Tips for Faro mini-bus and coach tourism

Useful tips for Faro bus groups with ‘what to see’ and ‘what to do’ items and  ‘bus- friendly’ or must see tourist sites in Faro. Check our list of attractions before planning your bus tour with a stop or departure in Faro. Let us know if your favourite attraction or ‘bus-stop’ is not there and you think we should add it to our list of Faro highlights.

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What to see during your group tour in Faro with a hired bus or minibus with driver

Popular Beaches

With over 150 beaches along the southern coastline, Faro city is in the center of enough sand to appease any number of sandcastle building children. There are long stretches of sand that rarely see visitors, while there are popular resort beaches that are lined with a smorgasbord of bars and restaurants. The most popular beaches are popular for a reason. They're blue flag clean and offer safe swimming water all year round. The sealed roads and large parking areas make them accessible by your rented coach. Praia Da Ilha de Faro is the most popular beach in the city of Faro, while the region's most famous beach is Praia da Rocha. Your minibus or coach could also drop you off at the jetty where you can take a boat trip to the sandbanks in the Ria Formosa, like Ilha da Barreta and Ilha da Cultara.

Isla de Tavira (Portugal)

Isla de Tavira (Portugal) credit: Jose A. CC BY 2.0

Stunning Southern Coastline

But with so many beaches it's good to get off the typical tourist trail and explore more of the Iberian peninsula. The beaches around Albufeira are famed for the spectacular rock formations that stand lonely in the Atlantic Ocean. Dramatic cliffs shelters the sand, while ancient Roman ruins can be discovered along the rugged coastline. While the old fishing villages have turned into large towns, places like Albufeira have retained their old charm. Try beaches like Praia da Oura that has small secluded sandy coves, or Praia do Castelo that's marked by sweeping sand dunes. Nestled into the cliffs, the stunning Praia da Falesia has become more accessible in recent years. Like all these beaches, your coach can park just a couple of minutes from the sand.

Colorful houses Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal

Colorful houses Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal credit: Álvaro JB CC BY 2.0

Deserted Western Coastline

On a longer day trip you can head to the less frequented western coastline, where stupendous views accompany winding rural roads. Stand on the cliffs and gaze out onto the Atlantic Ocean, head out from here and the next land you would reach is the United States. Beaches like Canal, Penedo, Praia da Arrafina, are often completely empty and make a great escape from the over-saturated tourist centres of Albufeira and Faro City. Other than a couple of snack bars you won't find much in the way of restaurants or facilities on these beaches. However, with a rented coach with driver you can meander back to Faro through cute villages like Raposeira.

Action in the Water

With so much coastline it's unsurprising that there is a myriad of water based activities to try out. Windsurfers congregate around Praia da Gale, while surfers tend to enjoy the west coast as there are no underlying rocks that smash up shins. Then there are boat trips out to see dolphins and quiet kayaking trips along turquoise ocean.

Historical Sights

This peninsula has been inhabited for some 3000 years, and was taken over by the Romans in the 2nd century BC. Over time it's been occupied and controlled by a conglomeration of the Moors, Spanish, Arabs, Visigoths, and Bebbers. Faro city's old town dates to just the 18th century and the cobblestone streets make for a relaxed afternoon of exploration. Your coach can park near to the old town entrance. Another wonderful day out is Lagos, an old city that's concealed behind a crumbling protective wall. While the inner streets are barely wide enough for a donkey, your coach can park by the city walls. Finally, the red stone castle at Silves is one of the region's most famous sights. Driving through winding country roads to get there is equally as spectacular as the decaying fort.

Pesquisa arqueológica no castelo de Silves

Pesquisa arqueológica no castelo de Silves credit: Rui Ornelas CC BY 2.0

City Tours in Faro

You can rent a bus in Faro for tours in the city or in Faro District. Most people rush from the airport to the beach, and then stay there for two full weeks of drinking and getting sunburnt. But there is much more to Faro and this little guide gives you a few ideas.

Sun, Sea, and Sand

It wouldn't be a trip to Faro without the idyllic combination of the three S's. The town's most popular beach is Praia Da Ilha de Faro, one that's swarming with people and surrounded by hundreds of restaurants and bars. Make sure you get their early in the day if you want a sun-lounger. The narrow sandbar beach of Praia Ilha de Tariva is a bit quieter, particularly outside of July and August. The Ria Formosa, or lagoon that surrounds Faro, is full of sandbanks that are easily accessible by short boat rides. Go to places like Ilha da Barreta and Ilha da Culatra for some serious tanning and beautiful snorkelling.

