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When travelling from Lisbon to the Algarve in Portugal, you may be considering various different destinations and routes. Given that Faro, situated pretty much in the centre of the Algarve, is the major airport hub and gateway to the Algarve region, it is very likely that you’d be chose to travel from Lisbon to Faro and connect onwards.
It makes complete sense, especially since the Algarve region is not that far in terms of distance at all and you can easily get from Faro to Lagos in the west by car in an hour, or to Tavira in the east in half an hour.
In this guide I’ll outline all the information you’ll need to plan out and prepare for your trip to the Algarve. Getting from Lisbon to Faro need not be a struggle and below I’ll detail all the various options and modes of transport you can take to enjoy beautiful, sunny Algarve without the hassles of worrying about how to get there!
Faro Airport, located only about 15 mins drive from Faro town centre, is the major airport hub in the Algarve / Southern Portugal region. With both local, European and International flights arriving into Faro, it’s easy to see why many would consider this option and think it to be their best bet.
More specifically, Lisbon to Faro flights operate daily through the national carrier TAP who have around 3 scheduled flights per day (one morning, one afternoon and one late evening flight). The flight itself is only about 45 mins and would cost in and around the region of €85 or more (dependent on availability) for a one-way adult ticket.
Whilst flights to Faro may seem like a convenient and logical route, it is worth taking into account the time you would spend in Lisbon getting to the airport, checking in, clearing security and then eventually flying and landing in Faro. As such, although the flight is only 45 mins, you may find yourself spending more than 3 hours in total journey time. In this case, using the bus, train or even your own car rental to do the Lisbon to Algarve journey may well end up being more time effective and convenient than flying.
If, however, you are flying in from another destination altogether, it could make much more sense to do so. So, the next question then is, how to travel onward from Faro airport to Faro or the rest of the Algarve region.
You may want to consider booking private Faro transfers to and from the airport and your destination. There are a number of transfer operators to choose from. Check out the following TripAdvisor listings through whom you can book online for Faro Airport Transfers services.
Located just outside the airport building you will find many taxi operators that you may opt to use. As a guideline, the Faro Airport website indicates that the average fare from Faro Airport to Faro town centre should be in the region of around €10.
In Portugal particular, there are also many cab hailing services in operation, such as Uber, Bolt and Kapten to name a few. So, this may be another option when you consider taking a taxi from Faro to your next destination. Many travellers in the past have complained of scrupulous taxi drivers taking long detours to push up fares, so many prefer to rather make us of these cab hailing services and know what to expect in advance in terms of price.
Top Tip: For ways on how to save using these services (if you haven’t already signed up), go read my post on Top Money Savings Tips for Travel in Portugal. In this post I share some of my own discount codes for these providers, allowing you to sign up and benefit from discounts and credits yourself.
Firstly, the Proximo bus service is the urban bus route operational in Faro. It connects to not only the city centre, but also to various other spots in and around the city.
Then, there is also the EVA Transportes Go Shuttle service that connects from Faro Airport to Faro city centre in the one direction and to Albufeira, Portimão and Lagos in the other. So this option is really great if you are wanting to connect to other parts of the Aglarve too.
The Go Shuttle option is also extremely affordable. Tickets from the Airport to Albufeira costs around €6.00 one-way, to Portimão is €8.00 and to Lagos only €9.00.
Note: the Go Shuttle service only operates 4-daily departures to and from the Airport. So, make sure to check the site for updated schedules to plan your timings.
If you prefer to make use of other modes of public transport, aside from flying to Faro then one of your options will be to take the Lisbon to Faro Bus service that is operated by Rede Expressos.
Rede Expressos operate several routes throughout Portugal and having personally used some of these services in the past, I’ve always found their buses to be both comfortable and of a very good standard.
The Lisbon Faro bus departs from either Lisbon’s Sete Rios or Lisbon’s Oriente bus terminals, both being major Lisbon transport hubs and quite easy to get to.
Sete Rios is also the hub for Rede Expressos in Lisbon and you will find more departure options from this terminal. The Sete Rios bus terminal (which you can search for on Google Maps under ‘Terminal Rodoviario Sete Rios’), is linked to Lisbon’s blue metro line, with the nearest metro station being Jardim Zoologico (just across the road from the bus station).
If you’re travelling from the Lisbon Airport then the easiest would be to try co-ordinate your departure by bus from Lisbon’s Oriente station. The red metro line starts at the airport and Oriente is only 3 stops onward (about 4 mins).
As such both stations are well connected to the underground and choosing between which station to depart from really does depend on your locality within the city.
The Lisbon to Faro coach services departing from Sete Rios definitely offers more choice in terms of departure times. The journey by bus from Lisbon to Faro varies between 3 hours and 15 minutes to 4 and a half hours, depending on the bus booked and how many stops will be made along the way.
There is a departure almost every hour, starting from 06:30am in the morning until around 01:00am at night, with a one-way ticket costing roughly €19.00 per person.
I would highly recommend that you book online through the Rede Expressos site (there is an option for English) as the queues at the station can get quite long and you cannot purchase tickets on the bus itself.
