A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Ios vs. Faro for Nightlife, Resorts, Beaches, and Backpackers

Should you visit Ios or Faro?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Ios or Faro? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Ios

Ios is a striking, touristy, and backpacker-friendly island. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. Other reasons to visit include beaches, hiking, and shopping.

Faro

Faro is a busy, active, and popular resort town. And you can't forget about the nightlife, scuba diving and snorkeling, and beaches.

Ios and Faro: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Less family-friendly
Pros
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Good for couples and romance
Cons
  • Less popular for food
  • Less attractive beach
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less popular with backpackers


How is Ios different from Faro?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Faro and Ios. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Ios or Faro Better for Food?

Ios
Faro

Most foodies will appreciate the restaurant options in Ios a bit more than Faro.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Ios. Most of the island's restaurants are found in the port area or in the town of Chora, but you'll also find several options near Mylopotas Beach. Most restaurants offer typical Greek dishes, but they often have a local twist. You'll often find local cheeses or a slightly different take on an old favorite. Popular ingredients include cheese, yogurt, fish, olives, honey, olive oil, and grains. Common meats include lamb, beef, and even rabbit, but seafood is obviously popular as well.

Faro may not make the list for most foodies, but you'll find what you need while you're in town. It has become a major tourist town, so you have to get a bit creative to find a more traditional restaurant. Look for fresh seafood like cod, monkfish, or shellfish if you want some local flavors.


Is Ios or Faro Better for Nightlife?

Ios
Faro

Evening events are similar in both Ios and Faro.

Ios is a party destination, and you'll find plenty of activity all night long. This is one of the quintessential party islands in Greece. Many young backpackers come here just to party, particularly during the summer months. You'll find many parties start around midnight or later and carry on well into the morning. Most of the clubs and bars are around the main square and nearby streets in Chora, but there are also clubs spread throughout the town. Outside of town, Mylopotas Beach is another popular party area.

Faro has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. The city's bustling party scene thrives along Rua de São Pedro, Rua Conselheiro Bívar, and Rua do Prior.

Is Ios or Faro Better for Resorts?

Ios
Faro

Ios and Faro offer a relatively similar set of luxury resort options.

Ios is known as a popular and fun resort destination. There are a number of resort areas around the island with families preferring the areas around Yialos Beach and Manganari Beach. Partiers usually head to Chora and the great beaches near Mylopotas, but if you want to escape the crowds, head to Agia Theodoti.

If you're looking for a fantastic resort destination, Faro is a perfect choice. Popular resorts include Vila Vita Parc Resort and Spa, Conrad Algarve, and Tivoli Carvoeiro.

Is Ios or Faro Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Ios
Faro

There's scuba diving or snorkeling available in both Ios and Faro.

Ios has a few good snorkeling spots. There are some nice snorkeling and diving areas around the island as well as vendors who organize snorkeling and dive trips.

It's worth going snorkeling or scuba diving in Faro. There are both snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities in the area. It's possible to snorkel off of several beaches or arrange a scuba diving excursion with a local dive shop.

Is Ios or Faro Better for Beaches?

Ios
Faro

Most people pick Ios for its beaches over Faro.

Travelers come from around the world to visit the beaches in Ios. The island has beautiful sandy beaches that range from family-friendly to party hard. There are popular and more developed beaches near Chora like Koumbara and Mylopotas as well as more relaxing beaches a little more removed like Kalamos and Manganari. Because of their striking beauty, the beaches around the island have been featured in a few films.

Many people head to Faro to enjoy the beach. The most popular beach in the area is Faro Beach. It can get crowded during the summer months but if you walk a bit you can often get away from the crowds. To reach the beach you'll need a car or you can take the bus as the beach is about 10 km away.


Is Ios or Faro Better for Shopping?

Ios
Faro

Both Ios and Faro are good shopping destinations.

Ios offers some nice shopping areas. There are a number of local souvenirs that you can pick up. Many visitors prefer to take home unique items such as a tin of olives or olive oil. Jewelry, honey, and local ceramics also make good gifts.

Faro has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. The town isn't as big as some others, so it's shopping scene isn't as comprehensive, but you will find the major brands as well as souvenir shops to peruse when you need a break from the beach.

Is Ios or Faro Better for Families?

Ios
Faro

Most people don't think of either Ios or Faro as a family destination.

Ios is not the most family-friendly destination. While the island is known as one of the top party destinations in Greece, it also has a more cultural side. There are impressive archaeological ruins and stunning beaches that kids will enjoy. The island also has snorkeling and plenty of kid-friendly food. Some of the best family-friendly beaches are in Manganari Bay and Yialos Beach is a nice family-friendly area.

Faro is not always a place people visit with their families. There are some nice nature reserves in the area so kids who love wildlife will enjoy a visit.

Is Ios or Faro Better for Couples?

Ios
Faro

With fun activities for couples, both Ios and Faro make for a good place to visit.

Ios is a very popular place to visit for couples. Because it's so close to Santorini, many people visit as a day trip. While the island is synonymous with partying, there are still many world-class archaeological sites and romantic beaches that make for an active and fun honeymoon. It's a bit quieter outside of the peak summer months.

Faro is a good island for couples to visit. With the beautiful natural areas and historic old town, this seaport makes a nice couples vacation.

