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Getting there

Ryanair (1520 444 004; Ryanair.com) flies to Faro from Dublin, Cork, Kerry, Derry and Knock from €21.99 one-way.

Staying there

Hotel Faro (00351 289 830 830; hotelfaro.pt) overlooks Faro Harbour and the Ria Formosa. Enjoy the panoramic view from the rooftop restaurant, where the food is to die for. Double rooms from €107.

The newly opened Conrad Algarve (00351 289 350 700; conradalgarve.com) is located in the swish Quinta do Lago district, and is as impressive as you would expect. Double rooms from €209.

Three things to do

• Check out one of the many fish markets, such as the one at Quarteira. Crowds of people jostle for the attention of the fish-mongers, who banter back and forth with one another. If you're self-catering, they're great places to pick up dinner.

• Take a boat ride from Faro harbour and explore some of the nearby islands, as well as the Ria Formosa.

• The Algarve is blessed with fantastic seafood, but be sure to try Frango Piri Piri (Portuguese spiced chicken). Try Restaurant Ideal in Guia for authentic platters of home-style fare.

Weekend Magazine