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The great journey
Portugal – Route to romance

Stadtteil Belém in Lissabon am Ufer des Flusses Tejo. Im Hintergrund: die Ponte 25 de Abril (deutsch: Brücke des 25. April), ein 3,2 Kilometer langer Brückenzug mit einer 2278 Meter langen Hängebrücke über den Tejo. Sie ist weltweit, nach der Tsing-Ma-Brücke, die zweitlängste Hängebrücke mit kombiniertem Straßen- und Eisenbahnverkehr. Sie verbindet in Nord-Süd-Richtung den Lissabonner Stadtteil Alcântara mit der Stadt Almada.Portugal, Lissabon, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Travel Guide

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City map Faro

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    Good to know

    Faro – a brief overview

    Far from just the gateway to the Algarve, Faro is a delightful city, combining beaches, lively restaurants and bars, and compelling history – not to mention a reprieve from crowds of tourists. Its Cidade Velha (Old Town) dates back to the ninth century and is still defended by the medieval city walls.

    A clutch of interesting museums and churches keep you entertained, as do the city’s Moorish past, beautiful nature reserve and seafood-dominated cuisine. For those wanting a sun-soaked holiday but likely to grow bored after a couple of beach days, Faro makes for an intriguing urban diversion.

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    Top 10 sights in Faro

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    Faro, Portugal, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Travel Guide

    The Sé

    Largo da Sé
    8000-138 Faro
    Portugal
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    Opening times:
    Mon-Fri 1000-1800 (summer)
    Sat 1000-1230 (summer)
    Mon-Fri 1000-1700 (winter)
    Sat 1000-1230 (winter)

    Built in the 13th century upon the ruins of a Roman forum, little of the original cathedral of Faro has survived except for the Gothic bell tower, which offers great views of the Old Town. Baroque and Renaissance elements include beautiful azulejo tiling and intricate gold decoration.

    Arco do Vila

    Rua da Misericórdia
    8000-269 Faro
    Portugal
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    Designed by Franciso Xavier Fabri, the neoclassical entrance to the Old Town of the city gives a tantalising taste of the beauty held within.

    Igreja do Carmo

    Largo do Carmo
    8000-148 Faro
    Portugal
    Tel: +351 289 824 490
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Fri 1000-1800
    Sat 1000-1300

    This 18th-century baroque church is set in a pretty square with two bell towers. The main draw of its lavishly decorated interior is the chapel of bones, whose walls are covered in skulls.

    Museu Municipal

    Praça Dom Afonso III 14
    8700-767 Faro
    Portugal
    Tel: +351 289 897 400
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Fri 1000-1900 (Jun-Sep)
    Sat-Sun 1130-1800 (Jun-Sep)
    Tue-Fri 1000-1800 (Oct-May)
    Sat-Sun 1030-1700 (Oct-May)

    Originally a convent from the 16th century, the Municipal Museum of Faro features local art and artefacts, including Roman mosaics, antique toys and some precious paintings.

    Igreja de São Francisco

    Largo de São Francisco
    8000-142 Faro
    Portugal
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Various

    Rather blocky and unimpressive on the outside, São Francisco boasts an incredibly ornate interior of golden pillars and blue-and-white tiling.

    Museu Regional do Algarve

    Praça da Liberdade 2
    8000-164 Faro
    Portugal
    Tel: +351 289 870 893
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    Opening times:
    Mon-Fri 1000-1330 and 1430-1800

    Ceramics, clothing, fishing boats and a water cart are among the curious displays at this interesting museum celebrating traditional peasant life over the centuries.

    Doca

    8000-541 Faro
    Portugal
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    The historic docks of Faro are right next to the main square. While there are no longer many working fishing boats, there are numerous leisure rides available.

    Praia de Faro

    Avenida Nascente Praia de Faro
    8005-520 Faro
    Portugal
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    The Algarve is famous for its beautiful beaches. Staring down the Gulf of Cadiz, Faro’s praia is kept at glorious arm’s length from the mainland by the Ria Formosa.

    Museu Maritimo

    Rua da Comunidade Lusíada
    8000-253 Faro
    Portugal
    Tel: +351 289 894 990
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    Opening times:
    Mon-Fri 1430-1630

    This curious little museum shines a light on Portugal’s past as a great naval power with accurate models and information about both ships and traditional fishing boats.

