Faro is a city that is criminally overlooked. Many people consider it a just a port, somewhere you can fly into and then go on your way to other cities around Portugal. And that may be the case as Portugal does offer many beautiful cities throughout.
However, consider spending a couple of days here, as you’ll have more than enough to keep you entertained for a few days. From its old town to its jaw-dropping coasts that include the world famous Algarve Caves, Faro packs a punch that many people seem to dodge.
As with most of our trips, we found a great deal on flights through Ryanair. We would look at all the destinations that were available from our airport of Frankfurt Hahn. One of them was Faro, Portugal. Now, we had wanted to go to Portugal, but Faro wasn’t what we had in mind. I sure am glad it was the one available though, because it ended up being one of my favorite trips.
With Ryanair, they only offer trips on certain days, it is very systematic. So in this case, they were flying out late Friday night, and returning late Sunday night. This happened to be perfect as we wouldn’t have to take off any work!
For this trip, it was in our best interest to get a rental car. The airport was a good bit a ways away from our Airbnb, and public transportation wasn’t all that readily available either. We were staying in a resort style area. Not a hotel resort, but just a bunch of apartments type of resort. Maybe retirement homes?
Either way, the rental car made our lives much easier, especially since we could split the cost between the four of us.
As I mentioned, we flew out after work on Friday night and ended up landing around midnight in Faro. We got the rental car straight from the airport and we were on our way.
Now, Ryanair airports are typically well outside of the main city; it’s how they save on land costs and taxes. That means it is quite a drive to get to the city, and it also means that we would be driving through a lot of backwoods, dirt roads to get to our Airbnb.
Well, one particular dirt road was so thin that our tiny rental car could barely fit on it. And it was a two lane road! At one point, the GPS had us taking a right turn ahead, well, as I was taking the turn, another car was taking the turn at the same time. We all screamed as the car nearly missed us, mainly due to the fact that I was practically off the road driving in the ditch.
We got back on the road and tried getting to our Airbnb as quickly and safely as possible, because it was getting really scary. Like, horror movie scary.
We were on a straight away now, and there weren’t any lights for miles. We had forest on one side of us, and farmland on the other. Somewhere down this road, there was a human like figure standing on the side of the road; perfectly still.
My heart started pounding, and I was like what is that? My friend raised his voice saying, “Watch out, that’s a person, he has a gun!”
Now, my brain instantly thought of every horror movie I had ever watched and my brain now saw the person with a gun. I instantly yelled, a deep yell straight from the diaphragm, and full of life-fearing fright.
After I yelled, all of my friends started laughing loud, and I looked back and noticed it was just a scarecrow with a mirror as a head. I was like, really…
We eventually made it to the Airbnb and instantly went to bed. It was a long day, eventful day and I just wanted to sleep.
Our first full day in Faro was spent hiking and adventuring; just the way I like it! Our Airbnb had a few informational pamphlets with various suggestions for things to do in Faro. One of the things that looked really cool, was Benagil Beach and the hike that went along with it.
We drove over to the start of the hike and were on our way. As we made it to the top of the hike, we noticed we were standing over the ocean on one of the rock formations along the Algarve Coast. We could see far out into the ocean and even look down into various caves.
We continued the hike until we eventually found the Benagil Beach.
There was a small restaurant on the beach, and we used their bathroom to change into our bathing suits. All three of us in a super tiny bathroom, it was quite awkward walking into and out of a bathroom with three guys in front of many people.
After catching some rays for a while, we wanted to take a boat cruise that we saw come in and out a few times. We bought tickets from a stand on the beach, and were able to catch the next boat to cruise the coast.
We were going in and out of many caves along the coast as well as seeing some of the most famous rock formations in the world including Benagil Cave.
Surprisingly, I wasn’t sea-sick at all considering the water was relatively choppy and we were in a tiny, tiny, canoe looking boat.
By the time we got back in, it was time for dinner. We had bought steaks earlier in the day, so we napped and then went to the roof of the Airbnb so we could grill while overlooking the ocean. I felt super luxurious and fancy, I’m not going to lie.
After a good meal, we went to bed for the night.
The second day was a quick and easy day. We didn’t have all the time in the world as we still had to go drop the rental car off before checking into the airport.
So we just went to the beach nearest our Airbnb. It was the Vilamoura Beach. We didn’t spend too much time here, and we didn’t swim or anything. We just walked the beach, checking out some of the caves, and enjoy the last few hours in Portugal.
Faro was like visiting a different planet. Up to this point, I have never witnessed such a crazy display of natural rock formations. The whole city offered a fantastic atmosphere that I will never forget, and would love to visit again one day!
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