Cabo de Santa Maria Lighthouse in Culatra Island

Cabo de Santa Maria Lighthouse in Culatra Island credit: manjeet bawa CC BY 2.5

A Stunning Coastline to Explore

With 150 different beaches all within a couple of hours drive, it would be a shame to not explore the rest of the Faro coastline. Head west towards Albufeira, where spectacular rock formations cover quiet beaches and cute fishing villages that have turned into party towns. Praia da Gale is popular with windsurfers, Praia da Rocha is probably the most famous beach in the whole of the Algarve, and Praia da Falesia is neatly sheltered by red-brown cliffs and an ancient Roman villa.

Praia da Rocha (Portimao) (Portugal)

Praia da Rocha (Portimao) (Portugal) credit: Jose A. CC BY 2.0

Charming City Sights

You don't have to spend all your time on the beach. Faro's ancient history can be relived in the Old City, a rambling assortment of cobblestone streets and 18th century architecture. This is a place where life continues as it has for centuries and it's easy to spend a few lazy afternoons sampling the cute cafe terraces and meandering old town life. It also offers a peaceful alternative to the boisterous strip of restaurants and bars that stand along the beach.

Portimao Cafe - The Algarve, Portugal

Portimao Cafe - The Algarve, Portugal credit: Glen Bowman CC BY-SA 2.0

Tours in Faro District

For many visitors to Faro District there isn't much more to see than the airport, the bar, and a pristine piece of sand. While lounging in the sun may the district's number one activity, those with a sense of adventure can explore what is one of Southern Europe's most beautiful regions.

Viana do Costelo

Viana do Costelo credit: dmytrok CC BY-ND 2.0

Tour with a private driver

Stand at a bus stop in Faro District and you could be waiting a long time. One hour, one day, one week goes by...in fact, nobody in the village is quite sure why they have a bus stop because they've never seen a bus. Fortunately there are plenty of options to hire private transport to explore the region. It means that rather than going to the bus stop the coach will come to you. Consider some of these places on your itinerary.

Popular Beaches

The southern Iberian peninsula is why most people have come here. The warm Atlantic Ocean waters are welcoming and beaches are always clean. Your tour with private transport for your group in a rented bus with driver around Faro want to party and play beach volleyball with a crowd of sun-worshippers secretly looking on. The beaches closest to Faro are the most popular but they're spectacular and connect with the Ria Formosa lagoon. Vale do Lobo, Culatra, Tavira Island, and Cabanas de Tavira are all popular spots. Elsewhere there are popular family beaches like Odeciexe and Burgau. Remember your suncream. It seems odd to mention this but any walk along a popular Faro beach suggests that suncream is the most commonly forgotten holiday item.

Strandje naast Praia Sao Rafael

General view of Strandje naast Praia Sao Rafael credit: David van der Mark CC BY-SA 2.0

Secluded Coastline

This coastline benefits from its wild Atlantic Ocean battering. The waves have created a distinctive landscape of dramatic rocky outcroppings. Cliffs open out onto sheltered bays that are dotted with these otherworldly rocks, while green blue water makes for pleasant all year round swimming. With 150 different beaches everyone can find their own favourite spot. Try the stunning views from Praia da Arrafina, the incredibly long Praia da Bordeira, the windsurfing haven of Alvor, or the secluded spots near Albufeira. While the roads connecting the remote beaches aren't always in great condition, they are all accessible.

Rural Faro

While 90% of visitors don't leave the soporific coastline, a drive inland through Faro District is an enchanting experience. Rural roads cut through verdant landscapes, cute villages are full of dozing pensioners and leisurely cafes, while the district's 2000 year old history is most evident at the Moorish castle in Silves. The caves of Ponta da Piedade are always worth a visit as they reveal that there is more to the coastline than just sand. Finally, walk through the crumbling city walls in Lagos and discover an old town with thousands of years of history.

Ponta da Piedade grotte

Ponta da Piedade grotte credit: DODO DODO CC BY 2.0

More about Faro

Would you like to organize a bus tour to see all these beautiful highlights? Request quotes and compare the different bus and coach hire companies:

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