Is Ios or Faro Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Ios
Faro

While Faro and Ios are both good for backpackers, overall Ios is more popular.

Backpackers and budget travelers come from all over the world to visit Ios. For many backpackers, partying in Ios is a quintessential European experience. Nights are spent at all night clubs or beach raves, while days are spent nursing a hangover on the beach. There are plenty of venues that cater to the budget crowd, with cheap food available at different places.

Plenty of backpackers visit Faro. The are some good hostels in the area, but it's a bit tricky to get around without a car.


Is Ios or Faro Better for Public Transit?

Ios
Faro

Both Ios and Faro offer public transit options.

Ios has some very good public transit options. There are public buses that travel to most of the tourist sights around the island including several of the more remote beaches like Manganari and Agia Theodoti.

Faro has some public transit options. There are buses that connect the city to the beach, the airport, and other outlying areas.

Is Ios or Faro a more walkable city?

Ios
Faro

Ios and Faro both are comparable when exploring on foot.

Ios is a somewhat walkable place. Chora is the most walkable part of the island.

Faro is a somewhat walkable island. The city's old town is particularly walkable.

Should I spend more time in Faro or Ios?

How long in Ios or Faro?

In either Ios or Faro, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Faro than Ios because of the overall number of sights and activities.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Ios is 1-3 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Faro is 2-5 days.


  • How many days in Ios or Faro? Ideal Length of Stay
    Ios 1-3 
    Faro 2-5

One day in Ios or Faro?

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the destination of Ios. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One day is usually enough time to experience most activities.

With scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping around the popular destination of Faro, there's plenty to do. It's also a relaxing resort destination. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

A weekend in Ios or Faro?

Ios is a fun place to experience. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Many people visit Faro for a weekend. With shopping and nightlife around the popular resort town of Faro, there's plenty to do. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. Because of this, a weekend is usually enough time for a trip here.


Five days in Ios or Faro?

You'll find scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping around the beautiful destination of Ios. This island offers something for everyone. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

With nightlife and scuba diving and snorkeling around the destination of Faro, there's plenty to do. Many people spend five days here. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. It offers something for everyone. Because of this, five days is usually enough time for a trip here.

A week in Ios or Faro?

The striking island of Ios offers shopping and museums. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips.

Faro, a popular resort town, is full of activities for travelers. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Your budget might influence how long you stay. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days.

Which city is cheaper, Faro or Ios?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Ios is €73, while the average daily cost in Faro is €107. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Ios and Faro in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Ios 31
    Faro 60
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Ios 62
    Faro 120
Compare Hotels in Ios and Faro

Looking for a hotel in Ios or Faro? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Ios


Hotels in Faro


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Ios Hotel Prices and Faro Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Ios 13
    Faro 7.62

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Faro

Also for Faro, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Faro Airport Transfer Service: $3.72
  • Shared Arrival Transfer: Faro Airport to Algarve Hotels: $8.62
  • Faro Shared Transfer to Vilamoura: $11
  • Faro Private Transfer: To or From the Airport: $11
  • Private Arrival Transfer Faro Airport to Faro City: $11
  • Private Departure Transfer from Faro City to Faro Airport: $11
  • Faro Shared Arrival Transfer to Albufeira: $14
  • Faro Private Transfer to Vilamoura: $15
  • Faro Shared Arrival Transfer to Armação de Pêra: $16
  • Faro Private Transfer to Albufeira: $16
  • Private Airport Transfer: Faro Airport (FAO) to Faro: $17
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Faro to Faro Airport (FAO): $17

Is it cheaper to fly into Ios or Faro?

Prices for flights to both Faro and Ios change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Ios 26
    Faro 29

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Ios 21
    Faro 7.53

Tours and Activities in Ios

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Ios are as follows:

  • From Ios to Sikinos Island & Winery Tour: $96
  • Half Day Sunset Sailboat tour (afternoon): $210
  • Ios Speed Boat Adventure: $54

Tours and Activities in Faro

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Faro.

  • Horse Experience For Children: Lead Rein Riding: $3.72
  • Hop On Hop Off City Tour by Tourist Train: $6.84
  • Albufeira: MiniGolf Adventure Park Entry Ticket: $11
  • Birds and Nature Catamaran Tour from Faro: $19
  • Speed Boat Tour - Ria Formosa: $32
  • Ria Formosa National Park Boat Tour: $34
  • From 2-Island, 2-Stop Ria Formosa Catamaran Tour: $34
  • Ria Formosa Natural Park Boat Cruise from Faro: $37
  • Birdwatching Boat Tour in Ria Formosa: $38
  • Small-Group Tour in Faro Islands: $40
  • From 4 Islands, 4 Stops in Ria Formosa Catamaran Tour: $40
  • Private Speed Boat Tour: $45

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Ios 26
    Faro 2.50

Sample the Local Flavors in Faro

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Faro:

  • Traditional Portuguese Guitar performance with Exhibition Museum & Wine Tasting: $21


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Ios and Faro, we can see that Faro is more expensive. And not only is Ios much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Ios would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Ios and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Faro would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Faro than you might in Ios.

Budget Your Trip

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Ios vs. Faro Travel Comparison

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