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Faro Airport to Vilamoura by Transfer taxi, bus and train
Vilamoura is an exclusive and stylish resort town in the central Algarve, which boasts beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife and a stunning selection of restaurants and bars. The main airport of the Algarve is Faro airport and is situated 25km to the east of Vilamoura but is served by very limited public transport. This guide will detail how to travel from Faro airport to Vilamoura, and will provide information regarding private transfers and the use of public transport.
An overview of Faro airport to Vilamoura by public transport
Considering that Vilamoura is only 25 km from Faro airport, the journey by public transport is long and involves multiple connections. The poor public transport from 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 city for onward connections to Vilamoura. Once in Faro city there is a frequent and inexpensive bus service to Vilamoura. Vilamoura bus stop is close to the harbour but as the town is so sprawling it maybe a long walk (or taxi) to your exact accommodation.
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 Vilamoura (bus)
• Vilamoura bus stop to your hotel (walk or taxi)
The final inconvenience with traveling to Vilamoura by public transport is that the last bus of the day is at 19:40(Mon-Fri) or 18:45 (Sat/Sun) (correct October 2016, please check links to timetables later in this article), which means a late landing flight will need a private or shared transfer.
Should I just get a taxi from the airport?
No, a taxi hired directly from the airport arrivals lounge to Vilamoura will be very expensive (>€60). A much better option is to pre-booked a private transfer which costs €25/€50 (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 bus from Faro airport to Faro city
Private Transfer from the airport
A private transfer is the easiest and fastest method of travel from Faro airport to Vilamoura. 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 Vilamoura costs €25/€50 (single transfer/return), takes 35-minutes 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 Vilamoura by public transport.
How we use public transport to get to Vilamoura
If we plan to take public transport from Faro Airport to Vilamoura we always book an early flight. Early flights tend to have the shortest (and less) delays and arriving in Faro up until mid-afternoon means that we can catch the bus. 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 Vilamoura.
This transfer costs less than €20 for two people and with good connections can be in our accommodation within 2 hours of leaving the airport. As the transfer by public transport cost around €20 and is close to the price of a private transfer (€25) we often just take a private transfer….. 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 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 Proximo bus station in Faro
Stage 2 - Faro to Vilamoura by bus
There are many daily departures between Faro city and Vilamoura and the journey takes 50 minutes. The bus service is provided by Eva buses and the latest timetable can be seen here:
(links opens new window)
The inconvenience with the bus is that the last departure is at 19:15 (Monday to Friday) or 18:45 (everyday), which is no use for late landing flights. The bus ticket costs €4.10/ €8.20 (single/return). 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 busses depart from the older covered intercity bus station not the new open air "Proximo" bus station. In Vilamoura there are three bus stops and the marina is probably the most useful for the majority of visitors. If you hotel is a distance from the marina a taxi can be easily hired.