Just a short drive from the international airport and some of the Algarve's famous beaches, Hotel Faro has 90 comfortable and beautifully designed guest rooms. Overlooking the marina and Ria Formosa Natural Park, providing easy access to the city's historical centre, the modern Hotel Faro is located in down town Faro.
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Banská Bystrica is a key city in central Slovakia located on the Hron River in a long and wide valley encircled by the mountain chains of the Low Tatras, the Veľká Fatra, and the Kremnica Mountains. With 81,281 inhabitants, Banská Bystrica is the sixth most populous municipality in Slovakia. It started as a permanent settlement in the 9th century and obtained the municipal privileges of a Hungarian royal town in 1255. The copper mining town acquired its present picturesque look in the Late Middle Ages when the prosperous burghers built its central churches, mansions, and fortifications. It is the capital of the Banská Bystrica Region and the Banská Bystrica District. It is also the home of Matej Bel University. As a historical city with an easy access to the surrounding mountains, Banská Bystrica is a popular winter and summer tourist destination.
Banská Bystrica lies at an altitude of 362 metres (1,188 ft) above sea level and covers an area of 103.37 square kilometres (39.9 sq mi).It is about half way between Slovakia's two largest cities, 208 kilometres (129 mi) north-east from Slovakia's capital Bratislava and 217 kilometres (135 mi) west of Košice. A chain of discrete suburbs and villages connects it with Zvolen, another major town 20 kilometres (12 mi) to the south.
Banská Bystrica is situated in the Hron River valley. The Hron River curves through the city from the east to the south. The city nests among three mountain chains: the Low Tatras to the north-east, the Veľká Fatra to the north-west, and the Kremnica Mountains to the west. All three are protected areas because of their environmental value. Banská Bystrica hosts the headquarters of the Low Tatra National Park. Despite the proximity of these mountain ranges, the local landscape is dominated by the much lower Urpín Mountain, 510 metres (1,673 ft), which is a popular place of recreation.
Banská Bystrica lies in the north temperate zone and has a continental climate with four distinct seasons. It is characterized by a significant variation between hot summers and cold, snowy winters.
Banská Bystrica has bus and train connections to the rest of the country, as well as to many other European cities. The R1 expressway connects the city to Zvolen and to Slovakia's capital Bratislava. Some parts of this fast expressway are still under construction and the remaining work is planned to be completed by 2010. Other roads of state importance connect the city to Brezno (No. 66), to Ružomberok (No. 59) and to Turčianske Teplice (No. 14).
The international Sliač Airport offers scheduled flights to Prague and charter flights to other destinations.
Public transport in the city is managed by two different companies. Dopravný podnik mesta Banská Bystrica is a public service run by the municipality. It operates trolleybuses and minibuses. The private company SAD Zvolen has a fleet of buses. In addition to regular lines, it also offers express and night lines. 30% of people use their private cars for journeys to work and the average commute time is 35 minutes.
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