    Ria Formosa Nature Park

    Ria Formosa
    Faro
    Portugal
    Tel: +351 289 704 134
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    If you tire of the city, head into the gorgeous Ria Formosa nature reserve. Its unique network of lagoons and little islands is home to bountiful wildlife, including flamingos.

    Good to know

    Country information

    Country overview

    Long considered primarily a haven for sunseekers and golfers, Portugal is also one of Europe’s unspoilt gems when you take the chance to dig a little deeper. This land of traditional villages and vibrant cities has a charming countryside strewn with historical treasures and a wide assortment of

    World Heritage sites – natural and cultural wonders that offer a window into this once great seafaring nation. Take in the prehistoric drawings at Foz Coa or 15th-century sea port at Angra do Heroísmo, alongside the other designated sites around the country that zip you back in time.

    Geography

    Portugal juts out into the Atlantic in the far southwest of Europe otherwise known as the Iberian Peninsula. The only country it shares a border with is neighbour Spain to the north and the east, with the Atlantic Ocean hugging its 800km (500-mile) coastline to the south and west. It has a land mass of 89,000 sq km (34,400 sq miles) with the Portuguese islands of the Azores and Madeira boosting that by another 3,100 sq km (1,200 sq miles). The Azores lie around 1,100km (700 miles) west of Lisbon, while Madeira sits just north of the Canary Islands to the west of Morocco.

    Outside the large urban areas, the countryside is a great deal more rural and sparse than in many other European countries. Portugal is crossed by several rivers which have their origin in Spain. These flow from east to west out into the Atlantic or north to south, the main rivers being the Minho and Douro in the north, and the Tagus and Guadiana in the south.

    Portugal possesses a high plain of varying height intersected by deep valleys.

    The north of the country is rugged, mountainous and dotted with vineyards. The high northern point of the Serra da Estrela proves a popular area for skiing, while Serra de São Mamede further south on the Spanish border is a hiking favourite.

    After the stunning slopes of the central regions, the vast plains of the Alentejo region stretch south of Lisbon, with a range of mountains dividing the Alentejo from the Algarve, whose wide sandy beaches and attractive bays run along the south coast.

    Over half the country is used for agriculture, though the soil is much richer for cultivation in the greener north. The capital, Lisbon, sits about two-thirds down the west coast. Porto is also situated on the coast in the northwest of the country. Smaller Faro nestles on the southern end of the country, its airport a busy hub for Algarve sunseekers and swathes of golfers looking for year-round sun. Braga, Coimbra and Setubal are also near the coast and rivers.

    General knowledge

    General knowledge

    Population: 10.6 million

    Population Density(per sq km): 115

    Capital: Lisbon.

    Language

    European Portuguese is spoken in Portugal with different dialects throughout the country. Açoriano, Alentejano, Algarvio, Baixo-Beirão, Beirão, Estremenho and Madeirense are spoken in the central regions and south, with Alto-Minhoto, Nortenho and Transmontano in the northern parts. Barranquenho, Minderico and Mirandese are either spoken rarely or in a concentrated area like Barrancos and Miranda do Douro.

    Brazilian Portuguese and languages native to Cape Verde, Ukraine, Angola, Guinea, the UK and Romania are also spoken widely due to the larger immigration of people from these particular places, along with other mostly European countries. Spanish can be understood and spoken in those areas nearer the Portuguese border.

    Currency

    Euro (EUR; symbol €) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of €500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of €2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents.

    Electricity

    230 volts AC, 50Hz. Continental two-pin plugs are in use.

    General business opening hours

    Mon-Fri 0900-1300 and 1500-1900.

    Public holidays

    Below are listed Public Holidays for the January 2016 – December 2017 period.

    2016

    New Year’s Day: 1. January 2016
    Good Friday: 25. March 2016
    Easter Sunday: 27. March 2016
    Freedom Day: 25. April 2016
    Labour Day: 1. May 2016
    Corpus Christi: 26. May 2016
    Portugal Day: 10. June 2016
    Assumption: 15. August 2016
    Republic Day: 5. October 2016
    All Saints’ Day: 1. November 2016
    Restoration of Independence Day: 1. December 2016
    Immaculate Conception: 8. December 2016
    Christmas Day: 25. December 2016

