to Ilha Deserta. There is a good walking trail across the island which leads to Portugal’s most southerly point.

What to Eat

The Algarve region is packed with culinary choices. From simple, local produce to stunning fish and shellfish dishes, the area caters for all tastes. Local delicacies include sardines, fish stew and octopus. Heavier dishes include Feijoada (a thick bean stew with Pork, Bacon and Sausage), Bife a Portuguesa (beef sirloin wrapped in smoked ham with fried egg). Another local dish, Piri-Piri Chicken, is now well known internationally, but nothing beats the trying the food where it was originally created.

How to get there

You can fly direct from Belfast International Airport to Faro up to 14 flights a week during the summer season with easyJetRyanair and Jet2.com.


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