New Year’s greetings from Faro

This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)


Today it is January 2nd, and before I take you on a small tour through Faro, I would like to wish you all a fantastic 2022! I wish everyone a year full of love, happiness, prosperity, new adventures and above all, good health.

I celebrated New Year’s Eve with Italian friends in Faro this year. Before I start praising Faro, I have to admit that I was never a big fan of Faro, I was never attracted by that city, but that has changed!

I have wronged Faro for years, so today, I will try to rectify this 😊.

We start New Year’s Eve with a drink in one of the cosy streets in the centre of Faro, and that is the turning point where I have to change my opinion about Faro. Even though it is quiet on the streets because of the Covid measures, there is such a pleasant atmosphere that I am convinced that I will come back in the springtime.


From here, we walk to Restaurant l’Osteria where we are warmly welcomed. The food and the atmosphere are perfect for a “Serata Italiana” to finish the year 2021.  This restaurant is worth a recommendation, and I will definitely come back here. On my Neapolitan correspondent friend Francesco’s advice, I ordered the “Gnocchi ai Gamberi”, and he was right! I really enjoyed this dish. (Why my friend from Naples can give me advice about a restaurant in Faro …? One day I will tell you 😉 )

After dinner, we slowly walk towards the little harbour where we hopefully can admire some fireworks. However, there is still time for a drink, so our next stop is at the Columbus Bar. And again, I am pleasantly surprised, Columbus is a beautiful bar with allure and an impressive cocktail list.


The historic centre

After the fireworks, we take a stroll through the historical part of the city. The Italians seem to know the city like the back of their hand and show me a few beautiful places.  At that moment, I decide that tomorrow morning, before I drive back to Carvoeiro, I will first make a beautiful walk through Faro! 

So the following day, I put my words into action. After breakfast in Boutique Hotel Faro, I started the New Year with an enjoyable walk in Faro. Below, you will find a photo impression of the old city centre. Faro has a long history. More than 2000 years ago, the Romans already built a harbour here, and since 1756, Faro has been the capital of the Algarve.

start my walk from the Largo São Francisco where my car is parked. This largo (square) is a vast parking place in the city’s centre where you can park for free (another positive point…😉 ). From this car park, you have a beautiful view of the sea and the old fortress wall.

At the beginning of the Largo São Francisco you will find an archway that gives access to the historical centre, also known as the “Vila Adentro” .

Once inside the walls of this historical area, you will feel as if you are in another world as if time has stood still. The narrow cobbled streets lead to several beautiful sights.

Arco da Vila

And when you leave the historic centre through the gate (arch) on the other side, there is much more to discover.  This arch on the other side of the historic centre is called the “Arco da Vila” and dates from 1812.  The order for the construction of this arch was given by the bishop D. Francisco Gomes de Avelar. The architect Francisco Xavier Fabri was an Italian. How could it be otherwise? 😊

Arco da Vila

Arco da VilaInside this arch, you will find the “Porta Árabe” (Arab Gate), which dates back to the 11th century. This is also the oldest horseshoe-shaped arch in Portugal.

Rua de Santo Antonio

There is also plenty to see and do outside the historical centre in Faro. In the shopping centre of Faro, you will find many small boutiques, antique and art shops and shoe shops, among other things.  Rua de Santo Antonio, with its beautiful paving in “Calçada Portuguesa”, is the main street. But also wander through the other side streets as they are really worthwhile.

Rua de Santo Antonio – Faro 

When you walk down the street next to the Columbus Bar, you will encounter some interesting buildings. Still, before you do that, you should first admire the structure of the Banco de Portugal next to the Columbus Bar.

Banco de Portugal

And if all that walking has made you hungry and thirsty, then I would like to share this tip from Italian friend Daniela with you. Restaurant “O Castelo”.  This restaurant with a truly fantastic view of the Ria Formosa is located within the walls of the historical part. Of course, the restaurant was closed on January 1st, but Daniela had the solution.  The following pictures are the contribution of Daniela for which I thank her very much! Grazie Mille !

View from “O Castelo” on the Ria Formosa – By Daniela

Of course, Faro has more to offer, like the beautiful Ria Formosa, the islands in front of the coast, the harbour and beautiful beaches. So I suggest that you go on an adventure and discover it all.

The following photos are also a contribution of Daniela.

The harbour from Faro – By Daniela

View from the train station on the Ria Formosa – By Daniela

Até breve ! 


This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)


1 Comment

  • Nicki 07/01/2022 at 11:42 am Reply

    Hi Joke, what a wonderful post! The last time I visited Faro was some 60 years ago and I was not left with a wonderful impression. After reading this post it is definitely a must on my next visit, which fingers crossed will be 2022. love Nicki

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