What you should know before hiring a car in Faro
Car hires in Faro: practical information
Where to rent a car in Faro
This port city is definitely a car-friendly place to visit. Cruise from the beach to the golf course, into town for dinner and back out again to catch the sunset. At the airport you will find all the major international car hire companies but the cheapest car rental deals are with the local agencies like Auto Jardim and Rentauto.
Like with any holiday destination, it's best to reserve a rental car before arrival. This ensures that a car will be available and it secures the price for you, which can save a lot in the end. If you don't reserve a car before arriving to Faro, you'll find better prices in town rather than at the airport. You will find car rental companies in the city centre, along R. Almeida Garrett and near the harbour at Hotel Faro.
Driving in Faro: parking and other tips
The best place to park in Faro is in Largo de São Francisco, it's also free, which no one will complain about. There is also an underground car park on Avenida 5 Outubro, enter from Rua de Santo Antonio. Most of the city centre is closed off to traffic but if you're lucky you can find street parking along the outskirts of the central area or near the harbour by the bus station.
Many hotels in Faro offer free underground parking to their guests but it's best to double check before reserving your room or booking any flights. Some hotels can charge as much as €14/night.
Road trips from Faro: what to do, what to see
Beaches of Algarve stretch near and far from Faro, all the way west along the coast to Lagos. The general rule is that the best beaches aren't the ones closely located to the holiday resort towns, but more secluded, sometimes hidden in coves. With nearly 150 beaches to choose from, you have your work cut out for you to find the best one while on holidays in Faro!
Olhao is a nearby village that is definitely worth a visit. The town's architecture looks like a mix between classical Moorish design and a cubist painting. The fish markets are the real draw, although they can be quite smelly! Head down to the harbour when the boats are bringing in the catch of the day.
Ria Formosa is as much famous for its lush natural beauty as the birds that gather in this lagoon to snack. Pink flamingos come by the hundreds to hang out, along with thousands of other birds. Ria Formosa is part of a National Park, a huge lagoon made up of inlets that connect to the sea. There are a few little towns in the area of the park too, Cabanas de Tavira for example, with plenty of cafes and bars to enjoy.