    2017

    New Year’s Day: 1. January 2017
    Good Friday: 14. April 2017
    Easter Sunday: 16. April 2017
    Freedom Day: 25. April 2017
    Labour Day: 1. May 2017
    Portugal Day: 10. June 2017
    Corpus Christi: 15. June 2017
    Assumption: 15. August 2017
    Republic Day: 5. October 2017
    All Saints’ Day: 1. November 2017
    Restoration of Independence Day: 1. December 2017
    Immaculate Conception: 8. December 2017
    Christmas Day: 25. December 2017

    Discover

    Route to romance

    Sonnenaufgang und Angler an der Küste von Sagres. Portugal, Algarve, Distrikt Faro, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Travel GuideLuis Sousa, 42, surft am Strand bei Vila do Bispo. Portugal, Algarve, Distrikt Faro, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Travel GuideLuis Sousa, 42, surft am Strand bei Vila do Bispo. Portugal, Algarve, Distrikt Faro, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Travel GuidePenélope Clarinha, Geschäftsführerin, im Geschäft der Pastéis de Belém.Universitätscampus und zwei Studentinnen. Die Universitätsstadt Coimbra, liegt am Rio Mondego, der 40 km westlich in den Atlantik mündet. Coimbra hat etwa 143.000 Einwohner (2011), darunter etwa 30.000 Studenten, und war im Jahr 2003 die Kulturhauptstadt Portugals. Portugal, Distrikt Coimbra, Lufthansa, Travel Guide, TravelguideWeinberge am Weingut des Portwein-Herstellers der Marke Graham´s, bei Castedo, Alijó. Portugal, Distrikt Vila Real, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Travel Guide
    The great journey: Portugal

    Follow the road from Faro to Lisbon to Porto along the Atlantic coast, and you will be treated to some of Portugal’s loveliest sights. We meet a cheese maker, a singer and a surfer who turned a crisis into an opportunity.

    Lufthansa tip

    Lufthansa flies several times daily from Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich to Lisbon (LIS), on Saturdays from Frankfurt and Munich to Faro (FAO) and twice daily from Frankfurt to Porto (OPO). To calculate how many miles you can earn on a round-trip flight, visit meilenrechner.de. lufthansa.com

    Day 1 – Faro to Sagres: Ocean freedom

    For a Portuguese man, it’s not so common to do what your sister tells you. But if Lous Sousa, 43, hadn’t listened to Sara, 34, he wouldn’t be standing on a beach near Sagres on this fine sunny morning teaching what matters most to him in life: surfing. Luis Sousa is deeply tanned with sun-bleached streaks in his long, dark hair. In sunglasses, shorts and a colorful T-shirt, he looks the very cliché of a surf instructor on the Algarve coast. And yet he was once a fisherman in northern Portugal.

    He’d likely still be one if his sister had found a job in Sagres after qualifying in her trade. But unlike her brother, she didn’t want to leave the place where they grew up because she loved the glittering light, the salty air and the broad sandy beaches beneath towering cliffs. So Sara called her brother up north and told him she thought they should open a surf school in Sagres, because surfing was what Luis loved best and he had taught himself to surf at 14.

    Luis, the compliant brother, narrows his eyes, digs his toes into the warm sand and watches his students practice keeping their balance in the shallow water. “Carry on like that and you’ll be out in the deep water this afternoon!” he shouts, struggling to make himself heard above the waves. Perhaps one or two of his students will fall in love with surfing the way Luis did. “When I can feel the power of the ocean, I feel liberated. Any problems I have no longer trouble me,” he says. The moment his students settle down on the beach for their lunch break, Sousa grabs his board and paddles out to sea to find the big waves.

    Day 2 – Sagres to Vila Fresca de Azeitão: A cheesy tale

    The long beaches and the deep blue ocean, its waves crested with dancing white horses, gradually grow smaller in the rearview mirror. We head north, past grasses, shrubs and tall eucalyptus trees. If we start missing the sea, all we need to do is take the next road to the left and a couple of kilometers later, we will see the white sands and blue waters stretching out before us. We eventually reach the Azeitão region roughly 50 kilometers south of Lisbon, which abounds with cork and holm oak forests and is famous more than anything for its Queijo de Azeitão sheep’s cheese.

