The distance between Faro and Albufeira, both located in Portugal’s Algarve region, is just 22 miles (36 km).
The easiest way to travel between the two cities is by private transfer or rental car. Bus connections are also available. Although there is a train, the station in Albufeira is located outside the city, making the trip somewhat complicated.
You can see both Faro and Albufeira and explore the Algarve coast by sea with this four-day sailing itinerary.
By Private Transfer or Rental Car
Duration: 45 minutes
Private transfers can be booked to take you from Faro to Albufeira, or you could rent a car from one of the many major rental companies with an office at Faro Airport. A private transfer or car is the only way to reach Albufeira directly from the airport.
Getting to Albufeira is a quick drive of about 45 minutes. The main roads don't run along the coast. However, if you're willing to take a slight detour, you could check out the beaches near the resort town of Vilamoura along the way.
The toll system in Portugal is complex, and many highways only offer electronic toll payment. You can avoid tolls on the way to Albufeira by taking the N125 road instead of highway A22, although this will take you a few minutes longer.
Note that many rental cars come preinstalled with a ViaVerde pass, which can be used to pay tolls on any Portuguese highway. If your car does not have a pass, you could also pay tolls using the EASYToll, TOLLCard, or TOLLService systems, although these are only valid on highways with electronic-only tolls.
Duration: 1 hour - 1.5 hours
Buses to Albufeira run frequently throughout the day, leaving from the Faro Intercity Bus Terminal in downtown Faro.
The express bus takes just under an hour to make the journey, while the local service takes an hour and a half. Seven express buses leave daily, along with ten or more local buses. You can buy your tickets at the ticket office in the bus station.
Once you arrive at Albufeira’s bus station, you'll need to walk or take a taxi into the Old Town. The walk is 1 mile (1.5 km) long, down a hill. It takes about 20 minutes.
Duration: 30 minutes
Every few hours, trains leave from Faro’s train station to Albufeira - Ferreiras Station. Tickets must be purchased at the station ticket office, or from the train conductor in cash. While the trains are comfortable and the trip is fast, the station in Albufeira is located about 5 miles (7 km) outside the city.
Once you arrive in Albufeira, you'll have to take a taxi or a bus to the city center. Local buses leave frequently from the train station, but they drop you off at Albufeira bus station—keep in mind that it’s still a 20-minute walk from there to downtown.