The gateway to Portugal's Algarve coast, cheap flights to Faro put you close to some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. Faro is in the ideal location for getting around the Algarve, which is made even easier with car hire, but don't forget that Faro itself can be a great holiday destination too!
It's easy to overlook Faro as a holiday destination, because it's lacking in beaches. But Faro's Old Town is crammed with beautiful and historical buildings. Albufeira offers the best of the Algarve's nightlife, and golfing fans need look no further than the exceptional courses of Vilamoura or Vale do Lobo. If you're feeling flush and want to treat yourself then choose a five-star hotel by the Marina in Faro or along the beach front. You can read more on Faro and the Algarve here.
Starting your holiday in Faro or the Algarve is easy with flights available from all over the UK, particularly during the summer. The flying time from most UK airports is around two and a half hours. If you want to save money then look for package holidays in Faro, but if you're after something a little more unusual then book your flight and hotel separately and strike out on your own!
There are plenty of flights to Faro, with over 20 airports offering direct flights from all over the UK. Many of these are operated by budget airlines so it's easy to get a cheap flight if you're prepared to be flexible on dates and flight times.
Faro Airport lies just to the west of the town and there are two bus routes from the centre that include the airport, as well as a dedicated shuttle bus. Taxis are available but if there's a group of you then booking a private shuttle may prove cheaper. Car hire is also popular but can easily sell out during the busy summer months so booking ahead is important, and this will also get you the best rates. If you're heading off on holiday along the Algarve coast it's certainly worth checking out the prices of adding a shuttle transfer to your holiday package. This is usually the cheapest and easiest way to get around after your flight lands in Faro.
Car hire is vital if you've hired a villa in the Algarve, or if you're planning on exploring the region. There are buses, even to some of the most remote villages, but as there may only be one or two per day they don't compare to the convenience of having your own wheels. However if you're planning on just staying in Faro itself then you'll easily get by on foot, by bus or by taxi.
Portugal has a good public transport network comprising trains both regular and high-speed for longer journeys, and intercity coaches. It's easy to get to Lagos, Lisbon and Porto as well as into Spain to Madrid and Seville. Driving in the Algarve is also easy, there are plenty of signs and fewer toll roads than further north.
Faro experiences long hot summers with barely a drop of rain between June and September, and temperatures in the high 20°Cs. The water temperature during the summer months reaches around 23°C. Winters are mild and mostly dry, with rainfall on less than a third of the days on average. Daytime temperatures average around 15°C and night time temperatures tend to dip just below 10°C.
Summer is the height of the tourist season for Faro, particularly during the school holidays throughout Europe so it's important to book your accommodation early and arrange your car hire in advance as well. Spring and autumn are the best times to appreciate the diversity at the Ria Formosa and Faro is generally quieter then but the weather is still good. Visiting in winter you'll brilliant prices, though be aware that it can get so quiet that the attractions close too!
€ Euros. ATMs and small currency exchangers generally offer better rates than the banks. Some smaller restaurants and cafes may not accept credit cards so look for signs or ask to be sure before you order.
Portuguese. English and Spanish are also very widely spoken in Faro, as well as some French and German.
+351 for Portugal followed by 289 for Faro.
The local mosquito population can be rather fierce, particularly by fresh water so make sure to take some mosquito repellent!
As part of the EU, all you need to enter Portugal is a valid passport, which entitles you to stay for up to 3 months. After this time you'll need to register yourself as a resident with the local authorities.
Faro and the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve
Carmo Church boasts typical Portuguese architecture
The whitewashed streets of Faro
Faro Old Town by Night
Typical Algarve beaches like this one are all along the coast
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