10 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Faro, Portugal

When you visit Faro, you understandably want to make the most of your time here. The best way to explore our charming home city is to strike a balance between hidden gems and must-see attractions. In this blog, we focus on the latter!

Formosamar is the leader for Ria Formosa boat tours and outdoor activities in Faro. And as locals with a passion for the place we call home, we’re perfectly placed to share some of Faro’s top-rated tourist attractions. Scroll down to get started! Which ones will you visit?

If you have any questions for our team at any point, please feel free to get in touch for the answers you need.

Immerse Yourself in Nature in Ria Formosa Natural Park

Located immediately south of Faro, Ria Formosa Natural Park is one of the Algarve’s and Portugal’s greatest natural treasures. In fact, it’s designated as one of Portugal’s 7 Natural Wonders. Our home city is the gateway to this special place, making it easy to explore the captivating landscapes and diverse ecosystems in this coastal paradise.

Our own Ria Formosa boat tours depart from Doca de Faro. The labyrinth of channels, lagoons, barrier islands, and sandbanks that make up this unique environment is only a matter of minutes away. As we enjoy a serene, eco-friendly cruise, you’ll see an abundance of bird species, including herons, spoonbills, and flamingos at certain times of the year.

If you’re looking for an unforgettable wildlife experience on your trip to the Algarve, we think you’ll love our Ria Formosa Bird Watching Tour and Marine Life and Dolphin Watching Boat Trip from Faro.

At the time of writing, Ria Formosa Natural Park has a 4.5 rating on Google from well over 4,000 reviews! 

Disconnect from the World on Ilha Deserta

Escape to the pristine shores of Ilha Deserta, also known as Ilha da Barreta, on the southern edge of Ria Formosa. Ilha Deserta translates into English as Deserted Island, which is an apt description of this serene place; only one person lives here — a local fisherman! There are no roads or cars on the island, although you can find one restaurant (Estaminé). The only people you will encounter are fellow visitors looking to soak up the stunning scenery.

Feel the soft sand beneath your feet as you stroll along beautiful beaches, bask in the warm sunshine, and take a dip in the crystal-clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Then enjoy a leisurely walk to the island’s lighthouse for panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

Does this sound like the kind of experience you’d love? Look no further than Formosamar’s highly popular Boat Tour to Deserta and Farol Islands, a wonderful excursion that currently has a 4.5 rating on Tripadvisor.

And if you’re wondering what Farol Island is, keep reading…

Take it Slow and Easy on Ilha do Farol

Ilha do Farol, or Farol Island, is actually located on Ilha da Culatra, or Culatra Island. To clarify, Farol Island refers to the village of Farol and its surrounding area. While the village is a charming place to explore, the main attractions here are the famous lighthouse and the beautiful white sand beach looking out over tempting azure water.

The tranquil ambience of this idyllic island, not to mention the freshly caught seafood served in local restaurants, makes Ilha do Farol a hit with locals and visitors alike. This goes some way to explaining Farol Island’s 4.5 rating on Tripadvisor!

And if you’re looking for more amazing foodie experiences, check out our blog What Foods Should I Try in Southern Portugal?

Chapel of Bones
A vertical shot of a mirror inside of the Chapel of Bones in Evora, Portugal

Marvel at the Eerie Beauty of Capela dos Ossos

Step back in time and visit the hauntingly beautiful Capela dos Ossos, or Chapel of Bones, located in the historic city centre of Faro. This macabre yet fascinating attraction is adorned with the skeletal remains of over 1,000 Carmelite monks, creating a uniquely awe-inspiring atmosphere. 

While the prospect may sound peculiar at first, the chapel offers a profound testament to our region’s history and underlines the importance of preserving cultural heritage. This remarkable place is both a significant part of Faro’s community and a poignant reminder of life’s transient nature.

Capela dos Ossos has a 4.5 rating on Google from over 9,500 reviews, a sign of the impact it has on visitors. We also included the Chapel of Bones in our list of unusual things to do in the Algarve, Portugal.

Spend an Afternoon or Evening at Faro Marina

Stroll along the scenic waterfront promenade of Faro Marina (Doca de Faro) and soak up the bustling atmosphere of this lively port area. Watch fishing boats bob gently in the harbour and yachts glide gracefully across the shimmering waters. Stop for a refreshing drink at one of the waterfront cafes, bars, or seafood restaurants, and enjoy panoramic views of the Ria Formosa as you relax and unwind in this picturesque setting.

