Chapel of Santo Antonio do Alto
The Chapel of Santo Antonio do Alto was built in the Middle Ages. Its name is derived from one of the most famous catholic saints: Saint Anthony of Padua who was born in Lisbon and died in 1231. A memorial plate from 1981 commemorates the 750th anniversairy of his dead.
The Chapel of Santo Antonio do Alto is situated in Faro's New Town. To get there you can walk along the busy Avenida 5. de Outubro until you reach a park where the chapel is located at the eastern end. From the Chapel you can enjoy panoramic views of the coastline (Miradouro da Santo Antonio do Alto).
- Budget Travel
Touring the Ria Formosa Waterworld
Touring the Ria Formosa is quite an exciting feature of a trip to Faro. If you look at a map you will see that the city of Faro is seperated from the sea by an extensive area of lagoons, small islands and sandbanks. This nature reserve is actually a National Park and covers over 17,000 hectares. The main photo here was taken from the plane and gives some indication of how exotic it looks in certain parts.
On Sunday afternoon we took a boat trip sold to us by a smooth-talking salesman on the Marina outside our hotel. Along with a family of five we were the only passengers and it was quite an intimate and relaxed trip all round. The boat wound its way through channels and sand spits and we got the chance to observe loads of birds especially Egrets and Sandpipers (photos 2 & 5). The crew consisted of a guide who handed out binoculars to observe the wildlife with and a very laid back captain. So relaxed was he that he handed over the wheel to me and took himself off to sit down on a more comfortable seat. When I veered too far left or right he waved his hand in the appropriate direction. Even more amusing was on the return journey, when a little girl of about 9 with only one functioning eye took over.
Like I say, very relaxed indeed and great fun. The trip lasted for about two and a half hours and cost EUR 20 per person. A little on the expensive side maybe but the very comfortable boat and friendliness of the crew compensated. The company's website is below and their sales people are on The Marina every day.
- National/State Park
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Ilha Deserta : The southernmost point in Portugal
The highlight of the Ria Formosa trip was a visit to one of the islands on the lagoon, the Ilha Deserta. This is apparently the most Southern point of Portugal and gets very busy with sunlovers and watersports enthusiasts in the summer. In early February however it was completely deserted, wild and primitive looking. There is one massive wooden structure, a bar cum restaurant and some dilapidated beach huts but absolutely no other buildings of any sort. A neatly crafted boardwalk runs right through the centre of the island and all along the various stretches of beach. At that stage in the afternoon, the sun had gone in, the wind was rising and the light was grey and eerie. We walked right round the island and had a chat with a man lying on a hammock outside one of the beach huts. It says in the books that the island is uninhabited but he looked very much at home. The beaches are magnificent and I would recommend a trip here whatever time of the year you visit.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- National/State Park
Magnificent Roman ruins of Milreu
Just 5 kilometers from Faro is a complex of impressive Roman ruins which is now a national monument and one of the most important sites recording the Roman presence in Algarve. Milreu was a luxurious villa which was transformed into a prosperous farming enterprise. The complex is composed of the manor house, farm buildings, wine press, baths, a temple, and mausoleums among others. In the baths, one can still see very well-preserved tiles decorated with fish and marine life. One can see from what remains the opulent lifestyle of the villa's former inhabitants, as well as imagine the richness of the region, with its fertile lands, abundant sources of water, good climate, and proximity to the sea.
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
A wide natural park covering the whole coast around Faro, this is a paradise for lovers of natural life, but it may also be such an excellent place to bath, if you manage to get a boat to the island.
Close to the mouth of the lagoon the currents may be strong, but you may find some safe spots to swim in a warm and calm water. Don't miss the fun of sea shell grabbing.
Active Fisheries, a Quiet Walk
After eating by the marina, we followed the water's edge towards the mouth of the harbor (on the left bank), and wandered along a nice paved path.. very quiet and romantic, before cutting through an archway back onto the paved city streets. Great pictures and a relaxing walk.
When a person travels to Faro,...
When a person travels to Faro, or even Algarve (the province) one should look beyond the city and the coastline and go further in, into the rural parts of Algarve. These parts of Portugal are enriched with the Portuguese culture and history. Such places include the remote villages of Alte, Salir, Sao Bartolomeu de Messines, and countless others. I guarantee that even the road trip to these small villages are pleasant as you look out onto the scenery which seems untouched by the Western World. There are also guides who also arrange tours through these villages as well as through the mountains and valleys, the best time to go is during the summer and it is well worth your time.
Two nice villages. Alte and Estoi.
Estoi is a nice white village some 11 km far from Faro. It is well known for its palace and for the Roman ruins of Milreu. Well, unfortunately the palace was closed for restoration (it will be turned into a parador), it was not permitted even to visit the gardens. The ruins of Milreu have various ruins of buildings, but there aren't many mosaics.
The village has a nice main square with a church and a couple of cafes. If you climb a staircase, or follow some paths you arrive to a beautiful shaded square surrounded by some small houses
Alte is a nice village in inland Algarve. It is some 35 km far from Faro. It has lots of cafes, restaurants and a very interesting art gallery (Off the wall) where you can find some handmade presents to take home.
You can go to Alte by bus, but first you have to go to Loulè from Faro. Then you have to take another bus. Unfortunately in the summer there are few buses operating in the afternoon. So I'd recommend to vist Alte in the morning.
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
Left of the 'Praia dos...
Left of the 'Praia dos Caneiros' in Lagoa, you can climb the rockscape easily and you'll find yourself in the top of the rockside, with an amazing view over the beach and surrounding areas. It's a very nice place for a late afternoon walk and picture taking.
Also far left from the 'Praia...
Also far left from the 'Praia dos Caneiros' you will find several nice spots for snorkeling...just get in the water and see the little fishes...sometimes a species from the shark family can be seen here, but they're totally harmless, not to worry.
In Vilamoura, do take a look...
In Vilamoura, do take a look around the Marina, where you will find some nice spots to shop and sometimes, some artists doing their stuff.
From there, you can book several tours. I recommend one of the sight-seeing boat tours, which will take you around the coast, stop for a swim, into the caves...it's nice and not too expansive.
Lagos. Enclosed within 15th...
Lagos. Enclosed within 15th century walls, with its Manueline window, are the magnificent churches of São Sebastião (Renaissance portals and 17th and 18th century tiles), Santa Maria or Misericórdia (16th-19th centuries), Santo António (Baroque) and the very old São João Chapel (8th-9th centuries). Other points of interest: Regional Museum, Governors’ Palace, Pau da Bandeira Fortress and the old slave market. Charming marina.
Portimão. In this...
In this fishermen’s town, visit the mother-church (14th century, rebuilt in the 18th century), the Colégio Church (17th century), and the Town Hall. In the suburbs, the renowned Praia da Rocha (with its Santa Catarina de Ribamar Fortress), and the Roman ruins of Abicada.
Sagres.It was here that five...
It was here that five centuries ago Prince Henry set up a school of navigation, which played a crucial role in the Portuguese Discoveries. Apart from the Nossa Senhora da Graça Chapel, you can visit the magnificent fortress (originally built in the 14th century, and later altered) and the 15th century rosa-dos-ventos (a 43 m-diameter compass card). Nearby, on the extreme southwestern tip of the European continent, is Cabo de São Vicente (Romans’ Promontorium Sacrum), opening on to a vast horizon of sea and sky.
If you are staying in Faro, I...
If you are staying in Faro, I recommend that you take a day trip to Sagres (journey time about two-and-a-half hours) to see the 'Fortelleza' and Cape St. Vincent. If time allows, drop in to 'A Tasca' for a meal.
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