The best independent guide to the Algarve
The best independent guide to the Algarve
Faro Airport (GPS: 37.016482, -7.970330) is the main international airport of the Algarve, and is situated 7km south-west of Faro city. Considering that Faro airport is the primary gateway to southern Portugal, there is very poor public transport from the airport to the popular holiday destinations of the region.
This limited public transport encourages tourists to either pre-book a private transfer or to use one of the overly popular shared transfers when arriving Portugal. If you only plan to travel from the airport to Faro city, there are a number of options, including public transport, and this article will detail them.
There is no railway station near Faro airport; the nearest railway connection is Faro station, which is located in central Faro (GPS: 37.019559, -7.940870). There is a bus stop at Faro airport, but no useful intercity services depart from here.
This means that all visitors who are reliant on public transport to travel to their final destination, must first go to the city of Faro, in order to catch onward train or bus services. For guides for travelling to specific towns from the airport, please click on the corresponding link:
Faro Airport..... to Albufeira - to Alvor - to Lagos - to Praia da Luz - to Praia da Rocha (and Portimão) - to Quarteira - to Tavira - to Vilamoura
The only bus routes from the airport to the centre of Faro are the number 14 and 16 services, which are operated by the Próximo bus company. The number 16 bus route is the more frequent service, as there are only four daily departures of the number 14 bus.
The number 16 bus connects Faro city with the Praia de Faro and stops midway at the airport. This means that half of the buses that stop at the airport are going in the wrong direction. If the bus displays “Praia de Faro”, it is heading to the beach and not the city centre.
A single ticket costs €2.35, there are no return tickets, and the ticket is purchased from the bus driver. If you only have large bank notes (€20 or higher), it is advisable to exchange the large note in the airport shops, as the bus driver is unlikely to have change.
The bus journey takes only 15 minutes, but as the bus route connects Faro to the best beach of the region, the bus can get very crowded towards the end of the day. As of the spring 2019, there are 26 daily bus departures from the airport, with the first service at 5:20am and the last service at 00:10am.
The published timetable is displayed at the bus stop. There are departures every 30-50 minutes, and the latest timetable can be seen on the Proximo website at:
Proximo website: https://www.proximo.pt/en/
Route 16 PDF: www.proximo.pt/
Route 14 PDF: http://www.proximo.pt/uploads/schedules/Linha_14_2.pdf
(links open new tabs)
Due to traffic in both Faro and the area that surrounds the beach, the bus is sometimes delayed. An easy method to identify if you have missed the bus is to see how many other passengers are waiting there; if there are none then the bus has probably already departed.
Faro Airport is a relatively small airport and is easy to navigate around, and the bus stop for buses to Faro is very easy to locate. The bus stop is to the left after exiting the arrivals lounge, close to the short stay car park, the bus stop is in the opposite direction to the taxi rank. The actual bus stop (GPS: 37.021327, -7.968840) is at the end of the second bay and is marked by the timetable.
Both the 14 and 16 bus routes terminate at the “Proximo” bus station in central Faro (GPS: 37.017301, -7.937996). This bus station is next to the older inter-city bus station (GPS: 37.016828, -7.937174) and 200m to the train station (GPS: 37.018468, -7.939719). It's only a short walk (150m) to the marina and the Jardim Manuel Bivar, when exiting the bus station turn to the right.
Unfortunately, the number 16 bus route passes through a very dilapidated section of the city. The historic section of Faro is charming, and the city is a safe destination. The first impression most visitors get of Faro when viewed from the bus is very poor, which is a shame for the city.
A taxi from the airport to Faro train station will cost €10-15, and the journey is 15-minutes. When taking a taxi from the airport always ensure that the meter is switched on, or that a fair price has been agreed.
The basic fare for a four-seater taxi within the Faro district is €0.94 per kilometre and €0.25 per minute waiting (or stuck in traffic!). There is a minimum fare of €3.25 and a surcharge of €1.60 for luggage placed in the boot. These rates increase by 20% at the weekends or at night (9pm and 6am) and are €1.13 per kilometre and €0.25 per minute waiting. An eight-seater taxi is much more expensive at €1.21 per km or €1.45 per km (night or weekends), this rate applies even if you are a group of 4 or less.
Note: The above rates apply within the Faro vicinity, if travelling outside they are greatly increased. Never take a taxi to the resort towns (Albufeira, Vilamoura, Lagos etc), as it will be incredibly expensive, always book a transfer.
Faro (city) is the main hub for public transport through the Algarve. There are train and bus services along the coastline, and express intercity trains to Lisbon and the north of Portugal.
As a generalisation, we recommended train travel for the eastern Algarve (Tavira, Monte Gordo and Vila Real) and the bus to the west (Vilamoura, Albufeira and Praia da Rocha). The reason we do not recommend the regional train for western travel is that the train stations are a long distance from the main tourist centres; Albufeira station is 6km from the town, while Carvoeiro and Vilamoura do not have a station. The one exception is Lagos for which the train should be caught.
There are no late-night public transport options from Faro city to the resort towns, the last departures for both bus and train (and east and west) are around 19:00-20:00. If you arrive later than this, you will either need a private taxi transfer, or consider spending a night in Faro. Faro is a very scenic city which is often overlooked by most tourists.
Intercity buses depart from the older “Eva” bus station, which is next to the “Proximo” bus station. Tickets for the intercity routes must be purchased from the ticket office (and not from the bus drivers), so always allow 10-15 minutes to buy the tickets.
The Combioso de Portugal (CP) train website is: www.cp.pt/passageiros/en
The Eva bus website is: https://eva-bus.com/
While purchasing the intercity bus tickets, always confirm the departure bus bay, as currently, the services to Vilamoura and Albufeira depart from the street, in front of the Proximo bus station and not the bus station. If you have an extended wait for a train or bus, there are plenty of good restaurants and cafes within the vicinity.