Faro is the southernmost city and seat of the district bearing the same name, in the Algarve region of southern Portugal. With a population of 64,560 inhabitants the municipality covers an area of approximately 202.57 square kilometres. The city is south bordered by the sea and a 19 km length dune, interrupted by openings that connect the sea to the Ria Formosa, forming 3 main islands. Faro is served by a transport network connecting it to the rest of the Algarve, and by extension, other European markets. Faro is approximately 3 hours by air from the main European destinations, and 2 hours from Lisbon, by road, and less 1 hour from Spain. It receives through its International Airport thousands of visitors annually, with 45 airlines serving this airport, including the largest number low-cost airlines. The town’s transport facilities include taxicabs and several bus lines. Centrally located, the town is also served by a railway station connecting it the main Portuguese and European railroad network. Faro is also easily reachable by sea with a great harbour where pleasure crafts can dock amidst the marvellous natural setting of the Ria Formosa Nature Park.
Faro has a very different atmosphere to the busy towns of the western Algarve. The city is very scenic, especially within the old walled town and area surrounding the marina. Faro boasts more historic monuments and buildings than many other Algarve towns, while the pleasant shopping zone is lined with open-air cafes and designed for Portuguese shoppers. Tours of the Ria Formosa nature park depart from the small harbor, with ferry services to the almost deserted beaches on the sandbar islands. Faro is the ideal destination for those who wish to discover the “real” side of the Algarve since it offers history and culture set in a relaxing environment, while for the more independent traveler the whole of the Algarve can be easily explored.
Faro is situated on the edge of the Ria Formosa nature park, a series of saltwater lagoons and mudflats that are a haven for migratory birds and wildlife. Beyond it there are three sandbar islands, which are the location for Faro’s beaches and are some of the least developed in the Algarve. Faro is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. Hosting some of the most important water sports championships is the ideal location for, all year round but particularly in the summer, trying the rush of kytesurf, surf or windsurf.
The first archaeological evidences date back from the 4th century B.C, when the Phoenicians settled in the Western Mediterranean. After that period Faro boomed as the Roman port Ossonoba. During the Moorish occupation, it became the cultured capital of an 11th-century principality. The king Afonso III took the town in 1249 (the last major Portuguese town to be recaptured from the Moors), and walled it. Portugal’s first printed works – books in Hebrew made by a Jewish printer – came from Faro in 1487. Troops under the Earl of Essex, going to England from Spain in 1597, plundered the city, burned it and carried off hundreds of priceless theological works from the bishop’s palace. Battered Faro was rebuilt, but with the 1755 massive earthquake it was destroyed once again. The historic centre has still buildings that stood that event such as the town’s cathedral. In 1834 it became the Algarve’s capital.
Faro has a Subtropical-Mediterranean climate with more than 3000 hours of sun yearly. Summers are warm to hot and sunny with average daytime temperatures of 27–35°C. The weather in winter months is mild with temperatures around 8–17°C. The annual average temperature is around 17°C - 18°C. The average sea surface temperature is 15–16 °C in January rising to 22–25°C in August.
- an Unsung Hero from History
Wang Xuance was born in Luoyang City during the Tang Dynasty. As an envoy of the Tang Empire, he was sent on diplomatic missions to India many times. His outstanding achievements are universally acknowledged by historians.
In the year of 643, the King of Magadha dispatched an ambassador to present tribute to the Tang Emperor. The emperor Taizong later issued an imperial order to escort his guests back to India, and Wang Xuance, as deputy ambassador of the delegation, accompanied the Magadha’s envoy back to his country. However, in 647CE the Madhya kingdom descended into turmoil after its king died during Wang Xuance’s trip to the country. With the help of Tibetan elite warriors, Wang Xuance quelled the civil war in Madhya. He was ordered to send Buddhist vestments to India in 657 as his third legation.
Wang Xuance’s trips to India made contributions to cultural exchanges between China and the South Asian nations and opened the famous ancient Tangbo Road, making the trade of vegetables and spices increasingly frequent. In addition, Wang Xuance brought sugar refining techniques from India, which not only enriched the life of our people, but improved our sugar production technology.
Edited By Wang Huilin,Zhou Zhonghui/Modified by Glyn David