Portugal. Description of the country, regions
Azores Algarve Albufeira Alvor Aljezur Almancil Armacao de Pera Vale do Lobo Vilamoura Carvoeiro Quarteira Quinta do Lago Lagos Meia Praia Monte Gordo Monchique Olhos de Agua Olhao Portimao Praia da Luz Praia da Rocha Sagres Silves Tavira Faro Lisbon Lisbon Riviera Madeira Porto
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The attractiveness of Faro lies not only in the beautiful beaches stretching for many kilometers, sun-drenched, wonderful climate and warm water, but also in the natural beauty of the lagoons and winding canals of the Ria Formosa estuary. In the vast territory of the estuary, consisting of five islands and two peninsulas, you will find flying flamingos, barrier dunes, salt lakes, as well as rich flora and fauna, thanks to which Ria Formosa was recognized as a Natural Park and turned into a tourist route of world importance. The municipality of Faro includes the islands of Barreta, Kulatra and the Ansan Peninsula.

It is easy to get here from the nearest airport and the now cosmopolitan city. It is hard to believe that this area, which includes approximately 60 km of coastline and more than 18,000 hectares of untouched beauty, can be so close to the center of a dynamically developing city. You just have to leave the city a little bit - and you can enjoy long stripes of desert dunes and a labyrinth of canals. Here you can choose between spending the whole day in the sun, among the sand dunes stretching for many kilometers, or take a quiet walk along the canals and lagoons using the opportunity to observe the biological diversity of this reserve.

Ilha de Faro beach (in Portuguese it means "Faro Island") on the Ansan Peninsula is the busiest in this area. It is located at the western tip of Ria Formosa and is connected by road to the mainland. Extensive areas of fine white sand attract many people here in the summer months. The beach offers a wide range of entertainment and water sports, including surfing, windsurfing and fishing. Closer to the edges, the beach becomes more secluded and picturesque, as the long line of cottages is gradually replaced by fishing buildings here. The narrow beach on the other side of the sand dunes, located opposite the lagoon, is a favorite place for those engaged in jet skiing, windsurfing and sailing.

On the deserted beach of the island of Barreta stretching for about 10 km, you will find an unparalleled atmosphere of tranquility and serenity - both from the ocean and from the lagoon. You can only get to this beach by sailing by boat from Faro. During this boat trip you will have a wonderful opportunity to admire the beauty of the winding water ducts of the lagoon and observe a variety of animal and plant species living here. Kulatra beach on the eponymous island of Kulatra was originally a fishing village, and now it provides a full range of various services and entertainment. And yet, you can still see fishermen doing their daily business on this beach. They use traditional gear traps to catch an octopus and top. Also located on the island of Kulatra, the beach of the Lighthouse (Praya do Farol) owes its name to the impressive lighthouse standing at its western tip. This part of the island is quite densely built up with dachas, but if you go eastward, you will certainly find much more secluded places.

However, it was not only the beaches and estuary, which are a great place to relax, attracted people to this land. The economic significance of Faro and estuary has always been attractive to conquerors and alien settlers, thanks to which the city has acquired great historical significance. Faro was an important city during Roman rule and Moorish conquest, and then continued to flourish after the Christian reconquista in 1249. It was later proclaimed the capital of the Algarve. Over the next centuries, the city fell into decay: it was almost devastated by raids by British soldiers and three earthquakes that shook this land one by one. Nevertheless, a number of monuments have survived to this day, testifying to past glory. In the impressive Faro Cathedral, created in 1251 and then rebuilt, two authentic chapels have been preserved from the original building. Here you can also see beautiful altar images of the XVII century. Clear traces of Moorish influence are visible in the city walls built by Muslim Prince Ben Bekr in the 9th century and in the Moorish quarter of Mouraria. The archaeological museum of the monastery of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, built on the site of the former Jewish quarter, has an impressive collection of remains of ancient Roman culture found in the city itself and in nearby Roman ruins in Milreu.

The tour of Faro will be incomplete if you do not try local cuisine in one of the restaurants, abundantly available on the busy streets of the city. The true basis of local gastronomy is recipes for fishing dishes, primarily fish soups and rice with sea cuttings. Another legacy of the Moorish is the figs and almonds growing here, which are the main ingredients of local sweet treats. A great finishing touch of your meal will be traditional strawberry liqueur medronho or fig brandy.

There are a lot of shopping opportunities in Faro and around it. There are many small shops on the streets of the old part of the city, while in the Forum Algarve shopping complex you will find not only many different shops, but also fast food restaurants, a supermarket and a cinema.

Golfers will find a wide range of golf courses in the surrounding area of Almancil: Laranjal, Pinheiros Altos, southern Quinta do Lago, northern Quinta do Lago, as well as Royal and Ocean.

Vacationers, golfers, ornithologists, biologists, nature lovers come to Faro... It still retains its timeless, universal attractiveness.