As explained in my previous blog, we got a travel voucher from a dear friend of Vittorio’s family to use for our honeymoon. Since we had to postpone our party already twice, our voucher was expiring and we had to book something before December 2021. We decided to turn it into a babymoon instead, a last holiday with the 2 of us before the baby arrives and to spend some quality time together. Here’s a recap of our stay in Faro!
Faro: a perfect blend of city, beach and great food!
We flew in from Amsterdam to Faro with Transavia, so that is where we started our roadtrip. Our travel period was 6-20 November, and average temperatures were still around 20 degrees during the day. In the evenings, a warm sweater is recommended, as it cools down quite a lot from 4PM onwards. Also good to keep in mind: there is a 1h time difference. So we had to turn our clocks back 1h when arriving. We picked up our rental car from the airport and off we went!
Our Hotel: 3HB Faro
First stop: hotel 3HB Faro – a beautiful and brand new (opened May 2021) 5-star hotel in the downtown city area. Now keep in mind that our objective of this travel was spoiling ourselves, so we splurged on the hotels 😉 I have to admit, I’m not at all used to 5* hotels but if this is the standard, it’s pretty high up there… What a hotel!
2 restaurants, a rooftop with infinity pool, a spa, a 24h gym and an amazing breakfast buffet. Would definitely recommend if you find a good deal!
What I particularly loved about the room, is that you had a bunch of switches next to your bed from where you could manage all the lights and the curtains. Yes, we could open the curtains from the bed 😀 There was also a little bluetooth speaker to connect to, and every day a fresh bottle of water.
Rest of the hotel
What to do in and around Faro
It was still corona times, so some stores and museums were still closed but we decided to “go with the flow” and just walk around in the neighbourhood and explore the first day. At 5 minutes walking, we had the Arco da Vila, an archway leading to the old town.
Walking up there, you end up on a big beautiful square with the Igreja de Santa Maria church. I really loved all the orange trees they had there, it gave such a nice vibe.
From there, we wandered off to Porta Nova, and walked a bit next to the water line. Here you can book all types of ferry excursions if you are interested in that.
After that we walked back to the hotel because we booked a wellness session 😉 But here is a map of our walk:
Also close by and next to the Jardim Manuel Bivar: the marina with a nice picture-worthy Faro sign 😉 #touristing
Castro Marim / Cacela Velha
The next day, we went on a roadtrip to 2 small towns as recommended by the hotel staff. First stop: Castro Marim, where we first went to the castle and then to the small torture museum they had there. You can do a nice hike all around the castle walls (which we didn’t do) or spend about 30 min and learn about medieval torture methods. I didn’t take many pictures of the inside, because it was quite dark 🙂
Next, we drove to Cacela Velha, where we were told to find a very nice and special beach. It’s not your typical tourist beach, in fact there is no boardwalk or any beach stall. It’s a little rough around the edges, but there also lies its beauty I think 🙂 Be careful with the tides – you don’t want to find yourself stranded on the beach (there’s a small walk to do from the “dunes” to the actual beach. Bring a little picnic and a book and you can well spend a few hours here.
The next day we went to Tavira (also recommended by the hotel staff). A very cosy yet modern town which is very nice to stroll around in! We parked the car on the free public parking at R. João Vaz Corte Real and off we went.
No plan, we just looked a bit at Google maps and strolled around. We ended up at the Castle of Tavira, as it was quite central.
Restaurant tip from the locals: Come na Gaveta
This little town was actually recommended to us for this restaurant, Come na Gaveta. And if the locals suggest something: you have to try it, right? 😉 I’ll post the menu picture below, but we shared the tuna tacos, octopus tempura and some sweet potato fries. We also shared a cheesecake as dessert, and look how cute it was served, haha!
Where to eat in Faro
Since we only had breakfast included in our hotel, every evening we went out for dinner. I will just post the most remarkable ones 🙂
Hábito Restaurant €€€€
Starting with the most expensive one: we had dinner in our hotel the first night because I already checked out the menu upfront and it looked really nice 🙂
Now honestly, price/quality wise we had better food during our stay. The starter was nice but nothing special. My risotto was made with normal rice instead of risotto rice and Vittorio’s portion was also rather small. The real eyecatcher was the dessert for me. Different flavours and structures, and also beautifully presented.
Faaron steakhouse €€
If you’re looking for a good piece of meat: search no more! Faaron was really close to our hotel and Vittorio says it was the best piece of meat he had the entire stay 🙂 Look also at how many extra’s you got with the food!
8 Tapas €€€
Also not the cheapest, but very nice tapas restaurant! I re-ordered this goat cheese on toast because it was seriously amazing. Also the tempura shrimp and truffle ham were my favourites. One “minus point” here are the longer waiting times. It took quite a while to get all our food and the service was quite chaotic. So maybe don’t go here if you are in a rush 🙂
I had my mind set on trying a cataplana with razor clams during our stay in Portugal. Cataplana is a typical dish of the Algarve region. This place had very good Google reviews, so I made a reservation there. Sadly, the night we went they were out of razor clams 😦 so we went for the sea fruits cataplana instead. I personally loved it, my husband was a bit less enthusiastic.
Pastelaria Padaria Centeio
Not a dinner place, but a pastry/coffee stop to end on a sweet note. When in Portugal, you have to eat Pasteis de Nata. If you don’t know what it is, you are in for a treat! It’s a crispy type of puff pastry filled with a custard cream that is sooo divine! And this place makes them freshly, so we had to try them. When you are in Faro, please go support them 🙂
Ok, that sums up our stay in Faro: relaxing, strolling around and eating a lot. Next up: Albufeira. So stay tuned for some amazing panorama’s 😉