You have one day and one chance to discover Faro, the heart city of Algarve. Legends and myths, ice cream and Pastel de Nata, amazing sunsets and beach landscapes, you can find them here!
A piece of history.
Faro is the southernmost city and seat of the district of the same name in the Algarve region of southern Portugal. It’s mostly known for it’s past with Roman roots. Faro was under the domain of the Romans, then the Byzantines, and later Visigoths, before being conquered by the Moors in 713. Eventually, Faro was taken over by the Christians, as were many other areas across the Iberian peninsula.
Where should I get lost?
My beloved friend, let me make it straight forward. I can’t tell you where you should go, but I can definitely tell you where my journey took place. First of all, I would like you to pay attention to one small and very important detail. The real adventure starts when you don’t know where to go but even though you are following steps of savage instincts. When it comes to my adventure in Faro I have to tell you that I didn’t know what to expect. Was I in the right place? Was I able to meet all upcoming challenges common with this crazy journey of mine? Well, now I know but I never kiss and tell so please be patient. So, here we go…
I was walking down the street when eventually I realized what I was stepping on. Such pretty mosaics on the sidewalk. The floor was fulfilled with weird ornaments and so on. Some of those shapes were kind of familiar to me. I was watching it carefully and then I met him. The mysterious old gentleman that looked like an old marine. I would even say that he was reminding me of those savage pirates. Well, he was definitely unique with his style and attitude. He kindly asked me what I was looking for but he didn’t even wait for me to answer. He just proceeds with another question. Did you find it? What on Earth was I supposed to find there? ”The number 36”. He just said it and then he was gone. No wonder that I was confused but even though I decided to look for it.
To be honest I didn’t even know what I was looking for but eventually, I chewed this mysterious puzzle over. The number 36 was hidden in the middle of this queer street and I was the only one who knew where it is. Well, at least I was the only one from the crowd that was passing by this place. There is a spot on the famous street of the old town where you may find a lot of mysteries but the real puzzle of this game is hidden somewhere between the paving. I can’t tell you exactly where but it doesn’t mean that you can’t figure it out by yourself. At the end of this particular story, I have one task for you. Go downtown and look for something that is obviously not visible to an eye or at least not visible in the first place.
Do you believe in Pirates?
Somewhere in the middle of the deep Ocean, you may find it easy to believe in the fairy tales but how is it to believe while walking on the land? Well, in Faro actually is not that hard to believe in mysteries and legends. Sometimes this city even seems like a made-up legend because it is just enormously impossible to be surrounded by such a beauty of nature and architecture. Well, I know what I am saying! While traveling through Faro take a look at Igreja do Carmo, Faro Cathedral, or Arco da Vila. There is no even doubt that you are going to be amazed. Maybe Faro city is not as big as other cities in Portugal but without hesitation, I would say that it’s the prettiest I have ever seen. So, if you still don’t believe in Pirates you may finally believe in the magic of Faro city…
What to eat and where to rest?
You should definitely go for Pastel de nata. If you have a sweet tooth you will never regret this decision! Ok, I may agree with you at some point, before eating it you should know what you are tasting. So let me explain to you what Pastel de nata actually is. It is a traditional Portuguese egg tart pastry dusted with cinnamon. Ok, now when you exactly know what it is you’d better go for it and sink your teeth into it!
Now when you exactly know what you should try for dessert I feel like I am ought to give you another advice. After having a sweet breakfast you may need some rest. Depending on the weather, you can choose between the golden beach of Faro and ”Alameda Garden”. If you feel like sunbathing you’d better choose the peace of Faros’ beach. Soft and golden sand, the harmony of Oceans’ waves and seductive songs of winds. In order to go there you can catch the boat that will take you directly to our paradise. Moreover, I can bet that you will finally feel like a pirate in the middle of the rough Ocean.
On the other hand, if you are not into melting on the beach you can always visit the famous Alameda garden. There is no doubt that you will find peace under wild plants and trees. Resting in nature can give you calmness of mind and compatibility with nature.
Lastly, I would highly recommend you to finish your day with bifana. Don’t worry, once again I am going to clarify what exactly ”bifana” is. So, to get to the point you have to know that it is a steak sandwich with pork steak seasoned with garlic and other spices. The meat is located inside a bread roll. All in all, you just have to know that it’s very tasty.
The magic of Faros’ evenings.
I am constantly saying that it feels good to be lost in the right direction. How come? Because as long as we don’t die, this is going to be one adventure of a story! Well, as you can see sometimes it’s good to be lost. Moreover, I have to tell you one irrefutable truth. Do you know what is even better than being lost? Being lost with your new friends! So, be open-minded and don’t be afraid of people. Once you talk to them you may easily realize that we have many friendly and wholehearted people in this mother Earth. Don’t lose the opportunity to meet other amazing wanderlusts.
Let me tell you my story of being lost in Faro. Well, there is no even doubt that this city is amazing but enjoying those views alone is not that pleasant as it should be. That’s exactly the reason why I opened myself and talked to some of them. In the end, we were enjoying an amazing sunset at the Marina. All together on the blanket, eating fresh fruits and enjoying our company. Later on, we decided to visit ”ARCM” and listen to live music. What an incredible evening with marvelous friends of mine. You should definitely do the same, my friend!
The night of chills!
Have you ever heard about the Bones Chapel? Well, if you like creepy places you should definitely go for it. You may find it interesting and mysterious that this place is hiding a lot of legends, dirt and bones. Well, I am not joking, they walled up a lot of corpses. Can you imagine it? Walls fulfilled with dead bodies. I even feel ought to highlight that there are some bones with blood. So, you have two choices, my dear friend. You may find it interesting or completely disgusting.
All in all, my story needs to end and ”You” my dear friend still has some places to discover in Faro. So, keep going because as you may already notice, time flies so don’t be dear to waste it.
This article was written by Klaudia Matera as a part of “Uncover Your Potential” ESC program.