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Flying versus driving from Lisbon to Faro and back

Bethesda, MD
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Flying versus driving from Lisbon to Faro and back

Mistakenly posted this in Albufeira forum, when it belongs here:

We'll be in Portugal in February. Right now we've rented a car through Economy Car Rentals/UK from airport to the Algarve and back. We figured we'd see the countryside if we at least drove 1-way from airport to the Algarve and then had our car for 8-day stay there. Because it's 2+ hours away, wondering if we should drop car in Faro, and fly to Lisbon to avoid 2+ hour trip on the way to Lisbon portion of our holiday.

We could really use some feedback from anyone who's been and familiar w/roads/distances/inter-country commuter airlines, etc.

Thanks so much,

Barbara

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Albufeira, Portugal
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for Algarve, Faro, Portugal
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1. Re: Flying versus driving from Lisbon to Faro and back

I assume you are flying into Lisbon then driving to the Algarve and intend to return to Lisbon after a stay in in the Algarve.

All the major car hire companies are represented at Faro Airport.

You can fly from Faro to Lisbon; there are two or three flights a day taking 40 minutes but costing maybe €80 or more. I would suggest taking the new express train from Faro to Lisbon. It takes only around three to four hours for the journey and you get to see some countryside on the way! There are four trains a day. The fares are really inexpensive and should cost you no more than about €20 each for the oneway trip - thats less than $20! Advance reservations are essential and you can do these online in English or at the train station in Faro but you must do so at least the day before. The train also stops at Loule, Albufeira and Tunes stations on its way to Lisbon if any of those are more convenient to where you are actually staying.

The trains finish their run at Lisbon Oriente station from where you can easily get a taxi to the airport which is only a few miles distant.

The Portugal Railways website is at www.cp.pt

If you do drive it would take a little longer than the train using the new A2 toll motorway (freeway) which directly connects the Algarve and Lisbon.

Hope this helps. I live in the Algarve by the way.

Bethesda, MD
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2. Re: Flying versus driving from Lisbon to Faro and back

Cubsur,

Thanks for the helpful email re: plane/train or automobile when we leave the Algarve and go back to Lisbon. I think we'll probably drive, but I'm going to check the trains, too. I checked the plane fare, and you're right--it was outrageously expensive--wow!

If you were doing the trip, would you drive--or take the train?

We're driving from the airport to where we'll be in the Algarve--my brother-in-law says about 15 KM from Faro as the crow flies!

I think I have an idea of some "must see" and "must do" activities, but anything you'd be willing to share, would be very much appreciated.

Toronto, Canada
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3. Re: Flying versus driving from Lisbon to Faro and back

A friend and I did the Lisbon-Algarve return driving trip in early June, and found it a pretty stress-free drive (with the exception of pumping diesel fuel into our non-diesel car on the way down...I will forever remember the portuguese word for unleaded-sem chumbo...LOL). And regardless of the destination, the return trip always seems shorter somehow, so I wouldn't worry about your drive back.

Since we had an early morning flight, we left the day before and slept over in Lisbon so that we wouldn't feel rushed.

Having a car at our disposal during our 2 week stay in Albufeira was a huge advantage, it allowed us the freedom to do whatever we wanted at a whim. We even took a quick trip into Seville.

If you get the chance, I would strongly suggest you make the effort to get out to Lagos, Praia da Dona Ana is hands down one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in my life. I'm not sure how cold it gets in the Algarvean winter but even if you're not swimming, it's still worth seeing.

Silves was also memorable for it's historic castle, and deep cultural roots.

In Portugal, everything is just around the corner, there are limitless options.

Hope this helps!

norwich
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4. Re: Flying versus driving from Lisbon to Faro and back

Hi, I am portuguese, and I think it is very expensive the flight to Lisbon and it will not save you much time because of all the time you always spend at airports checking in, etc.. There is a new highway from Algarve to Lisbon. This highway will take you very close, it is almost direct) to the Parque das Naçoes where you could park and it is by itself a nice place for a walk along the river and it has the biggest aquarium of Europe (Oceanario, worth to visit if you have the time) and then take the metro to visit the centre of Lisbon. It is very easy and handy. Have fun!

Bethesda, MD
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5. Re: Flying versus driving from Lisbon to Faro and back

Lua and Foreign Sun,

Your suggestions were very helpful, and I appreciate them a lot. I've printed them out so that I have the names of the places you say are "must sees"--my Portugal "must see" folder is getting fatter and fatter.

We very much look forward to our February trip.

Barbara

bristol
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6. Re: Flying versus driving from Lisbon to Faro and back

Hi Barbra,I live in the UK but have a holiday home on the Algarve which I visit 6 or 7 times a year. There is a new road system all along the Algarve from Faro to Lagos. More importantly there is a new motorway from Faro to Lisbon carrying very little traffic the driving is a joy. Lisbon like all capital citys is very busy and we usually use taxis which are cheap once settled into our hotel. It is possible to leave your car in Lisbon with one of the larger hire companies (one leg journey). If I can help with anything else just ask. I would definatley recomend the drive!

Regards, Derek.derekwodward100@hotmail.com

Bethesda, MD
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7. Re: Flying versus driving from Lisbon to Faro and back

Derek,

Thanks so much for your email. Frankly, I'm so tired w/all the intense planning for this trip, that I'd be happy to drive both ways--as I think my son and husband will be. Having to plan a rail trip doesn't excite me right now!

So, your very helpful email seals the deal--we'll then leave the car at the downtown office of the rental company, and walk, cab it and tram it, right?

We do want to see Sintra (everyone says we should), so do hope there's a way to get there besides via car. Do you happen to know?

Take good care,

Barbara

Rome
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8. Re: Flying versus driving from Lisbon to Faro and back

Sorry to jump in late - so Lisbon to Lagos is about 4hrs drive?

Is it easy just to set off and find a hotel anywhere along the way - suggested stops/hotels?

I am leaving this Friday 29th!

Many many thanks - great forum

Rob

Malveira, Portugal
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for Lagos, Mafra
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9. Re: Flying versus driving from Lisbon to Faro and back

Lisbon to Lagos and vice versa takes from 2hrs. 45 mins upwards dependent on your route. Not that there are not many easily idetifiable hotels en route but maost small towns have small hotels and pensões.

Have a look at this answer I wrote to a similiar question in May 2007:

…blogspot.com/2007/05/lisbon-to-lagos-by-roa…

Hope it helps

Rome
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10. Re: Flying versus driving from Lisbon to Faro and back

Thanks for the clarification and info - very useful.

If there was one town you would stop over in on your way from Lisbon to Lagos where would that be?

Also - from Lagos to Spain - any suggestions? i have booked a lastminute trip - Lisbon this Fri/Sat.7 days lagos in apartment and then 5 days perhaps travelling around but not sure where yet - need to end back in Lisbon for the flight home.

As you can see we're not too prepared. we are a mid thirties couple looking for non touristy places, sea or country and quaint hotels restaurants etc.

many thanks!!! again!