The regional capital, Faro, is often missed off the tourist trail as visitors pass through on the their way to and from the international airport. There is a delightful fortified historic old centre and pretty pedestrianised shopping streets with peaceful plazas for enjoying a coffee.
The city boasts more historic monuments and buildings than many other Algarve towns. Why not start a walking tour from the 'Cidade Velha' - the oldest part of the city which is to the east of the marina. Follow the tree lined Largo de Sé to the cathedral and climb the tower for a great view of Faro from above and the typically Portuguese pyramid shaped roofs (tesouro) on the 17th century Episcopal Palace, residence of the Bishop of Faro.
Many visitors spend half the day enjoying the scenic marina and take a boat trip to the Ria Formosa natural park.