The best independent guide to the Algarve
The best independent guide to the Algarve
Alvor is a charming Portuguese town and popular holiday destination. The nearest airport to Alvor is at Faro, which is 72km to the east.
There is very limited public transport connecting the Airport to Alvor, and this journey can be time-consuming, especially if you are new to the region.
The majority of visitors to Alvor take some type of taxi/car/coach transfer from the airport. These options include expensive taxis, ride-hailing apps (such as Uber/Bolt), shared minibus transfers or - if you're organised - a pre-booked private transfer.
If you do wish to take public transport, there are two stages of the journey; travelling from Faro Airport to the city of Portimão and then from Portimão to Alvor. There is a bus service (the Aerobus, May-Oct only) from Faro Airport to Portimão or there is a train from Faro city. Once in Portimão, a local bus service connects to Alvor, or you may wish to take a taxi for the 7km journey.
This guide will detail all of the options for travelling from Faro Airport to Alvor, helping you to choose the best one.
Related articles: Alvor introduction
The flight path into Faro Airport flies over the city of Faro
If you're reading this guide before your holiday to Alvor, it is strongly recommended that you book a private transfer. This provides a hassle-free way to start your holiday and is particularly useful if you're travelling with children, as well as being cost-effective if as a group of three or more. A private transfer to Alvor can cost as little as €59.60 (2023 prices), if booked far enough in advance. Details of the best transfer companies can be found later in this article.
If you're reading this guide just before or after landing at Faro Airport, the best options are a shared transfer (€20-22 - ticket offices can be found in the arrivals hall) or hailing an Uber/Bolt once you've collected your luggage.
Be warned: there can be very high demand for Uber/Bolt services during the peak season, and the shared transfer coaches do sell out.
If shared transfer coaches are not available or it is an increased surge time for ride-hailing apps, then there are taxis, which will cost €90-110. When taking a taxi, make sure the meter is used - and refuse a 7-seater taxi as this will cost 20% more.
If you want to save money and are happy with a longer journey time, you could take public transport. The Aerobus (May to Oct, 1h45, €11.00) or train (year-round, 1h15, €6.15) connects Faro to Portimão. From Portimão, there are local buses to Alvor; route 13 on weekdays or 16 at the weekend costing €1.50.
Insight: The last train of the day from Faro train station is at 20:50, but the local buses stop in the early evening.
If you've just landed and it's night-time, then your options are limited and more expensive. There is no public transport at night, shared transfers may have finished for the day, and ride-hailing apps (Uber/Bolt) are always in high demand at these times as people go for evening meals or nights out. Taxis at night (9pm-6am) cost 20% more than daytime rates.
Faro Airport is modern, but will be busy in the peak season
A private transfer is the best and fastest method of travel from Faro Airport to Alvor. This also has the added convenience of having a driver waiting for you at the airport.
The best transfer company regarded by people who live and work in the Algarve is Yellow Fish. They are the largest transfer company in the Algarve, with a fleet of modern cars and professional drivers.
A private transfer from Faro Airport to Alvor in 2023 can cost as little as €59, if booked far enough in advance (but in peak season, expect it to cost up to €66). Further details and booking can be found on the Yellow Fish website: www.yellowfis
Insight: There are many third-party booking websites offering private transfers, these are always more expensive to cover their costs. Hotels and travel agencies typically add 10-15% on the basic price of an airport transfer. Always book directly with a transfer company for the best price.
Insight 2: Many of the transfer companies provide prices based on demand. Booking the transfer two months in advance will ensure the lowest prices, while leaving it to the last minute will always result in higher prices. If there are higher prices compare the three transfer companies listed above.
The remainder of this article will explain in detail traveling from Faro airport to Alvor by public transport.
Aerobus provides a direct bus service from the airport to the major resort towns of the central and western Algarve. The nearest stop of the Aerobus to Alvor is in the city of Portimão. Once at Portimão, you will have to catch a second bus to Alvor or take a taxi (€10-12).
The Aerobus takes 1 hour 25minutes to travel to Portimão and a single ticket costs €11.00.
There are six departures per day (Monday to Friday) with the last departure being at 19:30. At the weekend and on public holidays there are only five departures per day, with the last bus leaving at 18:00. This bus service only operates during the high season (May to October).
The Aerobus service is operated by Vamus, the public transport company of the Algarve, and the latest timetable can be seen on their website: vamusalgarve.pt/#/
(Note: The bus route is 56)
The bus stop at the airport is to the left of the main entrance when exiting it (GPS: 37.021344, -7.968876). The intercity bus station in Portimão (the Central De Camionetas Portimão) is located to the far north of the city (GPS: 37.146960, -8.535140)
Once in Portimão, catch the number 13 bus (Monday-Friday) or the 16 bus (weekends/holidays) to Alvor.
The two local bus services depart from the Largo do Dique in Portimão, but this is a 1.8km walk from the intercity bus station.
The latest timetable for the 13 and 16 routes can be seen on the Portimão section of the Vamus website: vamusalgarve.pt
A single ticket on the Vamus Portimão bus costs €1.50, or a 1-day pass is €3.50.
Insight: By this stage of your journey, you may wish just to catch a taxi (€8-10) to Alvor.
There is a regional train service that connects Faro (city) with Portimão. The journey by train is faster than the bus, taking only 1h15 and costing €6.15.
Insight: The train is the best option during the low season (Nov-Apr) when the Aerobus is not operating.
The issue with the train journey is that you must first travel into Faro city for the train station.
The number 16 bus connects the airport with central Faro, and there are departures every 30-50 minutes – the latest timetable is posted at the bus stop at the airport. The journey takes 20 minutes, and the fare is €2.50. Often it is easier just to catch a taxi to the train station (€10-15).
The last train of the day is at 20:50 and provides options if your flight lands in the early evening. The latest timetable can be Comboios de Portugal (CP) website:
Faro train station is located just to the north of the city centre (GPS: 37.018410, -7.939675), and tickets must be purchased before boarding the train.
The train station in Portimão is to the north of the city, and is close to the intercity bus station (GPS: 37.144444, -8.537565)
The Algrave regional train
Faro is only a small train station
The number 16 bus from the airport into Faro city centre
The final option is to catch the express bus service from Faro bus station to Portimão (route 57), which provides an alternative to the train.
The bus takes a similar time as the train - 1 hour 20 minutes – and has a price of €6.80.
The main issue with the express bus is the same as the train; you have to travel into Faro city centre, and it only stops in Portimão.
The other issue with the bus is that there are only two departures at the weekend and on holidays. Monday to Friday there are seven departures. The latest timetable can be seen on the Vamus website:
Note: The Faro-Portimão bus is route 57
The 56 bus does conveniently stop in the centre of Portimão at the 'Guanaré' bus stop, making it easier to find taxis here than at the intercity bus station.
Insight: The train and bus station in Faro are very close to each other. It is advisable to check departure times for both and take the first service.
The bus to Portimão waiting in Faro bus station