Note: you can only book online about a month in advance. So, don’t get a fright if you are planning well in advance and don’t see any availability. Simply return back to the site about a month before travel and secure your ticket.
When booking from the Oriente station there are fewer options available than Sete Rios. Bus services start from approximately 05:45am, and the last one departing at 01:00am at night. But overall, there are far fewer departures during the day, and some of which require a connection in Albufeira.
Note: Be sure to check if the service is direct or requires a connection to a different bus along route. This will be indicated on the search results when booking online.
The journey time from Oriente ranges between 3 hours 35 minutes up to 4 hours. So again, be sure to select the appropriate option when you are planning and booking for your trip.
The Faro Bus station is also located quite centrally and only about 10 – 15 mins walk from Faro town centre, making it an easy trip and and out.
If you much prefer to use the Lisbon to Faro train service, then you would make use of either the Alfa Pendular or Intercidades train services. Both of these are bookable through the Comboios de Portugal (CP) website (CP is the national rail provider in Portugal).
The Alfa Pendular service is a faster option and takes approximately 3 hours to complete the journey. It’s worth noting that this service departs from either Lisbon’s Oriente station or Lisbon’s Entrecampos. Although, Oriente is the start and passes by Entrecampos on route to Faro. The costs of the Alfa Pendular service ranges between €23 / €31 for standard versus first class tickets. On these
Tip: Booking in advance will help you save quite a chunk off the ticket price. You can only book up to around 2 months in advance on the CP website, but in doing so, you can expect close to a 50% price reduction through the promo tickets on offer. If you want to know more or are interested in more money savings tips and suggestions for when travelling through Portugal, then go read this post here – Money Savings Tips for Portugal Travel.
The Intercidades service takes slightly longer (at around 3 and a half hours) and can be caught from either Oriente, Entrecampos or Sete Rios stations in Lisbon. Prices on the Intercidades – Lisbon Faro train service ranges between €22 / €29 for standard versus 1st class tickets. Again, promo tickets booked in advance could result in a 40% – 50% price reduction on these ticket prices.
Do take note of the fact that the train schedules are more limited than the bus services. There is only about 5 scheduled departures from Lisbon to Faro by train starting in the morning just past 08:00am (depending on the station) and with the last one departing around 18:30 in the evening (again, depending on the departure station).
When you’re returning back from Faro to Lisbon, it’s also good to know that both the Faro train station as well as the Faro bus terminal are located not far from each other, and also only about a kilometre (10 – 15 mins walk) to Faro town centre. So catching the train from Faro to Lisbon upon your return is also an easy option due to locality of the train station.
The distance from Lisbon to Faro by road is around 280 kilometres and should take around 2 hours 35 mins. As such, travelling from Lisbon to Faro by car is another option you may well want to consider.
It goes without saying, that having a car rental at your disposal throughout your stay will give you far greater freedom to really get to explore and experience all that the region has to offer.
The highways (motorways) in Portugal are also of a very good standard, which means the journey down from Lisbon to the Algarve is both comfortable and provides for a lovely scenic drive too.
I have to also state though that most of Portugal’s highways are tolled and as such, it’s important to factor in the addition costs of toll fees into your overall travel budget.
Top Tip: Most car rental providers do offer an electronic tag services which allows you to easily and conveniently pass through the various toll gates without having to constantly worry or keep tabs on how or where to pay. This service requires that the car rental company link your credit card that you would have lodged with them, in order for the toll fees to automatically bed deducted off your card as you make use of the tolls. This does normally come at a small extra cost, so be sure to ask the rental agency for more information.
In all honesty, whenever I’ve travelled to the Algarve, I’ve much preferred to make use of a car rental. This way, we are never bound by constraints of public transport and can explore freely at our own leisure without the constraints of schedules & departure times.
If you are looking to rent a car for your trip then I can also highly recommend you book through Rentalcars.com. The site is very user friendly and based on your search criteria will display various different providers and rate options. We’ve found booking through them to be both cost effective and seamless.
If you’re looking for a place to stay, specifically in Faro itself, then why not check out rates & availability in Faro on Booking.com to see what’s available or to book for your stay.
You may also be interested in travelling further afield throughout the Algarve. In that case, compare the availability & rates across the Algarve region instead.
With so much on offer by way of tours, activities and experiences in the Algarve, I am confident you will not get bored easily.
Alternatively – why not go view the available tours & activities you can book in the Algarve during your stay.
Getting from Lisbon to Faro needn’t be any hassle. With so many options available, be it making use of public transport or deciding on flying or driving down, the choices are all there. The option that will likely appeal to you, will depend on many different factors such as time, budget, convenience etc.
Consider your options carefully and make use of this Lisbon to Faro guide to assess what would ultimately make more sense for your trip.
If you’ve visited Faro and have any personal experiences or insights into how to get from Lisbon to Faro that you feel may be of use, then I’d love to hear from you.
Please feel free to comment and share your top tips and insights.
Welcome! I'm Marco Santos a.k.a Travel-Boo. A South African & Portuguese travel blogger connecting with my Portuguese roots. Since I've moved to Portugal from South Africa permanently a few years ago, I've decide to share my story of discovery of all things Portugal travel related. So follow along and see what makes this beautiful country so very special!
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