The best independent guide to the Algarve
The best independent guide to the Algarve
Vilamoura is an exclusive and stylish resort town in the central Algarve, which boasts beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife. The main airport in southern Portugal is Faro airport and this is situated 25km to the east of Vilamoura.
There is very poor public transport from the airport to Vilamoura, and most tourists either pre-book a private transfer, or take one of the shared transfers when they arrive.
This guide will explain how to travel from Faro airport to Vilamoura, and includes details of the public transport.
Related articles: Vilamoura introduction - Vilmaoura's beaches - Day trips from Vilamoura
Considering that Vilamoura is only 25 km from Faro airport, the journey by public transport is time consuming 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 marina, but as the town is so sprawling it maybe a long walk (or taxi) to your 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 travelling to Vilamoura by public transport is that the last bus of the day is at 18:45 (correct Spring 2019, please check links to timetables later in this article). This means if your flight lands after 5pm you will need a private or shared transfer.
No, a taxi hired directly from the airport arrivals lounge to Vilamoura will be very expensive (>€60). There is Uber in the Algarve, but demand is very high during the summer season.
A much better option is to pre-book a private transfer which costs €27/€54 (one way/return). Cheaper options are the transfer buses with tickets around €15- €20, but these buses make many stops and journeys are surprisingly long.
Summertime in the Algarve are very busy and Faro airport can be chaotic and crowded, with massive queues for everything. It is always best to pre-book transfers.
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 €27/€54 (single transfer/return), takes 35-minutes. Their website, along with bookings can be found here.
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The remainder of this article will explain in detail traveling from Faro airport to Vilamoura by public transport.
The first stage of the journey is the 6km journey from Faro Airport to the bus station. There is a direct bus service from the airport with irregular departure times, but there is at least one bus per hour between 6am-11pm. The journey takes twenty minutes, and the fare is €2.35, with tickets purchased from the driver. 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), and this is next to the intercity bus station (GPS: 37.016865, -7.937347) or a 200m from the train station (GPS: 37.018589, -7.939773).A taxi from the airport to the train station cost €10-12 and takes 10 minutes.
Related articles: Faro Airport to Faro train station.
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:
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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.
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.
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