Faro is a great city which I know well. I have visited many times.
Many people only know it as an airport, they turn left at the N125 to be taken to places like Quinta do Lago and Albufeira in the Central Algarve which are hardly Portugal at all. Some of the places are pretty awful and if you try to speak Portuguese in a bar or cafe you will often receive looks of astonishment or a reply in English or German !
I avoid the bit of the coastal Algarve west of Faro and as far as Lagos and nowadays even further west towards Sagres is nothing to write home about although up the West Coast from Sagres there are some stunning beaches with fabulous Atlantic rollers.
I make an exception for Portimao which is a real Portuguese city where people live but they spoiled it for ever it when they “upgraded” the sardine selling area for Health and Safety reasons…
We now always turn right at the 125. The lagoons between Faro and towns in the East like Olhao and Tavira are still Portugal. Olhao I think is my favourite ……a real working town. Tavira is beautiful, calm but becoming a wee bit touristy!! You have to understand that when I go to Portugal I am not a tourist.!!
But back to Faro. When you visit take one of the excellent free walking tours. You will learn so much.
When eating in any of the towns in the Eastern Algarve too I recommend eating where the locals do………Fialho in the Sitio de Pinheiro is one of my favourites but there are so many more…the cuisine beats Spain hands down.
Esta lição (Shorty) fez-me perceber o quanto já sinto falta de Portugal! Pinheiro, eu volto.