The name Faro is no stranger to British ears. The gateway to the Algarve, it is the place where the bulk of British visitors arrive ready to begin their holiday on the beautiful Portuguese southern Coast.
The Algarve has been a favourite destination for some fifty years, following swiftly in the footsteps of the Spanish costas. It is home to breathtaking scenery where dramatic rock formations rise from the rolling Atlantic waves, acres of golden sand stretching as far as the eye can see, and acre upon acre of manicured golf course greenery.
With so many tourist resorts to choose from, too many visitors to the Algarve overlook the beauty and benefits of its regional capital, but Faro has much to offer the discerning traveller. Discover the grand buildings of the old town, explore the sandbanks and lagoons of the expansive nature reserve that flanks its shores and eat some of the most delicious seafood at competitive prices in the quirky restaurants close to the harbour.
Visit at the right time of year and Faro could prove even more of a pleasant surprise. The Faro International Motorbike Rally is one of Europe’s leading motorbike festivals, drawing tens of thousands of revellers from far and wide to enjoy night after night of live music by major names along with a daily menu of motorbike exhibitions and themed entertainment. If you are looking to buy a bike, watch the displays or simply soak up the atmosphere, this is the perfect place for families, groups and individuals to relax and enjoy the party.
The event is organised by the Moto Clube de Faro and takes place annually in mid July at the festival ground close the beach and city. A 45-Euro ticket gives you access to the rally site and camping areas, the latter being open one day before and one day after the main event – usually totalling a Tuesday-to-Sunday stay.
While many visitors choose to stay in the camping ground, it is possible to combine a visit to the event with staying in more comfortable surroundings in Faro itself or close by. There are many charming boutique hotels in Faro old town and in the countryside just back from the city, nestled amongst the rolling hills swathed in pines and eucalyptus. Or if you are traveling with the family, why not check in at a competitively priced aparthotel, providing you with all the space and amenities you need to keep the little ones occupied.
Children are welcomed at the motor festival as much as the dedicated biker community. There is plenty to entertain them, from rally competitions and bike exhibitions and even the evening entertainment (Billy Idol is a favourite headliner) has a welcoming family feel.
So next time you think of the Algarve don’t just hop off your plane at Faro and head west to the land of the Irish pub and early tee times. Get your biker boots on and get down to the Faro Motorbike Rally for some hardcore fun and frolics.