    Suse Macheta, 37, set up her cheese making business in the village of Vila Fresca de Azeitão in the midst of Portugal’s economic crisis. “It was a unique opportunity,” she explains, standing in her cheese factory surrounded by white tiles and stainless steel equipment. It almost sounds as though she wants to apologize for the timing. Producing sheep’s cheese had become too much for the owners of the Quinta de Camarate farm and Suse Macheta, who was raised on a nearby farm, knew what she was doing because she had worked for a cheese making company after studing agriculture. Her business is now thriving thanks to her contacts to old cheese makers – and to her family. Into a tub, Suse Macheta pours fresh, raw milk from the cows her husband milked that same morning. Then her mother-in-law stirs in the rennet and thistle flower extract that gives the Portuguese mountain cheese its distinctive flavor. Every day her father-in-law sells the soft and creamy cheese in its yellow rind at Lisbon’s main market.

    Day 3 – Vila Fresca de Azeitão to Lisbon: Sweet melancholy

    The Cristo-Rei statue of Jesus welcomes all who approach Lisbon from the southwest across the red steel Ponte 25 de Abril bridge. From this miniature version of the famous Golden Gate Bridge, there’s a fantastic view of the labyrinth of narrow streets and colorful city palaces on the banks of the Tagus and also of the modern high-rises with their mirror glass facades further to the north. First stop in the Portuguese capital: Belém, a neighborhood where many buildings are still adorned with tiles. Over a hundred people jostle for position outside a building with a colorfully tiled facade, all drawn by the mouthwatering Pastéis de Belém – the little custard-filled, flaky-pastry tartlets that are served in every café. But only the Clarinha family, which owns the Antiga Confeitaria pastry shop, bakes them according to the original recipe – hence the crowds.

    The recipe originated in the nearby Monasteiro dos Jerónimo monastery. After the liberal revolution in 1820 the monks were no longer allowed to do business, and so they asked a sympathetic grocer, the great-great-great-great-grandfather of the Clarinhas, to sell their pastries – Pastéis de Belém for them. The Clarinhas have had the recipe ever since and all Portuguese bakers have tried to reproduce it. But the Clarinhas guard it like a precious jewel, and it is known by four bakers only. Even Penélope Clarinha, 41, who runs the family business with her cousin and uncle, says she doesn’t know what makes the Pastéis de Belém so special – even though she always comes down to the kitchen from her office to help put the pastry rounds into their tiny pans when the cafe gets really busy.

    Meanwhile, Lisbon housewives jog around Jardim de Estrela park, perhaps in an attempt to work off their daily pastéis. The fado singer Aldina Duarte, who is very much a celebrity in Portugal, no longer turns heads here. Dressed in jeans, T-shirt and sneakers, her hair loose and wearing no makeup, the 46-year-old looks shy and terribly normal. Is that her intention? “I don’t like being the center of attention, I’m happiest on my own,” she says, sitting on the terrace of a café on the edge of the park. She speaks softly, we have to listen closely to make out what she’s saying. The little park at the heart of Lisbon with its palms, pines and luscious bougainvilleas is her favorite place to be. When she’s not touring, she spends her days there, reading, walking, writing lyrics.

    Duarte heard fado for the first time at the age of 24, quite by accident, in the nightlife district Bairro Alto. She was immediately enthralled – and felt ashamed to be discovering Portugal’s traditional music so late. From that moment on she spent all her time in fado houses, and a short while later met the well-known fado singer Camané, who would later become her husband. He and other singers encouraged her to start singing herself. “If it hadn’t been for my friends, I would never have dared to step on stage,” she says. “Today, it’s my life. I only feel good when I’m singing fado. It’s the interaction with the audience that makes the music come alive.” Every night for the past 19 years, she has been overcoming her shyness in Sr. Vinho, in the Lapa district of the city. This evening, we sit – fado is not for dancing – and watch a fado singer who takes pride in what she does. Striking, in a long black dress, her lips red, black liner accentuating her eyes and flanked by two guitarists, Aldina Duarte fills the room with her sonorous voice – singing of her love for Lisbon.

    Day 4 – Lisbon to Coimbra: Isabel and the bats

    We pass suburbs full of colorful high-rise buildings, then through eucalyptus groves and finally arrive in Coimbra, Portugal’s oldest university town. The faculty buildings and the library stand atop the tallest hill. This is Isabel Cardoso’s domain. In Coimbra they say that the 58-year-old librarian is responsible for the survival of the ancient books – along with the bats, which live behind the shelves and eat the pests that damage them. The library contains more than 9000 leather-bound volumes, and Cardoso cleans the pages with a soft brush. “Biblioteca Joanina has come to mean as much to me as my two children,” she explains. Cardoso left her job in a sugar factory ten years ago to work in the library, which, along with the Faculties of Law and Medicine, forms the heart of the university and the old town of Coimbra. “The university is almost like Coimbra’s biggest club,” she says, “if you’re not studying here, you work here.”

