• Explore the mystery and history of Faro, Portugal

    2010-03-15

    For many Westerners, the Iberian country of Portugal remains something of a mystery. Not as widely traveled as some of its European peers, Portugal is a rich and beautiful country with much for the intrepid tourist to explore. For those travelers hoping to tour the Portuguese countryside, a stop in the city of Faro is an excellent place to start.

    Located in Southern Portugal, Faro has gained a reputation in Europe as a hard-partying beach town thanks to its beautiful Praia de Faro. The lengthy stretch of sand is rarely overcrowded, but hardly ever empty in the warmer months.

    In the winter the city quiets down considerably and reverts to a beautiful, if only a little sleepy, European village replete with sun-bleached white buildings and traditional Moorish architecture.

    Travelers can enjoy the local sites like the Cidade Velha, the city's historic center that has plenty of preserved buildings from the 18th century, or the Rio Formosa, an expansive nature reserve that stretches along the tip of the country and into Spain.

    One of the more unique sites to visit is the Capela Dos Ossos in the Igreja do Carmo Church, a small chapel decorated with the skeletal remains of roughly 1,200 former monks.

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