Faro is the gateway to the Algarve, a place many zip through on their way to unfolding the sun-loungers or rolling out the poolside towel elsewhere. There are kilometres of beach to lounge on, and hectares of rolling greenery to tee off from. So plenty of amazing experiences to look forward to for those booking flights to Faro, whether wriggling your toes in warm soft sands, or hearing the satisfied plonk of a birdie on the green. But the town itself is a neglected charm. And with its pretty sun-bleached houses and laid-back evenings of wine and chatter, Faro certainly rewards those who stay a little longer.
The beach resorts around Faro are ready-made for the pleasures of sun, sea, sand and enjoying a spot of golf. So during Portugal’s long, lazy summer, the crowds inevitably descend. July and August is when the Algarve peaks and cheap tickets to Faro are few and far between. If you’re happy with more chill and less sun, Faro’s quiet charm can make for a great spring or autumn break. You can get cheap flights to Faro from October onwards, but do prepared for inclement weather – autumn, though mild, is the rainiest times of year.
As the gateway to such a popular resort, Faro has plenty of regular flights from Ireland. That’s great for those looking to compare flights to Faro to find the best deals. Ryanair leads the pack with its low-cost return flights to Faro from Dublin, Cork and Shannon. Aer Lingus flies direct from Dublin too, taking three hours to get to Faro, while its non-stop route from Cork only takes two and a half hours. Shannon isn’t excluded from the Faro party either – Aer Lingus flies direct from here too.
Faro International Airport (FAO) is only a few kilometres west of Faro itself. For those heading to the resorts strung along the Algarve coast, resort transfers are laid on. If you’re wanting to explore Faro and its area away from the resorts, a hire car makes a lot of sense. You can also get a bus into Faro itself, which takes 20 minutes and only costs €2 for a single. Taxis from the airport to Faro city centre can be found for as little as €10, depending on the time of day.
Most of those passing through Faro are heading off to resorts further west, like high-energy Vilamoura. But the local beach at Ilha de Faro provides a slightly less hectic strand of surf. There’s plenty of space to stretch out and bask under the Portuguese sun, but there are also places to explore. The beach is backed by the shimmering beauty of the Ria Formosa nature reserve. A boat trip around its meandering inlets can be rewarded with the arcing flight of rare shorebirds. At night, the local restaurants in the Old Town echo with the sounds of the sea, and a sparkling nightlife.
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