Faro Airport lies just over 4 miles to the west of the actual city. Faro is not a large city, but it is the capital of the popular Algarve region. The next nearest airport to the Algarve is actually in Spain so it is the only real option if you want to visit. However, due to its popularity you should be able to get cheap flights to Faro fairly easily. Flights from the UK only take about 2 hours and 45 minutes. Although a fairly small airport, it has most of the basic facilities; a Banco Totta e Azores bank branch, cash machines, foreign exchange bureau, duty-free outlets and many cafes and snack bars. There are quite a few budget airlines and scheduled Faro flights that fly to the airport so finding a reasonable airfare to Faro should be no problem.
No trains run directly from Faro Airport to any of the holiday resorts on the Algarve coast, but the nearest train station is only minutes away by bus or taxi. From there, you can take the Regional train service, operated by the Portuguese National Rail service - CP. This runs to other towns in the Algarve such as Lagos. There are public buses run by EVA to Faro city centre, as well as the Aerobus airport shuttle service. Many hotels also provide free airport coaches to transfer their guests. There are plenty of taxis available for hire, and all of the popular resorts are within one hour of the airport. Renting a car is another viable option for most people, enabling them to drive around during the holiday to all the places worth visiting. At the airport there are car hire desks from many of the top companies such as Avis, Budget and Hertz.
Faro as the principal town of the region, though small, is a historic town with much to offer culturally. The Archaeological Museum, located in a 16th century convent, is well worth a visit. However, Faro is best known to most people as the gateway to the Algarve. Here, you will find mile upon mile of sandy beaches and secluded coves, perfect for the visitor who loves sunshine, sand and sea. Albufeira provides great beaches with hectic nightlife, while Sao Rafael is best known for its dramatic rock formations. There are various water sports to indulge in and it is especially known for diving. Away from the beaches there are also some very good golf courses and family-friendly theme parks.
There are two large shopping centers located in the Algarve. In Faro itself you can find the Forum Algarve. This large shopping centre is partly inside and partly outside. It has many recognisable shops, such as Benetton, and also boasts a multiplex cinema. The Guia Shopping and Entertainment Centre is situated just outside of Albufeira. There are many shops along the coastline selling local goods such as pottery, leather goods and knitwear.
There are many bars and clubs along the coast, particularly in the Albufeira area. In Faro, there are many great restaurants such as the Le Marquis Restaurant, which has excellent smoked duck, and Adega Nova, which has a variety of seafood including bay squid cooked in its own ink. So the sooner you book your flights to Faro, the sooner you will be able to enjoy everything this special region has to offer.