If you are planning a trip to the Algarve region in the South of Portugal, you will probably be landing in Faro. The good news is that you can easily visit the area by staying in Faro. Indeed, this city is at the heart of Algarve. So, how should you spend 3 days around Faro? This is exactly what this article is about. I will give you a day-by-day plan to follow in order to see some of the best spots in the region.
But first, it is important to remember that 3 days is a short period of time. You can either choose to spend those days at a slow pace, and you will miss some places. Or you can choose to speed up the pace and visit more, at the expense of some hours of sleep. No matter which option you choose, you will still be able to get all the pieces of information you want in this article. So let’s start with Day 1.
Day 1 – Discover Faro and Albufeira: the major cities of Algarve
The first thing when you arrive, after unpacking your stuff, is to understand how you can travel in the area. You can either rent a car or take the bus. Or, when I was there back in September 2020, we rented a scooter for the short rides and we took the bus for the longer ones. This turned out to be a great alternative! I would definitely recommend it if you are only two people traveling.
Learning how to travel in Algarve
In this article, I do not take the plane time into account. I assume that you arrived yesterday and that you will leave on Day 4. This means that you have 3 full days to spend in the area. Also, if you have a rented car, it is very easy to navigate in the Algarve region. If this is not the case, you should take buses.
There is a great bus network in the Algarve region. Basically, there is one bus terminal in each major city of the area from Faro to Lagos. This means that you can easily travel from Faro to Albufeira, Portimão, Lagoa, and Lagos. Simply get to the Terminal Rodovario of Faro and buy the ticket for the city you want to.
Beforehand, you can check the Algarve EVA bus line timetable in order to plan your trip accordingly. This is the best way to travel by bus to Algarve. The first bus leaving from Faro is at 8 am. However, keep in mind that the last bus leaving Lagos is at 5:15 pm! Make sure not to miss, or you will be in trouble.
Day 1 – Morning – Get to Praia da Falesia
Is there a better way to start your 3 days in one of the most beaches in Algarve? Praia da Falesia is a great place to start your journey! However, there are some things you should know before heading there.
Praia da Falesia is a bit far from Albufeira, which is the closest bus stop in Algarve. This means that you may have trouble getting to this beach. Booking an Uber is the option we choose when we were traveling in Algarve.
Anyways, if you want to know more about Praia da Falesia (Where to park? Where to eat?), I recommend that you check out the article I wrote about Falesia Beach.
Day 1 – Afternoon – Visit Albufeira, and head back to Faro for the sunset
After a great morning in Praia da Falesia to enjoy the beach, I recommend that you leave it before lunch to avoid the rush hours where Falesia Beach can be a little crowded.
Then, you can head back to Albufeira to lunch. I would not recommend any particular restaurant because I did not eat in Albufeira (we ate in a snack near Falesia Beach). After lunch, you can visit Albufeira, which is a lovely town with white houses. The city center is really nice and animated.
Since Albufeira’s city center is not large, you can probably visit in a couple of hours. Then, you can head back to Faro around 5 pm, and get to the beach for the sunset.
Faro Beach is a bit special because it is not located directly in Faro. To get there, you will need to take another bus or to cross a bridge with your car. If you exactly want to know how to get to Faro Beach for sunset, I recommend that you check out the article I wrote about Faro nearest beach.
Day 2 – Jump on a Ferry to Ilha do Farol
For the second day, I recommend you use another means of transportation: a ferry! Indeed, there are lots of islands around Faro. For instance, if you followed the plan, you were on an island yesterday for the sunset. Faro beach is located on one of the numerous islands in the area.
Today, I recommend that you head to Ilha do Farol (Farol Island), one of the islands around Faro. You will need to take a ferry to get there. If you want to see the ferry timetable, you can directly check it in the article I wrote about Ilha do Farol.
It is better to spend the whole day on this island. Spending only half a day would feel a bit rushed. This is why you should book a ticket for the first ferry to Farol Island and probably the last or the second to last to come back to Faro. The hardest thing is to find the dock to jump in the boat, and once again, this is detailed in the article I wrote.
Day 3 – Head west from Faro to hike and see incredible beaches
The last day will probably be the most loaded. Indeed, for the last of the 3 days around Faro, I recommend that you head west from Faro to hike! There is a really famous hike between Armação de Pêra and Portimão called the Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos (the Seven Hanging Valleys hiking route). This hike is a must-do! However, it may be a bit long to do all of it.
Hence, I recommend only doing a portion of the Seven Hanging Valleys trail from Praia da Marinha to Alfanzina Lighthouse. This portion is incredible and features the best beaches of the whole hike (Benagil, Marinha, Carvalho). To know exactly where the trail starts, I recommend that you check the article I wrote about The Best Hike in Algarve.
After this hike, you will probably be tired. However, if you are a good hiker, you can complete this hike in a couple of hours. This means that you could do it in the morning, and still have some time to spend in the afternoon.
That’s why I will now give you some extras to see if you have some spare-time.
Extras – What to do if you stay more than 3 days around Faro?
If you stay more than 3 days around Faro, there are other places you could visit. For instance, you could visit Praia do Camilo near Lagos. This is a scenic and typical beach in Algarve that I usually named in the top beaches of Algarve.
Also, this 3-days guide around Faro focused on landscapes, and not so much on cities. There are great cities in Algarve, and you can also decide to visit them. Vilamoura is a very active and modern city for example where you could spend a night. Albufeira is also known for its night-life.
Anyway, I hope that this article was helpful and that you have now a lot of ideas on how to spend 3 days around Faro. Of course, Algarve is not only the places I mention. There are lots of other things to explore.