Planning on travelling to the Algarve and deciding which airport you should fly to? Or, perhaps you want to see what options there are in the Algarve or nearby? Read the complete guide to the Algarve’s airports here!
The Algarve has one main international airport in Faro and it’s the only international airport in the Algarve. There is a much smaller airport near Portimão called Portimão Airport, but it only handles domestic flights. If you’re an international visitor, it’s unlikely you’ll need to use this airport.
Faro Airport – The International Algarve Airport
The Algarve’s biggest and only international airport is Faro Airport, officially known as Faro International Airport. It’s located in the east Algarve, approximately 10km outside of Faro. By road, its conveniently linked to both the main motorway (A22), and the regional toll-free route (N125). Which results in good access to the rest of the Algarve. Slightly less convenient is its links to the city of Faro itself. The main train station and long-distance bus station are in Faro city and not the airport. So, you do need to make a transfer to the city centre to make connections by public transport. It’s a short journey by local bus, or a taxi. It should cost around €10 by taxi, while a one-way ticket on the bus is €2.35. Uber is also available at the airport and a ride to the city centre costs around €6.
Faro Airport Algarve Connections
If you’re looking to transfer directly to your accommodation or resort then a wide array of services are available. The local taxis are quite used to this, although usually the most expensive option. There is also a range of shared shuttle services which travel to and from a specific destination. You can use a service like Hoppa to book them. Uber is also available if you want a private vehicle without the cost of a taxi. The Algarve is pretty small, and the connection time to most major towns and resorts is reasonable. Faro Airport to Albufeira for example should take around 40 minutes by car. While Portimão, and Praia da Rocha are a bit further at around 60 minutes.
What facilities are available at Faro Airport?
Now for the tricky bit. Despite being the Algarve’s international airport that handles 8 million passengers a year, the airport’s food and shopping facilities are a little lacking. We absolutely recommend you buy your souvenirs or your breakfast before getting to the airport! If you’re planning on killing some time by shopping you might also be a little disappointed.
After arrivals, Faro airport has all the usual facilities that visitors and tourists could need. As well as several coffee shops and cafes, you’ll also find a Vodafone shop if you need a local sim card when you arrive. You’ll also find several ATMs and multibancos, and a foreign exchange operated by Unicâmbio. The full array of car rental services can also be found, although we always recommend booking your car hire before you arrive!
What Restaurants are available in Faro Airport?
Faro airport has a small variety of restaurants, cafés and fast-food available. In the fast food category you have Burger King, Subway, Eating Point, and Rossopomodoro – a pizza chain. If you’re after coffee or bakeries you have Cafe Delta, Costa Coffee, SoHo, and the French bakery chain Paul. For pubs and bars, you have a Carlsberg Bar and a Mulligan’s Irish pub. For dessert you have an ice-cream bar by the popular Ola (that’s Walls if you’re from the UK).
What Shops are at Faro Airport?
After security the first shop you’ll walk through is the large Duty Free Store. It sells a wide selection of products including wines, spirits, tobacco products, perfumes, gifts, chocolates, as well as a few very expensive Portuguese delicacies.
For fashion and accessories, you have several upmarket offerings. Fashion Gate which stocks a wide range of high-street fashion brands like Calvin Klein, Fly London, Diesel, Nike, and Desigual. Victoria’s Secret, the high-end lingerie brand. Swarovski for the luxury jewellery hunters, Parfois a Portuguese accessory brand, and Sunglass Hut. For the business travellers is Travel & Business Gate, which mostly sells luxury bags and travel accessories.
For Souvenirs you have several options. A shop called Portfolio, which stocks an array of arts and crafts, artisanal products and Portuguese delicacies. Sports at Heart which sells a variety of Portuguese and international sports products from national and European teams. You also have Football Gate, specifically for football sportswear and accessories.
There is also a newsagent and tobacconist called Relay which offers a wide choice of newspapers and magazines, books and sweets. The full and official list of shops can be found here, although it doesn’t say which are ‘airside’ or not. Most of the shops are open from 6am to the last flight of the day.
Portimão Airport – The Domestic Algarve Airport
Portimão Airport is a small airport in Montes de Alvor, around 10 minutes from Portimão. It’s a small airport that’s mostly handles skydiving flights and private aviation. However, there are a few domestic flights per day. Sevenair operate flights from Portimão, to Cascais, Viseu, Bragança and Vila Real, with all flights stopping in Cascais. It’s a small airline that mostly operate turbo-prop planes, but it’s not as expensive as you might think. Flights can actually be purchased for around €80 to and from Cascais, and only a little more to the north of the country. If you’re travelling to or from elsewhere in Portugal it might be an option for you.
Alternative Airports to Consider
If you can’t fly directly to the Algarve airports listed above, then you may want to consider other nearby airports. In our opinion, they have reasonable enough transfer times to consider!
Lisbon Airport – Aeroporto Francisco Sá Carneiro (LIS)
Lisbon is perhaps the biggest and handles more international flights from a wider variety of destinations than Faro. If you can’t fly to Faro, you should be able to fly to Lisbon. It’s a surprisingly simple transfer from Lisbon to the Algarve and we cover all the options here. In simple terms though, there are plenty of options to get you from the airport to your destination in the Algarve for a reasonable price. It should cost around €25 per person to get to the Algarve from Lisbon airport if you go by public transport.
Seville Airport – San Pablo Airport (SVQ)
A similar distance to Lisbon but in another country is Seville airport in Spain. Seville is 130km from the border of Portugal in the east Algarve, and 200km from Faro. It’s around a 3-hour trip by coach and if booked in advanced can cost around €20 for a one-way transfer. There are no trains across the border so you’re only real option is by bus. If you’re thinking of renting a car, then you should check the terms and conditions fully, some companies will tack quite high border-exit fees onto your rental fee just to leave Spain. You also need to consider one-way rental fees if you don’t plan on making a round-trip, these can be extortionate, and I’ve seen quotes of around €600 before. If you pick a reasonable company deals can be found though, and in some cases it’s been cheaper to fly/drive from Seville then it is to land in Lisbon.
Porto Airport – Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport
The final option that is reasonable in our opinion is Porto. Aeroporto Francisco Sá Carneiro to give its full name serves Porto in the north of Portugal. It has a surprising amount of budget connections with the rest of Europe, especially on RyanAir and EasyJet routes to the UK. Porto is connected to the rest of the country, and the Algarve, by both bus and the long-distance Alfa-Pendular and Intercidades railway line. There are 2 or 3 trains a day, and they take 6-7 hours to get from Porto to Faro. The trains also stop in Tunes, Albufeira, Loulé and Faro in the Algarve. It’s possible but might be tricky to do on the same day you land. However, if you spend a night in Porto, it’s a great way of seeing a fantastic city, and of course trying the famous Francesinha before making your way to the Algarve.
Change Your Departure Airport
If the above still doesn’t meet your requirements and you can’t find an airport in the Algarve, or you’re finding it hard to find an airport that can get you to the Algarve. Then it might be worth trying to find a different departure airport in your country of origin. Skyscanner is a great tool for searching this, you can simply enter your destination and instead of a departure airport you can enter a country. It will then give you a list of departure airports and the cost of flying from them to your destination. It’s a very useful tool for searching for flights!
Which airport do you use in the Algarve? Feel free to share your travel tips with us and other readers below!