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Portugal's Algarve is a beautiful coastal region popular with couples, families and singles, and Faro is probably the region's best known resort city. Perched on the southernmost tip of Portugal, Faro is packed with beautiful beaches, historic buildings, water-based activities and even a natural park and marina. It comes alive at night for those wanting to check out the bars and clubs, but there are also plenty of quieter spots with restaurants serving authentic Portuguese fare, for those that want a more chilled out experience.
Flying to Faro non-stop from London airports takes less than three hours and from Manchester just over. So it's only a short trip to the sun, sea, sand and fun from the UK.
Faro is full of great things to do, whether you have a couple of days with the other half or 10 days with the kids. Visit the Desertas Islands in Santa Cruz, a small archipelago (cluster of islands) with an incredible array of wildlife on show. Take a boat trip around the islands, hopping on and off to see what each one has to offer, or pick a single island and make a day of it with picnicking, snorkelling, bird watching and chilling on the sandy beaches. On a warm day it really does feel like paradise, with great views of the ocean and Portugal's mainland.
For water lovers, book a scuba diving excursion and dive down to some amazing shipwrecks and to some incredible sea life in and around the artificial and natural reefs. Alternatively, if you're a sun lover there's no shortage of sandy beaches – Faro Beach (Praia de Faro) and the island beaches (Faro ‘ilhas') are all lovely and even at the height of summer it's possible to find more secluded areas if you want to escape other holidaymakers.
Back on dry land, Faro's Old Town is worth a wander around for a couple of hours. Plan it in around lunch or dinnertime as there are loads of great little restaurants within the old city walls, some with lovely views of the Ria Formosa lagoon.
Soak up a bit of history, archaeology and culture at Milreu museum, complete with Roman remains and complex mosaic panels. It's cheap to get in so it's great for families and those on a budget, as well as those who just love stepping back in time. For something even more spectacular, get yourself to the Palacio de Estoi on Rua de Sao Jose. Once a 19th-century palace, now renovated and transformed into a luxurious hotel, it's a great place to unwind and enjoy a spa treatment or two. There's a golf course nearby for sports lovers too.
Faro is a great destination for beach, diving, sports, golf and spa holidays and because flights there from the UK are so frequent and great value with lastminute.com, it's easy to go for a long weekend or a couple of weeks.
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|Food and drinks||Prices average|
|Beer (0.5 litre)||£1.00|
|Meal at McDonald's||£4.00|
|Water (0.33 litre)||£1.00|
|One way tube ticket||£2.00|
|Taxi starting price (normal tariff)||£3.00|
|1 summer dress in a chain store (Zara, H&M,...)||£35.00|
|1 pair of jeans (Levi's 501 or similar)||£61.00|
|Average monthly disposable salary (net)||£625.00|