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All too often overlooked by visitors who simply pass through the city on their way to one of the Algarve resorts, Faro has much more to offer than many realise. A charmingly compact, historic, authentic and lively city, Faro earns the right to be a city break destination of its own standing. It's still near enough to a choice of beaches, which means you can fit in a bit of sun, sea and sand during Faro city breaks too. A far cry from the resort towns of the Algarve region; Faro is the real Portugal.
Faro is a small city, especially in comparison to Lisbon or Porto. Much of the centre, including the Old Town found within the city walls, can easily be navigated on foot although an excellent bus network is also available.
It's no secret that the Algarve region of Portugal is home to some of Europe's top-rated beaches, many of which are in easy reach from Faro including those found on the sandbar islands that lie close to the city. Faro Beach is one such choice. This long sandy beach encompasses the entire sea-facing coast of the Ilha de Faro. The island is accessible by bus or car and also by ferry from the Porta Nova marina. The beach is long enough to offer a choice of spots like the centre where lifeguards, shops and cafes are found as well as quieter areas to the eastern and western edges. All of the beach on the Ilha da Barreta is ideal for those seeking solitude. This beach is almost completely undeveloped, as is the island itself. Only accessible via ferry, there is one restaurant here, should you forget to take a packed lunch.
Like the rest of the Algarve, Faro enjoys a Mediterranean climate, which makes it mild to hot for most of the year and means virtually no rain from June to September. The summer months of July to August have average temperatures in the high 20s to high 30s (Celsius), while spring and autumn regularly see temperatures hit the mid-20s, making these seasons the ideal time for Faro city breaks, especially for those looking for cheap holidays outside of peak travel times.