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Faro airport to Lagos by private transfer, train or bus
Lagos is a fascinating and historic city that is situated on the beautiful coastline of the western Algarve. The nearest international airport to Lagos is Faro airport but it is 90km to the east of Lagos, and this considerable distance means that it is advisable to plan your onward transfer before arriving in Portugal. This guide will provide an overview of travelling from Faro airport to Lagos, with information about private transfers and public transport.
Overview of public transport between the airport and Lagos
Public transport from Faro airport is very poor, especially when considering that Faro is an important international airport and that the Algarve’s primary industry is tourism. There is no public transport hub at Faro airport and all onward journeys by bus or train need a connection in the city of Faro. From Faro city there are direct but infrequent buses (2h10min) or trains (1h50min) to Lagos.
In summary, there are two key stages to travel from Faro airport to Lagos:
• Faro Airport to Faro bus or train station (bus or taxi)
• Faro city to Lagos (bus or train)
Both stages using public transport have very limited daily departures and the total journey times, including connections, can be very long. The other inconvenience of using public transport is that the last train departure is at 20:18 (correct March 2017, please see the link to timetable later in the article), which means that if you are landing later than 18:00 a private or shared transfer will be required. The main advantage of using public transport is that it is very cheap and unlike many of the other Algarve resorts, Lagos train and bus stations are actually in the city centre.
The beaches of Lagos are worth the effort!
Should I just a get a taxi?
No, a taxi hired directly from the airport arrivals lounge to Lagos will be very expensive (>€100 fare plus motorway tolls). The Algarve has Uber taxis and the drivers are courteous and cars are smart but due to the distance even an Uber taxi to Lagos will be expensive. A much better option is to pre-booked a private transfer, which cost €68/€136 (one way/return).
A taxi all the way to Lagos will be very expensive!
Cheaper options are the shared transfer coaches with tickets around €25- €30 but as Lagos is the furthest major resort town, journeys are surprisingly long, with many stops. During the summer Faro Airport is chaotic, with massive queues for everything; it is always advisable to pre-book transfers. Another option is to spend a night in Faro, which is a surprisingly pleasant city, and then catch the train the following day.
Private Transfer from the airport
A private transfer is the easiest and fastest method of travel from Faro airport to Lagos. 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 Lagos costs €68/136 (single transfer/return), takes 70 minutes and their website, along with bookings can be found here. (The link opens new tab).
Yellow fish transfers are the most reliable transfer company
So, how do we travel from the airport to Lagos?
It’s all good writing a long guide but what is more useful to visitors new to Lagos is - how do people who live and work in the Algarve travel from the airport to Lagos? This is what we personally do, which balances both cost and time.
We always book an early flight to Portugal so that we can catch the train to Lagos, also the low-cost airline's flights tend to have less/shorter delays with their first flight of the day. After leaving the airport we check that the number 16 bus is not going to arrive soon (see next section for bus details) but it’s so infrequent that we usually just catch a taxi to Faro city (€10-12). We prefer the train to bus but there is typically a long wait due to the limited train departures and this is a great time for a late lunch in Faro. This method of onward travel to Lagos costs us less than €25 (for two) but it can take anywhere between 2h30 min or 5 hours (this does include a good lunch!).
The Algarve train in Lagos train station
The remainder of this article will explain in detail travelling from Faro airport to Lagos by public transport, and is divided into two sections; the first details from the airport to Faro city and the second is from Faro city to Lagos.
Faro airport to Lagos by public transport
The first stage of the journey is to travel from the airport to the train or bus station, both of which are located in central Faro. The bus and train stations are conveniently situated close together and there is only a 200m walk between them.
The number 16 airport bus in the Proximo bus station, Faro
From the airport there is an intermittent bus service (number 16), with at least a departure every hour from 6am to 11pm. The bus departs from outside the arrivals lounge; a single ticket costs €2.22 (yes really!), and is purchased from the driver. The bus ride takes 20 minutes and terminates at the new Proximo bus station. The number 16 bus also connects Faro to the beach of Praia de Faro, which means half of the buses turning up at the airport are heading in the wrong direction. A taxi is much more convenient and can be hired for €10-15 for the 15-minute drive to central Faro. A full guide to the Faro airport bus service can be read here.
Faro is connected to Lagos by the Algarve regional railway and Lagos is the final station along the line. The journey takes 1 hour 50 minutes and a single ticket costs €7.30. Tickets must be purchased from the ticket office before boarding the train. These tickets cannot be pre-booked as this is a regional train, but there is always plenty of space on the train.
The regional train from Faro to Lagos
The train departures are infrequent, with no services during the afternoon and the last daily train is at 20:18. The latest train timetable can be viewed on the CP (Comboios de Portugal) website:
(link opens new window)
Faro train station is the largest of the Algarve but could still considered as a very small train station, which is very easy to navigate around. Lagos train station is on the eastern side of the marina and only a short walk away from the city centre.
Coach travel in Portugal is inexpensive and safe with clean and modern buses. We prefer travelling by train than bus to Lagos, as the journey is shorter and there are endless roundabouts around Vilamoura and Albufeira. The express bus to Lagos departs Faro from the older covered bus station, which is next to the Proximo bus station.
The older EVA bus station in Faro
Bus tickets must be purchased from the ticket office (not the driver) and there can be long queues especially during summer. The express buses are operated by Eva buses and the latest timetable can be seen on their website:
(link opens new window)
Large or bulky luggage is stored in the compartments beneath the bus and each ticket will be designated a seat number, which is printed on the ticket. Lagos bus station is 1km north of the city (on the opposite bank to the train station) and is a 5-minute walk to the city centre.