The best independent guide to the Algarve
The best independent guide to the Algarve
Praia da Luz is a charming and peaceful beach resort on the far western side of the Algarve. The nearest international airport to Lagos is Faro airport, but this is 94km to the east of Lagos.
This considerable distance means that it is advisable to plan your onward transfer before arriving in Portugal.
Praia da Luz is only a small town, so there is limited public transport connecting to it. If you do wish to travel by public transport, the best option is to head to the city of Lagos (5km away) and then catch a taxi or bus to Praia da Luz. There are decent public transport options to Lagos, and include a direct bus service (Aerobus, €12, May-October) or a train (€7.50, year-round) from Faro city.
Due to the length of the transfer, most visitors to Praia da Luz 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.
This guide will detail all of your options for travelling from Faro Airport to Praia da Luz, and help you choose the best one.
Related articles: Praia da Luz introduction
The flight path into Faro Airport flies over the city of Faro
If you're reading this guide before your holiday to Praia da Luz, 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. A private transfer to Praia da Luz can cost as little as €82.40 (2022 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 (€20-25 - 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 may not go as far as Praia da Luz (due to limited demand).
If you want to save money and are happy with a longer journey, then you could choose public transport (full details later in this guide). The Aerobus only operates from May to October, and the last train to Lagos is at 20:50, which departs from Faro train station (6km, 10min taxi ride from the airport)
If you've just landed and it's night-time, then your options are limited and much 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 Praia da Luz. 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 Praia da Luz in 2023 can cost as little as €82.40 if booked far enough in advance (but in peak season, expect it to cost up to €96). Further details can be found on the Yellow Fish website: www.yellowfis
Insight: 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.
Insight 2: 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.
A Yellow Fish minibus at the airport drop-off point
The journey by public transport to Praia da Luz will take much longer than a direct transfer, but it will be much cheaper.
The journey has two stages; from Faro Airport to Lagos, and Lagos to Praia da Luz and your accommodation. There are two different options for travelling from Faro Airport to Lagos, either the train (year-round) or the Aerobus (May to October).
The advantage of the Aerobus is that it departs from the airport, and is the better choice during the summer season.
Once in Lagos, there are local buses to Praia da Luz, but most visitors take a taxi (€10) or Uber for the 5km journey.
The Algrave regional train
The Aerobus (bus route 56) is the best option for travelling by public transport to Lagos. The only issue is the limited number of departures and that it only runs during the high season (May to October).
The Aerobus has 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. The Aerobus service is operated by Vamus, the public transport company of the Algarve, and the latest timetable can be seen on their website:
(Note: The bus route is 56)
The bus ticket costs €12.00, and the journey to Lagos takes 1 hour and 55minutes.
Insight: This bus service is the only connection from the airport to the entire central and western Algarve, so it can get very busy.
The bus stop at the airport is to the left of the main entrance when exiting it (GPS: 37.021344, -7.968876). In Lagos, the bus terminates at the Terminal Rodoviário bus station, and this is at the centre of the city. (GPS: 37.107227, -8.675795)
The local bus service connecting Lagos with Praia da Luz is the Linha 4 (Onda Amarela – yellow line) operated by Aonda buses. The bus departs from Lagos bus station (Terminal Rodoviário), a single fare costs €1.60, and the journey takes 30 minutes. There are departures every 30 minutes, which run late into the night Monday to Friday, but this drops to only 10 services at the weekends. The latest timetable can be seen on the Aonda website:
A taxi will cost around €10 if, after your day of travel, you don't fancy yet another bus ride. An Uber/Bolt will cost slightly less.
The Aonda bus to Praia da Luz
There is a slow regional train service that connects Faro (city) to Lagos. The journey takes 1h15 and only costs €7.50.
Insight: The train is the best option during the low season (Nov-Apr), or later in the evening after the last Aerobus departure.
The issue with train travel is that you will need to take a Taxi/Uber/bus from Faro Airport to the Faro 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 €2.35. Often it is easier just to catch a taxi to the train station (€10-15).
The last train departure is at 20:50, and the latest timetable can be seen on the 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.
Lagos train station is on the eastern side of the city. From here it is a 10 min walk to the city centre and the bus station, where the Aonda bus to Praia da Luz departs from.
Faro is only a small train station
The number 16 bus from the airport into Faro city centre
An alternative to the train is the express bus service from Faro bus station to Lagos (route 57), which takes 1h50min. The issue with the express bus is the same as the train; you have to travel into Faro city centre.
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
Insight: The train and bus station in Faro are very close to each other. It is advisable to check departure times for both the train and bus and take the first service.
The bus to Lagos waiting in Faro bus station