    Cardoso opens the heavy door to a group of tourists eager to see the library’s main hall with the tall, gilt wooden shelves and handwritten books. At once, the sound of music enters through the open door. Outside, on the sunny main quadrangle, students dressed in long, black cloaks are singing and playing guitar and flute. They are trying to raise money for the Queima das Fitas student festival. Walk down through the labyrinth of stone buildings to the new town, and you will soon understand why Isabel Cardoso is so happy to belong to the university club. Students sit engrossed in books in bars and cafés on the cobblestone squares, or chat together in the Botanical Garden, spreading that carefree mood so typical of the young.

    Day 5 – Coimbra to Porto: Wine valley

    In the Douro river valley the weak morning sun battles the swathes of fog obstinately clinging to the vines. You can barely discern the terraced vineyards that make growing wine on steep slopes possible, and which were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001. Dominic Symington, 57, parks his off-roader on the edge of the vineyard, pops a grape into his mouth and reaches for his phone. “Bom dia, José, Zimbro vineyard is ready for picking.” When he drives home to his whitewashed farmhouse Quinta do Malvedos on the banks of the Douro, his foreman, José, drives ten pickers to the vineyard.

    Grape harvest time would be almost a holiday for Symington if he didn’t have to get up so early to check the slopes to see which grapes were ripe. His role in the family business in Porto usually just consists of marketing the port that is produced from the grapes, but tradition dictates that a member of the family always give the command to pick the grapes.

    When the British went out searching for new wine regions more than three hundred years ago, the Symingtons, a Scottish family, began shipping port from the Douro valley to Great Britain. In the late 19th century, the company bought its first vineyards, and today, roughly one third of the port produced around the world carries the Symington label.

    We return along winding country roads to Porto, where the Douro flows into the Atlantic and where, in September, wine tastings are held to celebrate the new harvest. On the other side of the river, in Vila Nova da Gaia, the major port producers host tastings all year round in their wine cellars.

    Enjoy

    Nightlife in Faro

    ListMap

    There are plenty of bars and clubs in and around Faro catering both to tourists and natives of the Algarve, including lots of options for live music.

    Take a cocktail in one of the bars set in historic buildings in the Old Town before deciding where to party ‘til dawn.

    Columbus Cocktail & Wine Bar

    Praça Dom Francisco Gomes 13
    8000-168 Faro
    Portugal
    Show on map

    Faro’s most impressive bar is housed in a building that was once a hospital and is half a millennium old.

    Chessenta

    Rua do Prior 24
    8000-301 Faro
    Portugal
    Show on map

    With varied music, this vivacious bar is open until the small hours and great for a late-night dance.

    Taberna Da Sé

    Largo da Sé 4
    8000 Faro
    Portugal
    Show on map

    With a young crowd and live music, this open-air joint for laid-back drinking lies right by the cathedral.

    Kadoc

    Cerca da Areia
    8100-072 Boliqueime
    Portugal
    Show on map

    This enormous club can squeeze in 8,000 revellers and is the venue of choice for big concerts.

    Ditadura

    Largo da Madalena 13
    8000 Faro
    Portugal
    Show on map

    With live rock music every weekend, Ditadura is a favourite with the local alternative crowd.

    Enjoy

    Restaurants in Faro

    ListMap

    Seafood in Faro is a must, with lots of restaurants serving fresh fish with a delightfully short journey from boat to plate.

    There are a number of traditional tavern-style restaurants offering good value for money, as well as some finer options.

    Willies Restaurant

    Rua do Brasil 2
    8125-479 Vilamoura
    Portugal
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    Upscale Michelin-starred restaurant half an hour’s drive from Faro with terrific seafood and steaks, and a fine wine list to match.

    Faro e Benfica

    Doca de Faro 6
    8005 Faro
    Portugal
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    Based on the doca, this local favourite serves superb seafood, including clams and lobster.

    Adega Nova

    Rua Francisco Barreto 24
    8000-344 Faro
    Portugal
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    Situated in a tight wine cellar with wooden benches, this fun restaurant is great for parties.

    Dois Irmaos

    Praça Ferreira de Almeida 15
    8000-156 Faro
    Portugal
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    Dating back to 1925, this is said to be Faro’s oldest restaurant, with tiled walls and traditional cuisine.

