The best things to do in Faro

Planning to rent a bike in Faro while you are on holiday in Portugal?

MTB Algarve is the best bike rental in Portugal. We have good quality bikes, and tours at affordable prices.

Rent a bike in Faro is the best way to enjoy this amazing city. Make sure to rent one of ours while spending your vacation in Faro, Portugal.

We have the best deals for you such as good quality bikes and tours. You can book one of our guided bike tours through the whole Algarve to meet one of our fantastic local guides who are happy to show you around Faro.

Alright… Let’s talk a little bit about Faro.

Faro is one of the most popular day trips in the central region of the Algarve, and is highly recommended if you want to go on vacation to Albufeira, Vilamoura or Quarteira. Inside Faro there are many historical monuments, and the town has a typical Portuguese atmosphere, which is very different from the busy resort cities.

An ordinary day trip to Faro will spend half a day exploring the old quarter and the second half in the center of the city, and this includes the Bone Chapel. For an alternative day trip, you can join a bike tour in Faro or a boat tour to Ria Formosa Nature Park, which also visits the fishing community of Ilha do Culatra or Ilha Deserta.

It‘s a historic and rich town full of culture that offers a variety of interesting sights. Unfortunately, Faro is often overlooked, considered purely for the airport, but we recommend you to spend time in Faro and you will find a charming and authentic Portuguese city.

The delightful historic center of Faro is surrounded by ancient town walls and contains Gothic cathedrals, bishop’s palaces, and beautiful cobbled back streets. Beyond the walls is a modern city center, with pedestrian shopping streets, beautiful plazas, and various restaurants and bars.

Faro is a pleasant city, and the diversity of tourists means it‘s attractive to many tourists. This article will give you tips about the best things to do in Faro, whether for a day trip or a vacation.

After renting a bike, here are the best things to do and recommended places to visit in Faro

Ria Formosa Bike Tour

By renting a bike in Faro with MTB Algarve, you can also try our guided tour in Ria Formosa

The Ria Formosa Bike Tour is a family friendly tour for all ages (easy level) on a flat off road course by the sea around the Ria Formosa in the Faro area. We adapt the tour to your pace with as many stops as you want to take photos, drink water or just to relax.

The minimum km is 8 but we can extend it to around 40 on a tour from 4 to 6 hours with a stop at the beach to have lunch.

Book your Ria Formosa Bike Tour Now!

Cidade Velha

After renting a bike in Faro you can ride to Cidade Velha

Exploring the densely populated old town of Faro is one of the most popular things to do and the ideal way to get to know the capital of the Algarve. Surrounded by dusty medieval walls built on Roman foundations, the surrounding area is a history book that truly attracts visitors, a delightful page-turner that introduces the city’s respected but sometimes turbulent past. Arco da Vila provides an appropriate grand entrance, the 19th-century gate, which is the porch where the original Moor was. The cobbled pedestrian streets that are scented by rows of orange trees make Cidade Velha happy to explore on foot, and all roads lead to Largo da Sé where the cathedral squats and chunky Faro are the center of attention. Opposite the same square is Paço Episcopal, the palace of bishops.

Unfortunately, this stunning 18th-century building is not open to the public. However, the short trip is the attractive Museu Municipal, whose monastic arrangements only add to its appeal. Accessible as well, is part of the wall overlooking the peaceful Parque da Ria Formosa. And scattered throughout this historic environment are several cafes and some restaurants where tourists can relax and enjoy the view.

Sé (Cathedral)

After renting a bike in Faro you can ride to Sé (Cathedral)

Built on the site of an Arabic mosque, Faro Cathedral was dedicated in the late 13th-century, but successive facelifts have added Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque features that make the exterior of the building look rather haphazard. Almost the devastation in 1596 after the attack by the British did not help, but in the mid-1600s it looked much more interesting, especially inside. The interior holds eyes with glittering chancels coated with azulejos panels and Capela de Nossa Senhora dos Prazeres, an ornate chapel decorated with wood carvings coated in gold and lacquered and inlaid marble.

Also, take the time to contemplate inappropriate Chinese motifs that adorn the organ of the 18th-century church. The most important thing is the view from the medieval bell tower. From the terrace, you can enjoy beautiful views of the estuary sea and almost touch bead-eyed seagulls that glide easily overhead. Note that sometimes the cathedral is closed inexplicably, usually with a handwritten explanation pinned to the door which translates as: “Please respect our privacy – we are praying!”

