Faro, Portugal

February 6, 2020

Faro – a great seaside town protected by many uninhabited sand islands that create a great barrier and a perfect place for farms. These are the ocean variety – oysters and clams. There were three varieties of clams, one similar to our little necks on the east coast, a slightly larger version, and then razor clams.

These baby clams were thrown together by the chef for us!

We had just finished taking a long walk through the Rio Formosa Natural Park in Olhao, just east of Faro. Turning towards the water a fish restaurant (Vista Formosa) appeared on the corner. Any fish in the window was available – all fresh from the morning. No menu, so I asked for clams. The photo above is what we got. I was in Heaven!

A blooming barrier island shrub along a trail at Rio Formosa Natural Park.

Oh sorry, I probably should have done the history, things to do, etc first. But everywhere we ate in this area was great. So I thought it deserved first dibs.

The door was a bit small, but that is where it ended. A great place to stay.

Our lodging was in a great Airbnb in the heart of Faro, just blocks from train/bus stations and pedestrian corridor. Although the entry door was a bit low, the place was perfect.

Faro pedestrian area. The tiled sidewalks were fantastic. Lots of shopping, food options and clean streets.
Pairs of storks nesting atop the local church.

Stork can be seen throughout Portugal, whether on chimneys, manmade poles, trees, or anything that can hold a 6-9 foot diameter nest these fascinating birds mate for life, love to clatter their bills together and throw their necks back in the performance. They are quite loving, actually preening each other with those huge bills. They used to migrate, but generally do not any more since the weather extremes are not occurring any more. My only political statement – the birds figured it out, can’t we?

A fado guitarist demonstrated the history of Fado via his incredible playing. Find him in the Faro Tourist Info office.

We checked with the Faro Info office for a couple things and there was a gentleman sitting quietly to the side. We said hola and started talking. He does a one hour demonstration and history of Fado in the afternoon weekdays. It was just €5 a person and it is not to be missed, not only his incredible playing, the history he touches upon, but also the location – upstairs. You walk nearly underneath two pair of stork nests to enter his mini theater – Bonus!

Umbrella pines Rio Formosa Natural Park.
Beautiful pear cactus fruit.
The local train running along the ocean causeway in Faro.
Faro Bonus – An Ossuary (Bone Church) for Denise to explore.

Directions: We rode the Rede Expresso Bus from Évora to Faro. The cost was €16.60 one way per person. The ride takes about 4 hours in a very nice and comfy bus.

We left Faro to Sevilla, España using FlixBus, €18 ea. They stop directly in front of the Faro bus station, not inside! This took about 2.5 hours.

Rio Formosa Natural Park: The Combois de Portugal train from Faro to Olhão (2 stops) takes 10 minutes and costs €1 each way. When you get off the train in Olhão, you will have a 1.2 mile walk to the park entrance. The entrance fee is €2. Be sure to look for the chameleons around the old farm complex.

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