    Fim do Mundo

    Rua Vasco da Gama 53
    8000-442 Faro
    Portugal
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    Meaning the ‘end of the world’, this unpretentious legend has been serving seafood and piri-piri chicken for half a century.

    Discover

    Calendar of events

    Estoi Pine Cone Festival (Festa da Pinha)

    2 May 2016
    Website

    Venue: Estoi, around 10km northeast of Faro

    The streets of Estoi, a short drive from Faro, are filled with a lively parade of traditionally dressed horseback riders and tractor-drawn wagons decorated with palm branches and spring flowers. The procession travels to Ludo, 17km to the southwest, and returns the following evening amid music, merriment and fireworks.

    International Motorcycle Meeting

    14 – 17 July 2016
    Website

    Venue: Rally ground near Faro Airport

    Bikers from across the continent roar into Faro for this annual motorbike fest. There’s a huge campground, 24-hour bar, live bands and a wet T-shirt contest. Tattoo artists are on hand to create new body art, and the biker fair stocks all sorts of goodies and bike accessories.

    Faro Book Fair (Feira do Livro de Faro)

    19 July – 4 August 2016

    Venue: Jardim Manuel Bivar

    Around 50 publishers attend Faro’s annual book festival. Literary lovers are kept busy with book presentations and author signings, kid-friendly activities and shows, plus nightly concerts. The fair has run for several decades and is a firm favourite on Faro’s cultural calendar.

    Ria Formosa Festival (Festa da Ria Formosa)

    30 July – 9 August 2016

    Venue: Largo de São Francisco

    Faro’s summer seafood festival dishes up a sensational selection of fishy concoctions every evening. Foodies can nibble on baby squid, sup on octopus salad or tuck into ladlefuls of steaming fish stew. Live music accompanies each gastronomic soirée as dining continues into the early hours.

    Estoi Horse Fair (Feira do Cavalo)

    1 August – 1 October 2016

    Venue: Estoi, around 10km northeast of Faro

    Horse and carriage racing, parades, show jumping and dressage are among the assortment of equestrian events held during Estoi’s horse fair. Marching bands, flamenco dancers and folk groups entertain crowds after dark, with plenty of food and drink keeping the party going late into the night.

    Folkfaro

    29 August – 4 September 2016
    Website

    Venue: Various venues

    Folk groups from Portugal and abroad present an animated programme of musical, theatrical and dance performances both indoors and outdoors. Visitors can catch shows in the city market or by the dock, watch a lively parade through the town, or pick up new moves at dance workshops.

    City Day Celebrations (O Dia da Cidade)

    7 September 2016

    Venue: Throughout Faro

    Faro celebrates 7 September with a public holiday to commemorate its elevation by royal charter from town to city in 1540. On and around this date, the city usually hosts special exhibitions, sports events and concerts to mark the occasion.

    Santa Iria Fair (Feira de Santa Iria)

    16 – 25 October 2016

    Venue: Largo de São Francisco

    Held during the last two weeks of October, the Santa Iria Fair packs in whirling carousels and illuminated Ferris wheels, stomach-churning rollercoasters and colourful bumper cars. It’s crammed with stalls dishing up roasted chestnuts or selling local handicrafts, with live entertainment boosting the party atmosphere.

    Faro Carnival

    9 February 2017

    Venue: City centre

    Several days of lively festivities culminate in a dazzling Mardi Gras procession. Brightly decorated floats cruise through the city centre accompanied by hordes of dancing and singing partygoers adorned in masks, colourful feather headdresses and eye-catching costumes. Don’t miss the children’s parade, a cute mini version of the main event.

    Burial Procession of the Lord (Procissão do Enterro do Senhor)

    25 March 2017

    Venue: Starts at the Church of Misericórdia

    On the evening of Good Friday, crowds of devoted Christians throng to watch or take part in this candlelit procession, commemorating Christ’s death and burial. The funeral-like march is accompanied by sombre brass band music, with most participants dressed in black.

    All information subject to change. Please check the dates on the relevant event organizer’s website.

    Enjoy

    Hotels in Faro

    ListMap

    Faro doesn’t boast the finest hotels in Portugal, but there are a few smart boutique options in and around the historical centre, as well as some larger resort-style options along the coast.

    Palácio de Estoi 

    Rua São José
    8005-465 Estoi
    Portugal
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    Based in an astonishing 18th-century palace 10km from Faro, this is one of the best hotels in the Algarve.

