SPANIARDS are flocking to this charming Portuguese city to find a tranquil alternative to Porto and Lisbon, the country’s tourist hotspots.

Portugal has always been popular with the Spanish thanks to the short distance between the neighbouring countries. 

Among Spaniard’s favourite destinations are the capital Lisbon and Porto, a northern city famous for its wine. 

Also popular is the Algarve, a coastal area known for its spectacular beaches and great weather. 

However, Europe’s southernmost region is also home to a delightful city full of history and Spaniards are visiting in droves. 

Faro, the Algarve’s capital, is famed for its old town, quiet beaches and fascinating architecture. 

Surrounded by ancient walls, visitors enter the city through the Arco da Vila. 

Believed to have arabic origins, the impressive arch was remodelled in 1812 and now contains one of the best examples of Italian neo-classical art with the statue of Saint Thomas of Aquinas. 

Beyond the walls, the best way to explore Faro is by wandering the cobbled streets lined by colourful houses. 

The colourful streets of Faro Photo: Hotel Sol Algarve By Kavia/Facebook

The Cidade Velha is home to the gothic Iglesia de Santa Maria, a 13th century church offering panoramic views over the city from its emblematic tower. 

Once you’ve admired the views, step out into the square to enjoy the Palacio Episcopal and Town Hall. 

Another unmissable church is the Iglesia Nossa Senhora do Carmo. 

A church of two extremes, visitors can admire the beautiful tiled walls before passing through to the Capela dos Ossos, a chapel decorated with over 1200 bones and skulls. 

The ‘Chapel of Bones’ decorated with the remains of over 1000 monks.

To learn more about the city’s curious history, the Museo Arquelogico is a must visit. 

A university city, Faro also has a vibrant nightlife centered around the Rua de Santo Antonio. 

For those who love city breaks but also want to relax by the sea, Faro is the perfect getaway. 

The port is known for its sunsets, bars and seafood, so take advantage and try the emblematic salt cod.  

If you fancy a day at the beach, the Algarve has some 150km of coastline facing the Atlantic Ocean. 

Faro port is a great place to try local seafood

Near Faro, locals recommend a dip in the ocean at Praia de Faro and Ilha Deserta. 

With a warm climate all year round, Spaniards love visiting Portugal no matter the season. 

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