The best independent guide to Albufeira
Albufeira is the Algarve’s most popular beach resort, boasting beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife and an extensive selection of bars and restaurants. The main airport of the Algarve is Faro Airport, and this is 36km to the east of Albufeira.
Unfortunately, there is very limited public transport from the airport to Albufeira and the majority of tourists either pre-book a private transfer or get a shared transfer from the airport. This guide will detail all of the different options for traveling from the Faro airport to Albufeira.
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 city for all onward connections by bus or train.
Once in the city there are frequent bus or infrequent train (which is not recommended) departures to Albufeira. In Albufeira the bus station is 1.5km north of the historic centre, while the train stops in the middle of nowhere and is a ridiculous 7km from the tourist centre.
In summary, there are three stages for a public transport transfer from Faro airport to your hotel in Albufeira, they are:
• Faro airport to Faro city (by bus or taxi)
• Faro to Albufeira (by bus or train)
• Albufeira bus (or train) station to your hotel (by taxi, bus or walk)
The final inconvenience when traveling to Albufeira by public transport is that the last bus of the day is at 19:40 and train is at 20:50 (correct 2019, please check links to timetables later in this article). This means a flight landing later than 19:00 will need a private or shared transfer. Another option is to spend a night in Faro, which is a surprisingly pleasant city, and catch the bus in the morning.
Related articles: Faro guide
No, a taxi hired directly from outside the airport arrivals lounge to Albufeira will be very expensive (>€70). Uber taxis have arrived in Southern Portugal, and are a great way to travel around the region, but due to the distance between the airport and Albufeira, they will still be expensive.
A much better option is to pre-book a private transfer, which costs €32/€64 (one way/return) for up to four people. Cheaper options are the transfer buses with tickets around €15- €20, but these transfers stop many times and journeys are surprisingly long. During the summertime Faro airport can be chaotic, with massive queues for everything; it is always best to pre-book before arriving.
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 €32/64 (single transfer/return) and takes 45minutes. A link to Yellow Fish website along with bookings can be found here. (The link opens new tab).
The remainder of this article will explain in detail how to travel from Faro airport to Albufeira using public transport.
The first stage of the journey is the 6km from Faro Airport to Faro train or bus station. There is a direct bus service (the number 16 bus) from the airport with irregular departure times, but there is at least one bus per hour between 6am-11pm. The journey takes under twenty minutes, the fare is €2.35, and tickets are purchased from the driver. 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:
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In Faro the bus terminates at the proximo bus station (GPS: 37.017307, -7.937789), which is next to the inter city bus station (GPS: 37.016865, -7.937347) or a 200m walk to the train station (GPS: 37.018589, -7.939773).
Related articles: Faro Airport to Faro train station
There is a slow regional train from Faro to Albufeira, but Albufeira train station (GPS: 37.128486, -8.232608 ) is 7km to the north of the town, in the village of Ferreiras. From Ferreiras it is 10-minute taxi (€10-15) to Albufeira or a local bus to Albufeira bus station (which is still a 1.5km walk to the historic centre). The advantage of the train is that it is relaxing and there are always seats available.
Our recommendation is to take the bus, but during the height of the summer season buses can be fully sold out.
There are two types of bus service between Faro and Albufeira, an express bus 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 (7 daily) and the latest timetable can be seen on the Eva website:
Express bus - http://eva-bus.com/pdf/57.pdf
(On the timetable “Term. Rodoviario” means Faro intercity bus station)
The interurban bus has 9 daily departures and 14 Monday to Friday, the timetable can be seen here:
Interurban bus - http://eva-bus.com/pdf/9_novo.pdf
(the links open a new tab)
The express bus ticket costs €5.50 and the normal route costs €4.05. When departing from Faro bus station, all tickets must be purchased from the ticket office and not the driver. The express bus departs from the older intercity bus station, while the regional bus service leaves from the street, in-front of the newer “Proximo" bus station.
It is sensible to confirm the departure location when purchasing the tickets and the ticket office can get very busy during the summer months. The express bus to Albufeira terminates in Lagos therefore the bus will display a "Lagos" sign.
In Albufeira, the closest bus stop to the Old Town and the Strip is on the Avenida dos Descobrimentos, but this is not a very obvious bus stop. The main bus station in Albufeira is at the top of a hill and it is an easy walk into the Old Town (1.5km), but it is not a scenic walk.
Ferreiras/Albufeira train station is 6km north of the main resort town, and this makes the train a poor choice of transport to reach Albufeira. The only reason to take the train is if the buses are all sold out. The train is operated by Comboios de Portugal (CP) and a single ticket costs €3.35, while the journey takes 35 minutes. There are infrequent departures and the latest timetable can be seen on the CP website:
(link opens new tab)
Ferreiras station is connected to Albufeira bus station by the orange bus route, and there are departures every 30 minutes. A single ticket costs €1.40 and the journey takes 20 minutes. The main bus station of Albufeira is 1.5km from the Old Town or 3km from the Strip, which requires yet another bus….
When we travel to Albufeira we use combination of taxi and public transport, and also book an early flight! An early flight allows for plenty of time for the onward transfer and the low-cost airlines tend to have less delays on their first flight of the day.
For the journey from the airport to Faro city we take a taxi or Uber (as the number 16 bus is so infrequent) and from Faro to Albufeira we catch the bus. In Albufeira we exit the bus at the Avenida dos Descobrimentos bus stop, or walk from bus station downhill to the Old Town. This journey costs less than €20 for two people, and with good connections we can be in our accommodation within 2 hours of leaving the airport.