With its international airport, impressive shopping centre and ring of high-rise apartments, FARO boasts something of a big city feel. However, the central area is a manageable size, boasting attractive mosaic-paved pedestrianized streets and marina-side gardens, while its university contributes to a lively nightlife, during termtime at least. In summer, boats and buses run out to some excellent local beaches.
Originally a Roman settlement, the city was named by the Moors, under whom it was a thriving commercial port, supplying the regional capital at Silves. Following its conquest by the Christians, under Afonso III in 1249, the city later experienced a series of conquests and disasters. Sacked and burned by the Earl of Essex in 1596, and devastated by the Great Earthquake of 1755, it is no surprise that modern Faro has so few historic buildings. What interest it does retain is contained within the pretty Cidade Velha (Old Town), which lies behind a series of defensive walls overlooking the mudflats.
Retire in Faro, Portugal