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Algarve Guide

Car Hire

Stretching across the golden landscape of southern Portugal, the Algarve is one of Europe’s most prized holiday destinations. From the bustling streets of Faro to the peaceful views of St Vincent’s Cape, this region is teeming with magnificent landmarks and alluring attractions, including Moorish castles, ruined fortifications, dazzling beaches and secluded coves. The region covers more than 2,000 square miles, so having a car is the best way to access the many sites.

Who to Book With
Many of the top international rental agencies provide cars for hire throughout the Algarve. In addition, plenty of local companies offer car rental in the centre of many cities. Budget, Hertz and Avis are among the more famous firms in the region. Pre-book online to find the best available rates.

Best time to go
The Algarve is a great place to visit at any time of the year. The temperature remains warm through every month, and rainfall is at a minimum. This makes the region perfect for beach getaways. During the winter months, the milder weather keeps away the large crowds, so accommodation and rental prices tend to be lower. This makes it an ideal time for travellers on a budget.

Need to Know Essentials
There are several important documents needed to rent a car in Algarve:

- A driving license held for more than one year
- A passport or secondary identification document
- The credit card use when booking
- Reservation confirmation sheet

Our FAQ's page provides more information.

Driving
There are many well-kept roads throughout Algarve. However, some of the smaller routes are not well-maintained; some are even nothing more than dirt tracks. In the cities and towns around Algarve, traffic is generally light, with the exception of downtown Faro. However, many of the streets are not named or numbered efficiently, so motorists may find it difficult to get around without a GPS navigation tool.

Visit our guide to Portugal for more information on driving here.

Transport

Given the vast size of the Algarve, there are several public transportation options available for travellers. Taxis are found in the major cities and towns, and a train and bus network provides transportation from place to place. Even though hiring a car is usually the most popular means of transport in the Algarve, the region can be explored using the public services instead.

Taxis
Taxis are found within the major urban areas and resorts of the Algarve. However, they are operated by a variety of different companies that tend to focus on a particularly city or town rather than the entire region. They are easy to identify, as most cab companies use black and green cars or beige-coloured vehicles. Taxi Arade is a major cab firm operating in Portimao. Taxi Faro services the capital of the region, while, Taxi Albucoop is found in and around the resort town of Albufeira.

Buses
The bus network within the Algarve is efficient and inexpensive. Most major towns along the coast and close to the A22 highway are connected via at least one of three bus companies operating in the region. EVA Transportes is the largest bus company, while Rede Nacional de Expressos and Renex are also available. Bus travel in the Algarve is less expensive than other transport options, but it takes longer to reach destinations. Bus tickets are relatively cheap, costing between €2.20 for shorter routes, up to €5.85 for the longer routes. Tickets can be bought from bus stations within cities, at one of the offices for bus companies like Eva Transportes and Frota Azul, or on board most buses. Some bus companies offer pre-paid cards too.

Trains
After driving, trains are the next fastest transportation option for getting around the Algarve. From the western city of Lagos to the far eastern town of Vila Real de Santo Antonio, daily trains reach most of the towns and cities in the Algarve. Intercity Trains travel from town to town, but commuters have to change trains to get to some of the smaller destinations. Comboios de Portugal (CP) operates regional trains and national services that connect to the Algarve. Regional train stations throughout the Algarve generally have ticketing offices for tourists. For those stations that do not have an operating ticket booth, trains have conductors on board that sell tickets.

Exploring

The Algarve is swarming with tremendous attractions. Visitors will have to plan their itinerary very carefully, as beaches, golf courses, historical fortifications and dynamic towns are sprinkled across the region. Car hire will make daytrips from any of the major resorts and cities effortless.

Recommended Drives

Silves - Oone of the most important tourist destinations in the Algarve is Silves. It isn’t a beach town, but rather a historic town that was once the capital of the region. Resting within the township is a beautiful Moorish castle that was built between the 8th and 13th centuries. Silves is only seven miles from Portimao and 15 miles from the town of Lagos.

Lagos - A truly underestimated destination. The inner-city is blessed with traditional architecture that can be explored on foot. In addition, Lagos is flanked by some marvelous beaches, including Praia da Batata and Meia Praia, where jet-skiing, parasailing, kayaking and other water sports are available.

Portimao - Located only a few miles to the east of Lagos, but wherever tourists are driving from, spectacular coastal scenery can be experienced along the way. The city is among the Algarve’s more popular resort spots, as it contains an excellent array of sun-kissed beaches and alluring entertainment strips, complete with bars and restaurants. Praia da Rocha, one of Algarve’s most treasured beaches, lies within the resort of Portimao.

Quarteira - A coastal resort in the centre of the Algarve. Tourists can find a range of fine dining, shopping, and entertainment activities when visiting the town. However, the marina and the impressive Quarteira Beach offers an ideal setting for seaside-resort getaway. A range of activities are found along the beachfront, including jet-skiing and paragliding.

Frequently asked questions

Is Carrentals.co.uk the cheapest? Yes, we offer a guarantee of the lowest price - because we compare various retailers, we can always offer you the best price in town. What do I need to do when picking up a car? To pick up your car, you will need your voucher, passport, driver's license and a credit card. It is very important that your driver's license and credit card are in the same name as the main driver. Keep in mind that the local rental company will reserve a certain amount on your credit card as a deposit. This requires the PIN code for your credit card. If your driver's license is foreign (for example, in Chinese), you must bring a translation with you. Only your original passport and driver's license will be accepted - a copy is not sufficient. Are there any additional costs? In general, our rates are all-inclusive. Should there be any additional costs, our booking department will get in touch with you before issuing the invoice. Should you object, you can always cancel your reservation with no obligations attached (at least 48 hours in advance). What kind of insurance is applicable to my car rental? In general, Liability Insurance, Fire Insurance, All-Risks Insurance and Theft Insurance are included in the cost of your rental car. What is a worry-free label? This label indicates that a rental car satisfies the following requirements: Unlimited kilometers, no excess liability (and no excess cover available), sustainable energy policy, and that the car rental company has a good reputation. Availability of cars satisfying these four requirements will speed up the selection of a suitable vehicle for you. How can I change or cancel my reservation? You can cancel your reservation through "My Account". We recommend contacting us by phone if your changes to your booking or cancellation takes place at short notice (48 hours or less). When will I get a confirmation of my booking? Most reservations will receive confirmation within minutes after payment takes place. We recommend contacting our Booking Department for last minute reservations (pick-up within 48 hours). Which car rental companies are compared by Carrentals.co.uk? at this location
  • Drive4Less
  • Guerin

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