In the summer, it’s common to find free outdoor concerts and performances around the marina, including fado, a traditional Portuguese music. Formosamar is also based in the marina, so it’s the perfect place to explore before or after one of our Ria Formosa boat tours.

Faro Marina’s popularity is reflected in its 4.4 rating from over 4,000 reviews. It’s also one of our recommendations for the best things to do in Faro at night.

Find Out Why Praia de Faro is Our City’s Most Popular Beach!

Discover the vibrant energy of Praia de Faro, the city’s most popular beach destination, located just a short drive from the city centre. With its wide expanse of golden sand and clear blue waters, this bustling beach is the perfect spot for sunbathing, swimming, and water sports. Join in a game of beach volleyball, sample delicious snacks from the seaside kiosks, or simply sit back and watch the world go by as you soak up the sun’s rays.

An effortless blend of serenity and vibrancy, Faro Beach was an easy pick for our blog 5 Best Beaches in Faro. it also has an impressive 4.6 rating on Google!


Shop ‘Til You Drop at Forum Algarve

Indulge in some retail therapy at Forum Algarve, the region’s premier shopping destination, conveniently located in the heart of Faro. Browse a diverse selection of shops, boutiques, and designer stores, where you’ll find everything from fashion and accessories to electronics and homeware. And when you’re ready for a break, grab a bite to eat at one of the mall’s restaurants or catch the latest blockbuster at the cinema. 

But this is far more than your typical open-air shopping centre. Forum Algarve also has a children’s playground, real-time flight information linked to Faro International Airport, a free boarding pass printing service, train and bus ticket sales, and lockers for luggage storage.

Forum Algarve is a great asset for locals and tourists, so it’s no surprise that it has a 4.4 Google rating from over 18,500 reviews!


Sample Local Culture at the Municipal Museum of Faro

Delve into Faro’s fascinating history and cultural heritage at the Municipal Museum of Faro, housed within a beautifully restored 16th-century convent. Explore the museum’s diverse exhibits, which showcase artefacts ranging from archaeological finds and religious art to maritime history and ethnographic displays. 

Wander through the cloisters and gardens of the convent, and gain insight into the rich tapestry of Faro’s past through interactive exhibits and informative displays. This fascinating place has a 4.3 Google rating from almost 1,500 reviews.

Find even more travel inspiration with our picks for fun things to do in Faro in just one day!

Sip a Sample or Two at Algarve Rock Brewery

Quench your thirst for adventure at Algarve Rock Brewery, a local craft brewery dedicated to producing high-quality artisanal beers. Take a guided tour of the brewery to learn about the beer-making process and sample a variety of unique brews, from hoppy IPAs to rich stouts. Relax in the brewery’s cosy taproom, where you can enjoy a refreshing pint alongside delicious snacks and mingle with fellow beer enthusiasts in a laid-back and friendly atmosphere.

The ultimate endorsement? Algarve Rock Brewery has a 4.9 rating on Google!

Get Off Your Feet in Jardim da Alameda João de Deus

After this whirlwind tour of top-rated tourist attractions in Faro, you may want to find somewhere to rest and relax. Look no further than the tranquil oasis of Jardim da Alameda João de Deus, a charming urban park near the city centre.

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city as you meander along winding pathways lined with lush greenery, vibrant flowers, and shady palm trees. Admire the beautiful statues and fountains scattered throughout the park, and watch out for the resident peacocks! 

Find a quiet spot to relax with a book, enjoy a leisurely picnic with family and friends, or simply soak up the serenity of this delightful green space with a Google rating of 4.5!

As we near the end of this blog, let us point you toward our Ultimate Guide to Faro: Where to Stay, Eat, and Play. It’s a valuable resource filled with local insights, tips, and recommendations!

Don’t Miss Out on Our Ria Formosa Boat Tours!

We hope these top-rated tourist attractions in Faro have inspired you to visit us here in the Algarve. Start planning your time in Southern Portugal by browsing our range of Ria Formosa boat tours and outdoor activities in Faro. Let us help you enjoy a holiday you’ll never forget!

Do you have any pre-booking questions for us? Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Formosamar team.

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