LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - June 26, 2012) - British holidaymakers looking for a different side to the Algarve should get off the golf course and take a break from the beach this year. With a rich and vibrant cultural history and 300 days of sunshine a year, Faro is fast becoming one of Europe's hottest destinations for those in the know. And with cheap flights to Faro from a variety of UK destinations with Monarch Airlines, now is the perfect time for those looking to beat the crowds.
Located on Portugal's southern coast, Faro is home to the stunning 9th century Cidade Velha (or Old Town) and offers views of the glittering Mediterranean coast and outlying islands. A truly unforgettable destination, this Portuguese gem provides an assault on the senses; russet rooftops gleam in the sunshine, whilst the fragrance of orange and jacaranda trees fills the air.
History buffs will delight in the 13th century Se, which was built on a Roman forum and offers an exciting blend of Renaissance, Baroque and Gothic architecture. Just as interesting is the macabre Chapel of Bones, where ancient walls are lined with human skulls and remains.
A true foodie heaven, Faro's cuisine is guaranteed to tantalise the taste buds. The local indoor market, the Mercado Muncipal, is a must-see, with the freshest juicy olives, salty cured meats and pasteis (the Algarve's famous sweet custard tart) available to sample. Even those watching their waistline should take time off to enjoy afternoon coffee and morgado (pumpkin, fig and almond cake), and wash it all down with a glass of Algarvian wine and some world-class seafood at sunset. At dinner, holidaymakers rub-shoulders with the locals as they indulge in fresh lobster and Faro's speciality razor clams, in one of the many fine restaurants lining the city's marina.
For those looking to soak up some rays, the beautiful Faro beach is just a few kilometres away, with its swathes of pines melting into the crystal clear waters of the Med. Nature lovers can cruise the Ria Formosa National Park to discover 270 species of birds and a plethora of seashell islands dotted with lagoons.
Faro has something to float every boat and will provide an unforgettable break to rival many of Europe's greatest cities. With the annual FolkFaro festival due to take place from 18 to 26 August, and several low-cost Monarch flights departing from the UK each day, there's never been a better time to go!
Scheduled leisure airline Monarch fly to a wide range of destinations throughout Europe and worldwide, providing a high quality, low cost service. To book flights visit Monarch Airlines today.