Getting to the Algarve from Lisbon: Car, Bus, Train & Plane
Planning a trip to Portugal? Lucky you! Depending on where you’re traveling from, you’ll likely fly into Lisbon, Portugal’s capital city. But if the Algarve is your dream destination, you can rest assured there are several convenient travel methods to get you from Lisbon to the Algarve in no time.
You should definitely plan to spend a few days in Lisbon to enjoy all that the city has to offer, from its historic castle and pastel-colored buildings to delicious food and vibrant nightlife. When you’re ready to relax on a sunny beach, pack your bags and travel to the Algarve by bus, car, train, or plane and enjoy all the incredible activities and sightseeing.
How far is the Algarve from Lisbon?
Portugal isn’t a particularly huge country which makes it easy to travel from Lisbon to the Algarve on a road trip or even by train.
The Algarve is only 280 km (174 miles) south of Lisbon. With so many ways to get there, it all comes down to your budget and what you plan to do once you get there. The Algarve is about 150 km (93 miles) long, so if you’re planning to travel between popular areas like Lagos, Faro, and Carvoeiro, you might want to rent a car to have at your disposal. This is also helpful if you’re planning to visit more remote beaches. However, the Algarve is absolutely reachable by bus, train, and plane as well.
Lisbon to the Algarve by Car
As we mentioned, renting a car to travel from Lisbon to the Algarve offers the most flexibility, especially if you’re a traveler who likes to go with the flow and explore on your own.
The trip can take from two hours and 40 minutes to three and a half hours with traffic. Head south from Lisbon on the 25 April Bridge, then onto the A2 motorway which connects to the A22 into the Algarve. Keep in mind, you will have to pay tolls, often up to 20-25 euros for your trip.
Lisbon to the Algarve by Bus
If you’re on more of a budget and don’t mind riding with strangers, consider booking a bus trip from Lisbon to one of the Algarve’s resort destinations like Albufeira, Tavira, or Lagos, among others. The trip will probably take between three and four hours, a bit longer than driving.
Visit the Rede Expressos bus service website to see timetables and book tickets, which you can do up to 30 days in advance. One-way tickets will only set you back about 20 euros, making this a very cost-effective way to get to the Algarve from Lisbon.
Catch the bus from Sete Rios Bus Terminal or Parque das Nações.
Lisbon to the Algarve by Train
The two trains that go from Lisbon to the Algarve are the Alfa Pendular and the Intercidades.
The Alfa Pendular goes to Faro twice a day with stops in Loulé and Faro. It’s a very pleasant three-hour train ride. The Intercidades is a bit longer, at three hours and 30 minutes, but it also follows the same route.
If you want to go outside of Faro, say to Tavira or Santo António, you’ll have to get off the train and switch to the Regional Lagos route. It might be easier to take the bus if you’re not planning a trip to Faro.
The train is also an economical travel method to the Algarve. Tickets start at 23 euros one-way and trains leave from Parque das Nações. See tickets and timetables here.
Lisbon to the Algarve by Plane
TAP Portugal offers flights from Lisbon to the Algarve that take just 45 minutes, landing at the Faro Airport. Keep in mind though that with the time it takes to travel to and from each airport, and depending on where in the Algarve you’re staying, there’s no real advantage to flying. Plus, with flights priced around 150 euros or more, it might not be worth it to fly.
Once you get to the Algarve, relax and enjoy the region’s amazing scenery, beaches, and cultural experiences. For trip inspiration, check out one of the Algarve’s must-see attractions, Benagil Cave.