    Faro

    Praca Dom Francisco Gomes 2
    8000-168 Faro
    Portugal
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    Stridently modern, this isn’t the most soulful of hotels, but offers terrific views and spacious rooms.

    Santa Maria

    Rua de Portugal 17
    8000-381 Faro
    Portugal
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    Category: Moderate

    A 60-room hotel that’s handsome and comfortable, Santa Maria boasts a fine sixth-floor terrace.

    Hotel Eva

    Avenida da República 1
    8000-078 Faro
    Portugal
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    Category: Moderate

    A charming and luxurious hotel, Eva overlooks the port, providing great views of the city from its many balconies.

    Sol Algarve

    Rua Infante Dom Henrique 52
    8000-363 Faro
    Portugal
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    Category: Cheap

    This good-value hotel features some wonderful Roman artefacts uncovered during its restoration a decade ago.

    Good to know

    Best time to visit

    Today: Thursday, 08.12.2016 03:00 UTC

    sunny

    temperature


    15°C


    wind direction

    north

    wind speed

    15.625 mph

    humidity

    79%

    7 days forecast

    Friday

    09.12.2016

    18°C / 15°C

    Saturday

    10.12.2016

    18°C / 14°C

    Sunday

    11.12.2016

    18°C / 12°C

    Monday

    12.12.2016

    17°C / 11°C

    Tuesday

    13.12.2016

    17°C / 11°C

    Wednesday

    14.12.2016

    17°C / 16°C

    Thursday

    15.12.2016

    17°C / 15°C

    Climate & best time to visit Portugal

    Not surprisingly, considering its close proximity to northern Africa, Portugal is one of the warmest European countries with an average temperature of 15°C (55°F) in the north and 18°C (64°F) in the south, while the Azores and Madeira are wetter and hotter respectively off the coast. It can become rainy and windy during autumn and winter, but spring and summer see temperatures soar to as high as 40°C (104°F) around the interior and 35°C (95°F) in the north.

    The northwest has mild winters with high levels of rainfall, and fairly short summers. The northeast experiences longer winters and hot summers. In the south, summers (May to October) are warm with very little rain except in early spring and autumn. Snow will fall in the north, but melts quickly.

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    22 °C

    0 °C

    25 °C

    0 °C

    27 °C

    2 °C

    28 °C

    4 °C

    33 °C

    5 °C

    36 °C

    8 °C

    39 °C

    11 °C

    39 °C

    8 °C

    37 °C

    8 °C

    33 °C

    5 °C

    28 °C

    2 °C

    25 °C

    0 °C

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    78 mm

    72 mm

    39 mm

    38 mm

    21 mm

    8 mm

    1 mm

    4 mm

    14 mm

    67 mm

    86 mm

    94 mm

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    5 h

    5 h

    7 h

    8 h

    10 h

    11 h

    11 h

    11 h

    9 h

    7 h

    6 h

    5 h

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    78 %

    78 %

    73 %

    71 %

    69 %

    68 %

    62 %

    63 %

    67 %

    73 %

    77 %

    79 %

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    15 °C

    15 °C

    15 °C

    16 °C

    17 °C

    18 °C

    19 °C

    20 °C

    20 °C

    19 °C

    17 °C

    16 °C

    absolute maxabsolute minØ absolute minØ absolute minrelative humidityØ precipitationdays with deposit > 1mmsunshine duration
    Jan22 °C0 °C16 °C7 °C78 %78 mm85.5 h
    Feb25 °C0 °C16 °C8 °C78 %72 mm95.8 h
    Mar27 °C2 °C18 °C8 °C73 %39 mm57.5 h
    Apr28 °C4 °C19 °C10 °C71 %38 mm68.4 h
    May33 °C5 °C22 °C12 °C69 %21 mm310.1 h
    Jun36 °C8 °C25 °C15 °C68 %8 mm111.1 h
    Jul39 °C11 °C28 °C17 °C62 %1 mm011.9 h
    Aug39 °C8 °C28 °C18 °C63 %4 mm111.4 h
    Sep37 °C8 °C26 °C16 °C67 %14 mm29.1 h
    Oct33 °C5 °C23 °C14 °C73 %67 mm67.3 h
    Nov28 °C2 °C19 °C10 °C77 %86 mm76.1 h
    Dec25 °C0 °C16 °C8 °C79 %94 mm85.4 h
    year39 °C0 °C21 °C12 °C71 %522 mm568.3 h
    Good to know

    Phone calls & Internet

    Telephone/Mobile Telephone

    Dialing Code: +351

    Telephone

    There are call boxes in most villages and all towns; there are also public telephones in many cafés and bars, from which you can make international calls. Internet cafés in the main tourist areas are usually set up for Skype.

