How about: Albufeira Intro > Things to do > Families > Airport to Albufeira > 1 week in Albufeira
Faro Airport to Albufeira by taxi, bus and train
Albufeira is the Algarve’s most popular beach resort, which boasts beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife and a varied selection of restaurants and bars. The main airport of the Algarve is Faro airport, which is 35km to the east of Albufeira and is served by very limited public transport. This guide will detail how to travel from Faro airport to Albufeira, and will provide information regarding private transfers and the use of public transport.
Faro airport to Albufeira an Overview
The poor public transport at Faro airport does not reflect the importance of Faro as a major international airport and that tourism is vital to the Algarve’s economy. There is no public transport hub at Faro airport and all visitors must travel into Faro for onward connections by bus or train. Once at Faro there are frequent bus or infrequent train (which is not suitable) departures to Albufeira. In Albufeira the bus station is 1.5km from the town centre, while the train station is a ridiculous 6km from the centre.
In summary there are three stages for a public transport transfer from Faro airport to your hotel, they are:
• Faro airport to Faro bus station (bus or taxi)
• Faro to Albufeira (bus or train)
• Albufeira bus (or train) station to your hotel
The final inconvenience with traveling to Albufeira by public transport is that the last bus of the day is at 19:40 and train is at 20:18 (correct October 2016, please check links to timetables later in this article), which means a flight landing later than 18:00 will need a transfer.
The main terminal building of Faro Airport
Should I just get a taxi from the airport?
No, a taxi hired directly from the airport arrivals lounge to Albufeira will be very expensive (>€60). A much better option is to pre-booked a private transfer which cost €30/€60 (one way/return). Cheaper options are the transfer buses with tickets around €15- €20 but these buses stop many times and journeys are surprisingly long. Summer time in the Algarve are manic and Faro airport can be chaotic, with massive queues for everything, it is always best to pre-book transfers.
The Albufeira to Faro bus, is operated by Eva buses
Train travel is much more relaxing than bus travel, and there are sufficient space and seats for all passengers, even at the height of the summer season. The main disadvantage of train travel to Albufeira is that the nearest station is in Ferreiras, 7km to the north of Albufeira. This station is within the Albufeira district and can be misleadingly referred to as Albufeira station. The taxi fare from Ferreiras station to the Old Town in Albufeira is €10-15 (15minutes) or it is another bus journey (the orange bus route connects to Albufeira bus station).
Private Transfer from the airport
A private transfer is the easiest and fastest method of travel from Faro airport to Albufeira. The most reliable and highest regarded (by people who live and work in the Algarve) transfer company is Yellow Fish Transfers. They operate smart, clean and safe cars and their drivers are renowned for being punctual. A transfer from Faro airport to Albufeira costs €30/60 (single transfer/return), takes 45minutes and their website, along with bookings can be found here. (The link opens new window). The remainder of this article will explain in detail traveling from Faro airport to Albufeira by public transport.
Yellow Fish operate the best transfer service in the Algarve
How we use public transport to get to Albufeira
When we travel to Albufeira we take public transport and also book an early flight! For the first stage we take a taxi (as the bus is so infrequent) from the airport to Faro bus station, then we take a bus from Faro to Albufeira. In Albufeira we exit the bus at the Avenida dos Descobrimentos bus stop, or walk from bus station, as it is all downhill to the old town. This costs less than €20 for two people and with good connections can be in our accommodation within 2 hours of leaving the airport. The following section will detail each of these stages in greater depth.
Stage 1 - Faro Airport to Faro bus/train station
The first stage of the journey is the 6km from Faro Airport to Faro train or bus station. There is a direct bus service (number 16 bus) from the airport with irregular departure times but at least one bus per hour between 6am-11pm. The journey takes under twenty minutes, the fare is €2.22 (yes really!) and tickets are purchased from the driver. A taxi from the airport to the train station cost €10-12 and only takes 10 minutes. Faro train station and bus station are very close together and are only a 200m apart. For a very detailed guide to this first stage please see this guide, Faro Airport to Faro train station.
The number 16 bus in the "Proximo" bus station
Bus or Train from Faro to Albufeira?
Train travel is much more relaxing than bus travel, and there are always seats available, even at the height of the summer season. The main disadvantage of train travel to Albufeira is that the nearest station is in Ferreiras, 6km to the north of Albufeira. This station is within the Albufeira district and can be misleadingly referred to as Albufeira station. The taxi fare from Ferreiras station to the Old Town in Albufeira is €10-15 (15minutes) or it is another bus journey (the orange bus route connects to Albufeira bus station). As the train is so inconvenient it will not be discussed further.
Stage 2 Faro to Albufeira by bus
There are two types of bus service between Faro and Albufeira, express or the much slower regional service. The express bus takes 55 minutes whereas the Interurban bus takes 90 minutes. There are very few express departures and the latest timetable can be seen here (the link opens a new window):
Or the regular interurban bus time table is here:
The express bus ticket costs €5.50 and the normal route costs €3.85. All bus tickets are purchased from the ticket office - when traveling from Faro bus station bus tickets cannot be purchased from the driver. The ticket office can get very busy during the summer months. The express bus to Albufeira is part of the express bus route to Lagos therefore buses will be have "Lagos" in their display window. The express buses depart from the older covered intercity bus station not the new open air "Proximo" bus station, whereas the regional service departs from the street in-front of the “Proximo" bus station. It is sensible to confirm depart location when purchasing the tickets.
Albufeira bus station
The best stop to get off the bus is the Avenida dos Descobrimentos as this is closest to the old town, but it is not a very obvious stop. The main bus station in Albufeira is at the top of a hill and it is an easy walk into the old town, but this is not a scenic walk.