Car rental in Faro
Rent a car in Faro

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When you rent a car in Faro, you may be surprised at how much you can pack into your holiday. From the miles of beaches skirting the coast to traditional villages nestled in the hills and valleys, ‘the settlement of the knights’ can be explored easily by renting a car. If you're adventurous, you could even venture east into Spain. Hiring a car lets you avoid the taxi queue at Faro Airport and provides readily available transport for your entire holiday.

It's your choice: Where to go in Faro

Visitors to Faro could stay in the city itself, along the coastline, or in a nearby town such as Albufeira, which was once home to the Romans and Moors. By renting a car, you have the freedom to choose rural accommodations that may be difficult to reach without transport. With a car, you’ll be free to explore the Algarve’s many beaches at leisure. From Quinta do Lago’s sandy, umbrella-dotted beach to the natural cliff tunnels at picturesque Carvalho Beach, there's plenty to please both sun worshippers and nature lovers. Outdoor enthusiasts will be right at home if they stay near the Ria Formosa Natural Park and its network of inlets and marshes. Activities range from high-adrenaline sports such as kayaking and mountain biking to more leisurely beachcombing and birdwatching.

What to do in Faro

Whether you stay in Faro or not, you can park for free near the archaeological museum and spend a day in the quaint cobbled Old Town. For a dose of history and the macabre, visit the Capela dos Ossos. This 18th-century Carmelite church is adorned with the bones of over 1,000 monks. Sip sangria as the sun sets over Faro Marina. Take advantage of the free parking next to Faro’s shipyard and take the ferry to Culatra Island or Barreta Island. Tranquil Culatra is a 6km-long carless island with an extensive ocean beach. On Barreta Island, you can take a guided nature tour on a catamaran. There are also many golf courses clustered to the west of Faro. If you’re a serious golfer, a car will make it easier to tee off at one of the courses and transport clubs.

Important info about Faro

Faro is located on a lagoon on the Ria Formosa, a river stretching from southern Portugal into Spain. Considered one of the seven wonders of Portugal, it's also home to a nature reserve, the Ria Formosa Natural Park. Revel in nature on a boat trip down the river or to one of the several islands off the coast. During winter, the marshland is home to many bird species, including flamingos. Further inland, small, traditional villages nestle in the valleys in the hilly Barrocal area. Tour wineries (make sure to designate a driver in advance) or visit on market day to taste traditional Portuguese life. Faro’s hot Mediterranean climate has attracted visitors for generations. Average daytime temperatures are between 27°C and 35°C. Even in winter, temperatures can hover around 17°C. Expect around 300 sunny days per year.

Weather in Faro
Country Portugal
Language Portuguese
Currency Euro
Time-Zones Western European Time
Country Code +351

Good to know

As in the rest of Europe, cars are driven on the right side of the road. The legal age for driving is 18, but most rental companies require drivers to be a few years older. You'll need a valid photo driving license and photo ID. When you rent a car in Faro, be aware that the legal drinking limit is lower than in the UK, at 50mg per 100ml of blood. Using your phone while driving can result in a €600 fine (unless the phone is hands-free). Children under 12 years old require a suitable car seat. Driving in the Algarve is relatively simple since there are fewer tolls, and road signs are easier to follow than elsewhere in Portugal. If you're going further afield, expect tolls on every motorway and make sure you have cash with you. At night, keep an eye out for horse-drawn carts, a common sight in rural Portugal.

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What to taste in Faro

As a coastal town and region, Faro serves up a cornucopia of seafood, from fresh fish and clams to cockles and freshly grilled sardines. Head to local restaurants for Faro specialities, including razor clam risotto, stuffed squid, and tuna. If fish isn’t your thing, be sure to try chouriço, the Algarve’s answer to Spain’s chorizo. This spicy, herb-marinated sausage is often dramatically served at restaurants, flaming at your table. Other meaty favourites include feijoada, a meat and bean stew. And don’t skip dessert: as well as delicious pasteis de nata, which are famous all over Portugal, other favourites include crème caramel, almond tart, and local figs. When you rent a car in Faro, you’ll also be able to travel further afield. The Algarve is home to four Controlled Designations of Origin: Portimão, Lagoa, Lagos, and Tavira, which is closest to Faro.

What to bring to your friends from Faro

Fill your suitcase with gifts unique to the Algarve for friends or yourself. Pick up a few bottles of your favourite local wine, or if your friends prefer something stronger, a bottle of aguardente de medronhos, a spirit similar to brandy made from medronho berries. If you're looking for several small gifts, colourful retro tins of traditional sardines make a fun surprise. Cork is another traditional Portuguese material – the country is the biggest exporter of cork in the world. You'll find bags, shoes, and home decorations made with this sustainable and versatile material. Other traditional Portuguese gifts include brightly coloured and intricately decorated pottery. For something even more unique, consider bringing your foodie friends a copper cataplana pan, used to steam seafood.