Faro Weekend Breaks

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Weekend Breaks to Faro

Planning a short break to Faro? Check out Travel Library's recommended Top 10 Things To Do in Faro. It's a perfect companion for weekend city breaks to Faro. Once you've been you can add your own tips and suggestions to help other visitors.

Monte do Casal

The owner, Bill Hawkins, converted this 18th-century farmhouse into a small luxury hotel and restaurant. It is situated on large grounds, featuring olive, almond and fruit tress, two swimming pools, two waterfalls, rock pools and a stream. The emphasis is on tranquility.

Noteworthy is the rooms with a sea-facing terrace where the continental breakfast is served, and the rooms in the gardens around the pools. Facilities include: 2 lounges, a bar, a restaurant, 2 spa baths and golf nearby. This hotel is well placed for exploring the quieter eastern region.

Expect to pay € 97 - € 193.50 (single), € 129 - € 258 (double) and € 168 - € 300 (suite) for bed and breakfast. Located Cerro do Lobo, Estoi. Tel: 28/999-15-03.

For more information visit - www.montedocasal.pt./

Mesa dos Mouros

This friendly restaurant sits in a corner of a large, quiet square lined by orange trees and flanked by the cathedral. It is unpretentious and the food is excellent. Salt cod with chick peas makes a delicious starter and you can enjoy wild boar with sultanas and rice (with mango garnish) for a main course. The service is friendly and the atmosphere relaxed. Expect to pay from € 16 for a three course meal, including wine. Located Largo da Se. Tel: 28/987-88-73.

Carmo Church

The facade of the church, with its twin bell towers and yellow painted balustrade, is impressive. Marvel at the profusion of gilded woodwork (carved in the 18th century) once you step into the church. Superb painted statues are displayed in the alcoves of a chamber, that can be found through a door to the right of the altar. The cemetery, at the back of the church, is dominated by a huge palm tree, and to the left is the extraordinary Chapel of Bones. The walls and vaulted ceiling of this Chapel is covered with bones, including 1,245 skulls (monks removed from the cemetery in 1816). Truly a sight not to be missed. Situated in Largo do Carmel.

Shopping in Faro

There is many good shops and shopping streets in faro, where you can find everything from local handcraft to wine and port from local cellars. € 112 buys an embroidered tablecloth and matching napkins from Casa Branca (Rua de Santo Antonio 10). € 26 will get you a traditional 19th-century doorknocker from Villa Adentro, a fascinating antique shop full of ceramics, paintings and woodcarvings. Located Largo Afonso III. You can buy a bottle of amarguinha (a delicious almond-based aperitif) for € 4.10, as well as Portuguese wines, ports and pastries from Rui Garrafeira. Located Praca Ferreira de Almeida. Carminho (Rua Santa Antonio 29. Tel: 28/982-65-22) is recommended for handcrafts and traditional clothing.

Festival of the Chouricas

Hosted by the mountain village of Querena, on January 27th. It is a traditional fair in honour of Saint Louis, the patron saint of animals. This festival offers the chance to sample wonderful local delicacies, such as salt-pork sausage.

Faro's main religious festival, the Feira de Santo Iria, are held in late October. For more information, contact the tourist office in Faro. Tel: 28/980-36-04.

Adega Nortenha

If you want simple regional food, served at an affordable price, this little eatery is the place to visit. It offers one of the town's best food values. The fresh tuna steak is delicious, as is the roast lamb (which is herb-flavoured and pasted with garlic). Make sure to try the savoury cataplana casserole (a mixture of bits of seafood cooked with chunks of pork). The service is friendly and efficient. Main courses are 5.50€ to 11€. Located Praca Ferreira de Almeida 25. Tel: 28/982-27-09.

Ria Formosa Nature Reserve

One of the area's most popular tourist destinations and a nature lovers dream. The park covers 60km of coastline from Tavira to Ancao. Here you will find a labyrinth of lagoons, small sand islands, mud flats, marshes and canals. Many bird breeds, such as the little bittern, purple heron, egrets, white stork and stone-curlew, make this their breeding ground. Others use it as a migratory stopover, making this park of special appeal to birdwatchers. The park is also an area of great botanical interest, including woodland, marsh and dune vegetation. Remember to take your binoculars, this is a great place to enjoy a walk or hike, or even just a picnic. Open daily and located on the coast of the Algarve, close to Faro.

Rua do Prior

The beat of the town and located adjacent to the Faro Hotel. Here you will find dozens of night cafes, pubs (English and other), and rocking dance clubs (that opens at 10:30pm till dawn). A specific bar of good quality is Upa Upa Café & Bar, Rua Conselheiro Bivar 51. Tel: 28/980-78-32. Tables overflow onto the spacious patio, as it draws a medley of visitors and locals. Open daily from 9pm to 4am.

Se Catedral de Faro

The Church of Santa Maria (Saint Mary), became the Faro Se in the 16th century. It retained its bell tower, two crossed chapels and a column in the apse. The statues and carvings represent one of the most valuable 17th and 18th century art collections to be found in the Algarve. Check out the altarpiece and cardinal chair in the main chapel, the Chapel of Santo Lenho (covered with gold leaving), the 18th-century tiling (particularly the figurative panels in the Chapel of Nossa Senhora do Ros rio), and the Chapel of Nossa Senhora dos Prazeres. Locared largo da Se. Tel: 28/980-66-32.

Museu Municipal

A former 16th-century convent (the Convento de Nossa Senhora da Assuncao). The two story cloister is worth a visit. Many artifacts dates back to the Roman settlement and some of the Roman statues are excavations at Milreu

Open Tuesday to Friday 10am to 6pm. Admission: € 2 for adults, € 1 for those 13 to 18 years old, free to children under 12. Located Praca Afonso III 14. Tel: 28/989-74-00.

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