The provincial capital of the Algarve, Faro is a modern, lively city with attractive shopping precincts, good restaurants and a frenetic nightlife. Thousands of travellers pass through the city en route to and from the resorts of the Algarve. Those who choose to linger awhile will find a town full of charm and colour with an interesting history and the feel of a true Portuguese fishing port.
Faro offers some nice sightseeing opportunities, mostly centred in the Old Town or Cidade Velha, which is entered through an 18th century gate and enclosed by the remnants of medieval walls. Faro's most famous attraction is a macabre one at the Igreja do Carmo, which features a chapel whose walls are decorated with the bones of more than 1,200 monks disinterred from the neighbouring cemetery. Another worthwhile attraction near the city is the Ria Formosa Natural Park, and a short distance to the north is the peaceful village of Estoi, boasting a pink Roccoco palace and Roman ruins dating from the 1st century. For the beach, one has to travel a few miles. A long sandy spit lies across a bridge near the International Airport.