    Mobile Telephone

    Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies and coverage exists across the whole country, but you can buy a cheap phone on arrival.

    Internet

    There are internet cafés in all urban areas, and some rural ones, while post offices offer web facilities. Wi-Fi access is available in various hotels and public buildings.

    Enjoy

    Shopping in Faro

    Stadtführer, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Shopping, Einkaufen

    Key Areas

    Head to the pedestrianised Rua de Santo Antonio, which has lots of clothing stores, souvenir stalls and shops selling everything from ceramics to handbags. Nearby Rua Vasco da Gama is a must for shoe lovers.

    Markets

    The most famous market in Faro is the energetic Mercado Municipal (Largo Doutor Francisco Så Carneiro), where you can find cured meats, delicious olives and traditional custard tarts, as well as locally grown vegetables.

    Shopping Centres

    The best mall in the region is the Forum Algarve (Estrada Nacional km103 125). There’s a wide selection of shops and restaurants, and an impressive central water feature.

    Good to know

    Traveller etiquette

    Social Conventions

    Portugal is a fascinating mix of culture and folklore, depending on what part of the country you are visiting. Traditional ranchos folclóricos folklore, which is often illustrated with dance and song, tends to dominate the smaller towns and villages, with art and drama bigger in the larger towns and cities.

    The Portuguese are warm, hospitable people who revel in exhibitions, films, crafts, concerts, plays, café culture and also shopping malls (to combat the summer heat!).

    The summer festival season is a particularly pleasant experience, with football and bull fighting also enjoyed, along with the traditional religious activities that cater for the majority Catholic population.

    Casual wear is widely acceptable, but you shouldn’t wear beach clothing in towns. Smoking has been prohibited in public indoor spaces since 2008 and the ban includes cinemas, theatres, buses and most restaurants.

    Good to know

    Health

    Main emergency number: 112

    Food & Drink

    You can drink tap water in major cities and towns, although you should be cautious in small villages. Thankfully, bottled water is widely available but if it’s not then any questionable water should be boiled for five minutes or treated with iodine. Salads and fruit are safe to eat anywhere in Portugal. Take care with shellfish such as cooked mussels that have not opened properly and avoid undercooked meat, particularly minced meat. Ice cream is fine, unless it has been melted and refrozen.

    Other Risks

    You will be treated on the same basis as a Portuguese resident, but you might have to make a patient contribution to the cost of your care. If you have to make such a payment, you may be able to seek reimbursement for this cost when you are back in the UK if you are not able to do so in Portugal. It is important that you ensure you are treated by a state healthcare provider, as you will not be covered for private healthcare. You should be particularly careful if the healthcare arrangements have been made by a hotel or travel representative. There are state health centres throughout the country (generally open from 0800 to 2000) where you can receive treatment for minor ailments and injuries, and major emergency hospitals in large towns which remain open throughout the night.

    Even though pharmacies are well stocked, take a decent supply of medication with you, and be aware pharmacies are usually closed for two hours over lunchtime. Carry a legible prescription with you to show that you legally use the medication. If you wear glasses, take a spare pair and your prescription just in case you need to get new glasses made up quickly.

    Be sure to take the usual precautions against sunburn and sunstroke, as the sun in Portugal can be blisteringly hot in the height of summer: wear high-factor sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses, and drink plenty of water.

    Vaccination against hepatitis B is sometimes recommended.

    Contractual physician of Lufthansa

    Habeck, Torsten
    Clinica Medica Familiar Monte Carvoeiro
    Monte Carvoeiro
    8401-951 Carvoeiro
    Portugal
    Tel. +35-1282-3577-20

    Please note that Lufthansa accepts no responsibility for the treatment nor will it bear the cost of any treatment.
    Good to know

    Visa & Immigration

    IATA Travel Centre

    The IATA Travel Centre delivers accurate passport, visa and health requirement information at a glance. It is a trusted, centralized source for the latest international travel requirements. The IATA Travel Centre is the most accurate source available because it is based on a comprehensive database used by virtually every airline, and information is gathered from official sources worldwide, such as immigration and police authorities.

    IATA Travel CentreIATA Travel Centre