Ria Formosa Natural Park

After renting a bike in Faro you can ride to Ria Formosa Natural Park

Faro is blessed with subconscious assets – the beautiful and pure Ria Formosa Natural Park. After 60 kilometers of coastline from Praia de Faro to Cacela Velha, this park stretches 18,000 hectares of lagoon and marshlands, salt fields, small islands and canals. This in turn is protected from the open sea by a barrier island chain – basically, large sand dunes carved in the wind. This valuable and fragile ecosystem is protected and is one of the most important wetland habitats in Europe.

Several excursion cruises depart daily from Faro and travel around the lagoon waters to Ilha Deserta (Deserted Island). The ship carries passengers through an environment full of bird life, where species such as flamingos and spoonbills are regularly seen.

Ilha Deserta has a single restaurant surrounded by sandy beaches, and lunch is memorable. On dry land, natural trails and biking trails wind west to Ilha de Faro through pine forests, around lakes, and past world-class golf courses. If you are lucky, you will spy on several inhabitants, creatures such as the elusive Mediterranean chameleon or the rare purple gallinule, a symbol of the park.

Praia de Faro

After renting a bike in Faro you can ride to Praia de Faro

This beach is known as the best in Faro. It features 5 km of soft sand beaches on one side, with lagoons and mudflats on the opposite side.

This beach is a secret among the locals and can only be reached by a single road bridge. The beach is very relaxing and has several small beach bars to relax with drinks and people watching.

You can sunbathe on the beach or try to surf. The beach can be crowded in the summer but it is also a guarded beach and very suitable for families.


Lighthouses in Faro

The Cabo de Santa Maria was built on Ilha da Culatra in 1851.

It stretches 46 meters (150 feet) into the sky and its strong light reaches 46 meters into the sea. The Cabo de S. Vincente lighthouse is one of the largest lighthouses in Europe and has been operating since 1846.

It reaches 86 meters (282 ft) high and the light reaches 32 nautical miles. Seeing this tranquil lighthouse is the best day trip from Faro, and you can enjoy the amazing coastline while driving to see it.

Cape St. Mary

Cape St. Mary in Faro

Described as located in the middle of nowhere, Cape St. Mary is wonderful and very secluded.

There is a 2.5 km boardwalk to follow as you walk along the beach. You can spend hours here alone. You can collect seashells or take a peaceful walk or run.

You can swim to revitalize in the sea or sunbathe on the beautiful white sand beach. Cape St. Mary is the southernmost point on the Portuguese continent and is a highly recommended place to visit in Faro.

Cape St. Mary can be “crowded” in the summer.

Milreu Roman Ruins

After renting a bike in Faro you can ride to Milreu Roman Ruins

These ancient ruins have been classified as national monuments and consist of temples, tombs and industrial and commercial areas.

The ruins were discovered in 1877 and still display some sea mosaics on the walls. Ruins are a great way to go back in time and see what Roman life was like.

There is also a museum on site to get to know more about Roman history. This is a perfect day trip from Faro for anyone who likes history and great fun for children.

The Islands

The Islands in Faro

Faro is famous for its islands. Enjoy a 5-hour boat trip and visit Deserta Island, Farol, Culatra, and Armona.

On Deserta Island, you can enjoy peaceful walks along the beach, and on Culatra you will experience one of the fishing communities in Portugal, where you can get to know more about shell farming and local oyster beds.

You will also have time to explore other islands and swim in the refreshing sea.  Open your eyes to sea creatures and water birds.

Museo Maritimo

A collection in Museo Maritimo, Faro

Being a city of the sea, Faro has a beautiful museum dedicated to the history of the area by the sea. The museum consists of 3 rooms and is a perfect place to visit while in Faro, especially with children.

You can see models of fishing vessels, fishing equipment, and other interesting things that have sunk on the coast of Faro. This museum was build in 1910 and is one of the interesting things to do in Faro.

The museum is open Monday to Friday and is free for children under six years.

Those are the best thing to do during your trip to Faro, Portugal according to our bike rental in Portugal.

However, rent a bike in Faro will help you to make it easier to explore more about Faro.

Rent a bike in Faro can be a setting for extraordinary biking adventures and rent a bike in Faro is also the best way to see unusually seen sights of this stunning town, a deep way to get to know people, food, culture and history of Faro, Portugal.

You can choose the bike that suits you best and which one is available for rent. If you’re not sure which bike is good for you, let us know, we will be happy to help you choose the one that suits you perfectly!

What are you waiting for? Make sure to rent a bike in Faro with us and try our special Algarve road tour too, away from busy roads, with stunning sceneries, perfect surfaces and challenging climbs.

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