Traveling From Lisbon to the Algarve by Train, Car, Bus or Plane

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The Modern Travel Agency


    Vacationing in Portugal and wondering which way is the best way to get from Lisbon to the Algarve? Both destinations make a great argument for being the best place to visit in Portugal, but for vastly different reasons — and we’re breaking down how to see both during the same trip.

    On the other hand, connect with Fora to plan and book your trip with an expert-curated itinerary and one-on-one support. We’ll help you figure out the best way to get from Lisbon to the Algarve via the mode of transportation that fits your travel goals.

    (P.S. Wondering what to do while you’re visiting Lisbon and the Algarve? See our guide.)

    What’s the distance between Lisbon and the Algarve?

    First, it’s important to note that the Algarve is a region, not a specific city or town. This gorgeous, sunny answer to Spain’s Andalusia (read about the best places to visit in Spain for first-timers) is filled with charming towns and Portugal beach resorts.

    But to answer the question, Lisbon is around 170 miles from the Algarve, depending on the specific destination. For context, that’s a slightly shorter distance from Lisbon to Porto (check out what to do in Porto, if you’re considering adding this oenophile hotspot to your trip).

    Can you make a day trip out of Lisbon to the Algarve?

    You can, but you’re committing at least six hours of your day to traveling — which, if you haven’t witnessed the Portuguese countryside, isn’t the worst thing to do. But if you’re trying to make the most out of your trip, it usually makes more sense to spend ample time in one destination, then move on to the other.

    Want to know where to stay during your vacation? Check out our guides to the top hotels in Lisbon and the best hotels in the Algarve, Portugal.

    Getting from Lisbon to the Algarve: the best modes of transportation

    There are four ways to get from Lisbon to the Algarve: by train, bus, car and plane.

    Traveling from Lisbon to the Algarve by train: ideal for certain destinations

    Getting from Lisbon to the Algarve by train tends to be a solid option for specific destinations. For example, if you’re visiting Lisbon and Faro, you can take a direct train with a travel time of about three hours. However, if you’re traveling from Lisbon to Lagos, you’ll need to board a second train. And for destinations that aren’t connected by railroads, you’ll have to take a secondary mode of transportation, which can quickly add up in time and costs.

    If you can get a direct route, expect modest pricing (depending on the season), comfy seating and convenient access to base amenities (which may be nice if you’re visiting Lisbon and the Algarve with kids). 

    Fora Advisor Christian Caudill says, "Uber and other rideshare services are widely available and affordable in the Algarve region. If you choose to arrive by train, rideshare can get you anywhere else you need to go! Or, your Fora advisor can arrange a private transfer service."

    Not sure if the train makes sense? Plan and book your trip with Fora and we’ll hook you up with all the intel you need.

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    Traveling from Lisbon to the Algarve by bus: a good, less-comfy alternative to train travel

    Bus travel from Lisbon to the Algarve can make a lot of sense. It tends to be cheaper, and you’re less likely to require secondary travel (barring certain destinations within the Algarve). But the rides typically aren’t as comfortable, and they’re also notably slower.

    Traveling from Lisbon to the Algarve by car: the mode of transportation offering the most freedom

    A road trip between Lisbon and the Algarve is arguably the absolute best way to experience both destinations, as well as everything in between. 

    You can generally expect to pay significantly more to rent a car, pay for gas (or charging), lodging and so on, but you also have the freedom to travel at your own pace and discretion. The only limits on your destinations are the ones you set yourself.

    (What’s the best time to visit Portugal? Our guide has you covered.)

    Traveling from Lisbon to the Algarve by flight: generally inconvenient (except in niche scenarios)

    Getting from Lisbon to the Algarve by plane can make sense in niche situations. But because Lisbon and Faro are the only two cities with major airports, you’re almost guaranteed to endure secondary travel. 

    Flights are also more expensive than any other mode of transportation, and while it technically only takes about 45 minutes to traverse the distance, there’s no guarantee your flight will depart on time, not to mention time wasted in luggage and security lines.

    Want help planning a trip from Lisbon to the Algarve? Ask Fora

    Connect with Fora to plan and book your trip with Fora for expert tips on the best ways to get from Lisbon to the Algarve.

    Need more Portugal travel inspiration? Read these guides, too:

    This article has been fact checked by Fora Advisor Christian Claudill, an expert on travel to Portugal.

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